Members of the Wayne State’s Board of Governors continued to clash over the legitimacy of June 21 proceedings at the Sept. 20 meeting and approved fiscal year 2020 General Fund and Auxiliary Fund budgets, which means a 3.2% tuition increase for students next year.
Board members disputed over several agenda items, including the June 21 minutes, implementing a code of conduct and 2020 budget approval.
The BOG met for the first time since the court denied four members’ lawsuit requesting to overturn “illegal” proceedings on June 21.
Board member Dana Thompson said she didn't approve the 2020 budget proposal because the 3.2% tuition increase included in the budget “was decided on at an illegal, illegitimate meeting that did not have a quorum.”
Board member Michael Busuito said that he also opposed passing budgets “predicated” on a 3.2% tuition increase to students.
“The fact of that matter is that some of us have exercised our rights to address the courts for an action that they perceived to be illegitimate,” said Bryan Barnhill.
Barnhill was one of the members who were in favor of passing a budget.
“I encourage those among us to proceed with what is in the best interest of this university, which is to pass a budget. So that the university can be funded, so that people can attend classes, so that people can get paid,” he said. “We can settle this issue later on through the courts, but let’s not bring this issue up because we could significantly impact the function of this university – and that is very inappropriate.”
The budget passed 6-2.
Vice Chair Marilyn Kelly announced the bylaws subcommittee finalized a code of conduct for the BOG. She said it was a “bread and butter document” that outlined “desirable” and responsible conduct “reflected in educational boards across the country.”
The document was met by disapproval from Sandra Hughes O’Brien, Anil Kumar, Thompson and Busuito.
“The fact that I do not support this code of conduct does not cheapen the fact that I continue to have an unwavering support for our students, for our faculty and for our university,” said O’Brien.
The motion failed in a 4-4 tie.
Also of note:
WSU is now the host of an on-campus polling location for the WSU community, thanks to the efforts of Stuart Baum, president of the Student Senate.
The WSU Police Department was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation by the Woodbridge Estates Homeowners Association for preventing a suicide attempt last week. Reverend Dr. Yvette Griffin awarded the certificate.
Children of full-time employees at WSU will now receive 100% free tuition for four years.
Carmen is a correspondent for The South End. She can be reached at email@example.com
Cover photo by Carmen Nesbitt