Few details offered in MPIRG leader’s firing

Seth Woehrle

The organizer of the University chapter of the Minnesota Public Research Interest Group was fired on Oct. 24.

Cara Saunders, one of the organization’s few paid members, had been the chapter’s organizer for nine months. She will receive a check for two weeks’ salary after the termination.

“Both myself and the personnel committee did take a very deliberate and methodical approach before we took any action,” said MPIRG executive director Dave Anderson. He said regulations prevented him from talking about the details of the firing. “It was a carefully thought-out decision that went through all the appropriate processes.”

Saunders refused to comment on her termination.

She sent an e-mail to the University MPIRG listserv after the firing. Saunders wrote that the firing was unexpected and that Anderson never approached her about any problems before she was fired.

Later in the e-mail, Saunders called the firing “egregious,” hinted at ulterior motives and called the decision poorly informed and unprofessional.

Saunders wrote that the firing was evidence the employees of a social justice organization such as MPIRG needed union protection. She encouraged her former co-workers to question the validity of the firing process.

While Anderson said he was ambivalent about MPIRG unionizing, he said the termination process was professional and he did not take the firing lightly.

Anderson, a University graduate, said MPIRG was accepting candidates for another organizer and expected to hire in about two weeks.

 

Seth Woehrle welcomes comments at [email protected]