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Anonymous student posts video critical of ASU President

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—It appears that the Alabama State University Board of Trustees aren’t the only ones fed up with ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd.

On Saturday, an anonymous student veiled his identity and posted a video extremely critical of Boyd, laying out several charges intended to highlight Boyd’s mismanagement and push the Board to terminate her.

“Dr. Boyd makes $300,000 a year, but students working part-time for the university did not receive their paychecks on time. At the same time, Boyd wants to increase tuition by twenty percent,” the student said in the two-minute YouTube video.

The student said in the video that he hid his identity because he was “afraid of retaliation.”

“She won’t pay students, but she wants students to pay more,” he said. “President Boyd wants to furlough all faculty and staff to cut the budget. First, she tried to balance the budget on the backs of students. Then, on the backs of the employees.”

The ASU Board terminated Boyd on Nov. 4 with an 8–6 vote. On Monday, the Board voted to hold a formal hearing for Boyd on Dec. 16. At that time, the beleaguered president will have an opportunity to respond to the charges against her.

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The anonymous  student also criticized Boyd for allowing the University campus to dilapidate. Some concerns have been highlighted by other students and the University’s Student Government in the past, but many also mimic charges from the University’s Board.

Students eat off paper plates with plastic utensils because of this machine cannot get fixed,” he said, highlighting a machine in a University cafeteria. “It’s not just this machine that doesn’t work. The lights are out. The furniture is broken. Cooking equipment is broken. All because Dr. Boyd’s team won’t fix them.”

According to sources close to the University Board who spoke with APR, a majority of the board’s 14 trustees have become dissatisfied with the third-year president for “failure to maintain the confidence of the board.”

The Board placed Boyd on administrative leave at the Nov. 4 meeting and placed ASU Provost Leon Wilson in charge of the University’s operations while she is suspended.

The student in the video, which has reached more than 600 views, was also concerned with safety on campus and other actions, which he believe show Boyd’s mismanagement of the historically black college in Montgomery.

“Not a single security camera on campus is operating, putting everyone on campus at risk,” he said. “She used prisoners convicted of murder, manslaughter and theft to clean the dorms, while students were in bathrooms and showers.”

Boyd cut custodial services and security services on the campus, the student said, but she continues bank-rolling “unnecessary, high-paid administrators and cronies.”

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“We deserve someone better than this,” he said. “We have paid for so much better than this. You know, this really isn’t about whether anyone likes or dislikes her. It’s about what kind of job an ASU diploma attracts after graduation. It is time to replace President Boyd.”

Boyd, who will return to defend herself in front of the Board in a month, is being represented by famed civil rights attorney Fred Grey, who represented Rosa Parks following the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

She and her attorneys believe her suspension is unconstitutional and violated the University Board’s bylaws.

During her time as the University’s president, ASU experienced an accreditation downgrade and several other disputes between herself and the Board over hiring practice and information made available to the Board.

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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