JCPS opts not to renew chief business officer Tom Hudson's contr - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS opts not to renew chief business officer Tom Hudson's contract

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Tom Hudson, was named the chief business officer for JCPS in 2015. Tom Hudson, was named the chief business officer for JCPS in 2015.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools has opted not to renew the contract of its chief business officer.

Tom Hudson, who was named to the top level position in November 2015, will finish out his current contract, which is set to expire on June 30, according to a copy of a non-renewal letter dated May 12. 

“I appreciate Mr. Hudson’s service to the students of Jefferson County," said JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens. "This is a natural progression when there is a change in leadership, giving flexibility to a new superintendent."

Hargens added: "It is important to note all that Tom accomplished during his tenure with JCPS."

"He has worked tirelessly to restructure our Human Resources Department, improve our budget process, streamline employee relations and move forward our Career Academies," he said. "We are a better district because of his service.”

Hudson, a Louisville businessman who was previously president of Nth Works -- a stamping, welding, assembly and coating company -- could not be reached for immediate comment on Friday. He made $176,000 as chief business officer.

As part of his duties, Hudson oversaw Cordelia Hardin, the district's chief financial officer, as well as human resources director Tiffeny Armour. He had also been part of the district's negotiation efforts with its unions.

However, the day after Hargens' resignation announcement, Hudson was no longer in charge of negotiations, with that responsibility shifting back to Mike Raisor, the chief operations officer, and Rob Tanner, the director of property management and maintenance.

Shortly after Hudson arrived, he raised eyebrows when he unveiled a new JCPS budgeting process proposal -- and the potential of increasing class sizes.

In August 2016, four of the district's unions cited a strong objection to the approach JCPS had taken to negotiate employee wages the previous few months. They specially called out Hargens and Hudson who had done most of the district's negotiations.

"Mr. Hudson has repeatedly proposed illegal offers that have not recognized experience steps," the letter read.

It went on to say that Hudson had "abandoned the no step approach and offered each of us a proposal that it at least legal because steps are recognized."

"We have to ask, other than making every JCPS employee feel disrespected and not valued,what has been gained by offered these divisive proposals?"

Hudson's departure means that there are now two open positions on the superintendent's cabinet.

JCPS chief academic officer Lisa Herring was named the superintendent of Birmingham City Schools in Alabama on May 2.

Herring had been with the district less than a year. Her last day on the job was Tuesday.

Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for JCPS, said Hargens will not fill the chief business officer position before July 1, her last day on the job. 

"That will be up to the interim superintendent," Martin said.

Martin would not say if the district was looking to fill the chief academic position before interim superintendent Marty Pollio takes over on July 2.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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