UVSC Senate opts not to impeach Hammond

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    By ALYSA PHILLIPS

    The Utah Valley State College Faculty Senate voted against impeachment of its president-elect at Tuesday’s meeting. Sixteen members voted for impeachment, 20 against. Four members abstained from voting.

    Ron Hammond, president-elect, was charged with a “lack of collegiality and professionalism” after he publicly questioned the ethics curriculum and faculty.

    Hammond polled 200 of his sociology students about the ethics and values course, a class required for all students except those anticipating an associate’s of applied science degree. He then sent the results to every faculty member. Senate member Brian Birch said the poll introduced controversial matters concerning topics other than those Hammond was qualified to teach, an act which violated both stated and unstated policies.

    Dennis Lisonbee, communications professor and senate member, said Hammond had the right to teach and the right to learn.

    Hammond had an obligation as a sociology professor to do a study on anything that had impact on social groups, Lisonbee said.

    Janet Bennion, senate secretary, said a professor must have written approval to do research.

    Many of the senators felt the issue was whether Hammond had exhibited good leadership.

    George Hickman, a computer science and information systems professor, said Hammond was acting only as an instructor.

    Senate member Laurie Wood urged impeachment by arguing a trial was the only way to review charges, consider evidence and determine future capacity.

    Forrest Williams, who represented the learning enrichment department, said Hammond chose the wrong means of expressing strong opinions. He said he was reluctantly in favor of impeachment.

    Several members said the issue should not have even been introduced to the senate.

    “The statements should never have been made in the senate.” said Paul Bean, who represented the trades department.

    Fourteen senate members participated in the open discussion, which Hammond described as emotionally intense. Although Hammond chose not to comment during the proceedings, he agreed in a written apology his actions were “inexperienced, ill thought-out and hurtful.”

    Hammond said he is proud of the professional way the senate handled the matter. He said he wants to keep working and get back to business.

    Hammond and other faculty members had previously agreed to no hard feelings.

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