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Shrubbery spells out 'SOUTHERN,' with A.W. Mumford football stadium in background, at entrance to campus, Wed., Nov. 16, 2017.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY TRAVIS SPRADLING

Citing a need for change, Southern University fired two administrators last week who had both worked under Brandon Dumas before he was fired as the school's vice chancellor.

Marcus Coleman, Southern University's dean of students, and Vaneshette Henderson, executive director for student achievement and retention, were both notified last week of their terminations, which are effective Oct. 2. Both Henderson and Coleman previously worked under Dumas, who was the vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment management. 

The university confirmed the firings in an email. Luria Young, the interim executive vice president and provost who has taken over Dumas's responsibilities, said she is trying to take the division down a new path. 

"Since assuming the leadership over Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, I have been taking a 'deep dive' into ALL of its operations with the goal of ensuring the best services and optimum student experiences," Young said in a written statement. "In an effort to take this Division towards a new path, I will continue reevaluating roles and responsibilities. This process will take time and may yield further reorganization. However, I feel that this change is paramount." 

Coleman and Henderson could not be reached for comment. Their termination letters, obtained by The Advocate, offer no explanation of the decision to remove them, but remind them that as unclassified employees they serve at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors. 

Dumas was put on administrative leave in June after the university announced it was investigating whether an employee and/or student were involved in a private video that featured sexually explicit images. The video circulated to faculty and alumni groups. 

Southern University System President Ray Belton later announced that Dumas would be terminated. Dumas appealed the decision to the Board of Supervisors and ultimately lost. He is currently suing the board, alleging their process was flawed and the vote to uphold his firing should be voided. 

In recent months, Southern University has sustained other setbacks, including a warning that the school could lose its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Southern received the sanction because the school missed benchmarks related to its faculty, student achievement, institutional effectiveness, and student complaints. 

Dumas's university biography says he served on Southern University's SACS reaffirmation committee.

Dumas's department was also the target of online criticism in the form of a Change.Org petition started about 5 months ago. The petition was purported to have been started by Southern University alumni asking for the board of supervisors to investigate "the Division for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management," claiming it was plagued by mismanagement and other problems.

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.