To Serve During Bias Inquiry : Interim Nursing School Director Appointed
Santa Monica College has appointed Mary Reinika to serve as interim director of nursing during an investigation of possible racial and religious discrimination in the school’s registered nursing program.
College President Richard Moore called for the investigation in mid-May after a state accreditation team gave the college an “informal warning” that it should take steps to be sure its registered nursing program is free of racial and religious bias in student evaluations.
Accreditation teams routinely evaluate registered nursing programs every five years, state officials said.
Moore said that the accreditation team’s report, which will not be made public until presented to the state Board of Nursing on June 27, contains no specific allegations of discrimination.
Investigation ‘Above Reproach’
Moore said he is appointing an interim director so that the investigation being conducted by Assistant Supt. James B. Fugle will be “above reproach.”
Reinika’s appointment is not to be construed as a punitive action against Loanne Haegele, Santa Monica College nursing program director, or Sharon Reed, department chairman, Moore said, but is designed to insure the objectivity of the inquiry.
Reinika is on leave from Santa Ana College, where she is assistant director of nursing. Reinika has been working about three days a week at Santa Monica College, and will be paid $225 a day with her total salary not to exceed $4,000, according to college officials.
The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees will discuss the nursing investigation and collective bargaining issues at a closed meeting on Wednesday, but it is not known whether they will take action on the matter, a college spokesman said.