The following report describes the lack of ethics, unconscionable behavior and willful negligence of a number of high-ranking administrators and other personnel at Loyola University New Orleans (LOYNO) over the past several years. These issues have been allowed to fester and must, for the sake of the university's moral standing and reputation, be adequately addressed.
Issued on August 18, 2014, this report focuses on the case of Sharron Mangum, former executive assistant to the Dean of the College of Social Sciences. Ms. Mangum has a pending complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against LOYNO for race and age discrimination and constructive termination.
THE CASE OF SHARRON MANGUM
On September 6, 2010, Sharron Mangum, a college graduate, thought she had won the jackpot. After seven months as a temporary worker handling the responsibilities of the Executive Director of Administrative Operations (EDAO) in the College of Social Sciences (CSS) at Loyola University New Orleans (LOYNO), she was appointed full-time, handling those same responsibilities, testimony to the quality of her work.
Ms. Mangum, a person of strong Christian faith, now happily envisioned a career working in a highly respected faith-based campus community.
Ms. Mangum came to Loyola with the education, experience, skills, motivation and charitable commitment that made her a valuable asset to the Loyola community. That is evidenced in her bio-sketch posted on Loyola's website which reads:
Sharron D. Mangum hails from Star, Mississippi. She studied the Social Sciences at National-Louis University and Law at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Behavioral Science.
Sharron has twenty years of experience in Human Resources of which seventeen years were spent in Atlanta. The majority of her career was at a Fortune 500 company and secondary and higher education institutions — providing support in HR administration, leadership and training design, development and facilitation.
Since relocating to New Orleans in 2007, Sharron has worked with small businesses and offender reentry organizations. Through her volunteer work with the Orleans Public Defenders and local offender reentry programs, she has helped offenders to expunge their felony records, develop resumes and learn soft/technical skills to qualify for employment.
Sharron has been an invited speaker at professional conferences around the country. She has served as a consultant and adviser to a long list of organizations on topics ranging from Instructional Design Best Practices, Reentry and Restorative Justice, The Development and Employment of Former Incarcerated Persons, HR Best Practices, Labor and Employment Law, and much more.
Sharron currently holds the position of Executive Assistant to the Dean in the College of Social Sciences
As further testimonial to the quality of Ms. Mangum's work in performing the duties of the EDAO for seven months as a temporary worker, is that she was made a full time employee to continue fulfilling those duties. The salary of the EDAO at the time was $67,600. However, she was informed that she could not be given the title of EDAO or a commensurate salary and was subsequently hired in a newly created non-management position, Executive Assistant to the Dean at a salary of $55,000.
What Seemed a Meaningful Career Opportunity Turned into a Working Nightmare
As further proof of Ms. Mangum's strong work ethic and capabilities, more and more of the work load and responsibiliti— that were outside of her job description — of the Dean, Associate Dean and Senior Administrative Assistant to the Dean, a position that had been eliminated, were being piled on her.
The additional responsibilities, long hours, and extra days of work, including holidays and weekends, became so burdensome that Ms. Mangum's emotional and physical health were seriously jeopardized and began to deteriorate.
Despite the advice of family physician Dr. ****** *****, Internal Medicine physician Dr. ********* **** and university neurologist Dr. ***** ****** that Ms. Mangum's health and well being were in peril due to her stressful working conditions that needed to be addressed, things got progressively worse. Time and again Ms. Mangum communicated her concerns to superiors only to be denied the respect and just treatment she expected and deserved.
As a result, Ms. Mangum has suffered loss of physical and emotional health including bouts of migraine headaches, nausea and vomiting, hypertension, sleeplessness, excessive fatigue, insomnia, crying spells, irritability, poor memory, mental anguish, depression and anxiety attacks. She was treated with anti-depressants and psychotherapy.
President Kevin Wildes
The unfair treatment directed at her by Loyola has caused injury to her professional standing and earning capacity and in some circles her character and reputation. Now 48, Sharron Mangum, who has lived in New Orleans since 2007 and who planned to continue to work at Loyola and get her law degree there, now plans to move on with her life and leave the city hoping to build a new career. She seeks justice from Loyola, but at the same time wishes everyone well and expects the university will strive to carry out its stated mission.
On June 9, 2014, Ms. Mangum sent a five-page letter to Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, "Re: Notice of Constructive Termination effective June 9, 2014." Below are the first four paragraphs excerpted from this letter, which describe the discriminatory treatment that she endured with respect to her pay, promotion and excessive workload (According to the latest available IRS Form 990, which lists the compensation of selected officers and employees of LOYNO, Fr. Wildes compensation for 2011 and 2010 was $356,655 and $319,809 respectively).
