Bernard Field Station (BFS) manager Stephen Dreher was fired by Claremont University Consortium this past Monday, Novn 8. Field station users at the 5Cs were informed of the decision by e-mail on Wednesday.
The notice did not indicate the exact reason that Mr. Dreher had been fired, but cited “issues with recent use of the Field Station.”
Dreher had worked as the manager of the BFS for the past ten years. He had a broad set of duties that included managing the property, updating the website, approving use requests, acting as the go-to person for safety and security issues, and helping to organize research and lab activities.
On Monday he was notified that his contract had been terminated, his consortium e-mail address was taken away, and he was asked to vacate the residence he had occupied on the Field Station for the past decade.
The BFS is a shared academic resource managed by the Claremont University Consortium for the Claremont Colleges. It is used for a number of ecology classes, for senior theses, and for faculty research. Furthermore, other community groups such as local elementary school classes often take tours of the Field Station.
Dreher’s firing has put the day-to-day operations of the Field Station in disarray, at least temporarily.
“I wish the situation had been handled internally among the field station users,” said Pomona Biology Professor Fran Hanzawa. “His firing has created a really chaotic situation. Now there’s no one in charge of handling use requests. And if you see something strange up there now, you’re going to have to go to someone who knows nothing about the Field Station and what’s going on there. It’s a really unfortunate time for this to happen.”
The email to field station users stated that Claremont University Consortium and Academic Deans “will begin the process of seeking a replacement Field Station manager shortly and will work closely with faculty to make sure that services and support of the Field Station will be maintained,” and that questions should be directed to Claremont University Consortium Chief Executive Officer Robert Walton or Harvey Mudd College’s Dean of Faculty Robert Cave.