Part XIV: The List the Scandals at Cleveland Community College!! –Report and recommendations by Robert A. Williams

A reader called regarding my Part XII article that evaluated all the individual Cleveland Community College Board of Trustees. The reader believed I was a bit harsh in my evaluations. His discussion focused mostly on the fate of disgraced CCC President Steve Thornburg. It was then that I realized most of the public think and the CCC Board of Trustees has promoted that thinking that the whole issue is about College President Dr. Steve Thornburg and once Thornburg is gone, the problem is solved. NOOOOO Way!!!. Thornburg is just the tip of the iceberg. So, In the midst of the long and intentional delays by the gridlocked Cleveland Community College Board of Trustees, We are going to name the individual scandals at Cleveland Community College presently before the Board of Trustees in this one article. We will try to include other scandals that I have not disclosed yet in another article.

So, let’s list and review the issues, who bears responsibility, define the scandal and what must be done.

The Issues:

1. The appearance of an unseemly, unethical and inappropriate relationship between CCC President Steve Thornburg and Senior Vice President Shannon Kennedy. Observations by many who could not help but notice Thornburg and Kennedy sitting together in a parked car in the CCC parking lot for exceptionally long periods of time. Thornburg has the major share of blame here as he is the senior and top official at CCC. He should have known better. So should Kennedy. To my knowledge Kennedy did not protest, file a complaint or make sure she didn’t get caught up in that situation again. but she was not the senior official. Thornburg must bear the major responsibility here. Strike One for Thornburg. Kennedy belongs on a watch list.

2. Another instance of an appearance of an unseemly, unethical and inappropriate relationship between President Steve Thornburg and Shannon Kennedy involves Thornburg rapidly promoting Kennedy through the ranks at CCC, allegedly over other candidates who were better qualified and had more experience that Shannon Kennedy. Even to the point of Thornburg creating the position of an Executive Vice President and then promoting Kennedy into that position. Some reports indicate Kennedy was the only candidate for that top tier position and no outside candidates were advertised for or allowed. Thornburg must bear the majority of blame for this issue as he was the senior official. Kennedy has another item on her watch list. HR personnel must also be placed on a watch list.

3. President Thornburg places the operations of CCC into the hands of his Senior Vice President Shannon Kennedy. Normally this might be acceptable if such responsibilities were delegated to Kennedy and Thornburg supervised, monitored and exercised control of those responsibilities. Thornburg allegedly just turned over those operations to Shannon Kennedy and blindly let Kennedy run the show. Thornburg has the major responsibility here, but Kennedy. in her own management position, must bear responsibility for what she has done at this point forward.

4. CCC Information Technology (IT) personnel, in the course of doing their job, discover an obscene CCC Computer System personal password created by President Thornburg which reads “fuckshannon69.” Thornburg is totally responsible for his own password creation. Further digging indicates Thornburg, when changing his password on a schedule set by CCC Policy reused this obscene password for years on end by only slightly modifying that basic password. One variation was reported to be “fuckedshannon69” which indicates an accomplishment of a sex act, if only in Thornburg’s own mind. Actions such as this indicate a total lack of judgement in a College President that cannot be tolerated by any responsible Board of Trustees. Thornburg has made a fool out of himself, the College, the CCC Board of Trustees, Donors to the college as well as the whole of Cleveland County. Thornburg has to go and go immediately. Shannon Kennedy’s items on a Board watchlist just increased to the point that her conduct and performance must also go under the Board’s microscope.

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