Skip to main content

User login

Peter Burnham Resigns As BCC President

March 10, 2011 by Brian Harris

By Brian Harris and Kim Viola

Brookdale president Peter F. Burnham, who was placed on administrative leave on March 3 due to an investigation into the spending habits of the president’s office, resigned as president last night, effective immediately, in a statement through his attorney to the Asbury Park Press.

In the letter to the APP, Burnham thanked the board of trustees for all of the “personal support and guidance over the twenty years of our professional association.” He also state that by him resigning, by no means was he admitting guilt in the actions for which he was put on administrative leave for last Thursday.

Burnham has been accused of having subordinates approve expenses incurred by the president’s office that weren’t under the board of trustees-approved guidelines for acceptable spending. George Fehr, VP of Business and Finance, who approved many of the expenditures in question, has also been put on administrative leave with pay.

Burnham’s resignation focused more on all of the many positive things that he has accomplished in his two decades at BCC. "I am proud of the academic accomplishments of the college, the success of its graduates, as well as the programs, buildings and facilities development that defines Brookdale as one of the leading community colleges in the nation,'' Burnham’s statement to the Press read.

The whole investigation into the financial goings-on in Burnham’s office stem from the airing out of his contract, which shows the many perks and clauses that he had in his contract, from a housing stipend and a $43,000 Ford Excursion to tuition reimbursement for his two children and a membership at Navesink Country Club, which was the result of freeholder John Curley, who begin to scour through both his contract and the college’s budget as a result of Burnham placing the blame for a proposed eight percent tuition increase at the feet of the county for cutting funding by $6 million dollars.

Burnham’s position has been filled on an interim basis by Dr. William Toms, who will be looking to “work hard to restore Brookdale’s reputation and restore its fiscal sustainability,” according to an interview Toms gave with The Stall on Monday.

Feb 7 Burnham sent out a memo saying that “we now know there will be a substantial,

$6,000,000 reduction in County operating support for Brookdale Community College.

The County will reduce our appropriation for FY 2012, which begins July 1, 2011, by

$6,000,000 from $27,000,000 to $21,000,000.”

Feb 24 Burnham sends out a memo saying there will no longer be a tuition hike because he had

decided to reduce his own compensation.

Feb 25 The Asbury Park Press reported Burnham’s full compensation package

● Country club membership

● $1,500 monthly housing allowance

● A 2010 Ford Expedition, which the college purchased for $42,815

● Up to $40,000 a year in college tuition for his two children for a total of $267,676 so far

● $225,000 worth of bonuses

Feb 26 At 8 a.m., the Board of Trustees met and rolled back the tuition hike

March 3 The Board of Trustees had a special meeting where Burnham was put on administration leave with no pay and George Fehr was put on administration leave
with pay. William Toms was appointed acting president

March 5 The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office is officially investigating the President’s Office.

March 8 Peter Burnham resigns from his post as president of Brookdale Community College.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes