UWA Official: Rift Must End

UWA's faculty senate is calling for the resignation of seven members of the board. This week the group adopted a resolution asking for the resignations of: Dwight Duke, Robert Keahey, Mann Minus, Doris Oliveira, John Smith, Thed Spree and Nat Watkins.

"The president of the alumni association has also called for the resignation of the seven," said Dr. Richard Schellhammer, president of the faculty senate. "It's just that we believe they're the ones standing in the way of the university. They're the ones who brought down SACS on us."

In December 2003, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed UWA on a yearlong probation, not for academic shortfalls, but instead for the split among members of the board of trustees.

Not only that, but faculty administrators say it has been almost a year since school deans have presented academic reports to the board.

"I don't think they quite appreciate the academic side. As one board member said, 'He doesn't want to hear anymore boring academic reports.' Well, the whole point of a university is academics, isn't it? asked Schellhammer.

There has been a divide among board members about who is the president of the board. Since the rift, members have been meeting at different times and in different locations.

Currently, Mann Minus, who was chairman of the board at last year's meeting in question, is spearheading a lawsuit to legally determine who is head of the board.

Concerning the request for his resignation, Minus said, "I can understand their frustration. I'm a little frustrated, but I don't know of any members of the board that are interested in resigning."

At last check none of the board members had resigned. Meanwhile, the university's faculty senate has also asked Gov. Bob Riley to request the seven members' resignations.

"What we want is harmony," said Schellhammer.