Southern University Chancellor James Llorens is continuing to shuffle his upper administration, including hiring the son of a Southern Board of Supervisors member as the new interim vice chancellor of student affairs.
Brandon Dumas, who was working as the Southern University System deputy chief of staff, has moved to the main campus to head student affairs as the interim vice chancellor, Llorens said.
Dumas, 26, is the son of Southern Board member Walter Dumas, a prominent Baton Rouge lawyer and Southern booster.
The former interim vice chancellor, Tamara Montgomery, is now the interim director of career services.
Also out are former Associate Provost Jacqueline Howard-Matthews and Assistant Provost Cecilia Griffin-Golden, Llorens said. Both of them were brought into those jobs by former Chancellor Kofi Lomotey.
Griffin-Golden is leaving Southern, but Howard-Matthews is still a tenured political science professor, Llorens said.
Janet Rami, the dean of Southern’s School of Nursing, was promoted in early October to interim provost and executive vice chancellor.
Rami’s annual pay was increased from $120,000 to $155,000.
Interim Southern Honors College Dean Ella Kelley is stepping in under Rami as the assistant provost, although the exact title is not yet finalized, said Southern spokesman Ed Pratt. Kelley will remain over the Honors College.
Llorens insisted all the titles are interim for now and that searches will be conducted. But the people currently serving in the interim roles can seek the permanent positions, he said.
Llorens is planning to ask the Southern Board to approve his larger academic and administrative reorganization plans as early as Nov. 25.
The Southern Board last Friday approved a declaration of financial emergency, called exigency, for the main Baton Rouge campus that allows Llorens to more easily terminate academic programs and tenured faculty.
The salary of 26-year-old Brandon Dumas is going up from $60,000 to $80,000, Pratt said.
Southern Faculty Senate President Sudhir Trivedi said it is a case of promoting a Board’s member’s son while “gutting the faculty.”
“The fact remains that Llorens has offered nothing to us except status quo at the cost of the academics and the faculty.” Trivedi said. “Brandon Dumas represents one more example.”
But Llorens said there is no truth to claims of nepotism.
“I think Brandon is a bright young kid,” Llorens said. “He has a great rapport with the students and he brings a tremendous amount of energy.”
Earlier this year, Dumas became the youngest graduate of Jackson State University’s Executive Ph.D. in urban higher education program.
He received the doctorate after three years in the program while also working full time at the Southern University System.
Two years ago, the Southern Board rejected a proposal to increase Dumas’ pay to $79,500 from $44,000.
But last year his pay was increased to $60,000 when he was promoted to deputy chief of staff. He previously served as the Southern System’s coordinator for student affairs.
This story was updated on Nov. 8, 2011 to correct salary increase of Janet Rami.