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Alger moves JMU away from transparency, sources say

By Jake Conley First Published in The Breeze on Oct 15, 2020 and updated Oct 19, 2020

When Jonathan Alger took over as the president of JMU, many argue, transparency and accountability from leadership turned toward a new direction.

Under Alger’s tenure, the JMU Board of Visitors (BOV) and its operational and decision-making processes were deliberately restricted from the public eye, multiple sources say, and that obscurance has been brought to a head in light of COVID-19 and its effect on JMU’s operations.

Kenneth Bartee served on the Board from 2010 to 2014 — two years under former JMU president Linwood Rose, and two years under Alger, who began his presidency in 2012.

Bartee said that when Alger took office, the BOV — and by extension, the university — experienced a “significant change” toward the tightening of a vise on the information flow from the Board to the public, including a “clear direction not to speak to anybody outside the Board about what we discussed.”

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