Board fires Eastern Gateway Community College president; vice president on leave

Local News

The board decided to keep Vice President James Miller on leave during a review of "questionable expense charges"

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Eastern Gateway Community College’s Board of Trustees voted on the fate of two of its top administrators on Wednesday.

Just one week after placing him on leave, EGCC trustees took more permanent action against President Dr. Jimmie Bruce over “inappropriate management practices.”

“Dr. Jimmie Bruce has lost the confidence of the Board of Trustees of Eastern Gateway Community College due to dereliction of duty,” said trustee chair James Gasior.

Trustees voted unanimously to fire Bruce, who has been with the college for nearly five years.

Gasior said administrators had been complaining Bruce was largely ignoring them, skipping cabinet meetings and failing to fill key positions.

“We’ve lacked a provost position for a period of time. We’re looking for direction in marketing and public relations,” Gasior said.

Gasior said the problems started late last summer.

“He was very engaged, he was very active and then there was a noticeable change from the August timeframe on,” Gasior said.

While current CFO Michael Geohagen is serving as interim president, trustees will begin a national search for a permanent replacement.

Unrelated, Vice President and Chief of Staff James Miller remains on paid leave while under review after staff members discovered what are being called “irregular” items bought using Miller’s college procurement, or purchasing card.

“That we felt were in violation of the Eastern Gateway Community College policies for expense reporting,” Gasior said.

Miller’s card was one of 22 issued to administrators.

While an audit is being performed for the state, the college is taking its own action.

“With the exception of one card we have in the business office for emergency purchases, we’ve closed down all the ‘p-cards,’ all the procurement cards,” Geohagen said.

For now, trustees are waiting to hear from the Ohio auditor on what actions to take next.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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