UWA president’s contract up for vote MondayBy Justin Averette Published 2:30pm Friday, February 28, 2014
The University of West Alabama’s Board of Trustees is expected Monday to vote whether to extend President Richard Holland’s contract.
The looming vote has rallied Holland’s supporters, who say some board members want Holland out. The UWA National Alumni Association’s executive committee has passed a resolution thanking Holland for his service and asking trustees to keep him on the job.
“[Dr. Holland] has given the majority of his whole adult life to that university. We are going to support him,” said Mike Holliman, president emeritus of UWA’s National Alumni Association. “He needs to be given the privilege to be able to finish his career as he desires. He is only asking for two years. He should be able to go out in honor and be recognized for his service.”
The resolution in support of Holland will be presented during Monday’s board of trustees meeting.
Holliman has also written a letter to alumni association members and media across the state expressing his concerns.
That letter reads in part: “Members of the UWA Board of Trustees are clumsily attempting to smear the reputation of a good man, Dr. Richard Holland, president of UWA. We’ve all hoped the unreasonable would find reason, but sadly they have not.”
The Facebook page “We Love UWA” has grown to 1,202 fans, with about a quarter of those coming within the last couple of days.
During September’s board meeting, trustees paid an outside company $20,000 to conduct an evaluation of Holland’s work as president.
Holland objected to parts of the evaluation and posted it along with his response on UWA’s website.
“I respectfully wish to respond to certain aspects of the Performance Evaluation Report filed by Dr. Thomas Z. Jones. I was told by Dr. Jones that I would have an opportunity to do so prior to the completion of the report but this did not occur,” Holland wrote in his response. “I have also become aware of actions by certain parties that clearly appear to have been designed to skew parts of the evaluation toward the negative by hand-selecting a small group of faculty and staff who are disgruntled for a variety of reasons, including those who have been demoted or reassigned, who have had issues with promotion and tenure, or who work for or have close ties to the parties mentioned above.”
The Sumter County Record-Journal has covered the evaluation and Holland’s response since the fall. Some of their coverage can be found on the “We Love UWA” Facebook page. A Tuscaloosa News story on Holland’s response, can be found here, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20131221/NEWS/131229958?tc=ar
An addendum to Holland’s response has since been added to UWA’s website.
Holland’s current contract is set to expire Oct. 1, 2014. The board of trustees will meet at the Bell Conference Center on Monday, March 3 at 2 p.m. The resolution from the National Alumni Association and renewal of Holland’s contract are the only two new business items on the agenda.