Former President’s Wife Weighs In On Hocking College Issues

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The wife of former Hocking College President Ron Erickson is speaking out for the first time on the events that have taken place over the past few months.

Nancy Erickson spoke to the Athens Messenger early last week about the events leading up to Ron Erickson's alleged "forced" resignation and the events that have taken place since that time.

She stated that since his resignation from the college, Ron Erickson has filed a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The claim, according to Nancy Erickson, is being processed.

In an email response, Janell Muhamad spokesperson for the EEOC stated, "Per Title VII, we are strictly prohibited by law from confirming or denying the existence of discrimination charge filings, investigations, or administrative resolutions."

As previously reported by the Messenger, Erickson stated, "The actual reason I was removed is this: I attempted to eliminate a hostile work environment for a black employee of Hocking College, through the termination of the employee who was responsible for it. The employee I was trying to protect was Dr. Carl Bridges, vice president of academic and student affairs and provost."

Erickson had reassigned Gina Fetty less than two weeks before his resignation. Fetty was the vice president of financial services for the college, a position to which she has since be reinstated.

In a memo sent to the Board with regard to the decision to reassign Fetty, Erickson alleged that Fetty had been “covertly reporting to board members misleading accusations about the professional performance and integrity of both the provost and me …”

Erickson also alleged that Fetty had “unjustified contempt” for Provost Carl Bridges and that she “continued to display a persistent inability or unwillingness to adapt to a strong and effective provost.”

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Andy Stone responded to Erickson's statements in October saying, “It is well known that there were major disagreements among the senior management about the financial condition and direction of the college after several consecutive semesters of significantly declining enrollment. No doubt these disagreements created a great deal of tension at the top. That said, Dr. Bridges never filed any complaint of a hostile work environment with the board, the college HR office, or any agency. The board would take any such allegations very seriously.”

Stone also said Erickson's resignation was voluntary.

Despite Nancy Erickson's statement that Bridges filed a written complaint of discrimination with the college, Hocking College legal counsel Nikki Dioguardi said that no written complaints had been filed with her office.

The Messenger has submitted a public record request for any discrimination complaints filed with the college since Jan. 1, 2014, and for any email or written communication between Ron Erickson and Bridges from Aug. 1, 2014 through Oct. 31, 2014, the period leading up to the resignation of both men and immediately after.

Neither of those requests have been fulfilled and the college is now closed due to implemented furloughs as a result of the budget cuts.

Bridges did not respond to a message left asking for comment.