Alleged incident at ISU president’s residence under investigation


An investigation into an alleged assault on the grounds of the Illinois State University presidential residence has been confirmed by ISU police.

The report filed on Thursday afternoon alleges an assault and disorderly conduct incident involving ISU President Timothy Flanagan and an ex-ISU employee that occurred in early December.

Former ISU superintendent R. Patrick Murphy told The Pantagraph Flanagan came out of his house around 9 a.m. on Dec. 5 when Murphy was supervising a crew working on the property. The ISU-owned presidential residence is at 1000 Gregory St.

When Murphy approached Flanagan, Murphy claims the president’s saliva projected onto Murphy’s face, neck and clothing, according to reports. Murphy also alleges Flanagan’s arms hit Murphy in the torso at one point during the encounter.

In a published interview with The Pantagraph, Murphy said Flanagan “cuts loose on me … I’ve never had such a thing happen. I was shocked. I stood there in shock. He was right in my face; too close.”

ISU Police Capt. Nichol Bleichner told the Pantagraph that an investigation is underway. Officers have yet to talk to Flanagan.

According to The Pantagraph, Murphy filed the report after contacting several sources, including the Board of Trustees and other university superintendents, who did not respond.

Murphy was fired on Dec. 10. The investigation is ongoing.

Assistant to the President Jay Groves did not return a call placed by The Vidette for a comment.

10 Responses

  1. richard robbins

    Witnesses to the presidential incident have been told not to talk to the press.
    ISU has a violence policy you can view on their webpage. It includes intimidating language or behavior.
    I know of civil service employees who have been disciplined for arguing loudly or getting in each others faces under this policy.
    ISU human resources has a history of not investigating complaints fully when the accused is an administrator or supervisor.
    Feel free to contact me if you need info.

    • Cassandra Russo

      Hi Richard,

      My name is Cassandra and I am a student reporter from Framingham State University in Framingham, MA (Dr.Flanagan’s previous University.) Are you able to provide me with more information on this topic or elaborate more on your comment? I would really appreciate it. Please contact me at or at 508-868-9112

      Have a great day,

      • Andrew

        Cassandra – You might want to talk to someone from ISU Human Resources as well about the things that Richard mentions. Those are very serious allegations that he has made, perhaps with a biased mind. You wouldn’t want your article to be one-sided.

      • Vic Packard

        Cassandra, I am not familiar with Framingham but every personnel decision has to be authorized by the president. The Chronicle of Higher Education has various chat forums where faculty at every university Flanagan president has presided as president chat with false usernames and anonymity out of fear that their identity discovery will lead to a sudden escalation of retaliatory behavior, most commonly integrated by the paper trail technique and incidents. Faculty will find that their teaching that was once highly regarded is suddenly rife with problems because of “word choice” on syllabi and “holding extra office hours which are intended to help students, but instead alarm fellow faculty that the extra hours may not be in the best interests of students.” In other words, the kind of academia BS that is used to cook personnel records. Look at Rosalie Appel’s civil case (Appel v. Spiridon)

  2. Kara

    Richard why would you publicly talk poorly about the university that employs you?

    • RWR

      Didn’t know it was wrong to speak the truth about your employer. My experience is what I speak of. It’s not like it is a secret.

    • Philips Gagnon

      Are you kidding me Kara? Because the university that employs him is presided by a president who allegedly treated a fellow employee with assault. However, Kara, you are the first to generalize the president’s alleged behavior to reflect badly on the the employer as a whole – the university – that allegedly employs Richard. Richard is only questioning the integrity of HR investigations. I take it Kara that you suggest widening the scope of how severely we look at this matter — to the employer? I don’t disagree.

  3. Sean Maguire

    Can I just say the obvious for Christ’s sake. The University’s policy is a phantom front to scare likeminded people from communicating public information about public workers at a public university that is not protected by a code of privacy. The president “may” have had a similar reputation at previous institutions if you look a little deeper. One, “may be” for authorizing personnel actions on false police reports. Screw the university’s policy as it is not a “personnel” matter when the alleged victim is NOT an employee of the university. The alleged aggressor is a public servant. Speak out witnesses, speak, speak, speak, because the veil of privacy is there to protect no one but the president against a non-employee. Look at the history track record of highest administrators hired in Massachusetts under the president’s watch. Now that the special investigation is underway, does this mean they too are there to embarrass the school as well?

  4. Philips Gagnon

    Cassandra – the articles have all been one-sided. The first “article” was the employee’s December 10, 2013 job loss because the president allegedly assaulted the alleged victim, and the alleged victim was fired as to avoid any negative press against the president or school.

