Friday, August 31, 2012

NWACC Board to Hear Fired CFO's Appeal Request

Photo of Wrongfully Fired NWACC CFO, Marty Parsons (A Good Guy!)

College Board To Hear Request

Posted: August 29, 2012 at 8:44 p.m.
BENTONVILLE — NorthWest Arkansas Community College trustees on Friday will review whether to give Marty Parsons an appeal hearing.
The meeting will be held at 7 a.m. in the trustees’ boardroom on the third floor of Burns Hall.
Parsons, former senior vice president for administrative services and chief financial officer at the college, was fired by Becky Paneitz, president, Aug. 1.
A letter asking for an appeal was hand-delivered to college officials Aug. 9 by Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow, the law firm representing Parsons. Another hand-delivered letter requesting a response was sent by the law firm Monday.
“To date, I have not received an acknowledgment of the appeal or any other communication from NWACC concerning the appeal,” wrote Brandon Cate, Parsons’ attorney. “If I do not hear back from NWACC within 10 days, I will assume that NWACC does not intend to recognize Mr. Parsons’ appeal and I will recommend that he move forward with his plan to pursue litigation for NWACC’s wrongful termination of his employment.”
A response from the college’s attorney Marshall Ney, of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, was sent to Cate on Tuesday.
That letters states Parsons would be provided an “informal audience” before Paneitz on Friday. Ney said Wednesday he received notice from Cate a meeting with Paneitz wasn’t needed.
The trustees instead will meet with Parsons, then decide on giving him an appeal.
Cate was contacted by Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, but didn’t respond by press time.
Several college trustees said Wednesday they want more information regarding Parsons’ firing.
“I do not have any facts to comment on Mr. Parsons’ appeal because they have not been shared with me,” Trustee Mike Shupe said. “It is disconcerting for the college, for the employees, for the students and for the administration. It is a frustrating thing. I support Mr. Parsons’ petition to appeal. I am very much concerned about Parsons. I’m concerned about our college. I’m concerned about the publicity. I think it will work itself out, but I’m afraid it will not be beautiful. It will be messy.”
Hadley Hindmarsh, trustee, also said she had a lack of facts regarding the situation.
“I would like to see more information,” Hindmarsh said. “Ultimately, our duty as trustees is to our community and our stakeholders and taxpayers.”
Johnny Haney, trustee, agreed with Hindmarsh and Shupe.
“I have asked our board chair for additional information so that we can discuss as a board this entire issue with some facts before us,” Haney said.
Trustees Joe Spivey and Ric Clifford wouldn’t comment about Parsons’ appeal, but said the college should follow policies in place when a request for an appeal is made.
College policy states an employee can appeal to the board if the employee can prove the president had a conflict of interest when firing them.


To review documents on Marty Parsons’ termination and appeal visit
A memorandum signed by Paneitz in Parsons’ personnel file a week prior to his firing states he was counseled on issues including insubordination, failure to complete the college budget in a timely manner, inappropriate language and low morale in his department.
The letter requesting an appeal states Parsons’ was unable to address the items mentioned in the memorandum prior to his firing. It states he was given the memorandum the same day he was fired.
Parsons is one of five chief financial officers the college has employed since Paneitz started as president in 2003.
Steve Pelphrey was chief financial officer when Paneitz started, according to Wyley Elliott, college vice president for public relations and development.
Pelphrey started at the college in 1999 and left in 2005. The college has had four others hold the top financial position since then.


And the circus continues. NWACC is in dire need of a housecleaning from the Board of Trustees on down. As a taxpayer, I'm concerned and disappointed in the lack of oversight by the BOT and leadership by Paneitz.
Posted by: arkietraveler
August 30, 2012 at 5:36 a.m.
There are oracles among the citizens of NWA! The predictions of many have
occurred. Paneitz and minion attempted to circumvent the Parsons appeal
process from the offset. Paneitz offered to provide Parsons an "informal
audience" before..... herself. This farce has now entered the realm of surreal.
The Letter of Appeal went to the appropriate authority, the NWACC Board of
Questions anew:
1. How was Paneitz allowed to insinuate herself into the process?
2. Mr. Ney is the attorney for NWACC (Paneitz). Who is the Attorney for the
Board of Trustees? Surely there must be another law firm.
3. If not, how will Parsons receive an unbiased Appeal resolution if the person
who fired Parsons and the body to hear the Appeal are receiving legal guidance
from the same attorney?
4. The Trustees will meet with Parsons on Friday, to "review" whether to give
him an Appeal? Paneitz presented her Memo as justification in firing Parsons to
the press. Why is Parsons not receiving an IMMEDIATE Appeal to respond to those
5. Board members seem genuinely concerned regarding Parsons termination. So the
final and enduring question remains:
WHO is the puppet master?
Posted by: Legal919
August 30, 2012 at 7:38 a.m.

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