King University president still in charge after two-thirds of faculty vote no-confidence

Nathan Baker • Feb 12, 2014 at 8:34 AM

A day after nearly two-thirds of King University’s faculty members voted that they had no confidence in the performance of current President Greg Jordan, a university spokeswoman said there were no plans to oust the administrator.

According to leaked results of the confidence vote at a Monday evening faculty meeting, which are generally held in private, 30 members voted that they had confidence in Jordan, 62 said they had no confidence and nine abstained from voting.

Of those votes, five were from vice presidents in Jordan’s administration, who are given voting rights, and five were from new faculty at the college’s Knoxville campus, who likely abstained.

Faculty members, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of termination, said the vote showed overwhelming opposition to Jordan’s leadership, which has been rumbling near the surface of the Bristol campus for months.

“There are a number of concerns,” one associate professor said. “I would say first and foremost, it’s a lack of credibility. He has lost the team and with that, the moral authority to rule.”

Last year, discord began to grow at the private Presbyterian college among some students and staff members, who said they felt marginalized by Jordan, who was elected to head the school in 1997.

On websites claiming to be forums intended to grant those at the school public voices, posts criticize Jordan for ignoring concerns and driving expansion at satellite sites at the expense of the central campus.

In answer to his detractors, Jordan has repeatedly stated that the criticisms leveled at him and his administration are unfounded.

In a new entry on an alumni forum on King’s website that was until recently inactive, Jordan said the unrest at the college was manufactured.

“A small number of faculty are creating a maelstrom of fear-based rhetoric on campus through discussions with students, social media and traditional media outlets, basing their comments on hearsay, rather than facts,” the message reads in-part.

Tuesday afternoon, King spokeswoman Laura Boggan confirmed that Jordan still helmed the university, dispelling rumors to the contrary.

“There was a faculty meeting yesterday afternoon,” the statement read. “Those meetings are closed to the public. We cannot share the contents of those meetings. What we can share is that no actions took place that affect the organizational structure or employment status of anyone at King.”

The no-confidence vote by the faculty holds no sway over the president’s employment and cannot force the school’s board of trustees to take action.

Voting members, however, said that as long as Jordan remains president, they will continue efforts to have him removed.

“We’re not disgruntled employees, we’re deeply vested in the university and feel it’s a special community,” a faculty member said. “We believe the university can have a positive impact on the greater community, we believe in Appalachia, and with Greg Jordan at the helm, it cannot be a positive place anymore.”

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