No confidence and a veil of secrecy
March 14, 2004
Dr. Shelby Thames, president of the University of Southern Mississippi, says a no-confidence vote by his faculty was a rush to judgment based on emotions rather than the facts surrounding his suspension of sociology professor Frank Glamser and English professor Gary Stringer.
By secret ballot Wednesday night, 430 faculty members in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast voted against Thames' leadership. Only 32 supported Thames.
To his credit, Thames has asked the two suspended professors to agree to an open hearing on their suspensions and, given the latest controversy that is bringing unwanted notoriety to USM, we believe that's the right approach. It is the only way to bring the facts not suppositions or rumors to light in front of students, other faculty members and the public at large.
Far too much of the public's business in Mississippi is handled in quiet, dark corners where little huddles of people make decisions that affect the people's money. The interworkings of academia remain a great mystery to many Mississippians and cracking the veil of secrecy, especially in this case, would be an enlightening move.