UM board of trustees call special meeting

The Board of Trustees of the University of Montevallo has called a special meeting Sept. 10 to discuss the contract of university President Philip Williams.

Williams expressed concern over a lack of support from the board of trustees in an e-mail sent to board members in July. He said in a separate e-mail to the Shelby County Reporter Sept. 1 that he hopes those issues would be resolved at the special called board meeting.

“Words cannot express the depth of my appreciation for the many statements of love and support from students, faculty, staff and alumni during these difficult times. At the present time, appropriate individual members of the Board and I are continuing our discussions to assure an outcome that will be in the best interests of the University,” Williams said. “I ask that everyone withhold further actions pending a mutual resolution of these discussions. Accordingly, I have asked the chair of the personnel committee to cancel its meeting scheduled for Friday, Sept. 4, in hopes that a satisfactory resolution of all matters concerning my contract can be presented at the special meeting of the Board of Trustees that has been scheduled for Sept. 10.”

A personnel committee meeting originally set for Sept. 4 has been canceled.

Todd Strange, board personnel chairman, said he feels Williams has served the university well.

“I think he has done a great job, an admirable job, at the university,” Strange said. “The one issue we’ve had involving UAB moving a program to Jefferson State, I believe that needs to be further discussed. I would hope there would be a fuller understanding of that issue in the near future.”

In July, it was announced that the University of Montevallo had approved a move for UAB to offer a night program at Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby/Hoover campus. Strange said several board members felt uncomfortable with letting UAB offer classes so close to the university and with the fact they were unaware of the agreement.

“Obviously communication is at the heart of every situation,” Strange said.

Williams came on as UM’s president in August 2006. His contract is up for renewal this November.

In an e-mail to the Shelby County Reporter Aug. 29, Williams expressed a desire for a more clear understanding of both his and the board’s roles in decision-making.

“I have also told board members that one aspect of that support is a strong expression of their commitment to accreditation principles that will require a clear distinction between the role of trustees and administration,” Williams said.

Williams told the board he would resign if he did not have their full support.