President’s Dismissal Riles William and Mary

Students, faculty, and some board members are angry about the ouster.


The College of William and Mary presidential saga of last week lives on, as students, faculty, and its Board of Visitors members continue to discuss (and then some) that controversial ouster, the Flat Hat reports. Most recently, the student newspaper reports a board member is resigning because he was one of several board members who supported a contract renewal for former president Gene Nichol.

The resignation is just the latest in a tumultuous week at William and Mary. The campus has dealt with vulgar anti-Board of Visitors graffiti, seemingly endless meetings and debate, rallies, angry websites, and even a little school-song singing.

Supporters of the dismissal say the move was "based principally on an objective and very thorough review of performance as an executive," as opposed to "politics or ideological considerations." But Nichol insists, in an E-mail written to the entire student body, that his dismissal can be attributed to the controversy surrounding his removal of "the Wren cross, his refusal to ban the Sex Workers' Art Show, his support of the college's Gateway Program, and his commitment to diversity."

Whoever you think is right on this one, there's no doubt that emotions are running wild on campus: "I feel deeply the pain, and it's terribly important that people have the opportunity to express that—their anger, their frustration," said the school's provost. "What we need to do is honor the things that Gene Nichol stood for."