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IOCC Chairman removed from Cleveland State U Board of Trustees over absences

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    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/07/alex_machaskee_removed_from_cl .html Alex Machaskee removed from Cleveland State University Board of Trustees over
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2008
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      Alex Machaskee removed from Cleveland State University Board of
      Trustees over absences

      Posted by cjindra July 01, 2008 22:25PM

      Alex Machaskee

      A Cleveland State University trustee has been stripped of his board
      seat because he missed so many meetings.

      Alex Machaskee, retired president and publisher of The Plain Dealer,
      attended only 44 percent of CSU board meetings during his two years
      as a trustee. State law requires board members of Ohio's public
      colleges to attend at least three-fifths, or 60 percent, of meetings
      over any two years. Failing that, the board member must forfeit his
      or her seat.

      Eric Fingerhut, the state's chancellor of higher education, notified
      Gov. Ted Strickland's office late Tuesday that Machaskee's seat was
      now considered open, according to Keith Dailey, the governor's

      Machaskee's absenteeism came to light during a Plain Dealer review of
      attendance rates for boards of trustees at four-year public
      universities statewide. His rate was the lowest in the two-year
      period from mid-2006 through last month.

      The only other trustee statewide who failed to meet the 60 percent
      threshold was a member of the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges
      of Medicine and Pharmacy board, which is being reconstituted because
      of governance changes there.

      Machaskee acknowledged missing 10 of the 18 CSU board meetings since
      he was appointed. He said other civic commitments kept him away.
      For instance, Machaskee said that during the most recent meeting on
      June 20, he was in Ethiopia as chairman of the International Orthodox
      Christian Charities. On four other occasions, he was in Crestwood,
      N.Y., attending board meetings for St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological
      Seminary, he said.

      Another missed CSU board meeting coincided with Eastern Orthodox
      Christmas, according to Machaskee. And another came two days after
      his 70th birthday, which he said he celebrated out of town last year.
      Following a Plain Dealer reporter's questions about attendance rates,
      Fingerhut last week instructed his staff to do its own review of
      attendance records for all public university and college boards of
      trustees. And the Ohio Board of Regents will now regularly review
      attendance rates, Fingerhut said Tuesday.

      "We take this statute very seriously and intend to execute it exactly
      as it's written," Fingerhut said.

      The three-fifths rule became state law in 1997 as part of a
      government reform effort.

      Fingerhut acknowledged that his office hadn't previously had a system
      in place for checking attendance.

      "As I understand the way this works, it will be my responsibility to
      notify the governor's office when we believe an individual has fallen
      below the attendance standards set by statute," he said. "It would be
      the governor's office that would take the action."

      Machaskee, who now runs a consulting firm, is the first university
      trustee in recent history to lose his seat because of attendance

      He said he had been assured by CSU officials before accepting the
      role that he could make up missed meetings. Asked how he was to have
      made up those meetings, he referred the question to Sonali Wilson,
      secretary of the CSU board.

      Wilson said that she does not recall telling Machaskee that he could
      make up meetings and that the state statute does not provide for

      Machaskee estimated that he spends 90 percent of his time on
      nonprofit boards, so getting rid of the Cleveland State University
      board would be fine with me.

      University trustees are not paid, but they do enjoy perks, including
      football tickets as any Ohio State trustee can attest. The attendance
      rate for OSU board members is consistently high. The two trustees
      with the lowest rates have attended 71 percent of meetings over two
      years, according to board minutes.

      In Northeast Ohio, trustees at Kent State University and the
      University of Akron all exceed the minimum attendance requirement. In
      fact, according to minutes from meetings, all but one Akron trustee
      had perfect attendance over the last two years.

      CSU President Michael Schwartz said that attendance has been so
      sparse at recent meetings that it's sometimes difficult to come up
      with the needed quorum of five trustees. The trustees role will be
      especially critical as the university begins searching for a
      replacement for Schwartz, who plans to retire next summer.

      In addition to Machaskee's seat now being empty, the board has had
      vacancies since Carl Glickman's board term expired on May 1 and Peter
      Cavanagh moved to Seattle in the spring.

      Dailey, the governor's press secretary, said Strickland is hoping to
      fill the Glickman and Cavanagh vacancies within a matter of weeks.
      Now also on Strickland's list is finding a Machaskee replacement.

      Categories: Education, News Impact, Open
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