Maricopa Community Colleges Rescind Job Offer to Scandal-Plagued Candidate Ahead of Board Meeting

The Governing Board of the Maricopa Community Colleges meets tomorrow morning to vote on candidates for several positions available within the institution.


But the board will not vote on the Maricopa Community Colleges' scandal-plagued original choice to be Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Brian K. Johnson, after "a mutual decision subsequent to his being offered the job that his name be withdrawn," according to spokesman Tom Gariepy.

The position would have paid $117,312 a year.

Gariepy declined to discuss reasons for the colleges' decision or to even explain whether the college reached out to Johnson or vice versa, telling New Times "it's really part of an HR process, so I doubt that that's something we'd be able to discuss."

Johnson is no stranger to the Maricopa Community Colleges, having spent 15 years working in student-support programs with MCC before becoming Senior Vice President for Student and Community Services at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh.

From there, he took a job as president of Montgomery College in Maryland, where he was ousted by the Board of Trustees in September 2009 over faculty allegations of mismanagement and overspending. That same week, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for his arrest over $12,000 in back child-support payments, according to published reports. Now he's out of the job he thought he had.

In an e-mail to district officials announcing the conclusion of their "national search," Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Maria Harper-Marinick announced that the colleges planned to hire Johnson, pending the MCC Governing Board's approval at their January 25 meeting.

Maricopa Community Colleges announced their original agenda for tomorrow's board meeting on January 14, which included Johnson's candidacy. On January 21, they published a revised agenda omitting Johnson as a candidate.

Johnson's pending hire was brought to New Times' attention by local attorney Dianne Post, who forwarded us a letter she wrote to Maricopa Community College Board Members and the Board of Supervisors on January 19 asking them to explain their decision to hire Johnson.

"Here is a man who was terminated as president at another college for excessive personal spending on meals, limousines, and travel and was frequently absent from key meetings," she wrote, later asking, "This is the type of person we hire at Maricopa?"

Gariepy confirms that the colleges received Post's letter, where she questioned why they would pay him "exorbitant wages with MY tax dollars." He would not say whether it had an effect on Johnson's candidacy.

Post, for her part, feels that the college got her letter and pulled Johnson's offer because they were "nervous about bad publicity." She says she plans to show up at tomorrow's meeting and speak about the process used to make hiring decisions.

As for the students in Maricopa Community Colleges, they'll just have to do without an associate vice chancellor for student affairs for now. Gariepy says the MCC still is trying to figure out what its next step will be in filling that position, which was vacated last month by the recently-retired Dr. Sylvia Manlove.