Tuesday May 28th, 2024 2:36AM

Letter: While ‘deeply troubled’, Piedmont University chairman says Trustees back president

Despite a Resolution of No Confidence adopted by the faculty of Piedmont University calling for a new president, the trustees of the institution apparently do not agree.

At least that’s the message conveyed in a letter from Board of Trustees Chairman Gus Arrendale III on Wednesday defending Dr. James Mellichamp's leadership.

“I have received the results of your Monday, May 9, 2022, faculty meeting and am deeply troubled by the issues contained in your Resolution of No Confidence,” that letter states. “There are clearly numerous opportunities to improve faculty-administration relations. On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I assure you that addressing your concerns and building a stronger faculty-administration partnership will be the primary focus of leaders throughout the university for the future.

“Regarding the call for a new president, the Board of Trustees respectfully, but decidedly, disagrees,” Arrendale’s letter states. “Piedmont University has thrived during President Mellichamp’s decade of leadership.”

Arrendale’s letter lists about a half-dozen accomplishments during Mellichamp’s time as president.

“… suffice it to say, the Board has complete confidence in President Mellichamp’s ability to continue leading this institution forward for years to come,” Arrendale’s letter states.

Mellichamp is Piedmont’s 13th president, serving in that capacity since 2012. Prior to that, his began work as a member of the music faculty in 1982 and has held positions as Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Provost.

Other members of the Board of Trustees include: Sandra G. Borrow of Cornelia, Dr. Martha K. Cantrell of Clarkesville, Dennis T. Cathey of Cornelia, Matthew E. Cook of Clermont, Walter Crowder of Cornelia, Sandra Deal of Atlanta, Dwight H. Evans of Atlanta, David C. Foster of Clarkesville, Dr. Phillip Furman of St. Augustine, Fla., Mack H. Guest III of Watkinsville, Ladson Haddow of Atlanta, Thomas M. Hensley Jr. of Baldwin, Jane Higdon Ballard of Cornelia, James C. Hobbs III of Atlanta, William M. House of Gainesville, Fran Davis Jarrett of Toccoa, the Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund of Indianapolis, Ind., Mylle Mangum of Norcross, Michael F. Mansfield Sr. of Gainesville, Kimberly D. Melton of Atlanta, Kara Keel Moody (Secretary), Dr. Octavius Mulligan of Cleveland, Jim Parham of Lakeland, Fla., Joseph M. Piper of Gainesville, Lisa Pruitt-Hamby of Demorest, the Rev. Dr. Tom M. Richard of Sherman Oaks, Calif., the Honorable Brian Rickman of Clarkesville, Dr. Dionne M. Rosser-Mims of Senoia, Michael Santowski of Cumming, James F. Sievers of Fort Myers, Fla., Dock C. Sisk of Homer (Vice Chairman), Barbara Strain of Cornelia, D. Stewart Swanson of Alpharetta, and Mary Hart Wilheit of Gainesville.

Arrendale, Borrow, Evans, Hensley, Mangum, Moody, and Sisk make up the Executive Committee.

Designated Trustees include Mellichamp, Sierra Nicholson of Atlanta (President of the Alumni Association, and Matt Design (Alumni Association Trustee).

Trustees Emeriti include Edward D. Ariail of Clarkesville, the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth E. Bingham of Claremont, Calif., S.N. Charles Cho of Somis, Calif., John C. Foster of Cornelia, Steve C. Jones of Atlanta, Shirley J. Meeks of Homer, Phil C. Rosser of Atlanta, and H. Milton Stewart Jr. of Vero Beach, Fla.

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