USM Faculty Controversy Still Brewing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/03/04

USM Faculty Controversy Still Brewing

WLOX News has confirmed the USM faculty is set to take another stand against Dr. Shelby Thames. A settlement reached last week between USM's president and two professors was supposed to put an end to the dissent and protests. But university faculty members remain unhappy.

This Friday, the Faculty Senate at the Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campuses will meet in Long Beach. Faculty leaders have drafted a resolution calling for Dr. Thames to retire. It's not clear whether faculty members will actually vote on that measure.

The faculty is expected to ask the College Board to end to the university's policy of monitoring faculty e-mails, unless there's reason to suspect criminal activity.

"We will be debating a resolution asking that the board stop email surveillance and the names of people's emails that have been read be published. That any criteria of email searches by any contractor he's hired be published, and that this sort of thing end. I believe that's a very egregious invasion of the freedom communications that ought to apart of a university environment," USM Professor Dr. Pat Smith said.

The email surveillance came to light in hearings last week concerning professors Frank Glamser and Gary Stringer.

Monday, a USM spokesperson told us that only the people directly affected in the investigation were monitored. No student emails were monitored in any way.

Dr. Thames met with deans on the Hattiesburg campus Monday morning to talk about improving communication and moving forward. Members of the college board are also focusing on the future. Board vice president Roy Klumb says that future includes Dr. Thames as president of USM.

"I do not see, from where I sit on the College Board, any desire from any of my colleagues to ask Dr. Thames to resign or to fire Dr. Thames. It's not going to happen."

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