Yesterday, September 10th, OCAC announced that on September 10, Denise Mullen would be leaving her position as college president–for personal reasons. Chew on that one.
Mullen’s tenure has been marked by growing financial difficulties for the institution. She has inspired seemingly constant complaints among faculty over poor communication and lack of direction for the college while rumor has it that despite her feminist rhetoric, equal pay for equal work has not been her practice. But we will probably never know the exact reason for her departure.
Mullen’s gets credit for “saving” The Art Gym, but in doing so laid off two OCAC employees without warning. One had been with the college for 20 years.
Her accomplishments listed in the OCAC announcement are thin. Community partnerships–whatever that means, and the expansion of graduate studies–more low ranking MFA programs with flagging enrollment.
But before we rejoice at OCAC’s new beginning, the school’s future is now in the hands of a board who should have intervened years before. As we hold our collective breaths and wait, let’s ruminate on Disjecta’s cautionary tale. During the hiring process to replace Bryan Seureth, despite warnings from at least one member of the hiring committee, Disjecta allegedly passed over a candidate referred to as “overqualified” and landed on Blake Shell who perhaps has an even worse reputation than Mr. Seureth. Go Portland!