Dear Gentlemen,

Nearly 3 months have passed since I was terminated for vocalizing an opinion deemed in violation of a communications policy.  Traditionally in academia a dissenting opinion stimulates conversation that leads to a new understanding.  Instead I was treated as the enemy ostracized and shown the door.  My departure was anti-thesis to the beginning of my tenure as an Admissions professional at the college.  I recall vividly the interview and how we hit it off as everything felt like such a good fit for both sides.  It seems surreal the way things culminated toward the end.

In hindsight our vision is always clearer and I did want to share some feedback with you, although I was not asked for an exit interview, I will take the opportunity to do so anyway.  I really enjoyed my role assisting prospective students with improving the quality of their lives through higher education.  It was immensely rewarding, although quite stressful at times with the pressure of achieving quotas often conflicting with a thorough vetting process.  I found the culture to be reminiscent of high school with gossip and hearsay often circulating, including participation by those in so-called leadership positions.  When people are encouraged to stab others in the back to gain favor with management it is a symptom of a dysfunctional work environment.  It was disheartening to say the least.

I had been looking forward to the Leadership U series, especially since I had read Maxwell’s book long before the announcement came out.  Those 21 laws are certainly guidelines that can be applied to any endeavor, whether at home, the community or in a professional environment.  I recall hearing many complaints from my colleagues about the low morale and lack of recognition from management; the high rate of turnover indicative of a void in leadership.  I would often share these sentiments and yet do my best to life their spirits with an encouraging word.  I do miss many of these folks.

I concede that I was in no way a “model employee” and in my drive to be a leader I have undoubtedly ruffled some feathers along the way.  The final straw for me was when the Dean of Student Services shared a statistic- 47% placement rate for Online- and my heart just sank.  I am confident that having Kim heading up Career Services will be instrumental in improving that deplorable metric; however, my concerns for the institution’s best interests of the students make me skeptical.  When I drove by the site recently I saw the steel frame erected for the new building.  I do pray that it will be symbolic of a new era of delivering on the promises made to students while growing a culture where employees feel part of something special.

Thank you for the opportunity to grow as an individual and professional.

Best,

Sean J. Kennedy

Advertisements