NORTH CANTON: The Stark State College dean of business and entrepreneurial studies was placed on paid administrative leave more than nine weeks ago.
“You are ordered not to report to work,” Melissa Glanz, director of human resources, directed Glenda Zink in a Dec. 12 letter.
She ordered Zink to stay off Stark State property, not to communicate with colleagues and to be in a “work-ready status at all times during your regularly scheduled work hours.”
Stark State spokeswoman Irene Lewis Motts refused to comment on Zink’s status at the tax-supported, two-year college or how long she may be off work.
The Beacon Journal obtained copies of Zink’s employment file and some of her emails that indicate that Zink ran part of her losing campaign for Jackson Township trustee in 2013 from her Stark State office, where her salary of $129,000 and benefits of $34,700 total $163,700.
She notified Stark State Provost Lada Gibson-Shreve by email on Aug. 12 that she had purchased a separate phone, email account and iPad for the trustee race to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
“At no time will I be doing any trustee business during my Stark State College time commitment,” she wrote Gibson-Shreve. “No Stark State resources will be used.”
But she used Stark State work email to send and receive emails about the strategy and organization of her campaign.
In addition, apparently at the direction of Zink, administrative assistant Kathy Ross used her Stark State email to contact an attorney about Zink’s answers on a candidate questionnaire on Aug. 26. Administrative assistant Kendra Bertsch contacted Canton lawyer Kim Zink about addresses needed for contributors to Zink’s campaign, among other examples.
Zink also used Stark State email to send a thank-you email to several supporters on Nov. 6, the day after she lost the election.
“I am disappointed as I am sure you are but you also know that Ma Ma Zink is not a quitter and I believe you will see me out there campaigning again soon,” she wrote.
Zink joined Stark State in 1978 and was appointed to her current position in 2009.
She also was reprimanded in October 2012 for hiring her daughter into her division.
“Stark State College expects leadership to set an example by following the policies and procedures,” the warning letter read.
Zink is the second top Stark State official to be placed on paid leave in the last 18 months.
Human resources vice president Celeste Jones also was placed on leave in July 2012 and filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission claiming discrimination and retaliation. In an agreement signed with Stark State President Para Jones, who is not related to Celeste Jones, she did not return to her job and continued to receive her $150,193 salary and benefits through June 30, 2013.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at email@example.com or 330-996-372.