The president of Adams State University has been placed on leave amid accusations that she bullied faculty and staff, failed to stem declining student enrollment and mocked blue-collar workers with an offensive Halloween costume that sparked an uproar when photos began circulating on campus.
Beverlee McClure, who became the university’s first female president in April 2015, was placed on leave last week by the school’s board of trustees, leaving the small San Luis Valley school struggling financially and under probation by a national accreditation organization, and critics angry — and still fearful — in her wake.
McClure, hired for her business acumen, has been attacked by detractors as being abrasive and combative. Critics say her dismissive attitude toward anyone but those in her inner circle was put on display at an Oct. 26, 2016, Halloween party. McClure attended dressed as an obese plumber and outfitted in a prosthetic fat suit and rotting buck teeth.
“It just showed her contempt for the working people in the community in Alamosa, which is very blue-collar and working class,” said former faculty member Danny Ledonne. “But that is McClure. She cultivated this campus culture of bullying and backstabbing, and anyone who didn’t agree with her or her group were thrown under the bus.”