The Columbus school district's top administrator is defending a decision that drew howls of outrage on social media.
Alison Holm reports.
The Columbus City Schools superintendent says bringing in a high-level administrator to overhaul key divisions remains a high priority, despite a last minute decision to pull a proposed contract for the job. Last week Superintendent Dan Good announced to staff that the district would hire former Borden Foods and Limited Brands executive Michael Keane to transform the Human Resources and Communications Departments. The contract, capped at six months maximum, would have made Keane a senior level administrator, and Good says Keane had a part in designing the position.
"My understanding is Mr. Keane had been brought in to talk with the Task Force in the past, so that he had a deep understanding of the work with which he was faced, and participated in crafting, actually, the specifications that he would need to fulfill had the board awarded him that contract." But outrage on social media over the proposed salary - 25-thousand dollars a month for a three-day a week job - prompted him to pull the contract before Tuesday's board meeting. Still, Good defends the choice of Keane, and the salary. "It is a top-shelf dollar for public sector, but this has been done multiple times in this district; bringing in individuals from the public sector without success. And so the task force felt, and I agreed, maybe we needed someone with a different level of expertise and a different approach to this. That also understood civil service commission requirements and had a clear plan for how to work with organized labor, because that's all part of this. I continue to believe he's the right person for the job, but part of my job is to make certain I help educate our community and also be responsive to what their concerns are." Good says the district still needs to overhaul the Human Resources department, which has been cited in several audits as inefficient and uneven. He says he will meet again with the task force that's been studying possible solutions, and incorporate outside perspectives as well.