UB Trustees Give Staff and Faculty Assurance of Negotiations
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Trustee members say President Rodney Smith’s departure has caused an unnecessary crisis for UB
As news of Dr. Smith’s possible departure for West Virginia State University circulated social media, the board sought to reassure faculty and staff.
West Virginia State University revealed on its website, that Smith has been shortlisted as the university’s 12th president, as Smith was scheduled on the U.S campus on Wednesday, for a meet and greet with university staff, faculty and students.
In a letter signed by staff trustee Jeannie Gibson and faculty trustee Margo Birch-Blackwell, admitted that the news “has unfortunately caused an unnecessary crisis for the institution at a critical time.”
“It may be that select trustees were informed of the president’s pursuits, we, however, like many of you, learnt of it through social media. Why this would be done this way, we do not know.”
“We all agree that the President has every right to seek new opportunities and we are sure, you wish him well. We also know that in his role as President and CEO and a board member, he has a fiduciary responsibility to deal forthrightly and respectfully with the board and the institution.
The letter continued, “Please know that there are many layers to this present situation, which makes it more difficult. It seems that the information being leaked is meant to upset you and to confuse you. It’s doing a good job, if the amount of persons sharing their concerns is any indication.
“Now here we are — in the aftermath of Dorian and the destruction of our UB North Campus, in the midst of a pandemic and unprecedented economic uncertainty — having to wonder about the way forward amid whirlwind posts and news stories. It is indeed very disconcerting.
The letter goes on to say, “We do know, though, that this is not the end, it is just the beginning of another chapter in our institution’s deep rich history.
“We will continue to use our collective skills and talents to ensure the viability of our institution because the nation needs UB.”