ASU's President talks about controversial restructuring proposal - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

ASU's President talks about controversial restructuring proposal


New Alabama State President, Gwendolyn Boyd, will have her first real test as the Board of Trustees vote on her plan to realign the university's organizational structure this Friday.

According to Boyd, the first step is acknowledging Moody's recommendations for restoring the university's credit worthiness.

"There are things we can think about doing; this is something we have to do," Boyd said.

Streamlining the university's operations is key to fulfilling this mission, but how she attempted to introduce that plan didn't sit well with the board.

"I brought it to the committee meeting last Friday," Boyd stated. "That part did not go over well with some board members, others didn't have a problem with it, and they just took it home and read it. That's what I thought was the appropriate procedure, as I had been told by the chair not to spring it on the board during the May 9 meeting."

The first phase of restructuring will eliminate positions through attrition and retirement, as with any corporate restructuring, the positions will be posted, and all candidates must formally apply.

Boyd contends this will put the best people in the right positions.

"Some others are finding other opportunities to use their skill set somewhere else," Boyd said.

Boyd says the university must creatively generate income without spending money or raising tuition. According to her, it won't be done by reducing ASU's soaring legal fees.

"There is a board resolution that mandates that the university pay all those legal fees," Boyd said.

Specifically, legal fees for board members or administrators, who in her words, find themselves in a sticky situation.

Former Judge UW Clemon hired by ASU to mediate requests from FSS during the audit commissioned by Governor Bentley was paid $375 an hour. At last check he had earned around $700,000.

According to Boyd, Clemon remains on the payroll. Boyd says this legal scenario is something she's never heard of.

"Being in the Washington-Metro area with many colleges and universities, I've never seen that as a board resolution," Boyd said.

Boyd also confirmed SACS had reached out to her with regard to the FSS Audit, specifically asking questions about the Medicaid contract findings. So far, she hasn't received a response.

WSFA 12 News reached out to Board of Trustees Chairman, Elton Dean for any reaction to Friday's vote. He did not return our calls.

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