LOGAN, W.Va. — West Virginia Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College President Robert Gunter has received a “no confidence” vote from the school’s faculty.
Forty-one of 57 faculty members voted earlier this week in favor of “no confidence.” Nine faculty members voted against the motion while seven others abstained.
In a statement released by the faculty assembly, the faculty expressed concern with Gunter “regarding governance practices, lack of transparency, abuse of power, and fostering a toxic culture devoid of ethical behavior and trust.”
Professor Anne Cline, a tenured faculty member at the school’s Wyoming County campus, told MetroNews there’s been a growing lack of communication between the faculty and Gunter on a variety of issues.
“There’s a pattern of behavior of not answering questions directly, not responding to emails. When we question policies we get no answers to what the policy is,” Cline said.
Southern WVCTC Board of Governors Chair Howard Seufer told MetroNews in an emailed statement that Gunter still has his “full support.”
Seufer’s full statement:
“The Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors has taken no action withdrawing its support of Dr. Gunter, whom it hired and has supported as the college’s president. State law lays down a process by which college presidents are to be fairly evaluated by their governing boards, involving input from all stakeholders, not just faculty. The Board of Governors, which next meets later this month, has been following that process, has not yet completed it, and in fairness to all, will not be rushed. In my capacity as chair of the Southern Board of Governors, Dr. Gunter has my full support.”
The BOG is scheduled to meet Oct. 19 at the Chief Logan Conference Center.
Cline said faculty members hope this week’s vote will send a message on the school’s BOG.
“We would like the board of governors to listen to us because the other thing that is going on is that Doctor Gunter is negotiating to extend his contract for another three years,” Cline said. “We would like to see that halted while they listen to us.”
Gunter began as Southern’s president on Jan. 1, 2016. He was hired after a nationwide search. He was previously vice president for workforce education at Arkansas State University Mid-South, West Memphis, Arkansas.
Gunter did respond to MetroNews’ request for comment for this story.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College was led for years by Joanne Tomblin, wife of former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.