In the latest episode in a twisting drama involving Morgan State University’s leadership, members of the board of regents on Feb. 5 ousted their chairman, officials said.
Though he will remain on the board of regents, Dallas R. Evans, who has headed the board for 13 years and has served on the panel for more than 20, will no longer serve as its leader. The decision to remove Evans, which was made on a 9-5 vote, came during a regularly scheduled meeting at the northeast campus. He is expected to serve out his term on the board which runs through 2015.
“Morgan State University and the Board of Regents want to express appreciation to Chairman Dallas Evans for his many years of service as chairman as well as his willingness to continue to serve on the Board of Regents,” the board said in a statement released by the university on Feb. 5. “The Board has decided to proceed in a new direction and looks forward to working collaboratively in the best interest of the University.”
Martin R. Resnick, vice-chair of the board and founder of Martin’s Catering, will serve as interim chair.
Some faculty members saw the move as the latest incident in a battle between Evans and university President David Wilson. The board in early December announced that Wilson’s contract would not be renewed after two and a half years. Two weeks later, the board reversed itself and announced that they had extended Wilson for a year. Evans was the lone member of the board of regents to vote against the plan that included the extension.
“I think it is a good decision,” said Dr. Gabrielle L. McLemore, chairwoman of the faculty’s university council. “I am on the president’s side because he’s been good for the school.”
McLemore said she believes “something is afoot” on the campus because faculty and staff are still in the dark as to why the board decided in December to remove Wilson from the presidency.
The decision led to protests from some students, faculty, and staff.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a regent for the university, told the AFRO immediately following the Dec. 28 meeting where Wilson’s contract was extended that communication played a part in the institution’s administrative woes. Wilson issued a statement admitting that he had not communicated appropriately and pledged to improve.