Motlow State president resigns in latest TN community college controversy

Motlow State Community College President Tony Kinkel resigned late Tuesday, a day before the completion of a blistering internal audit that accused him of using “fear, intimidation, hostility and condescension” as mainstays of his leadership, reports The Tennessean.

It’s the third case in recent months of a Tennessee community college president becoming mired in controversy. The other two cases involved Nashville State Community College and Northeast State. (Recent post on Nashville State HERE; on Northeast State, HERE.)

The audit, performed by the Tennessee Board of Regents and completed Wednesday, described a dismal work environment that pushed several longtime employees to leave the college because of Kinkel.

Auditors said that, as their work neared completion, Kinkel pressured multiple employees to discredit the findings in an apparent attempt to save his job.

“The manipulation of both people and information has created a sense of distrust among faculty and administrators that is deep,” the audit read. “The pressure placed on employees to do things they consider inappropriate or to take on unreasonable workloads is attributable to employees’ fear of retribution and of being labeled as not being a team player.”

Complaints logged throughout Kinkel’s tenure of less than two years triggered the audit. Additional allegations “regarding the President’s management of the College, integrity, treatment of employees, and handling of personnel matters” were logged while the auditors worked on the project this year.

…Kinkel defended his record and categorically denied multiple allegations in the audit, particularly that he had tried to interfere with its findings.

“None of us were given a chance to provide another point of view to these opinions expressed,” he said. “We never had a chance to even provide the truth.”

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ABOUT THIS BLOG
Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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