Students demand integrity from the Board of Trustees


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.


3 Responses

  1. Eric

    As an alumnus, I was embarrassed to read about the allegations that former President Flanagan was accused of. When he resigned, I was glad that the matter was promptly taken care of so that the university can move on from this PR nightmare.

    Now I am reading about these student activists that are protesting on the Quad wanting answers about Flanagan’s payout. I applaud their willingness to be engaged, but unfortunatly this movement is only hurting the reputation of ISU even more. How many visitors to campus are seeing these signs on the Quad and are choosing to go to another university because they think the administration is corrupt? I agree that if the Trustees were to engage in a legal battle, the university would ultimately win. However, the amount of legal fees, bad publicity, and the lack of a new President for months on end would be worth way more than the 400k that he received.

  2. Steve

    I am an alum and a retiree from ISU who is happy to see a group of current students and a professor have the courage and integrity to ask the questions that need to be asked and recognize that a wrong was done to Mr. Murphy by the arrogance and lack of character of the now former President, who should have never been hired in the first place. The Board of Trustees ultimately is to blame for this mess and there needs to be some prompt resignations from the members who voted to hire Flanagan, especially since there was a better candidate in President Dietz already on campus. I have been around ISU since 1972 there have been three disasters as President[Berlo,Wallace, Flanagan] all brought in from outside the university. ISU has a unique governing structure in the shared governance system and all of these bad Presidents did not understand that they are not dictators and must work with the faculty in order to be successful. I hope this wonderful group of students keeps up the pressure until Mr. Murphy gets his job back. Also what was the involvement of Human Resources and Mr. Murphy’s department head {Facilities Management] in this wrongful termination? They need to answer for their complicity in this matter.


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