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Hardin-Simmons University faculty cast vote of ‘no confidence’ in school president

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) President Eric Bruntmyer reportedly received a vote of “no confidence” early last week from some HSU faculty members.

That vote was confirmed to KTAB/KRBC by academic communications specialist Mary Burke, but Burke said not all staff and faculty were present for the vote.

In response, HSU Board Chairman Rick Strange released the following statement:

“I have worked closely with Chairman Bruntmyer over the past few years and have seen firsthand the tremendous work he has done for Hardin-Simmons. His actions, all of which were supported by the Board of Directors, and the difficult but necessary decisions made by the Board of Directors over the past few years have positioned HSU for a bright future.

Burke said a meeting will be held in the near future to discuss the vote and how faculty will move forward. She said that all the teachers will be present for this meeting.

While the exact reasoning behind the faculty’s resolution has not been released, several areas of contention have reportedly taken place since Bruntmyer took over as president in 2016 — which could fuel that lack of trust.

HSU closed its Logsdon seminary and affiliated graduate programs in February 2020. Lack of funding was cited by Bruntmyer at the time, although this claim received a rejection of the former dean of the seminary, Dr. Don Wiliford.

The following March, a prominent HSU family, the Sandefers, requested that their surname be removed from all buildings on campus. They also requested that their ancestor, who was buried on campus, be moved to a “more suitable resting place”, according to Jeff Sandefer. HSU released a statement in response to this request.

In his letter, Sandefer said at the time that 64% of the faculty and 550 alumni had declared “no confidence” in President Eric Bruntmyer and the board of trustees, further stating his belief that the university was heading towards a “financial and spiritual bankruptcy”.

The latest issue is a lawsuit filed against HSU by McMurry University in 2022. McMurry said HSU was in breach of contract with respect to the two universities’ joint nursing program; Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing. This asserted that HSU was attempting to launch its own competing nursing program.

Stay with as we continue to cover this “no vote of confidence”.


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