Tania Z. Chance, Burnsville schools' eccentric HR director, paid $255,000 to leave [VIDEO]

Categories: Education
Tania Chance.jpg
Chance apparently had little regard for maintaining a veneer of professionalism while working for Burnsville schools.
In one of the largest settlements for a school administrator you'll ever see, the Burnsville school district is paying Tania Z. Chance $255,000 to leave her job as human resources director.

Chance, 39, signed a two-year contract with the school district just last summer. With a $136,273 salary and more than quarter-million-dollar severance, it's a good gig if you can get it.

The school district's decision to hire Chance raised red flags from the beginning. A self-published author and Ph.D. in philosophy, Chance starred in an eccentric self-produced YouTube video where she does some sort of bizarre kick-boxing routine then pours herself a half-dozen shots of alcohol (see the video for yourself below).

As you'd imagine, the video, which was posted before Burnsville hired Chance, wasn't popular with other district employees. The Star Tribune quotes Darren Byrnes, Burnsville schools' former webmaster -- his job was eliminated shortly after Chance was hired in July 2010 -- as saying he shook his head when he saw the video.
Tania Chance 2.jpg
School district administrator or America's next top model?

"It seemed really out there," Byrnes said. "She's supposed to be representing the district and she was out there doing shots."

Because the separation agreement includes a non-publicity clause, neither school district officials nor Chance has commented on why she's leaving. One strike against her is that Burnsville is the only district in Dakota County operating without a contract agreement with teachers. Negotiating the contract with the teachers union is one of her main job duties.

Libby Duethman, president of the Burnsville teachers' union, told the Strib that the feedback she received about Chance was "probably negative."

Getting a year and a half of seemingly unfruitful work from a person whose hiring raised red flags from the beginning, then paying her the equivalent of eight beginning teacher salaries just to go away? It doesn't speak well for you, Burnsville schools.

Without further ado, here's Chance's SHEgo video. For better or worse, she now has plenty of time and money to work on more of these:


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54 comments
mamanas01
mamanas01

I will FB you Tania.....but it is sad when you sign off your voice and people speculate what really happened. Unless you folks know the entire story don't pass judgement. I think she should have been paid much more to keep the silence.

But, I can assure you Tania will land on her feet to something bigger and better. I always thought K-12 was not the area for her. Think big...K-12 and all the drama....not worth it.

Bjohnson
Bjohnson

Something is fishy with this big time.  Why else would she need a quarter million to go away???  Interesting, I googled MN Court Records, and under the Civil records tab, you will find that she and her hubby have filed for divorce on 1-3-12.  Hum.......

not
not

Vanity!!!!

mad citizen
mad citizen

This is outrageous!!  As a Burnsville residdent, who pay my tax duty in hope to improve our local education system.  Reading story like this make me very upsetting.  She was probably laughing (at the school officials) on her way to the bank.

AH
AH

I have recently spoken with several others still employed in the ISD 191 School District who witnessed "Dr." Chance and and another, unnamed administrator in some very inappropriate and even "compromising" positions, both during the work day and after the work day.

At first I scoffed at such allegations, but after several people admitted to witnessing such behavior, I have come to believe that a possible cover-up of this inappropriate behavior may have lead to this large payout as "hush money."

Jazen_
Jazen_

where does it say she did her job poorly?  personality conflict with board, maybe she wouldnt sleep with chairman.   

sparky
sparky

All I can think of here is that TZC ran herself through a significant number of 'professional' offices and school beard members and has her own dossier of dirt (photos?) on everyone.  Why on earth would a school board a) establish a high dollar contract when one is not required and b) pay off said contract after 9 months. Something is very very fishy in Burnsville........

Agatha
Agatha

Racism when you hold us ... Burnsville is such a white area though; she wasn't going to be successful there.

asiapundits
asiapundits

She go to my bedroom for some MILFY Michelle Obamaesque pursuit of happiness.

CJ
CJ

Wow...this video could be posted in wikipedia next to the definition on narcissism. 

Ezwalt
Ezwalt

Concerned citizens living in district 191 Next BOAD MEETING is March 1st 6:30 at the Burnsville senior campus 200 west Burnsville Parkway. This is a Board of Education meeting and an appropriate time to voice your opinion. 200 W Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville, MN55337-4292 200 W Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville, MN55337-4292

Lynne Rollins
Lynne Rollins

Why couldn't they just fire her? Performance wasn't good and professionalism off the charts bad. Even with a union backing her up, they could have done this differently. This practice of giving huge severences needs to change.

Bob
Bob

Where does it say that here doctor of philosophy is in philosophy?

Sloppy.

Em3662
Em3662

I wasted 4 minutes of my life watching that pointless video....  Yeah, that  RED FLAG to say the least.... the shots and the kissing of Bob Marley's poster!!!  you think???  I feel like there is way more to this story... $250,000...  that is just crazy!!

Basia
Basia

Good job of fact and background checking school board!  I think someone took an awfully expensive "chance" because they thought she was hot.  Regarding the letter of recommendation-everyone knows it will be complete fiction.  How about if we require our government agencies, ALL OF THEM to have a "fiduciary responsibility" regarding our hard earned tax dollars.  Criminal charges should be filed if they fail to use "due diligence" when spending, hiring etc.  These assinine windfalls will become a thing of the past.

JACC
JACC

Moral of the story? Never hire someone with a PHD in Philosophy.

Imsoogangsta
Imsoogangsta

More ghetto fabulous...this is what's a part of educating our youth, chains dangling...fur coats and a wicked hip hop pose? Oh boy...thanks a lot equal opportunity employment...I'm sure there wasn't a more qualified person for this job.....

