The state College Board is officially naming William Bynum as president of Jackson State University, despite opposition from JSU alumni and others. As MPB's Alexis Ware reports, some alumni and supporters are suing the Board.
A group of Jackson State alumni and others are suing the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees. Alvin Chambliss, Junior is an attorney representing the group. They say the makeup of the board prejudices them against historically black institutions.
"It's wrong for people to ignore the legitimate voices of black college people they have more to lose with the failure of these institutions than anybody else. They have been failing but they've been failing for lack of leadership and it's the leadership of IHL not them that has forced them to fail."
IHL Board Members contend Bynum, the former Mississippi Valley State President, is the best fit for the position. Bynum says he can lead Jackson State out of financial difficulties.
"I know I possess the necessary skill set to guide this university through a tough few years, but again we're going to take it to the top to be the largest HBCU to be the premiere HBCU that the state of Mississippi needs."
C.D. Smith is President of the IHL Board of Trustees. He says board members work to treat all state universities equally.
"We as a board, the 12 of us, are very committed to ensure that all eight of our universities are treated fairly without any regard to race or any other agenda or issue."
Students and alumni say trustees are shutting them out. Trustees, however, say choosing the president is their job.