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

Email




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.”

Related:  Faculty Diversity Initiative Seeks to Boost Liberal Arts College, Research University Cooperation

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 >>
Outgoing President Pruitt Urges New View of Adult Learning Adult learners always have been a part of the fabric of American higher education, although policy discussions up until recently have primarily centered around the needs of students who are just leaving high school. Thomas Edison State University, on...
SUNY Albany Appoints its First Latino President The State University of New York at Albany has tapped Dr. Havidán Rodríguez to lead the institution. The prominent university administrator becomes the first Hispanic president of any SUNY four-year college. Rodríguez, 58, currently is the foundin...
Faust Laid Foundation of Inclusion at Harvard In the wake of Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust’s recent announcement that she will retire in the spring of 2018, many have stepped forward to praise her leadership. She shepherded the institution through a tumultuous financial perio...
University of Missouri Might Revoke Cosby’s Honorary Degree COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri System President Mun Choi wants the university to rescind an honorary degree given to Bill Cosby nearly 20 years ago. The system’s Board of Curators will vote Friday on Choi’s recommendation. A university sta...
Semantic Tags: