published Monday, September 30th, 2013

Alumni president dropped from Lane trustees board

JACKSON, Tenn. — The head of the Lane College National Alumni Association has been dropped from the school's board of trustees, but no one is discussing what led to the dismissal.

The decision was made during a trustees meeting held earlier this month. Members voted to change the bylaws to eliminate the seat held by Alumni Association President LaSimba Gray and select replacement alumni members to fill the vacancy.

The Jackson Sun reported that there has been ongoing tension between Trustees Chairman Bishop Lawrence Reddick III and Gray for quite some time.

Gray has questioned the college's finances and loss of state certification for its teacher education program in recent months. McClure has called Gray's statements "misleading and false."

But, to date, no one will talk about why Gray's seat was eliminated.

In previous interviews with The Jackson Sun, Gray has said he has only been interested in the health of Lane College. Attempts to reach McClure were unsuccessful.

Loyalties are split among Lane alumni.

A 1967 graduate and former employee of Lane College, Martha Shaw said she's concerned by the actions of Lane's board of trustees.

"The board having allowed this change is an example of the kinds of people and system with which McClure surrounds himself, feckless," said Shaw, who filed a harassment complaint against McClure in the 1990s.

Lane alumnus Morris P. Fair Sr. aid the dispute probably won't keep alumni away during homecoming festivities in the coming week, but he's unhappy with the way the dispute is playing out publicly.

"I think the college is still in good shape," Fair said. "Those of us who support the institution will continue to do so. It's larger than a few individuals."

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