HOUSTON – The Texas Southern University Board of Regents remained silent Monday following their surprise announcement Friday evening that current president, Dr. Austin Lane, had been placed on paid administrative leave.
The board and the university offered no explanation for the move and have refused to answer questions in the aftermath, drawing criticism and concern from current and former students.
On Monday, students who returned to class for the first time after winter break said they wanted to know more.
“Why did he get suspended? What did he do?” asked freshman Brea Butler.
"Everybody here should have a right to know," said freshman Jonay White.
TSU alumni have started a letter-writing and a call campaign to get answers from the regents.
Alumna Andrea Odum printed T-shirts with “Team Lane” and handed them out at the school’s basketball Saturday night.
“It’s a witch hunt and there is absolutely no reason. This man has done nothing wrong,” Odum said.
Other alums taking to social media to express their outrage. Vickee Gray created the #IStandWithDrLane hashtag.
“I want to know the facts but we’re not getting them. Who does the board of regents answer to? I think they need to answer to alumni, to students, to faculty to staff we should hear something from them, but we haven’t,” Gray said.
KPRC 2 reached out to the board leadership and their outside public relations firm but those calls and emails were not returned as of Monday.
Lane has hired an attorney who specializes in breach of contract and wrongful termination. Lane previously told KPRC 2 he has done nothing wrong and expects to be reinstated immediately.