The Orion

Employee complaints expose need for outside audit


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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

The Chico State administration is under fire once again from university faculty and staff. Two members of the administration have been accused of workplace harassment and bullying.

After a request for an outside audit, a long-running dispute over contracts and damning results from a campus climate survey, employee unrest has become a familiar tune at Chico State.

Now, after accusing her supervisors of harassment and bullying, former facilities management and services manager Cynthia Jensen has joined the chorus.

In her letter of resignation, Jensen claimed that she was “tortured, diminished and brutalized” by Lori Hoffman, Vice President of business and finance and Kathleen Gentry, interim director of facilities management and services.

“I have never been made to feel more incompetent and worthless,” she wrote in a complaint filed against Gentry.

Cynthia Jensen isn’t alone. Several of her former coworkers are singing a similar song, stating that they feel harassed and retaliated against.

It all points to negligence from the university’s upper management.

Members of the university administration have denied the employees’ claims.

They have stated that employee complaints are too hard to handle and largely based on hearsay.

These are all convenient claims by the very people people that are under scrutiny.

Dismissing these accusations as union bias is sweeping away the little evidence that exists in cases of administrative corruption.

Now, even The Orion is starting to sound like a broken record, once again calling for an outside audit from the
California State University’s chancellor’s office.

The absurd employee turnover, countless filed complaints, and verbal dismay of facilities management and services employees is indicative of a much greater corruption.

Facilities management and services is like the withered tree branch teasing at a deeper problem, a rot that spreads from the roots.

If facilities management and services employees feel disempowered and terrorized by the administration, then one can bet that other departments feel the same.

It’s not enough to simply ask President Paul Zingg to reassess his administration and cut out the corruption where it sits.

He’s one of the main reasons why these toxic people were hired in the first place.

A tree that is rotten at its core cannot stand. It can’t simply weather the constant complaints from employees, expecting change to come on its own.

It’s time for the CSU chancellor’s office to step in and make the changes that this campus needs; tear the tree out from its roots.

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Employee complaints expose need for outside audit