By a vote of 39-to-1, USM Faculty Senate members voted to send a resolution to the Board of Trustees asking President Shelby Thames to resign. They met Friday on the Gulf Coast campus in Long Beach.
USM faculty senate members say things just have not worked well during Dr. Thames' two- year presidency. They say the university needs a time to heal, and for real healing to begin would require the leadership of Dr. Thames to come to an end.
"The Faculty Senate appeals to the State College Board, for the good of the university, to request that President Thames tender his resignation from the office of President and return him to the ranks of the faculty in his previous role as scientist and teacher, where his great accomplishments are known and honored and his talents may best serve the community," said faculty member Joe Olmi, as he read aloud the approved resolution.
The result of a secret ballot vote merely confirmed the belief of Faculty Senate members--their relationship with Dr. Shelby Thames has been permanently and irreparably damaged.
"In my 30 years, over 30 year in higher education , I've never seen anything like I've seen this year. I'm not surprised by the numbers, the overwhelming votes. I think we all regret that we've concluded individually and collectively that it comes to this," said Faculty Senate president Myron Henry.
The resolution highlights ten points faculty senators believe are the reasons behind Friday's votes.
These points include:
- President Thames has consistently acted alone on issues which affect the faculty without appropriate consultation.
- Thames has attacked the integrity and livelihood of two respected faculty members by initiating termination procedures and by making public accusations of possible criminal activity.
- Thames refused to justify submissions from Faculty Senate for Freedom of Information requests.
The complete resolution will be sent to the Board of Trustees as early as next week.
Another topic at Friday's meeting was the secret monitoring of the university E-mail system.
During the hearing of professors Frank Glamser and Gary Stringer, it was revealed the administration monitors E-mails of USM faculty, staff, and students.
Faculty senate members disagree with this practice.
"A letter will be sent to the Board of Trustees requesting the Board of trustees to intervene and direct the Thames administration to respond to a series of points that are on the lists, why are they chosen, who did the monitoring, how did they do it, is it done, is it over; and if it's not over, please direct the Thames administration to stop doing that," said Henry.
They would like a system-wide policy in place that protects confidentiality, and only monitors E-mails if necessary.