By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Betty Dement, the head of Auburn University's alumni affairs, was fired yesterday by interim President Ed Richardson after a tenure marked by a struggle with some powerful trustees.

University spokesman David Granger referred questions about the firing to Dement, who was placed on administrative leave through the end of April.

One member of Auburn's alumni board said Dement's firing is the latest example of micromanagement of the university by the trustees, a problem cited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools when it placed Auburn on probation in December.

Dement's clashes with trustees were part of larger tensions between the alumni association and the school's trustees, notably the decision to change Auburn's vanity credit card from Colonial Bank, headed by powerful trustee Bobby Lowder, to MBNA America.

Wednesday's firing of Dement followed Tuesday's announcement that athletic director David Housel would step down in January 2005 and today's firing of basketball coach Cliff Ellis.

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