Monday, May 1, 2023

Board makes Statement about new search firm

I believe the Richland 2 school board was shocked to learn that Baron Davis is a consultant with the superintendent-search firm that the board selected.

McPherson & Jacobson LLC, of Omaha, Nebraska, was selected last Tuesday (April 25) at the Special-Called Board Meeting.

Trustee McFadden made a statement at the end of tonight's Special-Called Board Meeting that the board will NOT be working with any South Carolina consultant of the search firm.

When the selection of that firm was announced in local media today, I examined its website and was horrified to see Baron Davis listed as its S.C. consultant. I wondered why Richland 2 would ever select that firm.

When did Baron contract with McPherson & Jacobson?

Maybe he called them yesterday and told them he'd like to hook up with them. And today? VoilĂ ! He's on board and some speedy I.T. person pasted his name up on their website?

If you believe that, call me. I'll still got that bridge in New York I'd love to sell you.

It takes a few days to put together a deal like that. A business ought to be curious why an applicant or potential contractor left his last position. Did he leave on good terms? Is he eligible for re-hire?

A young HR person in Denver told me in 1975 that the one question he would ask a former employer was, "Was there a great sigh of relief when that person left your organization?"

What would the answer be at Richland 2?

Should McPherson & Jacobson have informed the Richland 2 board that it was in negotiations with Davis?  Of course they should have! It might have cost them the Richland 2 deal. And it might not have.

But, in my book, McPherson & Jacobson gets low marks for integrity. In fact, the mark is so low that there won't be any mark at all!

Search Firm hired yet?

Has the Richland 2 School Board/District retained a search firm yet to identify candidates for consideration for the new permanent superintendent?

So far, there have been many Executive Sessions but no announcement.

Does the Board know how to hire a superintendent?

Did they contact other districts to find out whom they interviewed but didn't hire?

What will a search cost? And how quickly will it commence? (Hint: it should have commenced in February.)

I recall investigating a job in 1987 for an executive director of a chamber of commerce in eastern Oregon. A member of the board's search committee responded to my resume and asked me a few questions. Then he asked if I'd pay my own expenses to come there for an interview. I was in Kansas City at the time.

I asked how many candidates they planned to interview. Nine. I told him I would pay my own expenses 1) if I were one of two final candidates for the position and 2) if they would reimburse me if they hired me.

I never received any questions, and I never followed up to learn whom they hired. I also realized that I never wanted to be an Executive Director of a chamber. Can you imagine having 15 "bosses" (on the Board of Directors) and trying to keep eight of them happy?

[Edited. Richland 2 has hired McPherson & Jacobson LLC, according to ABC in Columbia earlier today. The firm is located in Omaha, Nebraska. Its website is 

Guess who is listed on their website as a member of their consultant team for South Carolina: "Dr. Baron Davis". And the Richland 2 Board picked that firm???

Read that firm's "Equity Policy". 

WOKE - all the way.

Role of the R2 Board - forgotten? never known?

Only a month ago (March 23, 2023) the Richland 2 school board heard a presentation by Attorney Ashley Story on the Role of the Board.

Unfortunately, that meeting was not livestreamed, but the excellent presentation by Attorney Story can be viewed here:

Did the Board learn anything from that presentation? If they did, how did they forget it so quickly?

Most of the board members seem not to know that their roles are 1) direction and 2) oversight. They are not "do-ers".

One of the reasons for 4-5-6-hour board meetings is that board members have inserted themselves too deeply into operations and management of the District. That is not their role. They are Trustees. They are supposed to be decision-makers. They are not management employees of the District.

It could be that the only way to fix this will be in the next two elections.

Rather than attending to all the minutiae, the board should focus on hiring a permanent superintendent. What "face" are they presenting? Do they think that candidates aren't watching the board meetings?