Dr. Peggy Bradford, president of Shawnee Community College, has announced that she will step down from her role in June. She will continue the final year of her three-year contract as a liaison between the college, community and legislative partners.
Since her appointment almost two years ago, Bradford has regularly clashed with faculty. The union representing Shawnee faculty has twice, taken a “vote of no confidence” in her, stating that she did not have a collaborative work style. The faculty opposition became so pervasive that the Higher Learning Commission noted in a December report that the college needed to take action to address the “climate of distrust” that threatens to affect student learning and college operations, according to The Southern Illinoisan.
“We are confident that by agreeing to allow Dr. Bradford to pursue new avenues for students success in this manner, she can help us to fulfill the mission of Shawnee Community College,” said board trustee Mike McMahan.
Bradford is the first woman and African-American to serve as president of Shawnee Community College.
The decision to relieve her duties as president was announced in a joint statement from the college’s board and Bradford after Shawnee’s monthly board meeting. The statement noted that Bradford had approached board members about the possibility of changing her current responsibilities in February.
“Based on this mutually agreed upon proposal, Dr. Bradford will continue to work on behalf of students at Shawnee through the remainder of her contractual obligation,” the statement said. “This new role requires significant absence from our campus, but the benefits of these actions are anticipated to produce positive outcomes for the students attending Shawnee Community College.”
Bradford said she is excited about the college’s future as she prepares to take on her new role as a liaison.
“We have seen many positive changes in areas of financial stability, increased community partnerships internships and additional educational agreements with four-year institutions,” Bradford said. “Additionally, we have also gained significant positive connections with state and local leaders that will continue to benefit student success at Shawnee College in the future. I am confident in the ability of the vice presidents that we selected to maintain and continue to improve conditions on the campus of Shawnee College in my absence as I work to increase the opportunities for Shawnee.”