Evaluation Report: ASU Faculty Extremely Critical of University President

MARCH 4, 2005 - Posted at 5:59 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - Arkansas State University's Faculty Senate met Friday afternoon in the Dean B. Ellis Library and released the results of a survey that Senate members say was distributed to faculty members throughout the Jonesboro campus, and the results are not at all favorable for university President Dr. Les Wyatt and Susan Allen, the university's Vice Chancellor for Research & Academic Affairs.

Faculty Senate President Bill Rowe released an 18-page report titled "Faculty Evaluation of the University President and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs at Arkansas State University: Report of the Committee on the Status of the Profession of the Arkansas State University Faculty Senate."  Rowe said 413 of the surveys were distributed, and 232 were returned, a response rate of just over 56 percent.

Responses were overwhelmingly negative.  The survey asked faculty members to grade Wyatt and Allen on a 1-to-5 scale in several categories, with 1 being negative and 5 being positive.  "Some people said we didn't have a scale low enough.  We ran from 1-to-5...some people said we should have had a zero.  That shocked me," said Rowe.

The report contains comments from many of the respondents, although it does not identify the faculty members.  Many of the comments were very harsh in their review of the two administrators.  "Due to their actions in the past years, I have no confidence in the abilities of these two administrators to effectively lead this university.  They have led us led into a downward spiral which will be difficult to end," wrote one faculty member.  Another respondent wrote, "The worst administration in the 24 years I've been here."  "I have been at ASU for almost 19 years.  Never have I observed a more uncaring, unresponsive, disrespectful administration," wrote another.

"I think at some schools it would be looked upon as a vote of no confidence," said Rowe.

However, not all of the comments and reviews were negative.  "If the decision were mine, I would extend this administrator's contract (referring to Wyatt).  He has done an excellent job," commented one faculty member.  "President Wyatt is an oustanding administrator who has given his all to the university's needs.  We're lucky to have him," are the comments of another respondent.

We spoke with Dr. Wyatt late Friday evening.  He has been out of town, and preferred not to comment on the report until he has had a chance to review it first-hand.  K8 News also tried to contact Allen late this afternoon, but a spokesperson in her office said that Allen was also out of town.

(Reporter Lauren Payne and News Assignment Manager Randy Myers contributed to this report.)