Dr Genethis Hudley-Hayes
According to Dr. Hayes, who was recently removed as special trustee of El Camino Compton Center (Compton Community College), “I began asking too many questions.”
On Friday, September 9, Dr. Genethia Hudley-Hayes was removed as special trustee of the El Camino Compton Center (ECCC) better known as Compton Community College (CCC). According to a statement from California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, who had appointed Dr. Hayes a little over eight months ago – a statement that read ‘FISCAL MANAGEMENT EXPERT RETURNS TO DISTRICT TO LEAD ACCREDITATION PUSH’ – “I want to thank Dr. Hudley-Hayes for her service, and I am pleased that Tom Henry has agreed to return to service for the Compton Community College District,” Chancellor Scott said. “His vast experience in fiscal matters and his familiarity with the district will be invaluable as the Compton Center continues to move toward accreditation as an independent college.” Thomas Henry had previously served as special trustee of the ECCC from 2006 to 2007.
If the district needed a fiscal management expert, as Dr. Scott alluded to, then there must have been fiscal (mis)management problems; and those problems – and others – pre-dated the arrival of Dr. Hayes. It was the fiscal irregularities and fiscal (mis)management running rampant at the college that triggered Chancellor Scott to appoint Dr. Hayes almost nine months ago, in the first place – notwithstanding also, the loss of accreditation. If everything was in ship-shape at the college, there would not have been the need for a special trustee or a management expert. In addition, nine months was hardly enough time to ascertain the scope or the core of the mismanagement problem.
In order to understand what has happened or is happening at ECCC, it is important to delve a bit into the past. Around 2005/2006 when it was still officially called Compton Community College (CCC), the school lost its accreditation. Added to that, a year or so later, the college was on the verge of being closed when Dr. Mervyn Dymally (then an assemblyman) authored AB 318 and with the help of Chancellor Scott (then a state senator), they got the bill through and the governor signed it thereby loaning CCC $30 million. The result: the college continued operating.
However, CCC was still without accreditation and needed a supervisory (parent) educational institution to assist and “manage” it until it was able to regain its accreditation and be independent once again. Enter El Camino College, an institution that offered to assist CCC to “get back on its feet.” CCC was then officially named El Camino Compton Center. The duration was supposed to be approximately five years for the return to full accreditation. Meanwhile, there were several special trustees and college presidents appointed, time went by, the $30 million were being utilized, but a return to independence and full accreditation seemed elusive.
Former State Senator Jack Scott became Chancellor Jack Scott and in January 2011, he appointed Dr. Genethia Hudley-Hayes as the special trustee at ECCC. It was evident that the chancellor was dissatisfied with what was going on at the college or he would not have appointed a new trustee. Dr. Hayes began instituting changes. She dismissed Dr. Lawrence Cox the college CEO and brought in a replacement.
(Here, it must be understood that whenever, a new executive or administrator comes into an institution, he or she has the prerogative to bring in his or her own staff, and that is basic administrative procedure – administration 101. And Dr. Hayes did just that.).
A group of Compton residents, were totally dissatisfied with the removal of Dr. Cox – and other actions taken by Dr. Hayes and wrote a six-page letter to Governor Brown and Chancellor Scott asking for her removal. One of their complaints against Dr. Hayes and on behalf of Dr. Cox was that he was popular with the Compton College community. Though it is desirable to be popular with those that ‘you’ serve, popularity is no subsitute for competence, efficiency or effectiveness in carrying out one’s duties. And in all the complaints that have been received against Dr. Hayes, that she was incompetent is not one of them.
When Dr. Hayes gave a ‘State of the District’ address, she invited Compton community, representatives from the educational community, both colleges and elected officials. In attendance were Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chancellor Jack Scott, Dr. Ramon Cortines (LAUSD Supt.), Dr. Mervyn Dymally (former assemblyman and author of AB318), Dr. Willie Jones and Barbara Calhoun, Compton city council members) Dr. Keith Curry (interim CEO of ECCC), Dr. Thomas Fallo (president of El Camino college) and the board of trustees of both ECCC and El Camino college. They all seemed supportive of her at that time.
Recently, Dr. Hayes said that she began asking questions about financial irregularities, and eventually hired an accounting firm to do an audit.
Meanwhile, she also had to hire the services of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to escort her to and from her residence and the college because she had received threats and her office had been broken into on several occasions.
Then Dr. Hayes was removed from her appointment after merely eight months and though her appointment was at the chancellor’s discretion, an arbitrary removal seemed out of place, especially when she was doing the job that she had been appointed to do in a competent manner by the said chancellor.
In a letter to Chancellor Scott, Dr. Dymally outlined the situation in very concise terms, and he mentioned appropriately that he had not received “the courtesy of a phone call, or even an e-mail,” which seemed strange since both he and Scott were responsible for AB 318 that kept ECCC ‘in business.’ But also seemed clear that the letter also stated: “You waited until the day of adjournment of the legislature to send out a press release terminating the services of Dr. Genethia Hudley-Hayes, special trustee of the Compton Community College District.”
Furthermore, Dr. Dymally stated on the record that Dr. Hayes was asking for an accounting of the following:
One Hundred Million Bond Fund
Thirty Million (30) (AB318) Loan to the District
The Four (4) Million Dollar Partnership Fee
He then went on to say, “Here was one honest woman up against four men”.
The State Chancellor, The President of El Camino College, The President of the Academic Senate, The Consultant to the Chancellor and President of El Camino.
Dr. Dymally is calling for and investigation by: The Attorney General, State Controller and District Attorney.
The Los Angeles Sentinel has reached out to all the elected officials in whose district Compton is located, to Dr. Fallo and has interviewed Dr. Hayes. Many of the elected officials who responded were very concerned about the termination of Dr. Hayes and the financial mismanagement that seemed to be running rampant at ECCC.
A call to Dr. Fallo did not generate a verbal response however, his assistant did e-mail the following: “El Camino College’s focus remains on student success and continuing our progress to attain the goal of an accredited college in the Compton District.”
MORE TO COME NEXT WEEK INCLUDING COMMENTS FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS AND FROM DR. HAYES’ INTERVIEW.