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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Newman out as President at Mississippi Valley

Mississippi Valley State University President Lester Newman today announced his resignation effective July 15.

Newman, Valley’s fifth president, has come under fire for months from MVSU faculty and alumni who called for his firing.

Many were critical of his “micromanagement’’ leadership style, and claimed he was a poor manager and exhibited unprofessional behavior toward MVSU supporters, including staff.

"I'm glad this matter is finally resolved so we can focus on providing our students the education they deserve, because that's the reason we're here," said Michele Crescenzo, vice president of MVSU's Faculty Senate.

On Wednesday, the College Board met with Newman for an hour behind closed doors. Officials said no action was taken, but the board president Dr. Stacy Davidson said higher education leaders were attempting to reach an amicable solution to satisfy all parties.

Davidson said he wishes Newman well as he explores other opportunities.

The College Board plans to name an interim president at the historically black Itta Bena institution.

“I have a great love for Mississippi Valley State University,’’ Newman said in a news release posted on the school’s Web site today.

Earlier this year, Faculty Senate leaders overwhelmingly endorsed a “no-confidence’’ resolution critical of his leadership.

As a result, Newman named a special faculty panel to look into concerns at Valley.
That 10-member group urged the College Board to dismiss Newman.

“It is my hope that the faculty, staff, students, and alumni will continue the journey that we started toward pre-eminence and will move the institution to new and greater heights,’’ Newman said.

He’s held the $183,750- per-year job at MVSU since July 1998.


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