The Spring Branch ISD Finance Division was recognized at the September Board of Trustees meeting for earning numerous awards and honors throughout the year. Also for the sixth consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association, the leading group of its kind in North America, has issued the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the Finance Dept. This award, also issued by the Government Finance Officers Association, was presented to SBISD for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) It is the highest award possible for governmental accounting and financial reporting. SBISD’s award-winning Finance Department is led by Associate Superintendent for Finance Karen Wilson, who has worked for years in public school accounting and finance.
For the third year, SBISD’s Finance Division and Purchasing Department have been honored by the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) for following professional standards in the acquisition of goods and services. While the President has the right to overrule the selection of a chair by a department (subject to approval by the Board of Trustees), this right has typically been reserved for extreme situations where a department is completely divided or otherwise unable to manage their own governance. In the case of Business Management and Finance, the department voted unanimously to reelect Robert Bell as Chair.
When they were told that that selection was unacceptable to the President, for reasons that have yet to be stated, the department unanimously supported a second candidate. President Gould graciously” allowed for members of the department to submit emails to her expressing their individual preference for acting Chair, but left no doubt that the ultimate decision would reside with her.
The department has even indicated it is willing to consider an alternate chair of the Department’s choosing if the President were to articulate some compelling reason why Robert Bell is not the best choice to lead the department. Our department is not divided or unable to make decisions for itself, and sees no need for either an acting chair or an outside chair to be appointed by the president. Her plan to impose an outsider to lead the department has been detrimental to faculty morale and could seriously delay the AACSB accreditation process.
President Gould’s attempt to deprive the Department of Finance & Business Management’s right to democratically determine its own leader is in direct contradiction to the spirit of collegiality and harmony that has been the trademark of this department since Dr. Bell assumed the reins as Chairman more than ten years ago. President Gould has failed to make a case for why Dr. Bell is not qualified to lead the department or why the department is incapable of managing its own affairs.