After contentious vote, Grable wins faculty senate presidency

After three votes in the midst of a contentious faculty senate meeting this week, senators picked Bettye Grable as the body's newest president.

Grable, a professor in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, won a 20-18 vote against Joe Ann Houston, a faculty member in the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

The vote was tied twice at 18-18 between the two candidates.

Grable said she planned to ensure the faculty senate abided by its bylaws and constitution.

“If we benefit from it, it’s still the rules; and if not, they are still the rules,” Grable said.

Maurice Holder, a professor of the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, called on Grable to abide by the same rules. He tried to strike the discussion to replace the president, saying that the bylaws prohibit choosing a new president until the position is vacant. Since Narayan Persaud is still president, there is no need to discuss it until the next meeting on Oct. 21.

He represents the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Persaud will retire on Sept. 30. He asked for an opinion from Avery McKnight, vice president for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, on the vacancy at president.  

“There is an absentee president in pending, and it is in my humble opinion that the senate should vote on a new president,” McKnight said.
Holder’s motion to strike the article from the agenda was denied. A new motion to elect a new president at the meeting was passed.

Persaud will train Grable. Grable will act as president effective Oct. 1, and carry out the rest of Persaud’s term. In March, a new president will be voted for and will serve for the next two years.