Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Louisiana Chancellor Steps Down: Dr. Gerald Peoples Says Battles with Faculty, Other Conflicts Wore Him Out

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Louisiana Chancellor Steps Down: Dr. Gerald Peoples Says Battles with Faculty, Other Conflicts Wore Him Out

Article excerpt

Louisiana Chancellor Steps Down: Dr. Gerald Peoples says battles with faculty, other conflicts wore him out

BATON ROUGE, La. - After a turbulent two and a half years as chancellor of Southern University's New Orleans campus, Dr. Gerald Peoples announced his resignation last month.

He says the ongoing controversies at the historically Black campus were taking a toll on his health. "I am going to go and take some rest. I think it (the resignation) is more for medical reasons that anything else," Peoples says.

Peoples had found himself at odds with the faculty leaders on a variety of issues almost from the time that he took the job in 1998. Former Faculty Senate President Dr. Bill Stewart notes that Peoples wasn't among the top five candidates recommended for the chancellor's job by a faculty advisory panel, but the board hired him anyway.

The conflict between Peoples and the university's faculty intensified in late 1998, when Peoples took steps to hire Dr. Andrea Jefferson-the wife of Louisiana's only African-American congressman, William Jefferson - as the school's vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Andrea Jefferson was serving on the university's board of supervisors at the time, and stepped down from the board to take the job.

Stewart and his followers claimed that she wasn't qualified for the job because she had never worked as an academic administrator. "She's not somebody that we can respect," Stewart said at the time.

Stewart noted that Jefferson's only academic experience to that point was a job with Grambling State University that paid her $50,000 per year to teach one student. The arrangement was terminated after drawing criticism from Louisiana Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle. But Peoples insisted that she was more than qualified for the post, and stuck with her.

As a result of the appointment, Stwart and a group of faculty passed a vote of "no confidence" in Peoples. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.