An opposing view from the comments section….

Hey, we’re not trying to hide the ball on anything with this blog.  Deacon 1 (who thinks I need to reveal myself and, yet, they sign their posts “Deacon 1”) brings some difficult and challenging questions to the table for the WSSU community.  All of the points aren’t valid but the spirit of honest debate is present, so, take a look.   

You are right, the tough questions did not get asked last night. For example, why are the alumni more upset about athletics than the 13% graduation rate? Not even cutting the program, just moving to the conference you were recently in versus the overwhelming large number of students not graduating. Why does the alumni association and booster club not understand the difference between hard and soft money? Fundraising = soft money (varies)
student fees = hard money (funds you can depend on for revenue)
Why do the alumni think they can start a grass roots effort to raise $3 million every year when they do not donate money now? Why would any alumni, of any educational institution, want the athletic program to be better than the academic program? Why, in the heat of an important forum on school issues, do we think it’s cute for the class of ’70 football team to stand up and relive their glory days? We might as well have (deleted).

The chancellor could cut the homecoming budget; (is young Jeezy required for aumni/students who: (1) don’t give back; (2) likely won’t graduate – the proof is in the stats; and (3) need the money to go to better academics and students services) but, taking away funding from homecoming would lead to an uprising unlike any we have ever seen.

You claim the crowd acted with dignity and respect. They appeared aloof, foolish, and ignorant. Your dignified and respectful crowd are the same group that actually advocated for raising $3 million to allow the football team to stay in the MEAC. When Reaves questioned the wisdom of raising the money for athletics over academics (knowing the low graduation rate) the crowd pretended like Reaves never posed the question.

But, you are more concerned with graduation speakers whom you liked and table cloths that you did not have the nerve to complain about while you were eating off of them.

(comment from the editor:  have you actually read the blog?  I complained about the linen BEFORE I ate on them and afterwards.  And, the guy cost a lot of money but he gave a good speech…what do you want me do, mislead and lie just for the heck?  They were both inappropriate expenditures at this time (as was the dinner that the Chancellor decided he needed to announce had been underwritten).  Like or not, the facts are the facts.  President Bowles, it’s time to step up and make a statement.)

And, as in most cases, the most ignorant in the group are the loudest. That was definitely the case at the forum.

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Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 1:07 am  Comments (13)  

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  1. First, thanks for the post. It shows good faith and a true balanced approach to the debate. As to the linens, the point is that there are bigger issues at the university than linens! And, I never questioned you speaking out against them before you ate on them. I question why you did not speak out against them WHILE you were eating off of them.

    As to the point about the graduation speaker: you liked him. Quality cost money. If he was be best speaker you have heard in over fifteen years than he was worth the money to the university, students, and proud parents and faculty in attendance.

    If all you have against the chancellor are linens and a great graduation speaker than your arguments are trivial.

    You took out my swipe at the 70’s football team. Yea, it was childish but it added, in my opinion, some humor to the debate.

    I look forward to future debates. You have your talking points I feel have no substance you feel the same about mine. Isn’t democracy great?

    • I must say that this speaker was better than the one last December. Boy that was painful, my behind was hurting listening to stories of the ” Great Depression”. I was really depressed. I’m sure that she did not get $25,000. By the way, why is her picture at the School of Business?

  2. All the debate is much understood. But what about addressing the issue of chancellor Reaves constant cancelling meetings to meet with the student body. After all I thought the students are one of the most important parts of the university? But he treats students and staff as if they do not exist on campus. The chancellor will have some that will continue to defend him and his actions but I’m sure it will not come from the students who he continues to try and silence. Beware of a student and staff walk out in the fall of 2009 if Erskine Bowels does not address this issue and Chancellor Reaves doesn’t resign. Remember you heard it here first.

    Sincerly,
    RespectUs

  3. I received word about this blog via text earlier today and forwarded the information PRIOR to actually coming to the site because I already knew this was going to be interesting. I had an hour and a half conversation with a fellow Ram Alumn prior to reading this cause he was in ‘aww’ over the comments. After the cooking out and family fun, I’ve finally turned on the computer and here I am.

