Breaking a nearly six-week silence, Frederick Community College on Thursday issued a brief statement that cited “philosophical differences” in the sudden departure of its first black president last month.
The announcement officially ends a process that began with the departure of President Frederico Talley after a special closed meeting of the schools’s board of trustees on Jan. 3.
The board accepted Talley’s offer to step down “in acknowledgment of philosophical differences and different visions on how to best achieve goals for the future of the institution,” according to a news release issued by the school.
The college offered no further elaboration on what those differences were, leaving the background of the decision still shrouded in mystery.
In a statement included in the release, Talley said it became increasingly clear to him after taking office in July that he and the board had very different concepts of where the school should be headed.
FCC spokesman Mike Pritchard and Rick Vernon, an attorney for the school, both declined further comment beyond the contents of the statement.
Raymond Cotton, an attorney for Talley, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
Talley’s three-year contract with the school included a $180,000-a-year salary. But it was unclear how much, if any, of that amount the school would be obligated to pay Talley.
Although any financial settlement between the college and Talley would involve public funds, college officials declined to comment on it Thursday.
The college said last month it expects to receive more than $24 million of its proposed $47.9 million budget in fiscal 2014 from the state and county. The proposed budget also includes a $3 per credit hour tuition increase.
The college has also been tight-lipped about the reasons behind Talley’s departure, describing it before Thursday’s statement simply as a “personnel matter” between him and the board.
The Frederick County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has asked for additional information on Talley’s “abrupt departure,” citing the visibility of FCC in the community and what it called a “lack of clarity” by the trustees in addressing the incident.
School officials have said they’re working on setting up a meeting with the group.