The Herald Bulletin

November 7, 2013

Viewpoint: Newspaper reports mischaracterize Ivy Tech

By Thomas J. Snyder

---- — Media consultants will provide advice that when a person or institution is unfairly attacked or mischaracterized in the newspaper the person or institution should just leave it alone.

They will say to not respond, as a response will either add credibility to the story or facilitate additional comments and editorials. Or the consultants will offer advice that the newspapers will not print anything you send to them nor the full details around the actual facts.

They will only print the story that meets their intent. Based on recent stories and editorials, it is apparent the media is either ignoring the facts or choosing to be opportunistic and sensationalize the story. In response, here are the facts and full details.

Ivy Tech Community College is very pleased to have Rob Carter as a member of our team. He is uniquely qualified for this job. As a former county sheriff, Rob has an extensive law enforcement background and an impeccable statewide reputation among the law enforcement community.

I have known Rob for more than six years and have been impressed with his leadership at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He led a highly complex organization that is one of the best in the nation. The State of Indiana and DNR were nationally recognized during Rob’s tenure.

Rob was the best candidate, and his references were exceptionally strong. We are delighted he chose to join Ivy Tech and continue serving the people of this state over many other opportunities in the private sector.

Ivy Tech followed all normal procedures relative to hiring of Rob. Any mis-characterization is false. This position was advertised, candidates were reviewed and interviewed, references and background checks were conducted and the best candidate was hired.

Newspapers have also printed stories about our chairman of the board, Bruce Walkup, sending inappropriate emails. Unfortunately, the story is laced with inaccuracies and false information.

Some will question whether it was appropriate for the chair of the board of trustees, appointed by the governor of Indiana, to send offensive emails. Although he has that right, leadership at Ivy Tech felt it was inappropriate and asked him to stop some months ago.

He followed our desires and refrained from sending additional emails. Further, Ivy Tech did not read or forward these emails. They were deleted. The emails are offensive to many people, but the newspaper’s desire to sensationalize the emails was unfair to the school. He apologized for his actions and the damage he did to the college.

We are hopeful that the media can focus on some of the terrific success stories here at Ivy Tech. Take some direction from the Wall Street Journal, who just featured our Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) in its publication.

The Wall Street Journal was aware of these other stories being written about, but when it learned of the facts, realized it was not the story, but instead these hard-working ASAP students were the story.

There are more stories like that here at Ivy Tech worth sharing.


Thomas J. Snyder is president of Ivy Tech Community College and a resident of Anderson.