Akbelly612
Akbelly612

Whats the big deal what is it im missing?

Your_Mom
Your_Mom

@mamanas01  - She played 191 like a fiddle, just as she did at her former gig in Spring Lake Park. Some in the SLP District say she should be in prison for misappropriation of school funds. Now we know how she could afford that Cadillac SUV.

HJ
HJ

Wow, do you have a link to the court filing?

guest
guest

who is Tatiana Harvey?  Tania Chance got her evicted in just after Tatiana turned 18...

jm
jm

Heh Agatha.....48% diversity in our school district! NOT such a white area. 

Jeff Fecke
Jeff Fecke

Burnsville is not nearly so white as it used to be. Demographically it's a lot closer to Richfield than it is to Lakeville.

Croyston25
Croyston25

Wow...interesting to watch folks work themselves into a tizzy over mild video posted BEFORE she was ever hired. Oh my lord did she actually drink a shot of something (don't pretend like you know what it was). Seems to me like this was a case of revenge of the regular girls against the pretty girl.

Note: why not actually hire someone with a degree in.....oh I don't know....maybe the field they will be working in?

Note to Tania: Baby you are fine as hell, if you need a shoulder to cry on...holla at ya boy!

Rimmy
Rimmy

 Oh yeah, you can just tell by the look in her eyes.  Nothing is her fault.  Ever.

raprox
raprox

 In Burnsville you are only allowed to speak at board meeting if you have prior approval on the agenda.  There is a listening hour before the meeting either with the superintendent or with two board members.  This listening time is not televised or a matter of record, no voting can take place.

Anon
Anon

She is not part of the union.  The union is for teachers.  Teachers really didn't like her either.

Dsc50
Dsc50

She was NOT part of any union. She was MANAGEMENT! Union members in Burnsville have a lot more class!

Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan

She would sue for a violation of her civil rights.

Jkoharski
Jkoharski

Where it says "PhD in philosophy."

Guest
Guest

 JACC, it's not a PHD in philosophy. All Ph.D.s are Doctors of Philosophy in x, y, or z. You could have a doctor of philosophy in philosophy, but Tania has a Ph.D. in Education. That is, Doctor of Philosophy in Education.

There is nothing wrong with Ph.D.s. There is something wrong with Tania. I also suspect she got her degree online.

Shaking My Head!
Shaking My Head!

What is ghetto fabulous about this? The video had nothing to do with her work at the school. It was a publicity video for the book she wrote.

Dave
Dave

--My thoughts exactly. If her "departure" was suspected do to poor performance, enough said.  This video ranks as a zero on my scandal meter. Believe it or not school officials have personal lives too.  They don't all have gloomy school marm facades. --Did she violate the terms of her contract? Apparently not since the school felt legally obligated to honor the dollar amount. If the school felt the video compromised their image why not simply ask her to take it down.

Agatha
Agatha

Maybe...MDE website 2011 student population, white: 60.2, others: 39.8Wiki: 2010 Census: 77.5% White etc...How about the racial makeup of the teaching staff and of the adminitrative staff of the school district?You know what is important ... the youtube video is just an excuse.

Agatha
Agatha

I remember Burnville being mostly white, but I checked Wiki and you are rigth it has become more diverse according to the 2010 census :). I still believe that racism plays a role in this decision...

AH
AH

The video in question was just one in series of questionable decisions and just the tip of the iceberg.

She had to go. It was very plain to see even after just a few months that she had an unstoppable ego, one that rivaled The Donald's ego (I kid you not). I saw first hand how she mistreated others in her department and the abuses of power she foisted upon the District, not to mention several (yes several) unneeded "redecorating" of her personal office space, complete with custom meeting tables, new light fixtures and a flat screen TV that would put most theaters to shame. I have heard from my former co-workers that unemployment claims as well as legal settlements against the District more than doubled during her thankfully short tenure at 191.

I'm willing to bet that she played the folks at her former gig, Spring Lake Park, like she played the chumps at Burnsville.

Of course lost in all of this is the fact that the Superintendent makes $180k a year (more than Governor Dayton). Even the Communications Director makes almost $100k, and she doesn't really do anything, that was until this PR sh*tstorm hit the district.

Apparently, quite a few news outlets showed up at the District offices today, but like frightened little bunnies, they were holed up in an "all District meeting."

Cowards.

Janie
Janie

Mmmhm.  Part of the severance agreement was that if she got the money, she would keep her mouth shut.

Sara
Sara

She actually has a Ph.D. (i.e. doctor of philosophy) in education, if you can believe it.

mamanas01
mamanas01

no she got her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Imsoogangsta
Imsoogangsta

This idiot of a person is ghetto fabulous, look at the photo with her fur and chains in that gansta pose. She obviously got this job because she is an African-American female, OBVIOUSLY! She should be in the club poppin bottles, keepin it real and so forth. Im sure there is a long line of PROFESSIONAL people who aren't nearly as narcissistic whose focus is on the success of our children and not themselves.

guest
guest

May want to reconsider telling others to get their GED when you clearly don't know the difference between "do" and "due."

Jill
Jill

They did ask her to take it down, and she did not.  And just think about all the scandal this video would have caused if it had been a TEACHER- but she was an administrator, so they are apparently held to lower standards.

Ahugginkiss
Ahugginkiss

The video was but the tip of the iceberg.

Your_Mom
Your_Mom

I never knew Capella University (where she received her Ph.D.) was the same as the University of Minnesota?

Dave
Dave

She was asked and refused?  Maybe you were reading a different article than I.

Its never too late to get your GED.

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