Frederick Community College shuffles staff after president’s departure -- Gazette.Net



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The reshuffling of Frederick Community College’s senior leadership has continued following the departure of the school’s president earlier this month, as negotiations continue over the terms of his sudden exit.

Doug Browning, executive vice president for administration, became the school’s president after Frederico Talley left the post on Jan. 3, following a special closed meeting of the school’s seven-member board of trustees.

The mystery of Talley’s situation still swirls around the school weeks after his departure.

The college’s attorney continues to have discussions with Talley’s attorney, but no agreement has been reached, FCC spokesman Mike Pritchard said Tuesday.

Pritchard said he wasn’t privy to the nature of the discussions between the lawyers.

Talley’s attorney, Raymond Cotton of the Washington, D.C., law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, also could not be reached for comment..

College officials have declined to comment on why Talley left, calling it a “personnel matter” between him and the board of trustees.

Pritchard said that Talley was not fired from his position, but the exact nature of how his tenure will officially end has not been determined.

Browning also said Tuesday that there were no new developments to report in the dispute.

“As far as I know, it’s still in the same spot,” he said.

Browning will serve as president through June 30, 2014. He had previously served as the interim president during the search that led to the hiring of Talley, who came aboard in July 2012 as the school’s first black president.

Talley’s $180,000-a-year salary came with a three-year contract.

Browning has said the search for a replacement for Talley is expected to start within the next six to nine months.

As part of the personnel changes in the wake of Talley’s departure, Walt Smith, the school’s executive director of risk management and public services, had been tapped to fill Browning’s old job.

But Browning announced at a Jan. 16 meeting of the board of trustees that Smith would be moving back to his old position, and Dana McDonald, associate vice president of fiscal services, would be taking that job instead.

McDonald has only been with the college about six months, but has done an outstanding job, Browning said Tuesday.

He said McDonald brings plenty of financial experience from her previous position as vice president and chief financial officer for IMA World Health, which has offices in New Windsor.

Her short tenure at the school was a reason why Browning didn’t offer her the vice president of administration job in the first place, he said.

“She’s definitely a great addition to the college,” he said.

Smith’s appointment had created “a buzz” because some people were concerned about him holding the position without a college degree, Browning told the trustees last week.

The scrutiny made Smith feel uncomfortable because he didn’t want to draw any negative attention to the school, and he decided to return to his former position, Browning said.

rmarshall@gazette.net