A Triton College dean who was fired by the school’s board of trustees in June will not receive any of the benefits stipulated in his 2007 contract, according to Vice President for Institutional Advancement Marge Stabile.
Stabile made the announcement in early August on behalf of the president’s office.
“Ed Forst was terminated on Tuesday, June 20, 2006,” Stabile said in a prepared statement. “He is no longer employed at Triton College. There will be no payout on his contract. There’s no further comment.”
Stabile declined to comment on the reasons for Forst’s dismissal, citing employee confidentiality laws.
“It’s a personnel issue,” Stabile said. “As a college, we believe we’ve done what needs to be done.”
At the time of his termination, Forst was serving as Triton’s dean of Arts and Sciences. The one-year contract with Triton was reached approximately one month prior to Forst being escorted from the school grounds in May.
Previously, Forst said he was waiting to see what actions Triton planned to take regarding his contract.
“There might be litigation, so I can’t comment right now,” Forst said in response to Stabile’s comments.
Maggie Hahn-Wade, president of the Triton Faculty Association, said the reasons for Forst’s firing remain hidden from faculty members as well.
“Since the administration won’t talk about anything related to personnel issues, [who knows],” Hahn-Wade said. “There’s nothing I can imagine that he’s done that could cause them to dismiss him.”
Forst is apparently proving difficult to replace. Triton has gone through at least two interim deans since May. A third person, retired Triton humanities professor John Fry, stepped into the role in mid-August.
At its July 18 meeting the Triton board approved an agreement with the American Association of Community Colleges Executive Search based in Coral Gables, Fla., to conduct a national search for Forst’s replacement. According to the agreement, the cost of the search is not to exceed $30,000.
Hahn-Wade cited Triton’s recently announced budget shortfall and the school’s history of appointing top administrators as being contradictory to the decision to hire a consultant to replace Forst.
“The reality is that having someone come in and help with the hiring process can be a good thing,” Hahn-Wade said. “I find it ironic that we chose to do this with an [open] dean’s position, as opposed to all the positions that have just been appointed.”
Recent appointments include Ilean Rodriguez, who was named vice president by Triton College President Patricia Granados after Granados disbanded a faculty search committee. In 2001, Granados was ushered into office by the board of trustees, which did not commission a search committee to fill the position.
Meanwhile, key administrators continue to leave Triton. Chuck Martin, the vice president of Human Resources, escorted Forst off school grounds in May. Martin resigned in July and took a job at another community college, according to Hahn-Wade.