Time for President Nish, board to end college’s destructive Culture of Lying


Even a toddler will tell you not to lie.
Sadly, some administrators on campus could use another year of preschool.
Dean of Student Services Mia McClellan and Police Chief Michael Cash have disgraced the college yet again. Rick Flores, an SWC student who was employed by the police department and a former staff member of The Sun, impersonated the campus police chief via email. Cash allowed Flores to work at the SWCPD for nearly a month after the crime.
Flores was also found to be leading a double life as a member of a vitriolic underground pamphlet, which is where things get interesting for McClellan.
Evidence obtained by reporters revealed that McClellan had been in contact with the anonymous pamphlet distributed at SWC, which McClellan flat-out lied about to Sun reporters.
Using her campus email, McClellan contacted the anonymous pamphlet, inviting them to an ASO meeting that included The Sun Editorial Board to discuss Procedure 5530 (Student Rights and Grievances) and Procedure 5500 (Standards of Student Conduct).
Granted, the meeting was open to the public, but McClellan’s motives were hardly about transparency. McClellan showed a childishly vengeful side by writing to an anonymous organization with a Hushmail account to undercut the student newspaper. Didn’t work. Worse, she engaged in a bit of junior high school behavior that demonstrated very poor judgment. She had no idea if she was cavorting with disgruntled students, child molesters, the Ku Klux Klan or ISIS. Did not matter. McClellan was operating under the idea “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”
When asked if she had considered the possibility she was communicating with criminals, she, not terribly cleverly, suggested that The Sun reporters could also be criminals. At least, they pointed out, you know who we really are.
The question about criminal behavior turned out to be prophetic. Mr. Flores shared personal student records and impersonated a police officer. His Jag Wire colleagues have accessed confidential student records from the SWC computer system. These are criminal activities in all 50 states.
After McClellan’s secret invite, the pamphlet promptly contacted Flores, who attended the meeting under false pretenses of representing Cash. Flores said Cash allowed him to go on company time. We do not know if that is true or not because Cash will not talk. His silence is ominous.
College President Dr. Melinda Nish is a nice lady, maybe too nice. As Enabler-in-Chief, she reflexively protects her administrators at all costs, even the really bad, incompetent ones like McClellan and Cash. There is not another college in the state that would touch them, but they continue to pull in six-figure salaries at SWC.
Maybe Nish would consider firing McClellan for insubordination. Nish and Vice President Angelica Suarez have, on several occasions, promised journalism students that they would be part of the process of revising the grievance hearing procedures. McClellan wants all hearings closed all the time. That is ridiculous and incongruent with other colleges. We believe the meetings should be opened if the parties want them opened and closed only if a party formally requests privacy.
McClellan, however, blew off her bosses when she blew us off. She rewrote the procedures herself, with no input. She invited students to a 50-minute meeting and talked for 45 minutes. Now, suddenly, there is little time for input…hmm.
McClellan and Cash have violated sections of the SWC District Policy No. 3050, the Institutional Code of Professional Ethics, including:
1. Demonstrate commitment to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships and activities.
2. Fulfill the duties of employment to the highest standards.
3. Avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety between obligations to the District and private business or personal commitments and relationships.
4. Refrain from using District time, supplies and equipment for non-District activities.
Nish needs to take action. McClellan needs to be punished.
Flores, at least, was man enough to come clean and accept the consequences of his behavior. McClellan and Cash have not.
What will it take for Nish to give McClellan and Cash their pink slips?
Probably a tragedy.
McClellan and Cash have for years blundered along, failing to protect good students while helping out the bad guys.
With such poor leaders in place, SWC is a ticking bomb. Maybe the accreditation team will notice the 2010 “Culture of Fear” has been replaced in 2015 with the “Culture of Lying.”


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