Letter to the Editor: Clarity on Kentucky State’s Leadership Transition

While the meeting of the Kentucky State University held last week has been characterized as a meeting with filled with dramatic outcomes and major shifts, nothing could be further from the truth. Three key points must be made. First, the Kentucky State University Board of Regents carried out its normal duty of selecting a chair. The selection of a chair is an action taken on an annual basis. This was nothing new and nothing extraordinary.

Secondly, despite being unanimously elected to serve as chair each year since 2012, I did not seek reelection to the post during the election. Simply put, my name was not on the ballot. Third and finally, the six-five vote for

Third and finally, the 6-5 vote for chair was an election between two other members of the board. Those who sought the position of chair were Elaine Farris and Mindy Barfield. The outcome of the election was Ms. Farris receiving six votes and Ms. Barfield receiving five votes. Ms. Farris won by the narrowest of margins.

It is unfortunate that the press and others close to the University would want to sensationalize the outcome of the meeting in order to draw negative attention to and continue a campaign to discredit me. Negative and undue attention has been drawn to the University, new board leadership and the new leadership of the institution.

During my tenure as chair, I was unfairly attacked and defamed by the Faculty Senate, its leadership and others in the community. Two independent reviews were conducted that included conversations, briefings and meetings with many University constituents. The outcomes of which supported me as chair and as a nonvoting member of the board.

The assertions made by the KSU Faculty Senate President were discounted by a leading authority on shared university governance, Carey Nelson, PhD, AAUP President 2006-2012, who conducted one of the reviews. In his report on Kentucky State University, he wrote, “One may take issue with the Board’s decisions and how the chair and other members have engaged the campus, but the decision to single out the chair and hold her singly responsible for all Board decisions does not fairly reflect reality.”

Further vindication and validation were provided by the Kentucky State Faculty Caucus of Color when they gave me a Vote of Confidence. In that confidence vote taken on March 17, 2017, the Caucus stated in their resolution, “WHEREAS the Kentucky State University Faculty Senate took a Vote of No Confidence on the Chair of the Board of Regents with total disregard for reports produced by independent, objective evaluators who concluded the issues cited to justify the vote fell outside the purview of the Board Chair and the Board of regents.”

I am the object of personal attacks that have risen to threats being made on my life. These threats have led me to seek police protection in order to attend BOR meetings. This was the case when the vote was taken for current President Brown’s highly contested appointment and the vote for a new board chair on last week.

Legal action against responsible parties is impending.

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