Edison VP paid $2500 a week to sit at home

Edison VP paid $2500 a week to sit at home

By Matt Grant. CREATED Nov 11, 2011

FORT MYERS - Your tax dollars are paying an Edison State College administrator to do nothing - and he's not happy about it either.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Bob Beeson tells Fox 4 by phone he wants to get back to work but college president Ken Walker won't let him, keeping him on paid leave.

"I think it's a poor use of taxpayer's money," said Beeson.

How much money? Fox 4 did the math. Beeson makes $130,479 which means you're paying him $2,509 to sit at home because Walker wants him fired.

"I object strenuously to the idea that people should be paid to stay home," said Beeson.

Walker recommended Beeson be fired  on Oct. 25, placing him on paid leave, after Beeson complained about racial discrimination at the college.

Beeson has since filed a federal EEOC complaint which said Walker's move to fire him was retaliatory.

Beeson says it would look bad to fire him after having just filed that EEOC complaint.

"I think it would look terrible for them," he said. "I don't know what I would do I'm glad I'm not a member of the board of trustees. I think they're in a real dilemma."

Fox 4 caught up with one of the newly appointed trustees Pamella Seay to see if the complaint will factor into her decision on whether to approve Walker's recommendation to fire Beeson.

"Am I going to look at this complaint as part of the whole process? No," said Seay. "We cannot consider that. That is not what this is all about."

Walker says he wants to fire Beeson because he didn't fire an associate dean involved in a course swapping scandal at the school.

"Dr. Beeson, regardless of anything else, was involved in that incident," said Seay, who says it happened under his watch.

"If we need to make sure we're cleaning house," she said, "maybe that's what we need to do."

Seay hasn't made up her mind about whether Beeson should go. But she says she will consider faculty's strong support for him.

In recent weeks faculty and students have protested Beeson's firing recommendation by wearing blue and white buttons saying: "Bring Beeson Back." 

Seay says Beeson deserves a prompt decision.

"The sooner the better," she said.

Fox 4 crunched the numbers and figured out you've already paid Beeson more than $5,000 to sit at home.

If the board waits until their January meeting to make a decision, Beeson will have collected more than $20,000 without working a single day at the college.

"How do you justify to taxpayers paying someone $2,500 a week to sit at home doing nothing?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"I can't justify that," said Seay.

Matt Grant, Reporter