Pascucci rejects contract after initial termination

4 years ago Triangle 0

By Meredith Sexton
Editor-in-Chief

After 12 years at Bryan, Dr. Michele Pascucci, professor of Spanish, is leaving.

Dr. Michele Pascucci | Photo by Jessalyn Pierce
Dr. Michele Pascucci | Photo by Jessalyn Pierce

In October, the Board of Trustees voted to cut Pascucci, along with the Spanish major. After a faculty committee  objected, the board reversed its decision to eliminate Pascucci’s position, promising her a contract for the following year.

After receiving her contract, Pascucci sent a letter to Dr. Kevin Clauson, vice president of academics, and the Board of Trustees declining the offer. She said it had nothing to do with last year’s clarification or the stipulation that she teach all classes on campus, discontinuing her online hybrid courses.

Instead, she said the main determinant was how the situation was handled, listing several reasons:

  1. She never received a letter addressed directly to her when the initial decision was revoked. It was addressed to Dr. Bill Lay, chair of the Faculty Status Committee, who, in turn, told her.
  2. The letter did not acknowledge her tenure.
  3. She never received an apology or detailed rationale.
  4. No one addressed her about the perceived ineffectiveness of the hybrid program before they chose to terminate it.

By renewing her contract the school was, “trying to save face, but the damage had already been done,” according to Pascucci.

Though she said it was a difficult decision, Pascucci said Bryan was not the kind of place that she could support anymore.

“I feel like I have to work twice as hard to be taken half as seriously, because of my gender, my age and my discipline in foreign languages,” she said.

She said she has had some great years at Bryan and is sorry that those have ended, but could no longer put up with the atmosphere and practices of the college. Pascucci said she does not know what is next, but has begun sending out resumes and is aggressively seeking a new position. Preferably, she would remain in higher education, but with less teaching and more research.