Questions shroud VP’s transfer to IVC

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Christopher McDonald, the former Dean of Mathematics, Science and Engineering, was transferred to Irvine Valley College to serve in interim position.

Christopher McDonald was hired June 2012 as Saddleback College’s new Dean of Mathematics, Science and Engineering also serving as Assistance Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness.

However, on Monday June 13, McDonald was relocated to Irvine Valley College where he is now the Interim Vice President of Instruction.

Little happened publicly until a South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees meeting on July 18. Two individuals, Karah Street and Tony Huntley, both instructors Saddleback College, spoke to the board for their allotted two minutes in regards to Dr. McDonald.

In the board meeting, Street stated many faculty consulted with Vice Chancellor David Bugay to express concern over McDonald’s abrupt departure. They only learned that McDonald had “left Saddleback to avoid a situation,” she said during the meeting.

The district appointed McDonald the task of dealing with the faculty and staff in regards to the construction of the new science building. Street stated that there were problems associated with the building design and the construction. Regardless of issues, McDonald made it happen, she said. He was able to see that the project was finished successfully and in time for student and faculty use this semester.

Street said McDonald’s efforts played a large part in the opening of the new science building. Though, now that it is open, he is not here to see it being put to good use.

Street stated “ Chris McDonald is currently the victim of lies being perpetrated by some people on this campus.”

Street asked the board to “reevaluate their decision behind Dr. McDonald’s transfer and critically evaluate the personal agendas of those who slandered his name.”

Dr. Huntley, at Saddleback for 25 years, came to the stand to vouch for McDonald.

“If you ask me what quality I would most like to see in a college administrator I would say integrity,” he said. “Being honest, accepting your mistakes, admitting your mistakes, apologizing for them. When Chris McDonald came to Saddleback College he brought that kind of integrity with him. He never abandoned that integrity.”

Huntley followed this up by saying he is put in the position to write letters of recommendation for students in medicine. He won’t write one if he feels the individual doesn’t have integrity and cannot be trusted. Huntley said he would wholeheartedly write one for McDonald, as he has integrity and would trust him with his life. He quickly huffed that it should all be taken into consideration before marching away from the podium.

Attempts were made to contact Street, Huntley and McDonald, but they had not responded by the time of publishing.

Video of the board meeting can be viewed at South Orange County Community College District website.

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