Bates Technical College president Ron Langrell looks poised to keep his job after an investigation into his behavior resulted in him being sidelined on paid leave for the last month.
The Bates Technical College board voted Tuesday night to keep him on paid administrative leave until a “disciplinary directive” is handed down by Marshall Sampson, the school’s Title IX coordinator. An investigation conducted after a formal harassment complaint was made against Langrell in November found that he frequently gave unwelcomed hugs to his subordinates, made remarks about some staffers’ looks that made them uncomfortable and insulted and intimidated staff members.
Langrell’s continued employment at Bates will depend on him following whatever disciplinary directive is prescribed, the college said. That hasn’t been officially determined or communicated to Langrell yet, the school and his legal counsel said.
The board met in executive session on the issue for more than two hours Tuesday. The board was joined for the first time by its fifth member, Heather Moss, who was appointed last week to fill the spot vacated by newly-elected Tacoma City Councilwoman Lillian Hunter in December.
Moss wasn’t able to vote on Tuesday’s motion. The board chose to amend a previous motion from Feb. 6 instead of voting on a new motion. Moss wasn’t a member of the board on Feb. 6.
The motion from Feb. 6 said Langrell would be placed on administrative leave until “an agreement is reached between Dr. Langrell and the Board of Trustees through their respective legal counsel on the terms of possible reinstatement” to his position as president.
The amendment the board approved Tuesday removed that wording and instead said his paid administrative leave would continue “until a disciplinary directive is prepared based on the prior motion and additional discussion by the board, by Marshall Sampson and delivered by Mr. Sampson to President Langrell.”
The interim president will remain Dr. Lin Zhou, vice president of institutional effectiveness and student success, in the meantime, college spokeswoman Chelsea Lindquist said in a statement sent to the college community.
Board member Christina Blocker was the sole “no” vote on both the original Feb. 6 motion and on last night’s amended motion to keep Langrell on paid leave until discipline is handed down from Sampson. New board member Moss said during the meeting if she had been able to vote, she would have voted against it as well.
The News Tribune has filed a public records request seeking information on the disciplinary directive.