Board of Metropolitan Community College Asks Chairman to Quit - Higher Education

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Board of Metropolitan Community College Asks Chairman to Quit

by Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. ― The board of a community college in Omaha has voted to ask its chairman to resign.

The Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors voted 6-4 Tuesday night to ask Fred Conley to resign from his position as chairman of the board, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

“His resignation is absolutely necessary to protect the college from further harm and potentially destroying the future of our students,” said, Jim Grotrian, the community college’s executive vice president.

The nonbinding resolution includes a clause that reprimands Conley for misconduct if he doesn’t resign.

Conley said after the meeting that he wouldn’t resign and that he intends to complete his term, which ends in December. But he also said he might reconsider his position to stay on the board because of new information an attorney with the community college presented during the meeting.

The U.S. Department of Education has threatened to withhold student aid and other federal funding from the community college if Conley remains on the board because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued an order prohibiting the federal government from doing business with Conley.

Conley has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the action.

Metro attorney Robert Cannella told the board that the Department of Education said Monday that it could disapprove the community college’s certification for federal student aid immediately, without an appeal. In that case, the college’s sole option would be a federal lawsuit to get the funding back, which could take years.

“It certainly gave me pause to think,” Conley said, adding that this was the first time he’d hear that information and that he would research it further.

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