This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: George Wasson, who resigned as president of the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College in the wake of an alleged assault on a student that was not publicized, will be paid more than $25,700 for unspecified duties until his contract expires at the end of next month.
In a statement released by the college, Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey, who oversees all four campuses of the school, said she had accepted Wasson’s resignation, effective immediately. But, she said, Wasson was “asked to remain available for unfinished actions commenced by him, and in exchange he was placed on paid administrative leave until his contract expires June 30, 2013.”
College spokeswoman Pat Metreci said she knew of no document that spells out what duties Wasson might be called on to perform in exchange for the remaining two months of his salary.
Wasson’s annual salary as president for the current academic year was $154,225.65, she said.
The statement said that the college is continuing an internal investigation of personnel involved with the attack on the Meramec campus on April 18. In the incident, a student who has been identified as Blythe Grupe, 19, of Chesterfield, was attacked in a campus bathroom by someone who either had been hiding in a stall or followed her in.
“We will make a statement about our action plan once that investigation is complete,” the college’s statement said.
According to a police report quoted by the Post-Dispatch, a suspect who was arrested, released, then re-arrested said he attacked Grupe to “vent his rage,” even though he didn’t know her, and wanted to “withdraw her from life.”
Dorsey has publicly apologized for how the college handled the situation involving Grupe and the suspect, identified as Jevon Mallory, 18, of St. John, who also had been a student at Meramec. He remains jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail.
In a statement distributed collegewide, she said, “The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. The past week has taught us that we all need to work together toward that common goal.”
Dorsey also outlined steps that would be taken to tighten security:
- “I have asked each of our campus presidents to host safety forums at their campuses in the next two weeks. These are designed to gather input, review procedures and answer questions. Please consider attending one of these forums.
- “Campus presidents and members of our districtwide emergency preparedness team will meet with me to discuss the feedback received during these safety forums. We then will create an action plan based on those suggestions, and I will report that back to the college community. If you are not able to attend, please share your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- "I also want to encourage all of our students, faculty and staff to sign up for our emergency text service, STLCCAlert, if you haven’t done so already.”
The college has been criticized for failing to notify the faculty, students and staff at the Meramec campus about the attack and what had transpired afterward, including the release of the suspect, then his second arrest.
School officials have acknowledged they did not originally consider the attack to be serious and thought that because a suspect had been arrested, there was no need to send out information about it.
Pam McIntyre, who had been president of the college’s Wildwood campus, will serve as interim president at Meramec; Patrick Vaughn, vice president of academic affairs at Wildwood, will be interim president at that campus.