    The alleged victim has been accused of lying by waiting so long to make his grievances heard, out of university fear that he had every intention to do so between the incident and December 10, 2013. If the university attorney is supposedly taking an unbiased approach, why didn’t the attorney representing the president say the following, “Attorney for Timothy Flanagan indicates that the long delay the alleged victim took before filing a complaint is a testament to his credibility, “DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE ALLEGED VICTIM FILED THE COMPLAINT WITHIN THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED BY STATE LAW, OTHERWISE LAW ENFORCEMENT WOULD HAVE REFERED THE ALLEGED VICTIM TO CIVIL RECOURSE AT THE COMMISSION FOR EMPLOYMENT.

    The beautiful irony is that the alleged suspect Timothy Flanagan has a 1980 PhD in Criminal Justice from my alma mater -The University of Albany. The previous comment makes reference to those Flanagan hired at previous institutions. A colleague of mine, Rosalie Appel, was discriminated by Flanagan’s choice for VPAA in Framingham — Linda Vaden-Goad, despite her now proven track record for subjecting a faculty member to a neuropsychological evaluation by a doctor chosen by the university, and accessing Appel’s medical records without Appel’s consent. Linda Vaden-Goad herself does not dispute that she subjected Appel to an escalating series disciplinary actions that constitute discrimination.

    Mark my word that the ignoring the university policy on pricacy and speaking out publicly is a personnel policy. However, because Flanagan saw to it that the alleged victim was fired on 12/10/13, the complaint comes from a non-employee. Therefore, witnesses can publicly comment on how they felt the alleged victim was treated, because Flanagan and the university fired the alleged victim.

  5. Penta Mcirson

    Keep in mind that months before Timothy Flanagan left Framingham State University, he hired Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) Linda Vaden-Goad, who was under investigation by the state of Connecticut for egregious discrimination of a professor at Western Connecticut State College (See Appel v. Spiridon, Rinker, Vaden-Goad). Vaden-Goad was since found liable both professionally and personally for illegally accessing and reading the medical records of Art Professor Rosalie Appel, a frankly heinous and disturbing invasion of privacy that Vaden-Goad committed without permission from Appel. Vaden-Goad used Appel’s medical records to form the basis of instituting a mandatory psychological evaluation by a university appointed psychologist as one of several retaliatory measures that escalated into Appel’s unlawful termination. Vaden-Goad, like Flanagan, was vetted and chosen because the administration thought she was a good fit for Flanagan. This ought to clarify what Flanagan values in an administrator: discrimination. And one clarification: the $485018.00 settlement is at least $167,000.00 too large or too small.

    In September, 2013, Martha Coakley ordered a special audit by the state treasurer into the alleged misspending of university funds by a junior administrator. Specifically Alumni Relations employee, Robert Walmsley, was fired from Framingham State University in June 2013. There is absolutely no way that an employee working in alumni relations spent anything close to this amount.

    Framingham State University inexplicably failed to report the abuse of these monies for three months, since June 2013, when Flanagan left the university! In a clever twist on words, university lawyer Rita Colucci added that Walmsley may not have spent the entire amount. In other words, Walmsley may have spent $2000 legitimate dollars, while president Timothy Flanagan likely skipped town with $165,000! So its admissible to wonder if Flanagan will immediately spend $165,000 from his tasty settlement to repay the Framingham State University.

    It is also worth mentioning that Timothy Flanagan saw to it that the Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Vaden-Goad be hired in 2010, after she was under investigation in a well-documented civil lawsuit for discrimination against a colleague of mine & full-time faculty member and 40 year state employee Rosalie Appel. According to the case status PRIOR to Vaden-Goad’s hiring by Flanagan, Vaden-Goad and two other defendant’s characterized their own behavior toward Rosalie Appel as punitive and malicious. Because Appel protected her interests in court, Vaden-Goad et al., “…retaliated against her for filing this lawsuit by subjecting her to an escalating series of disciplinary measures. Defendants do not dispute, for purposes of this appeal, that Appel successfully established a prima facie case of discrimination (See Appel v. Spiridon – just search these names in google).

    Vaden-Goad accessed Appel’s medical records without Appel’s permission, and compelled Ms. Appel to have a psychological evaluation by a university appointed psychologist on threat of termination. Vaden-Goad was smoothly transferred to Framingham State University and promoted to Vice President of Academic Affair to Framingham State University president Timothy Flanagan. Not long after, Vaden-Goad oversaw a trumped up harassment claim against a Framingham professor, on behalf of a complainant who used a false legal name that she perjuriously claimed to have changed legally in 2001, in order to outrun the IRS.


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