Changes In Store On SFA Alumni Association Board - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/29/07 - Nacogdoches

Changes In Store On SFA Alumni Association Board

by Donna McCollum

SFA regent chair Valerie Ertz humorously expresses her frustration with a gavel at Monday's board of regent committee meetings. Most likely it's over repercussions to widely distributed letters from angered former alumni association board member Chris Martin. The Dripping Springs consultant alleges university president Dr Baker Patillo and alumni association president Shirley Crawford inappropriately collaborated to force former alumni director Jim Jeter to resign. Martin said by phone,  " We're dealing with 17 out of 18 alumni said don't fire this guy, don't tell him to resign and he was told to resign. That's how this is done."

Crawford adamantly denies the allegations or any wrongdoing. She is now concerned who alumni members will believe. By phone Crawford said,  " Some do not know what the real truth is and therefore they may be reluctant to continue to support the alumni association as they have in the past."

Martin asked for Crawford's resignation. In his opinion, the woman who served as president for seven years demonstrated a betrayal of trust, authored hostile memos and did alumni board members a disservice. Even though asked to serve an 8th year as president, Crawford on Thursday announced she will not serve after December 31st. She wants to make it clear the decision isn't influenced by Martin's request. Crawford said,  " Looking at the interest of the association and the interest of the university and also from me personally, I felt that this was a good time for us to have a leadership change. "

Both Patillo and Ertz declined comment on the controversy. Legal agreements prevent them from speaking of Jeters' resignation. They can address the perceived control the university has over the alumni association, but chose not to. Meanwhile, Martin says he's in dialogue with other regents. Martin said,  " Some of them got some information that didn't come through the president's filter and maybe,just maybe, my intention was to kinda turn the light on and say , hey, you need to do some digging. "

The issues did present some awkward moments over homecoming weekend. Crawford said,  " I don't think we are embarrassed for the association or even for the university. I think we are embarrassed that we alumni that are making statements that are untrue. "

Ultimately that will be decided by the 8,000 due paying alumni association members.  

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