MONTGOMERY Ala. — Suspended Alabama State University President Joseph Silver said Wednesday he did not receive cooperation from top university officials concerning the school’s finances.
An executive committee of the board of trustees placed Silver on paid administrative leave Monday after Silver tried to fire executive vice president John Knight. Knight is a state representative from Montgomery. Knight said at the time that he did not know why Silver wanted to fire him and that he did not receive a letter or other official notice that he was being fired.
Knight was out of his office Wednesday and could not be reached to comment on Silver’s statement.
Silver said in a written statement Wednesday that while reviewing the university’s financial information, he had questions and no one would give him answers or provide requested documentation.
“I discovered some items I considered questionable and troubling, at best, and a conflict of interest at the least. When I asked for clarifications, I did not get answers,” Silver said in the statement.
The full board of trustees had scheduled a meeting for Thursday to discuss the president’s position, but rescheduled the meeting for 10 a.m. Friday in the university’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome after Gov. Robert Bentley asked the trustees to delay the meeting until he returned from an industry-hunting trip to Europe.
Silver said he felt he was placed on administrative leave because he would not go along with some of what was happening at Alabama State.
“I was placed on administrative leave because I raised a few probing questions and I refused to go along to get along. That is not my operating style,” he said.
Some students have held several protests to show support for Silver and a group was present when Silver read his statement Wednesday.
Several students described Silver, who had been in office for about two months, as a good president who showed an interest in students and university staff. They said Silver ate lunch with students and often showed up at university activities.