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Kentucky New Era

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HCC president returns to work after apology

Reasons for leave remain a mystery

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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 12:00 am

Hopkinsville Community College President James Selbe apologized to the college’s faculty and staff Thursday for mistakes he made and for using poor judgment in the past.

Selbe was placed on administrative leave Feb. 11 by Michael McCall, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Selbe was reinstated Thursday.

No specifics were offered by KCTCS or Selbe about the reasons for him being placed on leave.

Instead Selbe read a prepared statement at a Thursday press conference in the school’s auditorium. He did not field any questions and declined to speak specifically about the behavior that led to him being put on leave.

“With respect to their privacy, I cannot comment on the specific claims or employees involved, but I want to again offer my apology to all who were offended by my thoughtlessness and demonstrations of poor judgment,” Selbe said.

Selbe acknowledged he will face disciplinary action as a result of his actions.

He said he will not be paid for the week he was on administrative leave and will have to undergo workplace sensitivity training at his own expense.

McCall also issued a statement Thursday in which he acknowledged that KCTCS investigated multiple allegations of misconduct against Selbe.

The disciplinary action taken against Selbe is consistent with KCTCS’ policies and procedures, according to McCall’s statement.

“We respect the privacy of all involved and will not comment further on this personnel matter,” McCall said.

Before the press conference, HCC’s Board of Directors met Thursday behind closed doors. The agenda for the special meeting said it was related to “individual personnel matters.” The meeting lasted a little longer than an hour, and Selbe released his statement at noon.

Selbe started as the college’s interim president in 2005 and was officially named president in 2006. He previously served as provost of West Kentucky Community and Technical College.


REACH DENNIS O’NEIL at 270-887-3240 or

Quickinfo: Jim Selbe’s statement

Jim Selbe was reinstated as president of Hopkinsville Community College on Thursday. He read this prepared statement during a press conference in the school’s auditorium.

“As President of Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) I have been entrusted with great responsibility to our community, and as the leader of a public higher education institution I am additionally a servant to the people of Kentucky. Because of this position, I believe I owe it to this community and certainly to the hard-working faculty and staff of Hopkinsville Community College to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

“Last week I was placed on administrative leave as the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) led an investigation into claims of misconduct. It was determined I could return to HCC as president, but I will face disciplinary action.  My time on administrative leave will be unpaid. I have also agreed to complete workplace sensitivity training at my own expense.

“As I reflect on the actions at the heart of this investigation I acknowledge that I did make mistakes and at times used poor judgment. I was wrong. I know I have violated the trust our employees, and the people of Kentucky, place in me as President to enforce our college and workplace policies. With respect to their privacy I cannot comment on the specific claims or employees involved, but I want to again offer my apology to all who were offended by my thoughtlessness and demonstrations of poor judgment.  

“Additionally, I also want to apologize to my wife and family. I know that I disappointed them, but they know who I am, and what I stand for. They also know that I did not live up to the standards that both God and I have for my life. The last few days have reminded me of how easy it is to mess up greatly and I also know the importance of moving forward.

“I have cooperated fully with the investigation and assured KCTCS President Michael McCall that I will do all I can to continue to serve in this position with the highest standard of character. I am thankful that I am able to return to work as president of HCC and I hope this matter will not provide any additional distractions to the work and mission of our great college to educate our students and serve as a blessing to our region.”

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