Some faculty and staffers have begun to complain about the management style of College of Eastern Utah President Grace Sawyer Jones.
Jones made history, becoming the first female and first black president of the 3,000-student two-year college in September 1996.But May 1, CEU Faculty Senate President Grady McEvoy gave Jones a letter listing specific grievances of the faculty and staff.
"It is apparent that the president of CEU, Dr. Jones, has been unable to inform, inspire or motivate CEU personnel of her vision and desires for the college," said McEvoy's letter.
McEvoy said in a recent interview that relationships between a college president and faculty are often rocky, but this tension is atypical.
"I would characterize it as serious," McEvoy said.
Jones still has the full confidence of the Utah Board of Regents, which oversees the state's nine public colleges and universities, and the CEU's board of trustees.
McEvoy characterized his meeting with Jones where he gave her the letter as positive. Jones will meet with the faculty senate later this month to begin working out the problem.
"When you boil it all down, it's issue of communication," McEvoy said.
"I'm a pretty good communicator," Jones responded, "but obviously somewhere along the line, this may be a way of saying we need more communication."
"In any new presidency, there are working relationships and communication channels that need to be enhanced," said Higher Education Commissioner Cecelia Foxley. "The Board of Regents is fully in support of her."
CEU Board of Trustees Chairwoman Adrien Taylor said the issue is more about defining responsibilities.
"In many cases, from my point of view, (faculty) are asking for power over things that are administrative-related and not faculty-related," Taylor said. "However, I understand their position, and if they feel like they've been left out, then they feel like they've been left out."
Taylor said each spring seems to bring a rash of new complaints.