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Fired Grounds Chief Gets Do-Over At ISU

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:29:19 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

The former head of grounds at Illinois State University has a new job on campus. ISU Spokesman Jay Groves says Patrick Murphy has been hired as a horticulturist, supervisor of the Biology Department greenhouses and curator of the Fell Arboretum.

"President Dietz believed Patrick Murphy deserved another opportunity at the university."

Murphy was fired after a heated exchange with then President Tim Flanagan. Groves says once new President Larry Dietz took over, Dietz reviewed Murphy's departure.

"Specifics, facts of the situation were reviewed as well as various components of the university's operation and files were reviewed including Mr. Murphy's full confidential employment record, the current needs of facilities management and the grounds department, and the other needs of the university."

Groves says Murphy will make the same $65,000 salary he had in the old job.

"The Superintendent of Grounds position will remain vacant and will undergo a review for modification of the job title, description, and duties to better suit the needs of the department."

In his old job Murphy supervised 15 people. Groves says the current job could be expanded to have a supervisory role over up to two other positions.

"A position of horticulturist, curator of the Fell Arboretum, a position that recently opened due to a retirement. In fact an expanded role for that position has been under consideration for several years and Mr. Murphy will be working to increase the impact of that role while also supervising the biology greenhouses."

Murphy later filed a police report that has resulted in disorderly conduct charges against Flanagan. Flanagan resigned under pressure and received a partial payout of the remaining time on his contract.

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