FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Edison State College Faculty Senate is calling for the District President Kenneth Walker to step down. This comes after months of scandal over allowing students to skip required courses and get degrees, and two days after the President recommended firing the school's top academic officer.
The faculty who attended Thursday's meeting made it very clear - there needs to be change, and it needs to happen now.
Frustration, fear, and distrust are words some Edison State faculty say sum up the last six months.
"I am not going to be cowered by fear from a man making irrational decisions on the second floor, who is barricaded in there, with armed guards, and we have a shut down Academic Office," English Professor Marty Ambrose said.
Tuesday, President Kenneth Walker reccommended Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Steve Atkins be fired for insubordination. When WINK News tried Wednesday to talk to Walker, security kept us from entering. Atkins exposed that the college was allowing students to skip courses required to get their degrees. His colleagues stand behind him.
"Dr. Atkins was our academic leader," Union President Ellie Bunting said. "He brought the leadership we needed for everything we're doing and everything is stopped."
"Sometimes, if you don't take a stand, you become so numb, that with the things that are happening, you don't know when to stop and say something," Professional and Technical Studies Professor David Oliver said.
Thursday, the Faculty Senate unanimously approved this statement: "Last April.... because of a complete loss of administrative integrity at the highest level... the faculty voted no confidence in the college President... the faculty of Edison State College, today, demands the immediate resignation of the President, so the process of rebuilding the integrity and distinction of this great institution can begin."
"We're really nervous and wanted to make a statement that we need to make a change and move on," Bunting said.
While Board of Trustees member Mahlan Houghton wouldn't comment on the call for Walkers' resignation, he did say, "when people look at the big picture and the facts, they will understand things are not always as they seem... if we didn't know all we knew, we might be going in a different direction."
About fifty-five people attended Thursday's meeting, a little less than half the total number of fulltime faculty. Although, the Faculty Senate President noted some were in class at the time.
As for President Walker, he's been very tight-lipped about the whole situation. The Board of Trustees meets Oct. 25th, when they'll vote on Atkins' termination.