Monday, March 3, 2008

CSU Appeals Fresno Discrimination Case

After persuading the judge to reduce the $19.1 million award to $6.6 million in the Johnson-Klein discrimination case, the CSU has appealed the judgment. The appeal is expected to drag out the case at least another year or two.

Fresno Bee columnist Bill McEwen criticizes CSU Chancellor Reed for prolonging the case at taxpayers' expense for his own benefit:

Chancellor Charles B. Reed's strategy is to tie up the case in appeals court until he retires -- he's 66 now-- or a frustrated Johnson-Klein caves in.

Either way, the chancellor exits a winner.

McEwen points out that an extended legal battle also shields campus president John Welty:

The name "Stacy Johnson-Klein" and the words "sexual harassment" fade away during appeal, allowing Welty to fend off critics. Pay her now and the price tag will hang around his neck forever.

But if the appeal lasts two years, Welty surely will survive until 2011 and fulfill his ambition of presiding over the university's centennial celebration.

The columnist figures Reed cares more about his own position than the interests of the University:

We, the taxpayers, are enabling Reed to focus on what's best for him, instead of what's best for Fresno and Fresno State. If he had a dime of his own at risk, the case would've disappeared years ago for less than $1 million.

Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees, described as "just happy to have titles," decline to exert their authority:

Reed's other enablers are the CSU trustees. They're supposed to be his bosses, but the reality is that he tells them what to do.

Interest on the award during these delays is estimated at $50,000 per month.


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