On May 31, 2010, Stephen Bailey, the then Director of the Center for Research and Advanced Study (CRAS), announced his retirement from Knox and his position. The time of his retirement, his absence from the 2010 Commencement ceremony and the lack of publicity about his retirement raised questions.
When asked if Bailey’s retirement had anything to do with a Grievance Panel case brought against Bailey last spring, Dean of the College Larry Breitborde said, “I’m not in the position to say that’s true. Those [cases] are confidential.”
The student who filed a formal grievance against Bailey in the spring of 2010 said that she had had an ongoing friendship with Bailey but that as time went on, his actions made her feel uncomfortable.
The student also said that she was dissatisfied with the response of the administration toward her grievance.
“I felt very disrespected,” she said.
Dean of Students Debbie Southern said, “I don’t know,” when asked if the Grievance Panel case had anything to do with Bailey’s leaving.
“The question of how long he would do [the job with the CRAS] was always kind of undecided,” Breitborde said. “He also didn’t like to talk about it. So … I think for other people it was much more abrupt.”
On the subject of the grievance filed against Bailey, President Roger Taylor said, “I would not comment on it, confirm or deny. We treat grievances with confidentiality out of respect for everybody.”
Prior to his role in the Center for Research and Advanced Study, Bailey was an Associate Dean of the College for over 23 years.
“He’s balancing family stuff and God knows what else,” Breitborde said. Breitborde also said that, as a tenured faculty member, Bailey no longer wanted to work full time.
As of last September, Bailey took over the position in the CRAS. He continued as an Associate Dean of the College during fall term, and as of Jan. 1, 2010, he began working half-time in the CRAS.
As of right now, “[Bailey] wants to cut himself off and have some space,” Breitborde said. “He had so many connections with so many students, and that was a strength.”
Sandra Mehl has taken over the position of director of the CRAS this year. Mehl has worked at Knox in the Office of Advancement and Intercultural Life and had also worked with the TRIO Achievement Program.
“She has really done some really good work,” Breitborde said of Mehl. “More faculty than ever before are pursuing grants.”
Bailey was not reachable for comment.