The Sioux Falls School District has created a new administrative position—”Director of Research, Innovation & Accountability“—to save money and filled it with freshly resigned school board member, former board president, and former Citibank chief financial officer Doug Morrison. Mr. Ehrisman asks some questions about when this new position was dreamed up:
While I don’t disagree that this is a very good idea, I wonder when the negotiations began? I also wonder if this was Morrison’s idea? What did he know before he decided to NOT run again and retire from CitiBank?
I also wonder where state law weighs in on this with open meetings in creating this position and conflicts of interest with a former school board member [Scott Ehrisman, “Was Morrison Offered This Position Before He Decided to NOT Run for Another School Board Term?” South DaCola, 2017.08.01].
I’d try to answer those questions, but my casual breakfast searching can’t find any information about this new administrative position or Morrison’s hiring in any of this year’s Sioux Falls school board minutes or the proposed FY2018 budget book.
I can find the job description dated May 2017, Morrison’s penultimate month on the board. The Director of Research, Innovation, and Accountability is required to have a master’s degree (Morrison has a USD bachelor’s degree in accounting—I’m looking for résumé updates). The position is 241 days/”Level B” on the administrator’s salary schedule, which in the first year pays $118,250.
The new director’s job description includes defining “clear priorities and indicators of performance” and overseeing “the development of assessments, data analyzation [sic], and result reporting.” I’ll be curious to see whether the indicators of the new director’s performance are all banky/businessy—can he identify and justify program cuts that equal or exceed his new salary?—or if he’ll be evaluated on more qualitative and humanitarian measures of improving education.