The University of Mississippi’s Faculty Senate will be creating an ad hoc committee to investigate concerns that have been raised regarding the conduct of the Dean of the School of Applied Sciences, Peter Grandjean. The decision comes after the senate convened for an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday.
An extraordinary meeting was called after faculty from the School of Applied Sciences submitted two resolutions to be considered by the faculty senate.
The first was concerning a violation of the university’s hiring protocol. The resolution states that on Feb. 5, a search was initiated to hire a chair of communication sciences and disorders.
The dean of the School of Applied Sciences appointed only two full-time professorial faculty members, when university policy stipulates that the committee must be comprised of “a minimum of three full-time professorial faculty members from the department searching for a chair, a student majoring in the field of study, and one faculty member from another department selected in consultation with the department faculty.”
According to university communications, such policies exist to ensure fair and transparent hiring processes.
In addition, the resolution states that a job posting was not made on the primary job posting location for Communication Sciences and Disorders until March 29, days before the first campus visits were made. Further, two more faculty members were added to the committee on April 12 “long after campus visits were made.”
The faculty senate passed the first resolution (33-6, 3 abstentions) and called upon the dean of the School of Applied Sciences to call off the search until a proper committee could be formed.
The second resolution submitted for the faculty senate’s consideration levels a number of specific allegations against the dean, and even goes as far as to allege that the dean “practices abusive behavior” and has “fostered a climate of toxicity.” This is not the version of the resolution that the faculty senate passed.
The final version of the second resolution addresses the allegations pertaining to issues of shared governance and professionalism against the applied sciences dean and resolves to create an ad hoc committee to investigate the allegations. The senate has requested that the findings of the committee be presented no later than the Senate’s second regular meeting of the Fall 2023 semester.Resolution_2_2023-05-10
“Staff and faculty members in the School of Applied Sciences report feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress in their current working environment,” the resolution reads.
The second resolution passed by a margin of 33-1.
The Daily Mississippian reached out to Dean Peter Grandjean, but did not receive a response prior to publication.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Noel Wilkin said on Wednesday, “I have received the resolutions from the chair of the Faculty Senate. After having an opportunity to evaluate them, we will determine the appropriate next steps.”
Also this week, the faculty senate re-elected Dan Durkin to serve as faculty senate chair, Chad Russell as vice chair and Kerry Bowers as secretary.
Editor’s Note: The Daily Mississippian was not present for the majority of the faculty senate’s Wednesday after a motion passed to consider the aforementioned matters in executive session.