ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) President Eric Bruntmyer reportedly received a vote of “no confidence” early last week from some members of the HSU faculty.
This vote was confirmed to KTAB/KRBC by University Communications specialist Mary Burke, but Burke said not all staff and faculty were present when a vote took place.
In response, HSU Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Rick Strange issued the following statement:
“I have worked closely with President Bruntmyer for the last several years and have observed, first-hand, the tremendous work he has done for Hardin-Simmons. His actions, which have all been supported by the Board, and difficult, but necessary, decisions made by the Board during the last several years have positioned HSU for a bright future.”
Burke said a meeting will be held in the near future to discuss the vote and how faculty will move forward. She said all faculty will be present for that meeting.
While the exact reasoning of the faculty’s resolution has not be released, several matters of contention have allegedly taken place since Bruntmyer assumed his presidency in 2016 – which may feed into this lack of confidence.
HSU closed its Logsdon Seminary and affiliated graduate programs in February 2020. Lack of funding was cited by Bruntmyer at the time, though that claim received push back from former Seminary Dean Dr. Don Wiliford.
That following march, a prominent HSU family, the Sandefers, requested that their family name be removed from all buildings on campus. They also asked that their ancestor, who was buried on campus, be relocated to a ‘more suitable resting place,’ as according to Jeff Sandefer. HSU did release a statement in response to this request.
In his letter, Sandefer stated at the time that 64% of the faculty and 550 alumni had declared “no confidence” in President Eric Bruntmyer and the board, further stating his belief that the university was headed toward ‘financial and spiritual bankruptcy.’
The final issue is that of a lawsuit filed against HSU by McMurry University in 2022. McMurry said HSU was in breach of contract in regards to the two universities joint nursing program venture; the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing. That asserted that HSU was attempting to start its own competing nursing program.
Stay with BigCountryHomepage.com as we continue to cover this ‘no vote of confidence.’