HBCU News

Alabama State University board removes President Gwendolyn Boyd and begins search for replacement

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Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, President of Alabama State University.

MONTGOMERY, AL – Just one week after Jackson State University’s President Dr. Carolyn Meyers release her resignation, another female president is gone from the HBCU scene. The Alabama State University Board of Trustees has voted 8-6 in removing Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd from president at ASU.

According to a source, the removal came about Friday during a meeting in placing Boyd on administrative leave. At the beginning of the meeting trustee Herbert Young moved to add a new item to the agenda, which was to place Boyd on administrative leave.

“It was disappointing, very disappointing,” Boyd said about her removal. “It definitely caught me off guard. It’s not good for the university, but they are the board, and they get to make that decision.”

A post-determination hearing will be held Nov. 14, with a statement of charges to be provided to Boyd no later than Monday. She has been charged with failure to maintain the confidence of the board.

Young also proposed to authorize attorney Dorman Walker of the Balch and Bingham law firm to draw up the charge against Boyd. The Board approved.

Provost Leon Wilson has been appointed to serve as interim president until the board finds a replacement for Boyd. Wilson told the Advertiser that he “heard rumblings” prior to the meeting on Friday that Boyd would be removed.

The university has since released this statement from Wilson:

“At this time, it is important that the Alabama State University family remains focused on our top priority and greatest treasure, which is our students. We will continue our educational agenda, and I, along with our leadership team, faculty and staff, will serve our students to the best of our ability. The most important thing for the University right now is to maintain its stability. I ask that the community keep me and our University in its prayers.” – Interim President Leon C. Wilson.

The board was originally scheduled to discuss the university’s budget and university-wide furloughs.

University staff members said Boyd called a meeting on Wednesday with everyone employed by ASU to announce the furloughs. She announced at the meeting that there were to be 12 furloughs throughout the year for all employees, meaning once a month the employees wouldn’t come to work and wouldn’t be paid for that day.

Though Boyd’s tenure saw accreditation warnings, credit drops, dips in enrollment and a $24 million budget crisis, the university was in turmoil before unanimously voting to hire her in January 2014.

In November 2012 allegations of improper contracts at the school triggered a forensic investigation. Forensic Strategic Solutions, the firm that handled the investigation, turned over its findings to Attorney General Luther Strange’s office, ultimately leading to a state and federal grand jury to examine those findings. No criminal fraud activity was found as a result of the investigations.

 

 

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