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Community College Students, Union Call for President’s Exit

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Students and staff at a Rochester community college are calling for the school’s president to leave, citing excessive expenses for the school’s recent centennial celebration as the latest example of her mismanagement.

The student association and a faculty and staff union at Rochester Community and Technical College sent an open letter to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system this week saying President Leslie McClellon’s 18-month tenure has harmed the campus.

Among the group’s complaints was McClellon’s spending on the centennial event, including $20,000 for a jazz band and another $15,000 for audio and video expenses. The letter also references concerns about her hiring practices for positions in her administration.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the school is facing an $800,000 budget deficit. The unions say a leadership change is necessary to put the college on a better path.

The Minnesota State College Faculty, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 4001 and the Minnesota State College Student Association signed on to the letter.

“Without quick and decisive change, we fear McClellon’s administration will irreparably harm the reputation of RCTC, lower the quality of education we offer our students and alienate our community partners,” the letter said.

McClellon declined MPR News’ interview request. She released a statement saying she was “encouraged by the groups and individuals who are taking the time to dialogue with us in order to address the issues.”

She arrived at the southern Minnesota community college after serving as vice president of student affairs at the Community College of Denver.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said in a statement that he was aware of the concerns about McClellon’s leadership.

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