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42 Posts

Posted - 2006 January 29 :  15:52:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ned Walpin, head of the campus planning committee, and Matt Davis, then the assistant dean of the Santa Fe campus, decided that Mark St. John should no longer work at the college. David Levine transferred supervisory authority over Mark St. John to Matt Davis. Such delegation is against the rules of the college without the approval or notification of the board. Ned Walpin and Matt Davis told C.J. McCue to observe Mark St. John and report on his failings. Matt Davis gave Mark St. John a scathing report and had him fired. Mark St. John sued St. John's College. During the course of discovery in the lawsuit, C.J. McCue's spying was revealed. As it against the law for an institution to order one employee to spy on another without the latter employee's consent, St. John's settled with Mark St. John for a year's severance pay.


1 Posts

Posted - 2006 January 31 :  21:25:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark St. John was a devoted and loved member of the community and I am not so much shocked at how he was fired but that he was fired at all. He went way beyond his duties to conduct the many river trips and other activities that are some of my fondest memories at St. John's. He had been at St. John's going way back and embodied not only a lot of the traditions (the river trips) but also the knowledge and lore of the school. I suspect that the objection of the current administration to him was that he is a regular straight talking southwestern guy who told you what he thought, which are qualities I don't find terribly evident in Levine and the new president. I get a little of the creepy creepies when I get the overly warm handshakes from present leadership. In reality, St. John's has always been subtle battlefield of what is going on nationally anyway: the battle between straight forward well meaning people and the more internally conflicted people with more hidden agendas. If you think this is just hyperbole recall that a former school president was publishing a newsletter, initially not available in the school library for some reason, called 'Letters from Santa Fe'. It was a conservative rag with contributions from conservative staff like Bolotin. Eventually, a student discovered the publication and wrote about in The Moon, it became available in the library, and it became toned down. That president later got a no doubt lucrative (I'm sure they will contend it was all in the spirit of service) position as an educational adviser for the Iraq occupation. I don't mean to imply deep connections here, but I think that faculty and staff like Mark St. John have an air of openness that makes it harder for others to pursue their private political agendas at the school. Mark was not far from retirement, and I think it gravely wrong for him to have been fired. I only take solace in the knowledge that the although the current administration thought they could brusquely and innapropriately fire Mark with no fallout, they are in for a deep surprise. Many, many Alumni know and love Mark and are unaware that he was fired. I am sure that the current administrators will be quite surprised at the reaction that many will have to the news as it spreads and also that they will be deeply sorry at their decision. There are quite a few moralists at the helm of St. John's, so many, in fact, that they have become reckless. When things become reckless enough, mistakes are made. And when mistakes are made, changes are precipitated. I am glad that anyone Googling St. John's as a prospective school will find this site as well. That might seem like a bad thing to some, but nothing hurts and heals like the truth.
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