Bentley didn’t keep promise to Auburn faithful

Published 12:06 am Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gov. Robert Bentley’s recent vote was the deciding vote to re-appoint all of Auburn University’s present board of trustees.

This includes Bobby Lowder, Jimmy Rane, Byron Franklin and Virginia Thompson.

This vote was equivalent to Bentley taking a high-powered rifle and shooting Auburn in the gut.

Bentley promised his administration would be transparent and honest.

He would do what was best and right.

On more than one occasion he assured Auburn people, he respected term limits and would listen to the wishes of Auburn people relative to trustee appointments.

He has done none of this.

Auburn has thousands of successful, accomplished and “good-minded” alumni.

Without a doubt, many of these alumni are equally or more qualified than the ones Bentley voted to re-appoint.

The ones he voted for have been there too long.

They have made their contributions, and they have made their mistakes.

It’s time for new faces, new ideas and a new vision.

When the regional accrediting agency, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, placed Auburn University on probation, SACA cited “micromanagement” by Lowder and the board of trustees, failure to prove that the board wasn’t controlled by a minority of its board members and failure to prove that the university president had ultimate control over the athletic program.

This alone is enough not to appoint these same people to the board. Lowder has been on the board since 1983.

He and these others need to be replaced with bright new faces with agendas to do only what is best and right for Auburn University.

In addition, Auburn is Alabama’s leading Land Grant University.

We need some members of this board who understand, appreciate and support Auburn University’s Land Grant mission.

This, we have not had for many years.

Auburn has many responsibilities to the people of Alabama. Bentley missed a great opportunity to consider Auburn University’s wealth of alumni talent to bring bright new faces to this board.

Only Gov. Bentley knows why he chose to do the opposite of what he had promised.

I only hope he will reconsider, change his vote and offer an entire different slate of people to serve on Auburn University’s board of trustees.

Meanwhile, if you care, contact the governor’s office to express your concern.

Phillip C. Hardee, D.M.D.