Grambling State University fired two employees on Tuesday. Dr. Karen Martin, the vice Pres. of Student Affairs, and Audrey Warren, SGA adviser, were both released on Tuesday morning. The dismissals came right in the middle of the SGA Election Week, which is normally overseen by the SGA adviser and the SGA Election Commission.Dr. Stacy Duhon will act as the vice pres. of Student Affairs, while Dr. Michael McKinley will act as the SGA adviser. It is unclear whether they will fulfill these positions permanently or when a search for replacements will occur.
No reason has been given for the firings, and attempts by The Gramblinite to contact Dr. Robert Dixon, Provost and vice Pres. of Academic Affairs, were unsuccessful by press time.
According to The (Monroe) News-Star, GSU media relations director Ralph Wilson stated Martin was an “‘at-will’ employee and the president certainly has a right to make those kind of decisions.”
The Gramblinite also contacted Martin, but she said she could not comment on the matter. However, Martin did speak about the situation to The Ruston Daily Leader.
“They didn’t give me an explanation,” Martin told The Leader of her firing. “That’s part of higher education.
“I’m sad for my students, who are my love, and the friendships I developed,” Martin is also quoted as saying.
Warren said she did not want to comment on the situation at the present moment. However, she also confirmed that, like Martin, no reason was given for her dismissal.
The SGA was unaware of the dismissals of both entities until later in the day. Frank Wilson, SGA vice pres., was shocked to find out about the dismissals.
“It’s kind of a time of mourning,” Wilson said. “Ms. Warren was like a mother to us. It’s kind of like we had a loss in the SGA. The students are trying to fight so hard to do the right things in life, and then you take the very thing that keeps them level-headed and grounded.”
The SGA was not told about the dismissals ahead of time was something that angered the SGA vice pres.
“It’s a mockery here at (GSU),” Wilson said. “The way it’s handled, it was handled very unprofessionally. You just disrespected us as SGA members.
“They should have given us a notice that changes were going to be made,” he continued. “They even took away the vice president of Student Affairs. These are the people we work with and you took that away.”
However, the SGA vice pres. said the SGA is trying to find answers as to why the dismissals took place.
“The SGA is very disappointed about it,” Wilson said. “We all feel strongly about this. We’re supposed to meet with Dr. Judson on Thursday (April 17). We’re trying to figure out answers as to why it happened.