LMC releases reasons for suspending president

Published 8:09 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lake Michigan College has released more information about why the college’s governing board chose to suspend its newly hired president.

According to a press release sent Tuesday evening, the board believes just cause may exist to support the termination of Dr. Jennifer Spielvogel based upon the following factors:

• Inadequate goals and objectives

• Unapproved and unauthorized costs expensed to the college

Jennifer Spielvogel

Jennifer Spielvogel

• Policy violations

• Renovations to the president’s office

• Her planned inauguration

• Purchase of a chain of office medallion

• Improper management behavior

• Improper comments

• Lack of professionalism

The board voted unanimously to suspend Spielvogel for the aforementioned reasons during a special meeting April 8 to discuss a written legal opinion from the college’s attorney related to an employment matter.

A just cause hearing will take place before the board within 30 days. Candice Elders, LMC spokesperson, said the board is still working on scheduling a date.

The board became concerned when reviewing expense requests and spoke with Spielvogel about the issues before the decision was made in the meeting, according to the press release.

If the college should terminate employment for just cause, it is under no contractual obligation to award severance compensation or any other compensation, or continue any other fringe benefit provided by the contract.

The college has not appointed an interim president to serve during Spielvogel’s suspension. She is currently suspended with pay and members of the college’s board and cabinet are directing normal operations.

“Although we are very disappointed, we know the college will continue to flourish thanks to the steadfast dedication of our employees and profound support from our communities,” said Board Chair Mary Jo Tomasini in a prepared statement. “I can speak on behalf of all LMC trustees that we hold our responsibility to the College in the highest regard and will always work to make the best decisions, even if they’re not always the easiest.”

Spielvogel was hired in January to succeed retiring president Dr. Robert Harrison after 16 years of service.

Leader Publications reached out to Lake Michigan College for Spielvogel’s contact information. Efforts to reach Spielvogel via social media and phone were unsuccessful.