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Response to Letter to the Editor Regarding Former Dean of Libraries

The Spectrum published an article on Feb. 10 regarding the former Dean of Libraries, Michelle Reid, and her settlement with NDSU. The settlement will cost the university more than $300,000. The article reviewed the events leading up to the settlement.

We received a letter to the editor from Reid’s attorney, which was published Feb. 20. Reid’s lawyer, John A. Fabian of Fabian & May Anderson, presented concerns about the Reid’s portrayal in the article.

The published article reported the news about the settlement, not the quality of leader­ship at the NDSU Library. Additionally, the article’s theme was not about an unhappy staff, contrary to Fabian’s statement, but rather reflected the information obtained by available resources to accurately report the event. This included the Provost Bruce Rafert’s undated let­ter of recommendation.

A letter of recommendation can be a pro­fessional courtesy, and may not always be an accurate reflection of the attitude of administra­tion and staff. We did not state that this letter was written “much earlier” than the 360 review began.

Fabian also expresses his concern about the legitimacy of Rafert’s 360 review Reid was sub­ject to. However, The Spectrum article did not offer its opinion about the review process, but simply states that it was conducted. The article includes positive comments from this review, and included the fact that more negative com­ments were obtained.

Reid’s attorney stated that our article omits mention of Reid’s positive performance evalu­ations under the former Provost; however, the article included Rafert’s statements commend­ing Reid on her leadership and advocacy of the NDSU libraries.

Ninety-eight exit surveys were reviewed for the article. Fabian states that The Spectrum did not consider that the surveys might have been from employees who held a grudge against Reid for the library’s reorganization.

However, The Spectrum included the com­ment by Reid that stated the complaints were about three “socially connected paraprofessional staff with a history of disruptive behavior who bore a grudge originating in the reorganization of the libraries and renewal of staff I had been hired to undertake.”

The review of the exit surveys was focused on fact: The majority of the comments about Reid were negative.

The Spectrum attempted to contact Reid for comment, but she had “been traveling.” She responded after deadline and did not comment about the issues addressed, but requested the public-record source documents used in the article.

Administration did not offer substantial com­ment.

If Reid would like to present her own per­spective on the matter, The Spectrum would be willing to set up a one-on-one interview so that her side of the story is disclosed to the public.

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