Martin University president Algeania Freeman to step down this month, after three years on job
Indianapolis Business Journal
December 7, 2010
Controversial Martin University President Algeania Freeman will retire Dec. 31 after three years at the school, officials said late Monday morning.
Former NCAA executive Charlotte Westerhaus will serve as acting president while the predominantly black university conducts a nationwide search for a new leader.
In January 2008, Freeman succeeded the Rev. Boniface Hardin, a Benedictine monk who founded the college in 1977. By midyear, Freeman told IBJ that she already had closed a $653,000 deficit by collecting more than $450,000 in gifts and cutting the 95-person faculty 25 percent.
But her tactics drew complaints from employees who said Freeman was overly harsh and shuffled people into jobs that made little sense. Students protested after a popular professor was fired, and seven members of the university’s 16-person board of trustees resigned in 2008, including at least two who said Freeman’s methods were a factor.
Former board Secretary C. Catherine Gibson, who voted to hire Freeman, told IBJ at the time that she had urged the new president to be diplomatic, but, "I realized she was not going to listen." She left the board in July 2008.
Freeman has said she was simply doing the job the Martin board of trustees hired her to do: Cut costs and increase fundraising.