The RiverBend Growth Association sent a letter to its members recently urging them to support renewal of Dale Chapman’s contract as president of Lewis & Clark Community College at the meeting of the college board this week.
According to the letter, Chapman has “served as a good fiscal steward for the college” and “been fiscally responsible in managing its assets.”
That would be the same Dale Chapman who received nearly $2 million in lump-sum pension benefits when he “retired” from the presidency of the college in 2010, only to be rehired to the same position two months later – and who currently enjoys an annual salary of $337,000, expense accounts totaling $43,200 for which he provides no documentation, and more than $120,000 a year in annual benefits.
That would also be the same Dale Chapman whose wife is amply compensated serving as vice president of the college and whose son works for a consulting firm that secured a $500,000-per-year, no-bid contract with the college.
Granted, as the RiverBend Growth Association noted in its letter, Chapman has been successful in securing millions of dollars in grants for the college during his 27-year tenure. Nevertheless, it’s hard to fathom how a man benefiting from so many sweetheart deals at the expense of the institution he serves can be characterized as “a good fiscal steward for the college” and “fiscally responsible in managing its assets.”
The Association purported to be concerned solely for the good of the college and the region it serves, but declined to answer reasonable questions about what other motivations it might have had in touting the extension of Chapman’s contract and how it came to that decision.
For example, was a vote taken by the members or leaders of the Association before the endorsement was issued, do they approve of Chapman’s lavish compensation package, does the group or any of its members have financial connections to the college, and did the beneficiary of their endorsement have any hand in crafting the fawning testimonial?
Answers to those questions should be forthcoming.