Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Southern University Board Ousts New Orleans Chancellor

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Southern University Board Ousts New Orleans Chancellor

Article excerpt

BATON ROUGE, LA.

The board that governs Southern University in New Orleans voted 9-2 earlier this month to fire Chancellor Joseph Bouie, ending a months-long power struggle at the school.,

A majority of the Southern University Board of Supervisors, with one abstention, said Bouie must vacate the chancellor's office in 30 days.

The power struggle began with Bouie's demand for the removal of Andrea Jefferson, a former member of the governing board, from her position as SUNO's academic affairs vice chancellor (see Black Issues, Dec. 6). Jefferson, the wife of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was removed from her position at SUNO last month (see Black Issues, Dec. 20).

"Today I was fired as chancellor of Southern University at New Orleans because I refused to participate in political nepotism," Bouie said.

The vote also was denounced by more than 20 SUNO faculty members who went to the meeting in Baton Rouge to lobby against Bouie's removal, arguing that SUNO desperately needs stable leadership.

Board member Tony Clayton, who last month called for an investigation of Bouie's performance, cited negative findings in a new report from the legislative auditor's office, which said SUNO continues to exhibit weakness in its financial controls, as reason for Bouie's dismissal.

Among other things, the auditor found problems with reconciling bank statements, irregularities with student worker paychecks and a failure to remove from the rolls students who didn't complete the registration process. …

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