President of Eastern Gateway Community College fired
The President of Eastern Gateway Community College has been fired for dereliction of duty and inappropriate management practices.
Meanwhile, the second in command remains on paid administrative leave as the Board of Directors waits for direction from the State Auditor.
The Board of Directors went into executive session and stayed behind closed doors to discuss the personnel matters for two hours. The college's two top administrators have been on paid administrative leave for about a week.
When the Board emerged from the private session on Wednesday, a resolution was passed unanimously to terminated Dr. Jimmie Bruce, who moved here from Texas in the Spring of 2005.
Bruce had just renewed his contract in July of 2018 for $225,000 a year as the President of Eastern Gateway. However, Board Chairman James Gasior said the Dr. Bruce they hired is not the one they've seen in the last five months, who has failed to hire a Provost and Marketing Person, and failed to show up at meetings and return cabinet members phone calls.
"From our standpoint, from what we've seen, it's frustrating, but what we saw with Jimmie was different than what we've seen up until the August time frame when he was very engaged, very active," Gasior said.
The college expects to conduct a national search for a new President, but for now, Chief Financial Officer Michael Geoghegan will step in to continue to help the college move forward. The online college will likely experience the biggest growth this year with more than 26,000 students.
As for Vice-President and Chief of Staff Jim Miller, he remains on paid leave for now. He's under investigation for allegedly misusing a college expense card. Reporters were not told a dollar amount, but that there was a pattern of irregularities that were found and brought to the attention of the auditors.
According to Interim President and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Geoghegan, "We did bring this issue to the attention of the Auditor. So we did find it during an internal review. So we were very proactive with it, and we're just sort of waiting for some direction."
When 21 News asked the Board of Directors if this could result in criminal charges for Miller, we were told, they are waiting for exactly what the Auditor's recommendation will be. Another option, if Miller is found guilty of any wrongdoing, he could be required to pay any misspent funds back.