Shake-up at Hampden-Sydney College - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Shake-up at Hampden-Sydney College

FARMVILLE, VA (WWBT)- A shift in leadership at Hampden-Sydney College tonight. The Dean of Students in on administrative leave indefinitely.

College officials would only confirm, Dr. David Klein is on administrative leave. They wouldn't say why. But a posting on the Hampden-Sydney web site hints at an uproar over a proposed drug testing policy as the possible cause.

Thursday afternoon, Hampden-Sydney posted this on its own web site, a request for students to meet with College President Christopher Howard to resolve a problem at hand.

The post stated there never was any plan for campus-wide drug testing.

HSC senior Ben Willis said hundreds of students protested before President Howard's town hall meeting.

The next day, Dr. David Klein, the Dean of Students, for the past seven years, was placed on administrative leave.

Faculty, staff and students, got word by email that Thomas Shomo, the college's Director of Communications, would serve in his place until further notice.

Shomo confirmed that, but told me it was a personnel matter and couldn't discuss details.

Willis said students aren't upset about the proposal itself, but how the office of the Dean of Students handled the matter in trying to implement a policy.

One criticism: students didn't get a voice in helping to draft the policy.

Willis said it called for drug testing of students who had past drug convictions. But said it didn't include an appeals process or a jury of peers.

"Clearly the student body are not very happy with them at all," said HSC student, Teddy Gorrell.

Gorrell said the administration should find a way to better handle such a sensitive topic. 

"Hampden-Sydney is a great school, a great group of people. We all abide by the honor code by doing this shows. We don't which is not true at all," said Gorrell.

Willis said the president assured the student body a full investigation is under way. 

I did reach out to President Howard, but my call was not returned. We'll keep you posted on any updates on the Dean's status.

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