After Alabama State Ouster, Gwendolyn Boyd Stands Firm on Record - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

After Alabama State Ouster, Gwendolyn Boyd Stands Firm on Record

by Jamal Eric Watson

In a move that was not unexpected, the Board of Trustees at Alabama State University has fired its president, Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, despite opposition voiced by faculty, students and alumni at the historically Black college.

Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd

Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd

In an 8-6 vote Friday, the board terminated Boyd’s contract and announced a nationwide search to replace the veteran administrator. During the two-hour hearing, Boyd—an alumnus of ASU—pointed to her record, which she said included helping to put the HBCU on a sound financial track

But more than a month after trustees voted to suspend Boyd, claiming that she had failed to “maintain the confidence of the board,” few believed that she would survive an ouster.

“I feel for the university. I really do. We were trying to grow out of the revolving door and all the issues that surrounded it,” Boyd told reporters. “I really do feel for the students. They deserve a greater chance.”

Several HBCU experts said that Boyd’s termination smacks of sexism.

“Gwendolyn Boyd has a proven track record of success at Alabama State University,” said Dr. Marybeth Gasman, a professor of higher education and director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania. “The board’s actions to fire her are absurd and only hurt the institution and its students.”

Gasman said that, until boards learn to stop micromanaging presidents and overstepping their roles, “and in this case demonstrating vile sexism, HBCUs—and any college for that matter—will not thrive nor serve the needs of their students,” Gasman said. “The fate of students is far too important to place egos and politics in its way.”

Dr. Robert T. Palmer, an associate professor of Educational Leadership at Howard University, said that the termination of Boyd may present a challenge for other HBCUs that are looking to recruit qualified and talented women into leadership positions.

“At a time when many HBCUs are experiencing rapid turnover in leadership, which poses a danger to the stability of these venerable institutions, this is a gamble that HBCUs can’t afford to risk,” Palmer added.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Health Insurance Remains an Issue for Students and Recent Grads The summer months and the period following graduation can leave some college students and recent graduates scrambling to find affordable, year-round health insurance if they lack coverage under a school or parent’s health plan. Dr. Linda Blumberg...
Historically Black Colleges Make Gains on NCAA’S APR Report INDIANAPOLIS – Athletes at historically black colleges and universities are making major gains in the classroom, according to the NCAA's latest Academic Progress Rate. The single-year rate at HBCUs over the last five years has increased 34 poin...
Running for Maryland Governor, Ben Jealous Puts Focus on Education Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous on the stump. BALTIMORE — On a recent Saturday, Benjamin Todd Jealous was up early, getting ready for a full day of campaign stops. The former president of the National Association for the Advancement ...
The Case for Diversity I'm a privileged, old White guy who won the ovary lottery. Consequently, I was able to grow up in the right ZIP code and take advantage of the opportunities afforded to me by sheer dumb luck. As a result, I wound up being an academic surgeon and w...
Semantic Tags: