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Archive for Wednesday, January 29, 1992

MEMBER OF REGENTS COMES UNDER FIRE OVER COLLEGE FUNDS

January 29, 1992

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— Trustees voted to notify Independence Community College President Jo Ann C. McDowell, a member of the Kansas Board of Regents, that they intend to fire her.

The trustees held a closed meeting Tuesday before making a 5-1 public vote against McDowell, named a regent in January 1991.

Dismissal from the college wouldn't necessarily affect her status as a regent, said Rogers Brazier, an attorney with the state Department of Administration.

Brazier said McDowell serves as a regent at the discretion of Gov. Joan Finney. The governor has the authority to appoint someone else to McDowell's position on the board.

"Appointees can be removed for essentially bad conduct," Brazier said.

If the governor takes no action, McDowell can remain a regent until her four-year term expires in December 1994.

Brazier said to remain on the board, McDowell must meet two requirements: She must remain a Kansas resident, and she must retain her current political party affiliation.

McDowell, president of the school since 1988, has admitted to meeting with Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents.

The Independence Daily Reporter, citing unnamed sources, said the KBI is investigating allegations of improprieties in federal and state funding claims at the college.

McDowell has the right to present reasons why she shouldn't be fired at a hearing before the college's Board of Trustees. No hearing has been set.

She said through her attorney that she intends to complete her $59,000-a-year contract, which expires in 1994.

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