After little more than a year on the job, Gainesville State College’s vice president of academic affairs has been removed from her post.
College staff were notified on Monday that Marya Leatherwood had been “relieved of her duties” for reasons administrators were “not at liberty to discuss.”
While the move caught the staff off guard, it also came as a surprise to Leatherwood.
“I definitely (expected to be there longer than a year). Gainesville State is a first-class institution and it has been my pleasure to work there this past year,” Leatherwood said.
“But the simple fact is that the vice president serves at the pleasure of the president.”
While the college’s president, Martha Nesbitt, would not immediately identify to The Times which administrative officer was relieved of duties, she did say the staff member was not fired.
“Administrators don’t serve contracts. We operate under a letter of agreement and that agreement wasn’t renewed,” Nesbitt said.
The agreement was set to expire this summer. The school will honor the original salary agreement, Nesbitt said.
Leatherwood joined the college’s staff April 20, 2009. Prior to the move, she worked at the University of Illinois at Springfield as the associate vice chancellor and director of enrollment management in the division of student affairs.
In her role at Gainesville State, Leatherwood was charged with making sure that courses met student needs and that professors had the necessary tools to provide a quality education.
For the time being, Leatherwood’s duties will be fulfilled by existing staff and the school will start a national search for a replacement in the fall.
Although the move came as a surprise to Leatherwood, she still wishes the school “continued success.”
“I’ve worked in higher education for over 25 years, but my year at Gainesville State has been one of the best of my professional career,” Leatherwood said.
“It was my pleasure to work with the faculty and the staff — they are a group of hardworking and dedicated people who are committed to providing quality, higher education. I hope our communities realize what a treasure they have in Gainesville State College.”