|After spending three hours privately discussing the performance of Hocking College President Ron Erickson yesterday, the college’s trustees gave him until the end of the day to clean out his desk.
In a move that Erickson had expected, the trustees voted 7-1 to place him on paid leave for an unspecified period while they work out an “exit strategy” to establish the terms of his dismissal. Erickson is paid $170,000 annually.
The “no” vote came from Trustee Mike Brooks, chief executive officer of Rocky Brands in Nelsonville. Earlier, Brooks confirmed to an Athens newspaper that other trustees had privately discussed plans to oust the president.
Brooks would not comment after the meeting on his role in the controversy. Erickson, however, praised the trustee as “the true champion of today.”
The board voted to install Hocking College Provost Molly Wieland as interim president of the tax-supported, two-year school.
Erickson, however, hinted to about 30 mostly supportive Hocking staff members and others who attended the meeting that he might not accept his dismissal without challenge. “I am still the president until 4:30 today,” he said, adding that he needed to talk to his lawyer.