St. Cloud State President Earl Potter has done whatever it takes to deflect criticism of his administration. The attached video outlines the complaints against President Potter and his administration. One of the counts in this unofficial indictment is President Potter's refusal to conduct an investigation into the transcript scandal. Here's what the video says about the transcript scandal:
To this day, the Potter administration has refused to conduct a formal investigation into hundreds of grades being removed from transcripts. They haven't even talked with the professor that reported it to Minnesota Public Radio.
At a Meet & Confer meeting, a person speaking for the administration said they didn't think of it as a scandal. Instead, they characterized it as "data analysis."
This 'explanation' is spin. This anonymous administrator wouldn't have been able to make that type of statement if the Potter administration had interviewed Prof. Tamara Leenay after she spoke out about this to MPR. They would've known that she had hardcopy proof that a student's participation in her class had been deleted from the student's transcript. What's noteworthy is that the student whose grade was removed didn't drop out of the class. In fact, the studen had taken the tests and failed the course.
What's stunning is the administration's indifference to this type of corruption.
The third 'indictment' against the Potter administration is for their financial mismanagement regarding the Coborn's Apartments:
In the first four years of occupancy, Coborn's Apartments lost over $5,000,000. Over the first 10 years of the lease agreement, St. Cloud State will pay $36,797,659 to the Wedum Foundation for Coborn's apartments...regardless of occupancy.
St. Cloud State will pay the Wedum Foundation $36,797,659 over the first 10 years of the building. Thus far, SCSU has paid the Wedum Foundation every penny of rent collected from the apartment rentals plus an additional $5,000,000 from the University's revenues.
Despite this information, President Potter recently said this:
"Landlords were concerned that we would subsidize the rent in order to fill the building. We have not done that. We've kept our promise with religious zeal. We've absolutely not varied that. All in all, it's a success. We're drawing on reserves. The cash flow isn't quite where it needs to be for the long-term. But I still believe it's the right decision to make."
What businessman would say that spending $5,000,000 of their personal savings to cover their business's operating loss? Saying that "the cash flow isn't quite where it needs to be" is spin. The cash flow from the Apartments isn't close to where it needs to be for the short- or long-term.
The fourth indictment is about the Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility, aka ISELF. A KSTP news crew, led by reporter Tom Hauser, visited the St. Cloud State campus in October, 2013. They described the building as being mostly empty. Despite that, President Potter is irate that people characterize ISELF that way:
"It's mildly annoying that there's some people claiming the building is empty...this is a fraud and a failure. One has to wonder about the motives but it's far from the truth.
KSTP's pictures quickly told the truth. During the fall semester, one classroom was used. The labs hadn't been equipped. Those are verifiable facts.
Perhaps the worst indictment against President Potter is from the students. After President Potter decided to shut the University's aviation program down, 5 aviation students asked for and received a meeting with President Potter. In the words of Logan Vold, one of the students in the meeting, here's what happened:
Furthermore, as the meeting progressed, President Potter yelled at me as well as at another student. I never felt so embarrassed knowing we have a university president who acts like this.
When he's been confronted, President Potter has reacted with great hostility. Great leaders aren't autocrats. They're leaders. They handle differences of opinion without hostility.
Finally, intimidation isn't what they do. Leadership requires statesmanship. That's a trait few people on campus would attribute to President Potter.