6/6/96, Times Argus


By Robert Piasecki - Times Argus Staff

PLAINFIELD - Sixteen fulltime and part-time employees at Goddard College were fired Wednesday by President Richard E. Greene.

Greene's critics immediately said that most of the firings were political and payback for recent protests directed against him and his management style.

In a prepared statement issued this morning, Greene said the "personnel reductions" were made to save $300,000 and "lay a solid foundation for Goddard's future."

But Catherine Weidner, an instructor at the college, said Greene is using Goddard's budget as a way to get rid of people he doesn't like. She is completing the first year of a three-year contract.

"This is a manufactured budget crisis that was designed to purge people." - Catherine Weidner

"This is a manufactured budget crisis that was designed to purge people," Weidner said.

Weidner said the firings were not in line with any recommendations made by Goddard College's executive committee.

"He is targeting union organizers and protesters. He wants to get his own faculty on board. This is a complete surprise. People are shocked and appalled," Weidner said.

"Goddard is an amazing place right now. This is absolutely horrible - it's a bloodbath, a slaughterhouse," Katharine Kavanagh, a student at Goddard said.

Greene said six part-time faculty, along with two full-time and one part-time faculty whose contracts expire this year, were not offered new contracts.

In addition, Greene said the college's administrative staff will be reduced by five full-time and two part-time staff members.

All of the people who were let go Wednesday will be offered a severance package based on their year: of service to Goddard, according to Greene.

Weidner said Greene did not follow a "last hired, first fired" policy in choosing who to terminate, but specifically went after many of the Goddard employees who were the most outspoken against his leadership.

According to Weidner, the Goddard employees scheduled to be terminated include: Sarah O'Brien, Mark Greenberg, Charlotte Potok, Donald Glasgo, Jody Diamond, and Maike Haaland, who are all part time on campus associate faculty members.

Other employees who were ter minated include: two temporary faculty members, Hal Weaver and Bobby Buchanan, along with two full-time faculty members, Margot Macleod and Richard Schramm.

Finally, Weidner said Jennifer Tripp-Meade, the college's off-campus coordinator, Kiko Nobusawa, the coordinator of the on-campus program, and Manuel O'Neill, the head of finacial aid at Goddard, all lost their jobs on Wednesday as well.

Nobusawa, O'Neill, Greenberg, and Schramm have all been particularly strong critics of Greene since early April when protests against him really began.

Greenberg said today the firings show Greene is "totally unsuitable to be the president of Goddard."

"The board of trustees needs to be held accountable for all the serious infractions that Greene has made. He has treated people in an abhorent manner," Greenberg said.

Weidner said the employees who were fired Wednesday were all offered the severance packages in return for silence and a promise not to sue Goddard.

She predicted that Goddard will lose students because of the firings and the loss of students will drain the college's finances even more.

"The college will not survive this," Weidner said.

Goddard's board of trustees is scheduled to meet next weekend.