Once again, I’ve got little time—gotta run off to my classes soon. So this’ll have to be quick. (My report concerns the Raghu Mathur discrimination trial up in federal court in LA. Aracely Mora is suing Mathur for discrimination in hiring and for failing to protect her from a hostile work environment.) That should go to the jury today.)
Yesterday, Cely Mora finished her testimony, then Mathur got up on the stand. Under questioning from Mora attorney Carol Sobel, we learned of the Chancellor’s responsibilities, upholding policies and whatnot. Ditto for the Presidential gig at IVC.
Sobel noted that, during his deposition, Mathur claimed that he had never been a defendant nor a plaintiff in a lawsuit. “No,” he said.
Well, as we all know, he has been both.
Mathur acknowledged that, before interviewing the three finalists for the dean (of Health Science, PE, and Athletics) position back in 2001, he had read the data from the reference checks that had been done by then-VPI Roquemore. (Mathur was IVC Prez then.)
One oddity of this case is the fact that Poindexter was hired despite no one’s having contacted his current employer. (Eventually, that employer was contacted, and it was revealed that P had some of the same issues there that turned up at IVC.) Since P didn’t mention that employer among his references, the hiring committee was prevented from doing that. But was Mathur prevented? Under questioning, Mathur seemed to imply that he, too, was prohibited from doing that, though, he said, he could ask for another reference (without specifying).
As near as I could tell, Sobel revealed that he was under no such prohibition.
We examined the three “reference check” forms for Poindexter’s three references. (These revealed the results of the reference checks—calls to Poindexter’s references, and their answers to a series of questions.) One reference was a former student. Sobel questioned Mathur about that. “We serve the students,” said Mathur. That is, their input is very important (I suppose that’s what he meant).
Another reference was a basketball coach. Sobel sought to have Mathur explain what about these references revealed that Poindexter had the qualifications for the dean job. It was rough going. Mathur can be obtuse.
The third reference was a prior employer at the US Sports Academy. Sobel asked Mathur if he recalled that that reference “couldn’t recommend Poindexter without reservation.” The reference said he had no knowledge of P’s administrative abilities.
Sobel then turned to Mathur’s request for a fourth reference. It was “very positive,” said Raghu. Oddly, the reference check form for the fourth reference “has not been produced.” Mathur acknowledged that. WOW.
Was there anything in Poindexter’s resume that revealed that P had experience running an intercollegiate athletics program? There was much testimony about that. Mathur claimed there was evidence in the resume that P had experience as a “director” of athletic training--hence experience as a supervisor/administrator. There was some dispute about that.
Do you know what chairs of Athletic Training do? No, not specifically.
Sobel asked for Mathur’s documentation—or just notes—regarding his fourth reference check. At one point, Sobel said: “You have no evidence that you called the additional reference?” No, apparently.
“I do recall that the reference check was very positive,” said Mathur.
Sobel then focused on Mathur’s claim that Mora had failed to develop curricula (when she served as Acting Dean prior to Poindexter’s hire). Hadn’t she developed a massage therapy program? Didn’t she put through curricula for that? Doesn’t the President of the college approve all courses that go through the curriculum process? Mathur acknowledged this. He claimed to be “only vaguely” aware of Mora’s efforts on behalf of massage therapy.
Sobel returned to the three (initial) reference checks. One was a Scott P. Evidently, Scott was one of Poindexter’s students. On the form, it showed that Scott couldn’t rate Poindexter with regard to relations with management. He was a student.
Another reference, Hal W, had been P’s dean for over a year. Hal claimed that he only observed Poindexter’s work as a trainer; he claimed not to know about P’s administrative abilities. So, when it came to rating P on that, he didn’t offer a response.
So the three references did not indicate that Poindexter had any administrative experience? Yes.
Why ask for the fourth ref? Mathur “wanted additional information.”
--Well, I’ve gotta run. I’ll try to finish this later today. Sorry to leave you hanging. --CW