Sharron D. Mangum
3000 Tulane Avenue, #254
New Orleans, LA 70119
VIA USPS Certified Return Receipt #7013 3020 0000 4901 2604
Monday, June 9, 2014
Fr. Kevin Wm. Wildes
President Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
Re: Notice of Constructive Termination effective June 9, 2014
Dear Fr. Wildes:
I am writing to provide you with the details of the hostile work environment and the ongoing unlawful practices perpetrated against me that leads to my notice of constructive termination effective today, Monday, June 9, 2014.
February 4, 2010, I was hired as a temporary employee to handle the responsibilities of **** *********, the Executive Director of Administrative Operations ("EDAO") at Loyola University New Orleans ("LOYNO") within the College of Social Sciences ("CSS"). The EDAO who was out of the office on leave when I assumed her duties, returned in July to a position in another division of LOYNO. I was hired as Ms. *********'s replacement on September 6, 2010. At this time, Luis Mirón, the former CSS Dean, and I were told by HR that while I assumed the EDAO duties, I was prevented from holding the title since the former EDAO had a legal claim against the University. Please note that the EDAO was the only African American in management in the CSS and a member of the CSS Council of Chairs of Directors. From 2010 to present, not only did I have responsibilities of the EDAO job duties, but also the responsibilities of the Dean, Associate Dean and Sr. Administrative Assistant jobs, which was outlined in my discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaint of March 19, 2013.
May 3, 2012, Roger White, Special Assistant to the Provost and Chair of the Political Science Department at the time, requested to meet with me to discuss my job responsibilities. During this meeting Roger explained to me that the University was concerned that it was libelous since my title and job description did not accurately reflect my daily duties since my hire in 2010. He also stated that he wanted to discuss the same issue with ***** ******* in a separate meeting. A couple of weeks following our meetings with Roger, he stated to me that he would submit the paperwork to HR to reclassification our positions.
September 4, 2012, a second attempt was made by Luis Mirón, the sitting CSS Dean at that time, to correct the issues with my position title, duties and workload in an approved request to HR and Provost Marc Manganaro. At the same time, Luis Mirón approved a request to reclassify ***** *********'s position as well. However, after a near twelve (12) month delay from the original submission of both requests, Gita Bolt stated in her communication of May 2013 that my reclassification lacked merit and that the University was having financial hardship. However, while I continued to perform the duties of the EDAO, Dean, Associate Dean and Sr. Administrative Assistant, these positions were abolished with the employment of Roger White as Interim Dean allegedly because the CSS would merge with one or more of the other academic divisions. Please note that in the history of LOYNO and any other educational institution for that matter they have never operated without a second in command. As Interim Dean White downsized the CSS Dean's Office to three (3) administrative staff personnel, some CSS staff and faculty were promoted in addition to some LOYNO academic units promoting staff and faculty and increasing their Associate Dean positions to two or more. It is my belief that the bias perpetrated against me was based on discrimination in age, gender and race and retaliation for reporting these issues and the ongoing financial mismanagement/malfeasance.
March 20, 2013 I was admitted to the emergency room with symptoms of a mini stroke, which my doctors diagnosed from my history of migraine headaches related to job stress. I was released by my doctor to return to work with the condition of reducing work related stress. Approximately June 2013, the incoming Interim Dean Roger White met with me to conduct a desk audit of my responsibilities. I expressed at that time that my disability was triggered by the hostile work environment and the excessive workload. I was assured by Interim Dean White that upon his taking office, I would no longer have responsibilities of the Dean and Associate Dean and that he would facilitate getting my position reclassified appropriately. However, upon arrival to the CSS Dean's Office Interim Dean White announced to ***** *******, ***** ********* and me that he would show us how to appear like you're doing work. Accordingly and to my dismay, upon inquiring about my position reclassification, Interim Dean White put up his hand with his palm to my face stating, "Let me take care of ***** first." Not only did I not receive a position reclassification to which I was lawfully entitled, but I was required to continue duties of the EDAO, Dean, the Associate Dean and the Sr. Administrative Assistant. To make matters worse, Interim Dean White advised the CSS Unit Leaders and the CSS Dean's Office staff that he prefers meetings rather than reading and preparing responses to written communication (emails, reports, requests, etc.). Accordingly, my already overburdened workload significantly increased from reading emails and reports submitted to Interim Dean White to now meeting with him to discuss these requests and prepare responses on his behalf. In addition to these responsibilities, I prepared all dean's letters of recommendation to the provost for Ordinary faculty contract renewal. On several occasions, Interim Dean White would have me stand over his shoulders in his office to read email communication from you Fr. Wildes as well as those from the Provost to assist him in crafting responses. I believe that this abuse of power was clear retaliation for complaining about discrimination, harassment and financial mismanagement/malfeasance.
Read the Entire Report: "Has LOYNO's Catholic-Jesuit Mission Gone Awry? The Case of Sharron Mangum"