Keys college faculty 'ready to revolt' against administration

skinney@keynoter.comDecember 11, 2013 

Will Miner, a marine engineering professor at Florida Keys Community College since January 2008, will resign effective Dec. 31 because of behavior by college administrators he says "belongs on a soap opera."

Miner is one of nine faculty members out of 23 who have resigned or will resign this year.

"You've got a faculty base that's ready to quit," he says. "They're ready to revolt but they're scared to death to speak up."

Miner says any questioning of management decisions by faculty results in retaliation from the college's administration led by President Jonathan Gueverra.

Miner is embroiled in a formal grievance process that will culminate with him addressing the college's Board of Trustees, although when that will be isn't scheduled.

Based on numerous internal documents, e-mails and reports provided to the Keynoter, Miner received a written reprimand from his supervisor, Dean of Marine Science and Technology Patrick Rice, on Sept. 9.

Rice wrote that the reprimand "was intended to act as a wake-up call" for Miner and specifically chastised him for letting Mark Woods, another marine science professor who resigned in August, enter the building on Aug. 19 and retrieve personal items from his former office.

Rice describes Miner as exhibiting a "historical pattern of poor judgment."

Miner filed a formal grievance with the college's Human Resources Department, which next went to a review by the college's three-member grievance committee. That panel concluded Miner "followed the directions of his supervisor" and that his employment history "does not suggest a pattern of behavior."

The committee did not support any disciplinary action.

On Nov. 4 Gueverra, acting as a grievance hearing officer, denied Miner's request that the reprimand be removed from his personnel file and, breaking with the grievance committee, called for a month of probation for Minor.

"Miner acknowledges carrying some of [Woods'] boxes to his truck for removal," Gueverra wrote in a report.

"A prudent person would question the motives of an individual who arrives on campus on a Saturday to remove alleged personal property and fails to liaison with security, but instead chooses to call another employee," he wrote.

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