Written by John Face
September 14, 2021
City Watch NEWS
As my editorial yesterday regarding Albion College President Mathew Johnson and the Albion City Council was rolled out, it received the responses I expected. Johnson’s detractors were pleased to see something reported about him while his supporters rolled out the company line of “the college doesn’t have to do a no bid process as they are not a government agency” and other attacks over social media.
One of Johnson’s supporters actually blamed me and my article for hurting the school bond proposal coming to the voters in November. Claiming that people are using it as a way to show that there are problems here. This may be true that they are using it that way. The fact is, the editorial I wrote has nothing to do with the bond proposal and everything to do with actions of the president and council members.
My concern has and still is why Johnson would lack the forethought to realize that giving a no bid contract to a member of council was a bad idea. I stated in the story that he said her being a council member had nothing to do with the selection. Yet, Johnson knew when he referred her to his chief of operations and before she signed a contract, she was an Albion City Council member. Wouldn’t opening it up for bids for minority companies have been the best and safest way “to keep himself out of the process” as he said?
So I sit here today asking questions. Why have so many staff left Albion College? Staff with decades of institutional experience that could make a new president look good. Why are students risking their education to publically call out the college president and ask for his removal? Why are employees, many of whom I have spoken to afraid to stand up to him? Why did Johnson have the public relations firm, Identity, out of Bingham Farms, MI email me regarding questions I submitted to him for follow-up? He agreed to answer them via email in connection to this interview and for a subsequent story. Why am I now requested to go through a PR firm hired by him and the college?
I will end this short entry today with asking Dr. Johnson for the promised follow-up interview for more questions and answers.
To the staff and students at Albion College in my interview Johnson stated that you can go to Human Resources and even to the Board of Trustees to share your concerns. I would also say feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will not betray you.