Written by John Face
Photo Credit John Face
October 20, 2021
Albion College Staff and students have basically been told you are on your own because the Board of Trustees will apparently not listen to them.
Let me explain:
Earlier this year in my interview with Mathew Johnson the President of Albion College we discussed an email he sent to staff back in April. In the email in which he was complimenting staff on their work was a highly offensive You Tube video link that depicted violence against women and sexism. The email was offensive enough that staff members reached out to this writer. The video in question is not worth linking in this story as I found it offensive and folks who know me can tell you that is hard to do, offend me that is.
Johnson was made aware that the email he forwarded was considered offensive and he quickly responded. He would offer an apology to all the staff via the original email and he sent out an email to the Board of Trustees he said, explaining the email.
Below is a copy of his apology edited so none of the email addresses are shown. He claims that “in the way that I shared the email it inadvertently captured all three links” of videos that were attached. Well those who are internet savvy know that the video link could not be accidentally captured as someone had to copy the video link and add it. His “I did not mean to send it to you” comment begs the question who did he mean to send the offensive video to.
I asked him about how he was treated regarding this and had it been one of his employees would they be able to “own the impact” and apologize to keep their job? He responded saying “I suspect they would keep their job as we are a learning organization and we must be willing to show grace when someone makes a mistake”. I asked what could an employee do if they had a real issue with his email or him?
He stated “we have avenues to facilitate the employee who wishes to bring concerns about me”. He said they can go to Human Resources, the Office of Belonging as those departments are “insulated from me”. He also stated if the staff or students were still unwilling to follow those avenues they can reach out to members of the Board of Trustees. Of course this takes us back to the headline, staff and students are on an island.
Richard Lindsey is a local attorney who is doing work in helping Albion College procure property. Much of this highly publicized work is concentrating around the Washington Gardner school. Lindsey along with Johnson and other close associates of Johnson were working overtime on social media attempting to sway people to their way of thinking. There was much backlash from what they were doing and City Watch has learned that Johnson and Lindsey were told to “stay off Facebook regarding the school bond issue and the college”.
Before this blackout from them, Lindsey was crowing about how much support Johnson had. Crowing to the point that he posted this copy of an email on his personal Facebook page. Please note the date and time of the post:
Thank you Mike Harrington for giving me permission to quote you. Something needs to change, the Trustees need to remember that Albion College is one of the best colleges because of the staff and great students not because of Mathew Johnson and the Trustees.