Tuskegee Club Blocks No Confidence Vote
Members of the Atlanta Tuskegee Alumni Club are flat-out mad at the club’s executive board. Their anger is boiling over after an executive board member told Carl Trimble, an Atlanta architect, that no action was taken on a vote of “no confidence” approved by the Club in February.
On February 20, by a vote of 36-2 the club expressed it’s disapproval of the manner in which President Brian Johnson is discharging his duties at Tuskegee. Then they voted 32-2 to send “a vote of no confidence” to the Board of Trustees, due to their failure to properly oversee the operation of the university.
Several months went by and members of the Atlanta Tuskegee Club had not received any follow-up from their “no confidence” vote. Trimble pressed the issue in a heated exchanged with an executive board member and was told that the executive board decided behind closed doors not to forward the club’s “no confidence” vote up to National, to the university or to the Board of Trustees.
Members of the Atlanta Club are up in arms, according to Cat Sime, a member of the sub-committee which researched the turmoil at Tuskegee University before submitting their recommendation to hold a vote of “no confidence.”
“We were disbanded and admonished as if we were children and told our services were no longer needed. But we were never made aware that notification of the vote did not actually move forward,” Sime said.
This subterfuge comes on the heels of new rules which prevent dues paying members of the Tuskegee National Alumni Association from voting to elect officers if they are not present at the Association’s conference that will be held in August this year in Las Vegas, Nevada. In previous years, the rules permitted all alumni a vote on the alumni trustee, whether they were members of Tuskegee National Alumni Association(TNAA), as long as they were a member of a local alumni club. Now only those alumni who are dues paying members of TNAA will be permitted a vote. This basically shrinks the eligible voting base from 20,000 to less than 1,000.
The new rules are seen as an attempt by the National body to shield Johnson and the university from criticism from alumni.
Alumni are becoming frustrated in their efforts to call awareness to what they perceive as poor leadership from President Johnson.
“We are currently organizing a press conference to formally ask the board of trustees not to renew Johnson’s contract since the alumni voice has been completely suffocated,” Sime said.
Sime said it is not fair that dues paying members of the alumni association who are unable to travel to Las Vegas will not be able to vote for national officers.
“It is crucial that we alumni come together now in wake of the continued warning status,” Sime said in reference to the fact that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed Tuskegee on a second one year warning notice which could cause the university to lose its accreditation.
One anonymous member of the sub-committee that made the recommendation to hold a “vote of no confidence,” said: ” The fact that it [Atlanta Tuskegee Alumni Club] didn’t forward it up the chain didn’t matter in the end because the board knows that the vote took place. I don’t let Tuskegee alumni or the university bother me.”