    I tried reading ALL the initial and consequent comments and have to admit, the random ranting and unorganized nature of this blog has made my head spin. Forgive me if I’ve overlooked some major comments or points made but have to say whomever initiated this blog has some insider pull so I’m trying to understand if this was started because this person foresees the future or is just pissed off. I attended the community talk held last year during Dr. Reaves Inauguration Week and it was held in the Dillard Auditorium. At 32 years old (then), I was the YOUNGEST alumni in the audience. The majority of the audience members were those who’d attended WS Teacher’s College, had retired and had nothing but time on their hands. The National Alumni Pres, the AMON Booster Club Reps were there, etc. etc. In that large auditorium, MAYBE there were close to 50 people (but that included EVERYONE not just the audience) so I’m guessing this is why this year the forum was held in a smaller room. GRANTED – I understand the “conspiracy theory” presented regarding the location of this event but in reality, the public doesn’t come to these events in grooves UNLESS something directly affecting them is occuring. The students aren’t coming UNLESS there is something directly affecting them and many of the alumns in the area are not coming UNLESS there is something PERTINENT being discussed that…yep – directly affects them.

    My point? Look – Dr. Reaves has not been on the job one full year yet and we all have to agree he acquired the job on the heels of someone loved by most during an economic time feared by many. I know of people who work on the campus within the Provost Offices among other places and they all agree a shake-up is surely taking place on that campus. I worked their part-time last year and the caliber of students being admitted into MY alma mater is to be questioned!
    ? Why did we have over 20 sections of REMEDIAL READING CLASSES with the majority of the students being freshmen?
    ? Why are we NOT graduating students at higher rates?
    ? Why, at one of the renounded colleges for teachers did we graduate less than 15 teachers in May, 2009?

    I can conjure many other “why” questions and we can debate them until we literally become rams ourselves. I’m simply wanting to know, IF Dr. Reaves is truly not the type of Chancellor Winston-Salem State University needs at this time is this the most formative and best way to challenge his administrative command?

    In all honesty, what concerns the initial blog poster is NOT a concern to many of the students on the campus. Find out what concerns THEM and whether the administrative leaders are listening or ignoring them and THEN you’ll be able to really stir up some action.

    • I don’t know, Dee Nichole, the posts are pretty stratightforward and I try not to mess with the comments section too much. Perhaps that’s where the confusing nature manifests? Maybe starting from the very bottom of the page and reading up might do the trick? Thanks for your comments (some very valid points) and your readership)

  4. My dear alumn,

    You make good points and raise good questions that hit at the heart of the real issue, leadership. Donald Reaves has been in place for for two years not one. During the first year he spent a great deal of time off campus. That time was not related to university business. You can always check the calendar is public information. During those two years, he has been able to alienate everyone on campus with a management style that fits a bankrupt trucking company, unprofessional behaviors and public statements that one often wonders if, did he really say that? Insiders know more than outsiders because behind the trimmings and the public relations strategies, there is a real world that only us insiders really know. If things seem random at this time it’s because you are beginning to get the picture.

    Don’t blame the alumni for trying to assist the university. When someone takes command of a university, they also take over problems and need to resolve them. Don’t confuse an abrasive personality with administrative leadership. Although you claim to be a young alumn there is wisdom with those of us who are much older.

    I recommend that you read the post from students. They provide a clearer picture of those things that were ignored. Why would you propose an increase in tuition that far exceeded the recommendations of UNC? Those recommendation would have been carried by the back of students loans in the form of tuition payments. See, Reaves speaks from both sides of his mouth and then he forgets what he says. Now, he claims that it’s unfair for students to carry that burden when he initillay proposed a tuition increase. Are you aware of the debt that WSSU students carry? The problem of raising money is not an alumn problem. The problem of raising money is that if you do not build good relationships and if you do not respect people in the community, no one will give to WSSU what Harold Martin was able to get during his tenure. Check the records.

    Speak with students, they will tell you what concerns they have. Do not intend to speak for them because obviously, you do not have the answers. However, when students became vocal about university issues, he shut them down in many ways.

    By the way, when was the last time you gave to WSSU and how much?

    An old gizzard.

  5. Dee Nichole,
    In terms of graduating students…well the numbers are low at most colleges and universities as they progress.

