The office of the attorney general has issued an opinion on a case awaiting resolution between two Guam academic institutions.
The president of NezPac College — which has forged a relationship with Troy University of Alabama to help students and mid-career executives receive a master’s in business administration or an executive MBA — is telling the president of the University of Guam to leave him alone.
Dr. Jose T. Nededog president and chairman of the board of NexPac College filed suit against Dr. Harold L. Allen president of the University of Guam on Nov. 15 requesting damages and a restraining order against Allen the board of regents of the university and the board of trustees of Guam Community College.
Judge Elizabeth Barrett-Andersen denied the restraining order at an ex-parte hearing held Nov. 29 at the Superior Court of Guam.
Nededog told the Journal “There is nothing illegal in what I am doing and don’t need the stonewalling efforts by Dr. Harold Allen in my efforts to bring a beneficial program to Guam.”
There are two issues Nededog asked the court to rule on. The first is whether the Guam Accreditation Board exists. It was abolished by Public Law 26-76 because it had never met. The second is for personal monetary damages for personal actions taken by Allen to stop competition and sabotage Nededog’s school. Those issues remain to be heard by the court.
“What I am doing may seem to appear to be a challenge to the University of Guam but our people deserve to be given the option to choose where when and how they want to enhance their career ” Nededog said. “It should be made clear that NezPac College is acting like a broker for Troy University who provides all qualified educators and academic credits for graduation and diploma.”
The University of Guam stopped offering an MBA program in 2003 when the university was reorganized and the College of Business and Public Administration became the Jesus S. & Eugenia A. Leon Guerrero School of Business and Public Administration. An executive MBA program had 15 potentially interested students in 2003 at a cost of $18 000 for the program but initial interest was not taken up.
Today the university offers a Professional MBA as a part of its graduate program and has 13 students enrolled. Students must complete 33 credits at an approximate cost of $5 000.
“We have about 25 people interested and ready to enroll in our program but since Allen wrote letters that said we were not qualified students have backed off — and that damaged us ” Nededog said.
At the center of the issue is a Sept. 21 letter written by Allen to Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. of Troy University. The letter was written the day after an advertisement appeared in the local press that stated the “Troy University is now open in Guam” offering an executive MBA or an MBA degree in affiliation with NezPac College. Allen said in the letter that according to Guam law all post-secondary institutions must apply to the accreditation board for authorization or approval.
Nededog wrote back to Allen stating the “since that accreditation board has not met for a period of over 12 months it was abolished by Section 56 P.L. 26-76. “Therefore the board is without authority and it could be legally liable for any decision it makes.”
Charles H. Troutman deputy attorney general wrote an opinion signed by Attorney General Douglas B. Moylan on Dec. 5 that said the Guam Accreditation Board had not been abolished but that because it had never met since its creation on July 1 1980 “it [the board] must be treated as if it never existed.”
Nededog said he will continue to push for a declaratory judgment from the courts so that the matter is “clear and decisive once and for all.” A court date has not yet been scheduled.
The Journal contacted the office of the president of the University of Guam to request a reaction from Allen. Cathleen Moore-Linn director of integrated marketing and communication at the university said “The president has no comment on pending litigation.”
Nededog submitted proposed legislation which became Bill 396 in the 27th Guam Legislature that was intended to establish the rules for the management operations and administration of the accreditation board. The bill received a public hearing but was never introduced on the floor for consideration by the body.
“We will approach this new Legislature again and try to re-introduce the measure with some modification ” Nededog said. “In the meantime we will continue to push ahead with our college’s plans and launch our programs for the people of Guam in the next few months.” MBJ