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Friday, September 8, 2017

Judge Finds Incompatibility of Office at Parkland Community College

A trial court judge recently found that an associate professor at Parkland Community College could not also serve as a trustee on the Parkland College Board. Harden was an associate professor at Parkland when she decided to run for a position on the Board of Trustees after the Board decided not to rehire several faculty members. After being sworn in, Parkland’s attorney informed Harden that she could not simultaneously serve as a faculty member and on the Board of Trustees.  

The issue was whether Harden could legally serve as both a trustee on the Parkland Community College Board and an employee of Parkland Community College. The judge determined that she could not, finding that an incompatibility of office existed between the two positions. One of the standards for determining whether there is an incompatibility between two positions is whether one position (the Board of Parkland Community College) has extensive responsibilities over the operation of the other position (an employee of Parkland Community College). 

Interestingly, the judge gave Harden the option of remaining on the Board or continuing as an associate professor. Previous courts have found that where an incompatibility exists, acceptance of the second position is ipso facto a resignation from the first position, meaning Harden would have resigned her teaching post when she was sworn in as trustee. 

Post Authored by Jessica DeWalt, Ancel Glink


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