This past October, the JCPS Chief Financial Officer, Cordelia Hardin, and HR Director, Tiffeny Armour, decided to create a brand new position to oversee org charts. The salary for the position makes it one of the highest paid clerical positions in the district. And one of the only clerical positions in the district to also require a bachelors degree, qualifying it to be part of the KTRS. Sweet!
In November, according to her Linked In profile, that position went to Rachel Hardin, a part-time tattoo artist with a degree in Art. (Not a degree in a related HR field.)
So, how does someone with no visible HR experience, training or certification land such a well-paying, critical HR role?
Did we mention that Rachel is the daughter of the district’s Chief Financial Officer? Ya know, one of the ones who created the position?
First, a little history about the org charts.
You may recall, the Curriculum Management Audit recommended elimination of Executive Director of Human Resources. Human Resources would fall under the newly created Chief Operations Officer post filled by Mike Raisor.
HR was split into “Recruitment and Development” & “Employee Relations / Labor Management.” Tiffeny Armour was over Recruitment & Development and Carolyn Meredith was over Employee Relations.
Organizational Charts were the responsibility of the Director of Employee Relations and handled by a Employee Relations Assistant (an exempt salaried position). This was the lowest level of administrative post.
Carolyn Meredith soon after retired. While attempting to fill her vacated position, the position was downgraded by Cordelia Hardin (CFO) and Hargens.
Rob Tanner was named Director of Employee Relations soon after.
When Employee Relations Assistant retired some time later, Tanner was forced by Hardin and Hargens to downgrade this position to a clerical one.
Organizational Charts were still handled by these two downgraded positions, although Tanner began doing most of the org chart work because of the downgrading of the assistant.
In December 2015, Rob Tanner left Employee Relations.
So in summary, Organizational Charts were always handled by one person in employee relations.
After two years, Raisor created a Director of Human Resources position, as the department was still a mess under Armour. In effect, Armour was given her old job back of Director of Administrator Recruitment and Development and a boss was named to oversee her and the rest of HR.
Mark Rosen was named HR Director. Tiffeny Armour publicly defied Mark Rosen. According to our sources, Rosen, although knowledgeable and capable, was impotent to improve HR due to internal sabotage and insubordination.
In April 2015, Rosen’s contract was non-renewed. Hargens prevented Rosen’s position from being filled because HR was now going to fall under the newly created Chief Business Officer, so it should be his decision.
After Tom Hudson’s hiring, he almost immediately hired Tiffeny Armour as HR director, under the strong recommendation of Cordelia Hardin. It appears Hudson interviewed no other candidates.
After Tanner left Employee Relations, there were major problems with org charts. Late, incorrect, sloppy…
It was at this time that they were assigned to Tiffeny Armour and a new position was created: Organizational Chart Technician. Viola!
Why is the CFO so involved in HR, anyway?
Organizational Charts must go through CFO Hardin after HR to get on board agenda.
Hardin meets with Hargens in regards to open positions and whether or not they need to be filled (not HR).
At a May board meeting, Frank Mellon said “I think we should let the HR expert speak to that.” Yet, CFO Hardin, not HR Director Armour, spoke up. Is the CFO the HR expert? Why does the CFO need to point to the place on the page that the HR director needs to read from (see video)?
At the prior meeting, when pressed, neither Armour, nor Hardin, would volunteer to the board the make up of the committee that evaluates positions or org charts, saying they would get the board that information. It is only two people – the two of them. How hard is that to answer?
At the 5/23 meeting, in reference to a completely different snafu, Cordelia Hardin said, “I do not lie. … I am 100% integrity.”
Did Hardin and Armour created a brand new, highly paid with a great retirement, job for Hardin’s unemployed / underemployed daughter because Hardin pushed to get Armour the HR director job? Accurate or not, this situation does not appear to be 100% integrity.
Looking at the board minutes, we found that this new position (job description on the right) was presented and approved in the 9/27/2016 meeting, resulting in this revised org chart.
Based on the JCPS salary grade information, this is a 1A Grade 14 position with 260 work days/year. (52 weeks * 5 days/week).
According to the salary schedule document, a grade 14 position with 0 years prior experience is worth $23.1811/hr. Multiply that out, and the salary for her position *should* be $48,216.69, annually. However, with the degree requirement, this position has the second highest earning potential of any clerical job in the district, according to one source.
Hopefully, our district’s new interim superintendent, who takes the helm on July 1, will address this situation and do what needs to be done to prevent any future events like this from happening. The public deserves to have confidence that members of the superintendent’s cabinet actually are all about 100% integrity. Teachers and staff deserve an HR Department that is made up of Human Resources professionals, not untrained folks who seem to care more about looking out for their buddies than they do about putting the right people in the job.
Dr. Pollio: Good luck. We’re all counting on you.
Disclaimer: This post was compiled from data and tips from more than one source. Prior to posting, we conducted extensive fact-checking using public databases from where this information is stored. Every effort has been made to provide complete, factual information that will restore integrity to our district. While it is unfortunate some individuals have been called out, we feel it is important to share what we have discovered in order to give the district an opportunity to address any inappropriate conduct, or to respond should this information be incorrect. The sources are anonymous here, but they are not anonymous to us. If we have made any errors in our reporting, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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