Heelan sendoff amounts to gross negligence by CMC Board of Trustees | SummitDaily.com

Heelan sendoff amounts to gross negligence by CMC Board of Trustees

The Nov. 25 article about the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) president’s goodbye gift of $350,000 over 10 years reminds me of similar waste and abuse stories about Enron, Arthur Andersen, et al.

During her tenure, President Cynthia Heelan received a generous salary of $174,000, plus an annual payment of $15,000 for retirement investment. Why then do the trustees feel compelled to offer a golden parachute upon her voluntary retirement?

The trustees are acting irresponsibly with public money. CMC provides a useful educational opportunity in its coverage area, although the class schedule is somewhat anemic, particularly in technical areas.

However, the president’s compensation, along with the goodbye giveaway, is out of line with CMC’s value to the communities it serves. The article points out CMC serves an area of 12,000 square miles.

This unit of measure might make sense if you’re discussing the spreading of fertilizer, but has little to do with CMC.

A more accurate measure might be number of campuses, number of students served or number of courses offered. Ms. Heelan was, I believe, a contract employee, which means that she provides a defined service, and receives a defined compensation.

Piling on additional compensation after she chooses to terminate the contract is gross negligence on the part of the trustees, who have an obligation not only to their cronies, but to the public who supplies the money they are entrusted with.

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