Murray State University President Randy Dunn is speaking out publicly for the first time regarding a draft report from a Board of Regents ad-hoc contract review committee. The report depicts university progress and/or lack thereof during Dunn’s six year tenure. Faculty Senate and Staff Congress members questioned board chairman Dr. Constantine Curris about many aspects of the report this week. Curris stands by the work. Dunn takes issue with a number of elements, “I think on the academic performance side, to some degree, there was a little bit of cherry picking that went on to make a worse case than what exists,” Dunn said.
Dunn also disagrees with the “board relationships” aspect of the report. “I think he confuses disagreement, that exists, with disrespect,” Dunn said. Dunn continued saying, “there were problems in the relationship.” Dunn said he tried to remedy the interpersonal relationship issues at the board’s September 2012 retreat by bringing in a mediator to meet with the board and Dunn jointly. Dunn says Curris denied his repeated attempts to bring in the mediator, who Dunn says, was going to perform the work for free. Dunn said the mediator would’ve have helped to identify the relationship issues, facilitate communication with the board and identify a path forward.
Dunn also addressed notifying the board of applications for other positions; an issue Curris said further eroded Dunn’s relationship with the board. Following the completion of a comprehensive evaluation in April 2012 Dunn asked Curris to move forward with new contract negotiations. Dunn said Curris wouldn’t entertain that discussion. He then told Curris that he would need to begin the process of looking for other positions because of the time associated with finding the right position.
Dunn says he will have an opportunity to respond to the full draft report, either in a forum or a written report to the report.
WKMS has a request for comment pending with Curris regarding Dunn’s statements. Upon his response, we will update this story.
Regarding a re-vote on a contract extension Dunn said, depending on the results of a pending complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General regarding an alleged illegal prior to the board’s March 15th meeting, there might be the case for another vote. However, Dunn doesn’t necessarily expect a different outcome.
Dunn also doesn’t think the ongoing media coverage of the board’s decision and some public blowback doesn’t necessarily hurt his chances at finding another job. Dunn was named a semi-finalist to be Youngstown State University’s next president yesterday by an Ohio newspaper. The AGB search firm is leading YSU’s search. Murray State Board Chairman Constantine Curris is an independent contractor for AGB.