In an email to faculty and staff, on February 8, Southwestern College vice president Nicholas Alioto resigned from his position. Two months ago the president of the college, Dr. Raj Chopra, resigned.
Alioto wrote in his resignation email that he had come to know many good individuals who had devoted themselves to the college and that “Regretfully, I came during a difficult period. I apologize for anything that I did to contribute to that.”
After Chopra’s departure, Nickolas Furr, who has tracked Southwestern’s activities on his Writer’s Washroom blog, wrote on November 26 that Alioto was upset about negative blog comments related to him. Furr wrote, “it appears that Nick Alioto is looking for work. Apparently…he realizes that his future at Southwestern is as shiny as Mississippi Mud.”
Southwestern College has experienced a few rocky years. Severe cutbacks of course offerings, suspensions of professors, boardmembers’ questionable relations with contractors, and interference with the production of the campus newspaper (The Sun) have contributed to the college’s problems.
While the college retains accreditation status, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges placed it on probation last year at this time. Alioto’s email expresses concern about this issue: “The next year is critical for the College. I want to remove myself as a barrier to some people’s ability to focus on resolving our accreditation issues, so, effectively today, I have resigned.”
Shortly after Alioto tendered his resignation, the interim president of the college, Denise Whittaker, released a message to the campus community. She said it was a difficult time to have this vacancy and “I will most likely acquire an Interim VPBFA [Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs] as soon as possible, involving constituent groups in the final decision.” In the meantime, Michael Kerns, vice president of human resources will “oversee Mr. Alioto’s area.”
Photo credit: Writer’s Washroom