|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 20 April 2011 17:00|
By a 3-2 vote last week, the Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board eliminated the position of director of operations.
Another vote along the same voting lines also means the current director, Chris Schultz, will not have his contract renewed at the end of the fiscal year Thursday, June 30.
The board was divided on the decision. Some members argued Schultz’s position wasn’t necessary to run the district and the money spent on his salary and benefits would be better used in the classroom. Members in favor of keeping the position argued eliminating it would be a form of micromanaging, undermining the way Superintendent Dan Brown felt was best to run his administration team.
Others argued keeping Schultz in the position was in itself a form of micromanagement by leaving him in charge of departments that are perfectly capable of managing themselves.
Board members Helen Freeman, Judy Gilbert and Trent Hackett voted against keeping Schultz’s position, while board member Rick Anderson and board President Tim Roth voted in the minority during their
April 12 meeting. It was the first of two board meetings that week to determine the fate of Schultz and his position. The board met again Thursday, April 14, and voted to not renew Schultz’s contract.
Brown used the time between the meetings to create a potential new organizational flow chart replacing the director of operations with another job description with somewhat different responsibilities.
The board ultimately voted against Brown’s new chart as well.
The position was created a couple of years ago when Brown first became superintendent. Schultz, who has been with the district for five years, formerly served as the principal of Camp Verde High School.
Freeman maintained throughout the discussion her feelings the job was a misallocation of district resources.
“We operated for a long time in this district without that position,” Freeman said. “I’ve talked to people in the schools. I see we have people who are proud of what they do and have been doing it for a long time. I question the need for a middle man telling someone with their expertise how to run their programs.”
She said the district has a duty to manage its money properly and the approximately $100,000 spent on the director of operations position could instead be diverted to student instruction.
Brown argued having a director of operations actually was a benefit to student instruction, by splitting up responsibilities and allowing a tighter focus on improving the district’s classroom curriculum.
Roth argued getting rid of the position would be a step backward for the district.
“I feel that if we go back to the old way of doing things, we’re going to have the same old problems,” Roth said.
By getting rid of the position Brown argued was instrumental to the district’s operations, Roth said the board was “telling [Brown] how to run his people,” and it might send the wrong signal to any future job applicants looking for a position in the district.
The alternate position Brown floated before the board, the one that was rejected, would have created a job with four main areas of responsibility. They include looking for new revenue sources for the district, looking for savings opportunities, helping coordinate curriculum and instruction, and working with certain state and federal projects in the district.
Brown said he hopes the board will still consider providing him with some sort of assistance, and reiterated Schultz was only losing his job because his position was eliminated.
The board will hold a work session Tuesday, April 26, where Brown said he expects the issue will be addressed further.
Schultz said he would not be looking at different options now that his days with the district are numbered.
“I might look around for a job that holds some interest to me,” Schultz said. “I might also take the opportunity to go back to college and work on my doctorate.”
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