Faculty Senate delays vote, hires N.O. Attorney

Grambling State University’s Faculty Senate last week delayed a “vote of no confidence” in President Horace A. Judson and hired a New Orleans attorney to advise them on faculty rights.
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate retained attorney Willie M. Zanders for advice on matters concerning the pending “vote of no confidence” in Dr. Judson and his administrative team. Based on Zanders’ advice, the pending “no confidence” vote in President Judson and his administrative team will be delayed temporarily to allow legal counsel an opportunity to review evidence that supports the vote. Zanders has been asked to advise the Faculty Senate on a strategy for a peaceful and private voting process to prevent the intentional interruption of our meeting, Faculty Senate President Matthew Ware said.

Dr. Ware said Zanders will also suggest safeguards to protect faculty senators from retaliation based on their legal rights under state and federal law.

According to Dr. Ware, in convincing Zanders to come on board, he was told of GSU’s struggle to prepare for several accreditation visits and state budget cuts for colleges and universities.

“Now, more than ever, the faculty should have a seat at the table in every major decision affecting the university,” Dr. Ware said.

“The future of Grambling State University is at stake.”
Zanders, who teaches education law at Xavier University, has represented employees in all types of legal disputes. He is the lead attorney in a post-Katrina lawsuit on behalf of 8,500 New Orleans public school employees who were wrongfully terminated after the hurricane. As a former SGA president at GSU, Zanders led a “scholar’s revolt” at Grambling in 1967.

In accepting the position, Zanders said: “I have personal knowledge of Grambling’s historic importance because it allowed me to enroll when LSU would not accept me because of the color of my skin.”

Dr. Ware said the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and concerned faculty will meet with Zanders in the very near future and report back to the full body.
Zanders is planning to visit GSU in a week or so, said Dr. Ware.

“I hope the GSU community and alumni understand this cautious and reasoned approach in addressing this very serious matter,” he said.