Trustees were supposed to monitor the Financial Recovery Plan, but it was never made available to them. The Budget Committee was supposed to review the plan, but they didn't. If casual observers were to look at all of the important documents—the accreditation report, board minutes, board goals, tentative budget—they would likely and erroneously conclude that the plan was being monitored, discussed, and revised. It was not.
How to Bury Information That Makes You Look Bad
A Step-by-Step Guide
Make sure that the information—in this case, The Financial Recovery Plan—is one of FIFTY-TWO hyperlinks on the Midterm Accreditation Report. Also make sure that the Midterm Accreditation Report is itself one of many attachments. At the January 22, 2019 Board meeting, when the Board moved and approved the Midterm Accreditation Report—without discussion—the link to the Financial Recovery Plan was the only link out of the fifty-two that was inactive (see above). As of this writing that link is still inactive. If past behavior predicts future action, then President Blake will undoubtedly blame someone else (naturally, someone with unprotected status) for this, but the responsibility to inform the Board lies squarely with her.
Provide misinformation on the cover of the Financial Recovery Plan. That cover states that President Blake submitted the plan to the Governing Board, but according to board members, she never did and as of this writing still has not.
Have a Board majority who believes and does whatever you tell them to believe and do. Since September of 2018, trustees have claimed to be monitoring the Financial Recovery Plan; it appears on at least two Governing Board Minutes as Board Goals. But the Board has never been presented with the plan, and their only opportunity to see the plan was the dead link on the Midterm Accreditation Report (see #1).
Don’t do what you’re expected to do The Midterm Accreditation Report asserts that the Fiscal Recovery Plan would be revised, presented to the Budget Committee, and finalized by June 30th, 2019. That didn't happen, but how are accreditors to know that?
Sharpen your bait-and-switch skills. In April, Blake proposed a Board workshop to, in part, present the Financial Recovery Plan, but when the meeting was actually scheduled, the plan wasn’t on the agenda.
Continue to tell your Board majority what to believe and do. In July, the Board's progress report lists the non-existent presentation of the Financial Recovery Plan that did not occur at the April workshop (see #5).
Rebrand in order to hide ineptitude. Instead of using the words “fiscal recovery,” talk instead about “fiscal stewardship." That change obscures the reality of Palomar’s situation by shifting from the question, “What are we recovering from and why have we never heard about this?" to the (laughably unbelievable) statement. “Boy, I feel so happy about the responsible management we have here!”
Snarkiness aside, it bears mentioning that any investigatory or audit team should look well beyond the surface of documentation provided by President Blake. Any thorough investigation should interview stakeholders at all levels—and offer both anonymity and protection to unprotected employees like classified staff and administrators.
Reference: Complete Downloaded Accreditation Report with Missing Links from 1/22/19 GB Agenda