EAI shuffles local management

March 22, 1995|By Jean Thompson | Jean Thompson,Sun Staff Writer

Just days after Baltimore's mayor called for changes in Education Alternatives Inc.'s contract to manage nine city schools, the for-profit company has replaced the executive overseeing its work here.

William F. Goins, EAI's second-in-command, will assume his new duties "effective immediately," spokeswoman Chris Bauer said yesterday from the company's Minneapolis headquarters. Mr. Goins, a former Xerox executive and a graduate of Morgan State University, joined EAI as chief operating officer in January.

Sources familiar with the EAI schools here said yesterday that Mr. Goins will have executive-level responsibility. They said he will hire a full-time manager to oversee the company's work in Baltimore, a change welcomed by some in the school system because EAI executives do not live here and have divided their time among projects in several cities.

In recent days, at least one candidate for the managerial position has been interviewed by principals at EAI schools, school sources said.

Mr. Goins replaces Phil Geiger, the company's divisional president, who will now concentrate on "developing partnership opportunities for EAI in New Jersey," Ms. Bauer said.

Dr. Geiger, a former Piscataway, N.J., school superintendent and businessman, joined EAI in July 1994 and began managing Baltimore's schools the next month. Dr. Geiger, who lives in New Jersey, also supervised the schools managed by EAI in Hartford, Conn.

EAI executives, including chairman John T. Golle, were not available for comment yesterday.

Ms. Bauer said the management shuffle was unrelated to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's move to renegotiate the contract. She said the executive-level changes are "part of our overall company strategy."

Frustrated by a recent EAI report showing that its schools' reading scores and attendance were not notably better than those at other Baltimore schools, Mr. Schmoke said Thursday he wants the EAI contract rewritten to hold the firm to goals set for academic achievement.

EAI is in the third year of its contract to manage nine Baltimore schools here. It has additional contracts to consult on noneducational services at three other schools.

Baltimore schools Superintendent Walter G. Amprey said, "I enjoyed working with Phil Geiger because he was totally committed to making the schools better, but I was aware that there were some difficulties in his relationship with principals."

Dr. Amprey said he recently talked with each of the principals at EAI schools. "They felt that much of what he was doing was without an inclusion of their ideas," he said.

Mr. Goins, 53, lives in McLean, Va., but has Baltimore connections. He is a member of the board of directors of the Morgan State University Foundation, the school's fund-raising organization. He has worked with Mary E. Robinson, a Baltimore school board member and the director of development at the university.

Dr. Amprey, who also attended Morgan State, said he looked up to Mr. Goins in college. The EAI executive, he said, was a few years ahead of him and they are members of the same fraternal organization.

Mr. Goins is responsible for the day-to-day needs of EAI, Ms. Bauer said. "He has spent a considerable amount of time in Baltimore. He is evaluating how we can best meet the needs of our customers and offer the best educational opportunities to students."

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