Red River College says Stephanie Forsyth is no longer president, as of Sunday. The college says Forsyth cited personal and family reasons for her departure.
Board of Governors chair Richard Lennon refused in an interview this afternoon to say what those reasons are.
Lennon said the college did not ask her to leave, and said it is not accurate to say that Forsyth resigned. Lennon said that Forsyth approached the board in mid-August to discuss "moving on," and her departure took effect Sunday "by mutual agreement."
Lennon would reveal almost nothing about Forsyth’s departure, repeatedly citing the confidentiality of human resources issues.
Among the issues that Lennon would not discuss:
- Whether an ongoing performance review started four months ago was leading the board to consider not extending her current five-year contract beyond the fall of 2015, or to even consider letting her go now.
- Whether she will receive, or has received, any compensation or severance package.
- How much the college has paid in severance to the senior administrators who left non-voluntarily during Forsyth’s tenure.
- Whether the college had concerns or gave Forsyth direction following her three earlier annual performance reviews.
- Whether a provincial review of RRC’s finances and morale played any role in her departure.
A short statement from the board of governors released at 12:38 p.m. says: "The Board of Governors of Red River College and Ms. Stephanie Forsyth wish to announce that as of August 31, 2014 Ms. Forsyth will not be continuing in her role as President of Red River College for personal and family reasons.
"The Board wishes to express its appreciation to Ms. Forsyth for her work on behalf of the College. The search for a new President has already begun and the Board is satisfied that there will be a variety of well-qualified candidates seeking this position. An announcement will be made as soon as the new President has been appointed. In the interim, the Board has appointed David Rew as the Acting President of the College."
Forsyth was hired four years ago this month on a five-year contract.
She has come under fire for her personal expenses, and Education and Advanced Education Minister James Allum ordered a review this spring that is still ongoing after college employees made serious allegations about Red River’s finances and morale.
Allum is talking to reporters later this afternoon.