Despite a lack of administration presence, Associate Professor Richard Sullivan and student activists convened in an open forum Wednesday night in regards to the “Flanagan Fiasco.”
Sullivan recognized the concerns he and many other members of the ISU community have towards the lump sum former President Timothy Flanagan was paid upon his resignation.
Flanagan’s March 22 resignation sparked interest among students in Sullivan’s social movement class. Not only have the students in this class created the “I Paid for Flanagan 2014” Facebook group, but they have also extended the movement’s invitation to all students and faculty.
With over 900 members in the Facebook group and 1,500 signed petitions to reinstate former groundskeeper R. Patrick Murphy, they have gained a significant amount of support over the past few weeks.
“It has really been a cool thing to watch you all express your unity and solidarity,” Sullivan said.
Documents with the group’s demands pertaining to answers, accountability and fairness were passed out to an audience of about 30 people.
One of their main unanswered questions includes why Murphy has not yet been reinstated as a university employee even after Flanagan was charged with disorderly conduct. Sullivan said Murphy’s reinstatement is at the top of Chief of Staff Jay Grove’s agenda.
“I can say that I’ve made a point to stop with multiple grounds and facility workers and give them a flyer and say it’s for Patrick Murphy,” Ali Dilley, senior sociology major and student activist, said. “Through having conversations with them, they’ve said how great of a leader he was, how great it was to work with him and how unfair the situation is.”
Sullivan said the 40 group members continue their outreach efforts by meeting almost every other day to discuss and organize plans.
Senior sociology major Chris Roehl said the group plans to keep raising student awareness and pressing the Board of Trustees for answers.
“The Board of Trustees made the decision to hire Flanagan. They also made the same decision to fire Flanagan seven months later,” Roehl said.
“We want the president and other administrators under the same contract [as other employees].”
Dilley said she encourages all students to get involved with the movement regardless of their involvement with the Student Government Association.
“There’s power in just being a student here … just because I’m not on the Student Government Association doesn’t mean I cant have a say,” she said.
The student activists hope their set of demands are met by the Board.
“It’s not about the money. It’s never really been about the money. It’s about integrity, openness and honesty,” Roehl said.