Pulaski Tech faculty at odds with administration in tense meeting

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Personalities clash and emotions run high at Pulaski Tech College as professors accuse the administration of retaliation against faculty.

The tension in{} meeting was undeniable and at times uncomfortable. The topic of tense discussion --the administration and its strained relationship with faculty and students.

"I'm afraid that April 15th after giving my life to education, I just might not get a contract because I opened my mouth," said Allen Loibner-Waikus, a Faculty Senate member.

Fear and retaliation are words that went hand in hand{}Wednesday as the Pulaski Tech Faculty Senate discussed their concerns regarding the abrupt termination of philosophy professor Lyndel Roe who was let go September 20th after asking a student an inappropriate question.

"We've had a system in place where voices contrary to the administration have been shunted aside and ignored," said Mike Pridmore, a Spanish professor at the college.

Those voices going against the administration include frustrated students and faculty members who are demanding a fair grievance process. They say the lack of one worked against professor Roe and it keeps faculty from speaking up for fear of retaliation.

"I am protected under nothing. I am an at-will employee. When it comes contract time on April 15, I can simply receive a letter that says my contract will not be renewed," said Loibner-Waikus.

"The college has taken a stance of refusing to listen to its largest stakeholders which is their students," said James Bozeman, president of the Student Government Association.

Faculty and students say an environment of fear among professors could affect a quality education.

"for administration to ignore it would be suicidal. It would be self-sabotage," said Loibner-Waikus.

SGA{}took a vote of no confidence in President Margaret Elibee.{}A similar vote was postponed Wednesday afternoon. On the other hand, the Staff Senate and Board of Trustees took a vote of confidence in the president. No word on whether a due process policy will be implemented.