Written by John Face
February 14, 2022
As Albion College slowly recovers from the short tenure of Mat Johnson there are still issues. For those inside the College it is the biggest secret that everyone knows about, Albion College is in financial turmoil. Years of deficit spending using the Colleges endowments to cover shortfalls has placed the school in danger if the ship isn’t righted soon. What I am talking about is around $100 million in deficit spending using the endowment as a savings bank. From college Presidents to the Board of Trustees (BOT), it appears no one wants to stand up and acknowledge they have screwed up.
Today Mike Harrington is no longer President of the BOT. He, along with J. Donald Sheets, Thomas Ludington, Jeffrey Ott and Jeffrey Weedman have had a unique hold on the BOT. They have forced members of the BOT to follow their leadership and been happy with losing money, of course to question their business acumen is sacrilegious. On the college website they laud Harrington’s accomplishments but fail to remind everyone he was directly responsible for bringing Mat Johnson to Albion. City Watch has learned that Harrington is facing some health issues, let us hope this is not true and if so, we wish him well, but whatever the reason for his leaving, the college is much better off.
Now a new start for the Board as Joanne (Joey) Miller takes over as President of the Board, having to fix the mess left from her predecessor and other current members of the BOT. Ms. Miller is a 1975 graduate of Albion College and has served on the board previously. She has a reputation of being fair, honest and willing to work with and listening to others. If she is able to wrestle power away from BOT members who have spent many years on the BOT, some of whom should have reached their term limits she may be able to lead the school and bring much needed stability.
The main issues facing Albion College beyond the BOT members who have been here way to long is that the interim President Joe Calvaruso has yet to relieve the Mat Johnson appointees who continue to cause fear in staff. One staffer stating, “not much has changed, Joe just kind of floats along waiting for direction from the Board, and Mat’s people keep watch over the school for him (Johnson)”. Oh, and yes, they have to find a new President.
Now City Watch would love the opportunity to speak to Calvaruso about this and other issues. Maybe a leadership change on the board will rattle his cage, certainly my several emails and phone calls have not.