Pink slipped the modern way

Professor Walker received termination via email

Derek Pufahl, Staff Writer

Dr. Karen Walker received an official letter of termination from President Marysz Rames in an e-mail last Wednesday (Jan. 13), according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Neither Rames nor the director of human resources, Candace Timmerman, were able to confirm that Walker was sent the letter of termination, stating that it is a personnel issue and should be treated with confidentiality in accordance with the SCEA union contract.

Rames said that at some point in the future she might send out a notification about the situation to the campus community.

“We need to get some clarification about the confidentiality clause and figure out where to go from there with revealing any information,” Rames said.

Walker was escorted from campus on Oct. 6 during last semester and has been in the process of appealing the recommended dismissal.

The letter of termination comes now within the contract’s time period after the advisory committee hearing to discuss the proposed dismissal, which was held on Dec. 17 and 18.

The advisory committee hearing was held in the Network and Technology Services (NATS) building and remained private, behind the NATS building’s locked doors.

A sign posted to the front door read that the NATS Help Desk would be closed for walk-in traffic Dec. 17 and 18, and that the Help Desk could be reached by phone.

A handful of protestors stood outside of the NATS building during the hearing carrying signs. The protestors said that they did not get a glimpse of the advisory committee members or the lawyers involved in the hearing, because they were driven to the NATS building in vans and the building entered through the back door.

The SCEA contract states that during the hearing, “the advisory committee shall admit and consider evidence submitted by the president and faculty member in the form of documents, audio or video records, or the testimony of witnesses”

Some faculty and campus community members have questioned the way in which Walker’s advisory committee hearing was carried out and what type of evidence was allowed to be submitted.

“Nobody seems to know why the hearing was run the way it was,” English professor J.V. Brummels said. “Students, I understand, were trying to get in there to testify, but couldn’t.

I’m not saying it’s a kangaroo court, but it looks almost like a kangaroo court.”

According to the contract, if Walker is not satisfied with this decision reached by the president, a written request can be made to Chancellor Stan Carpenter for a hearing before the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees within ten days after the president’s decision.