Chanting "Freeman must go," and holding up signs rebuking their leader, Albany State University students said Wednesday they are tired of unfulfilled promises and what they said was unethical behavior coming from the President's office.
Meanwhile, President Everette Freeman postponed a trip to Atlanta Wednesday to address the disgruntled students -- who numbered roughly 50 -- in an attempt to address concerns they say remain unresolved since Freeman took office.
Blair Caffey, a senior business marketing major, joined a small contingent of students chanting outside of Freeman's office in sub-freezing temperatures Wednesday morning.
"We're tired of being lied to," Caffey said. "We've been shouting and screaming for the past two years. We don't want this man here."
Caffey pointed to several ongoing issues on campus that have stoked some of the outrage against Freeman including hollow promises for funding of a Ray Charles Fine Arts building that was promised to students years ago and a general lack of involvement in student leadership and activities across campus.
Most recently, students were incensed when a popular university administrator, Vice President of Student Affairs Beverly Robinson, was demoted after the students contend that she refused to terminate another employee, although the official word is that her "realignment" was part of a larger restructuring to move the university further towards its strategic plan.
Robinson resigned Monday rather than accept the demotion.
"That was just the straw that broke the camel's back," Caffey said.
Freeman, who was speaking with some of the students outside of his office before addressing the complete group inside at the ACAD auditorium, said that he has no plans of relinquishing control of his campus.
"I don't quit. That's not what presidents and winners do," he said to reporters. "I'm just going to have to do a better job of interacting with the students and juggling my other responsibilities. The students are here in support of their First Amendment Rights."
As it pertains to Robinson, Freeman said he couldn't speak to personnel issues but did confirm that she was no longer employed by the University.
In an email to the student body Tuesday, Freeman said that the university would be reevaluating its organizational structure to continue moving forward on its strategic plan.
To that end, he writes, "several units are being realigned and personnel positions have been reassigned."
"One of the changes to result from this reevaluation was my request last Tuesday that Dr. Beverly Robinson assume the role of Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. This morning I was advised By Dr. Robinson that she will be ending her tenure with Albany State University immediately. Please join me in wishing Dr. Robinson Well in her future endeavors," he wrote.