Last week, I interviewed Dr. Mahmoud Saffari. During our interview, Dr. Saffari talked about how St. Cloud State hired a marketing company called Earthbound Marketing from California to do a series of focus groups and to put together a marketing plan to cast SCSU in a positive light.

That’s significant because this happened right after they had eliminated 32 majors and minors due to $14,000,000 in state budget cuts. What’s more is that Dr. Saffari raised the question about whether the focus groups were randomly picked. Allegedly, the focus groups were hand-picked.

In addition to spending money on consultants and marketing firms, President Potter’s management style has led to a serious decline in on-campus morale. This incident is a perfect illustration of how President Potter’s management style is hurting on-campus morale. Here’s what happened in Dr. Saffari’s words:

About 2 years ago, I left my office around 8:15 a.m. to go the Admissions Staff meeting. I ran into former SCSU President, Dr. Roy Saigo in the Administration Services Building. He had a meeting that morning on campus.

I said hello to him and told him that I was going to the Admissions Staff weekly meeting in the Administration building and if he had a minute to stop by and say hello to the admissions staff. He knew all of them prior to his retirement. He agreed and stopped by for a minute and said hello to them and told them that they were doing a great job and then left.

That same afternoon around 1:30 p.m. Provost Malhotra came to my office and closed the door and told me that President Potter had asked him to come and tell me not to associate with former President Saigo and not to ask him to talk to the admissions staff!

I don’t know what triggered President Potter’s reaction. I just know that the reaction doesn’t fit the information. Because many of President Potter’s reactions don’t fit the situation, many administrators and professors are walking on egg shells.

If President Potter doesn’t make better spending decisions, taxpayers and, perhaps more importantly, the business community will reject him. If President Potter doesn’t change his management style, he’ll lose what little is left of his support amongst faculty and administrators.

At that point, the amount of support that’s left will be miniscule. At that point, it’s all over but the shouting.

Follow these links for more information on the St. Cloud State situation:
President Potter and the sinking morale at St. Cloud State
SCSU President Potter throws faculty, legislators under the bus
President Potter Ignores MnSCU procedure, MnSCU provides the whitewash
How President Potter blew it with Aviation shutdown decision

4 Responses to “Terminated SCSU administrator blows whistle on President Potter”

  • Jethro says:

    I bet the bill to hire Earthbound Marketing out of California wasn’t cheap.

  • Gary Gross says:

    It’s rumored to be over $560,000 but that hasn’t been confirmed. Is that expensive in your estimation?

  • Patrick says:

    $560,000 wow – well if they paid that much for the new website I would say they got taken to the cleaners as I don’t see much difference from years past. and to think Potter almost broke his arm patting himself on the back because he thought he was doing good by closing the Aviation Department.

    Wonder why they did not hire a Minnesota company?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Patrick, It’s possible that Potter has connections with this company. Let’s remember that his previous job was as a provost in Oregon. I don’t know there’s that type of connection. I certainly can’t rule it out, either.

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