    See here: http://www.northcarolina.edu/content.php/assessment/reports/student_info/retention.htm

    Or you should look at the numbers nationally. The problem at HBCUs like Winston-Salem has always come down to socio-economics. This is not an issue that is a Winston-Salem State problem. Ask people like Ken Kimber who might still be at WSSU or Dan Lovett to translate the numbers and percentages. But, guaranteed the WSSU numbers will begin to affect PWIs because of the economic situation. WSSU has more poor black students than those attending elite schools or PWIs. Students at HBCUs are primarily 1st generation college students and many work part-time, go to school part-time, or go to school full-time and work part-time. You can not compare 1992 rates to 2008 rates because you have more students at WSSU now.

    In terms of the remedial classes…they have “remedial” classes at PWIs. The SAT scores at WSSU have improved tremendously since the early 1980s but SATs don’t measure drive, determination and desire. That is why Wake Forest University did away with SATs as a measure. The other thing that accounts for high passing rates (and subsequently graduation) at many PWI schools is grade inflation. See: http://www.gradeinflation.com/,http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2009/03/17/News/Gpas-Have.Steadily.Risen.Over.Decades-3673776.shtml

    But in order to understand the state of higher education in the U.S. not just WSSU see: http://learningmatters.tv/blog/documentaries/declining-by-degrees-higher-education-at-risk-the-documentary/644/

    • Agreed, but the impact of leadership cannot be underestimated. Time for HBCUs to stop the excuse making and start demanding excellence from their leadership.

  6. I give to my alma mater in ways that best fit my financial status. I do pay national dues but am not keened on any of the 4 – 5 local chapters here in Winston-Salem.

    As far as the concerns of the students, I’m one of those alumns who is still “involved” in that, I interact with the students in various ways so I hear their issues and complaints from the pertinent to the not so pertinent. To them, I encourage responsibility on the part of their SGA, which has become more of a popularity contest in the past few years. I encourage them to want more for themselves than just the “right now” but this generation is VERY different – they are the generation of “ADHD” or “gotta have it right now”; they are not proned to wait. They are very disconnected from each other.

    Nevertheless, I’m an open-minded person and am not easily pursuaded without investigating things on my own so I’ll take all that is being said here and apply it to what I already know (or THINK I know) and draw my own conclusions.

    • Athletics vs. academics at WSSU

      Hey people read between the lines…what is DJR saying or not saying?

      Lets dissect this article http://npaper-wehaa.com/yes-weekly;see-8hjR5yAc0JkOJ635#c-367601 and comment on the obvious.

      DJR is passing the buck by indirectly blaming former WSSU Chancellor Harold Martin, Sr. for certain shortcomings and then ducking his responsibility to raise and/or spearhead fundraising at Ol’ S.U.

      Second of all, what does increasing student retention and graduation numbers have to do with fundraising for athletics? Believe it or not the graduation rate for WSSU athletes is quite high. Reaves says (in referring to the graduation numbers: “That is not acceptable,” Reaves said. “We need to give students a fighting chance to get out of here.” Duhhh… The PhDs teaching the classes are not coaching football and the people coaching football are not teaching physics, biology and english. So, what is the corollary here?

      Here is the published data http://152.12.30.116/IPAR/aa/pdf/Retention%20and%20Graduation%20Data.pdf from Carolyn Berry in Planning Assesment and Research. Essentially in terms of retention and graduation, WSSU is somewhat on par with everybody else in the UNC system. In some cases they are doing a lot better.

      “C’mon People”– Bill Cosby

  7. Dr. Subash Shah, why did you get your student,Scotty L. Speas(2010),to write the letter to the Winston-Salem Chronicle(6/4/09)? Why weren’t you man enough to write it yourself? What were you offered from the third floor of Blair Hall? You will not get a raise this year,so what’s in it for you? You know students like to brag when they see their names in the media. So Scotty is talking to students because they are getting on him for being such a fool. He is a transfer student and hasen’t been on campus long enough to know WSSU politics.
    Subash, being Scotty’s advisor you are giving him poor advice!!!

    • Kent Chicago,
      You know very well what he has received as a reward:attention! Something he did not get when he was chair, (deleted). His need for recognition is the same need that DJR has been craving (it must be as bad as the swine flu). But wait a minute, sources tell me that he got a salary to conduct “senate business during the summer”. So while you and I had to beg to teach summer classes, he got paid, making him an 11 month employee. Is that a conflict of interest? Wondering what did he did for us?

  8. Shah, you have reached the lowest level possible. To use a student (if that is true) to get your buddy out of hot water in low.

    What else have you done to students and faculty at this instutition? This faculty (if the allegations are true) has lost a lot of respect for you.


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