The Associated Student Body Senate voted 35-8 on Tuesday evening to approve a resolution condemning the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees’ chancellor search process.
Authors of the resolution emphasized that the statement was only meant to condemn the IHL and its search process, not Boyce himself. They also read statements from the National and College Panhellenic Councils and the Residential Housing Association condemning the IHL for lack of transparency.
“This is by no means a mark against Dr. Boyce, but the way he was selected,” the RHA statement read. “The lack of transparency by the IHL is disheartening.”
Anna Hall, ASB Senate president pro-tempore and one of the authors of the resolution, also said that the resolution was not a no-confidence vote in the IHL or Boyce.
“I think the main thing was to come out and say that we don’t approve of the way this process went down and that this is something that is going to be on the forefront of our minds for the next several months and even the next several years,” Hall said. “This is a part of a larger social movement, and this is just the first step.”
Hall said the IHL let students’ comments from September’s listening session fall on deaf ears.
“Students are the lifeblood of this university,” Hall said. “Without students there would, quite literally, be no university. So why are we so frequently ignored in decisions about our leadership?”
Several senators spoke in support of the resolution after the senate moved into a period of debate.
Senator Spencer Johns said that the IHL’s decision reminded him of a conversation he had with former ASB President Elam Miller about the board.
“Elam’s response was telling,” Spencer said. “He said, ‘They may say what they want, but ultimately it’s their actions in the future that will determine what their true intent was.’ I remembered that statement after seeing the news because ultimately, that’s what IHL has done. They’ve told Elam’s legacy that it doesn’t matter. (They) aren’t listening to the students.”
Senator-at-large Noah Hubbard said that he was initially going to vote against the resolution because condemning the IHL might weaken ASB’s relations with the chancellor. Hubbard decided to support the resolution after speaking with constituents who supported it.
None of the eight senators who voted against the resolutions made arguments during the period of debate. After the vote, several senators rose and urged those who had dissenting opinions to speak up in the future. Senator Bailey Muselwhite, who voted against the resolution, declined to comment after the meeting.
“I think that when you get in that room, sometimes you can get shy,” Hall said. “There’s a lot of different opinions and different voices, and sometimes you can feel uncomfortable being in the minority, but I would certainly hope that anyone would feel welcome to give their opinion.”
ASB President Barron Mayfield said that he was in support of the resolution.
“I think it’s an important component of our community’s response to the lack of accountability and transparency that was shown to us over the last several weeks, and really the last several years,” Mayfield said.
The IHL Board appointed Glenn Boyce as chancellor on Oct. 4 after hiring him as a consultant in the search process. Boyce, who served as IHL commissioner from 2015 to 2018, did not visit the campus before his appointment like previous chancellor appointees.
Several protests on campus followed Boyce’s appointment. Faculty, students and other campus constituency members formed the Abolish IHL coalition to urge both Boyce and all members of the IHL Board to resign.