Huge resignation aftermath: Motion calling for reinstatement of cut sports programs at W&M to be proposed

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The faculty in the Arts & Sciences department discussed a motion to reinstate women's gymnastics and the other six sports programs which were cut by the college in September due to the coronavirus pandemic. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Tribe Athletics)
The faculty in the Arts & Sciences department discussed a motion to reinstate women’s gymnastics and the other six sports programs which were cut by the college in September due to the coronavirus pandemic. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Tribe Athletics)

A faculty member had planned to propose a motion during a Zoom meeting of William & Mary’s Arts & Sciences faculty on Tuesday which was supposed to be vote of no confidence in Athletics Director Samantha Huge along with a call for her to resign or be dismissed.

Well, an event hours earlier put the brakes on that: Huge and W&M President Katherine Rowe mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately.

Suzanne Hagedorn, associate professor of English and director of the undergraduate program in English, planned to call for the reinstatement of the seven varsity sports team that were cut in September: the men’s swimming, gymnastics and outdoor and indoor track teams and the women’s swimming, volleyball and gymnastics teams.

RELATED STORY: W&M Athletics Director Samantha Huge resigns amid controversy over cutting 7 sports programs

Hagedorn’s reasons for the motion against Huge was because of her “lack of transparency” by not involving the faculty in the decision to cut the sports teams and the plagiarism of the open letter announcing the decision.

Huge, Rowe and Provost Peggy Agouris signed the open letter, parts of which was copied from Stanford University’s July 8 open letter.

But the motion was not filed.

At the meeting Tuesday, faculty members did not discuss the motion.

In fact, it was never introduced.

Hagedorn, secretary to the faculty of Arts & Sciences who takes the minutes, said the proposal “died for lack of a second.”

“I will bring those motions three and four at the next faculty meeting,” she said, adding she will rewrite the motions.

Hagedorn had told her colleagues in the beginning of the meeting she planned to introduce the motion at the New Business section, the last section at the end of the meeting. Once the New Business section came, Hagedorn said people had “places to go.”

“They didn’t want to at 5 p.m. because people had daycare and stuff,” she added.

If the sports teams are not reinstated she will bring them up at the next meeting on Nov. 10.

Hagedorn said the Faculty Assembly meeting does not have any power to bring back the sports programs and “it’s not anything that can compel anyone.”

“I think for many people they feel once Samantha Huge has resigned…there are going to be a lot of changes,” she said. “Clearly I think the resignation of Samantha Huge was timed so that it would be before this vote of no confidence because I don’t think the administration really wanted to have it happen.”

While she does not know what was said to Huge, she is “very happy” at the news of her resignation but ultimately, the goal is to reinstate the sports programs.

“Because there is still that lack of closures and they haven’t reinstated stuff, I will be pursing motions three and four..,” she added. “I think a lot of faculty have felt there have been a lot of listening sessions but there is not a lot of listening.”

While the original motion mentioned Huge’s leadership position in the athletics department, Hagedorn is drafting another motion without the vote of no confidence in Huge and the request for Huge’s resignation and dismissal.

Hagedorn plans speak with her Faculty Assembly representative to present the final motion at the Faculty Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

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