On The Money: College President Paid To Stay Away From Campus

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Imagine being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay away from work – well it happened to a local college president who is now staying home, while taxpayers are footing the bill.

The students at San Joaquin Delta College are learning a valuable lesson on how to fight back.

“Five hundred thousand was taken from us.” That’s Bronche Taylor’s opinion. As the student body vice-president, Taylor is upset over the loss of the college’s big money maker – weekend flea markets that generated cash for student activities, until the administration seized control.

Students put the blame on Jeff Marsee, the former president of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.

“Dr. Marsee came in without having a conversation with us the students,” said Nicholas Aguiree, the student body president. Aguiree added, “He stripped away the flea market, which for over 30 years was the way students funded scholarships.”

Marsee also made enemies with the faculty. In fact 96% of the instructors voted “no confidence” in the school president.

“He was manipulative to a degree that was stunning,” said Dr. William Ferraiolo, a philosophy professor at the college.

“Presidents come and go but for him to do so much against our college in eight months, that just shows how really bad it was,” noted Dr. Elizabeth Maloney, a psychology professor at the school.

It got so bad, Maloney said, that the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to put the president on paid leave – before eventually terminating his contract. Marsee is now expected to collect an estimated $353,000 to stay away from campus.

“And that’s very unfortunate, “stated Bronche Taylor. The student body vice president added, “I feel that money could be used to bring back some of the programs that have been cut, some of the classes that have been cut.”

All this – following a nationwide search for a college president who lasted less than a year. And yet there were warning signs about Marsee – signs the college overlooked.

. “I think that our board might have been misled,” stated Diane Oren, an English professor at the school.

Diane Oren was on the search committee to find a college president. She told CBS 13 the search consultants instructed committee members not to do any background checks.

“Not to Google or to interview or to ask questions of other campuses, which I think was a big red flag,” said Oren.

Red flags showing that Marsee left two other colleges in California in a sea of controversy before landing at San Joaquin Delta College, where faculty members openly wonder why school administrators didn’t do their homework.

“You might want to do a background check, find out,” said Diane Oren, the English professor.

Jeff Marsee did not respond to CBS 13’s requests for an interview. College administrators also declined to be interviewed for this report. The Board of Trustees voted on March 2 to release Jeff Marsee from his contract, but not before agreeing to pay him $353,000, for which taxpayers are ultimately responsible.

Send your story ideas to onthemoney@kovr.com. You can also follow On The Money stories in progress via Twitter at twitter.com/#!/mikeluery and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CBS13OnTheMoney .

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  • nothingchanges

    He is nothing more than a over paid welfare recipient.

  • Tom

    When people in Calif. read stories like this they will never vote for a tax increase. Lets cleanup our mess before asking for more money to throw around.

  • Cynic-Al

    It’s always amazing to me that administrators will roll over and pay someone who obviously was bilking them without any fuss. They should sue him on behalf of the students for failing to provide the services he was supposed to. This inability and reluctance to challenge a contract is insane. Also, sueing the “consultants” who advised against any background check should be a priority. Anyone who falls for that “don’t Google him” BS is really too trusting to be in a position of authority.

  • Esquireman

    The incompetent Board of Trustees should be recalled from office, and any search consultants whom advised the Board not to conduct background checks should be terminated or never utilized again. Legal counsel for the school should also be consulted to ascertain if the search consultants can be sued for negligence or malpractice.

    In addition, if Dr. Marsee should be sued if he made any false representations or withheld material facts in his initial job application, resume’ or at oral interviews. No one should be paid $353,000 to stay home from work, as here.


  • WisenCynical

    Dang.. that is enough money to send a kid to college. Mneawhile this dirtbag is probably peddling his BS to some other school as well. Who is this guy, and why is he more important than the kids that attend the college? Sorry if you mentioned this already..

  • WisenCynical

    The occupy movement should dispatch a few squaters to his residence.

  • Brian

    Way to Go Delta Collegian! great front page design Matthew Wilson!

  • elle

    where is the state attorney general in all this? where is governor brown? public funds…no wonder california is always in the red. marsee left our college 12 mos. prior to this with $60K in his pockets using the same mo. and students are left with huge debt that follow them for life. WHAT?!

  • We Tried to Warn Them!

    The Board of Delta College hired Marsee with eyes wide open:

    I guess they believed the College of the Redwoods’ Board that said the faculty and staff were just a bunch of whiners. The Associated Students of CR were no happier with his heavy handedness than are the Delta students.

    I truly hope that this latest episode ends his trail of destruction through our community college system and the bilking of tax payers’ money.

  • Gus

    Before heading to Delta, Marsee ran the College of the Redwoods (near Eureka) into the ground (they are currently in danger of losing their accreditation as a community college), yet San Joaquin hired him. There was plenty of evidence about how awful this guy was. Some heads need to roll. This man should never be allowed to work in education ever again!

  • Dean


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