Editorial: A message to Rudy Crew's new employer: Thanks!

Published Jul 18, 2013 at 05:00AM

Dear Medgar Evers College: Congratulations on hiring Rudy Crew as your new president.

We hope you get a little more work out of him than we did. And that you can get him to understand and follow your rules about travel time and money.

He spent only a year employed by us as Oregon’s chief education officer. That was even shorter than the limited time he spent at many of his earlier positions, including in your fair state of New York. But we guess you knew about that.

What you may not have known is that during one short year in Oregon, he took 32 vacation days and another 17 days as furlough, sick leave or personal days off. There were 63 days in that year when he wasn’t even in the state.

And you might be surprised to know that Oregon officials had a hard time with his expense reports. For example, he tried to charge us $336 for a fancy ride from his home in Salem to the airport in Portland. Then he wanted us to pay $350 to upgrade his seat to first class. We don’t know what your rules are, but out here state employees go coach or pay for the difference themselves.

Our governor’s office sent an experienced manager to work in Crew’s office in April, and she said he didn’t know the state’s rules and just made his own decisions. She ended up refusing to sign off on his time sheet because she couldn’t determine what was work and what wasn’t.

We hired Crew to lead Gov. John Kitzhaber’s effort to revamp our educational system from top to bottom, but Crew couldn’t be bothered to work with our Legislature to get the money allocated. He was too busy traveling to Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, N.M., Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and the Bahamas while the state’s lawmakers were in session.

Meanwhile, we were paying him $280,000 a year in salary, plus $1,000 per month for a car allowance. Plus expenses, of course.

We know all this because The Oregonian and Willamette Week newspapers requested the public records. It makes us pretty happy you’ve taken him off our payroll.

Good luck.

Sincerely,

Oregon taxpayers