Last Weeks BOT Meeting, and, A Letter to the Chancellor: A Series #6

Well, what happened was exactly what we thought would happen.  On Thursday the Audit Committee went into closed session for a little over an hour in order to hide the truth from the people (the tax payers).  They even had two or three police officers waiting on ‘Ol Beufort Bailey because they thought he might disrupt the proceedings.  I told you earlier, that man is useful!!!  On Friday at the “open to the public” BOT meeting they pulled the same stunt by going into closed session for a little under an hour.  These incidents are absolutely obstructionist in nature and a complete abuse of the State’s open meeting laws.   These were unfortunate acts and abuses, but, not surprising.

As we get the details from the closed session (and we will get them) we will update you.  Until then, please see another letter sent to the President of the UNC System and to the faculty at WSSU from an anonymous writer.



Dear Colleagues,

This is a serious time for Winston-Salem State University.  Not only are we going through one of the worst financial crisis in the history of the system, we are going through it with the weakest, most inexperienced administration and chancellor in the history of the University.   Dr. Reaves has demonstrated a lack of understanding and a lack of a willingness to learn about Winston-Salem State University, the NC System, HBCUs, state policies, and the Winston-Salem Community.

Since December 2007, he has managed to: weaken our University’s infrastructure and processes; make a mockery of our educational programs; alienate our community and alumni; cast a dark shadow over the system’s view of the University, reduce the full time enrollment; and bulldoze employees causing a Schexnider type fear across the entire campus. His volatile rampages of cursing and screaming at people have been heard all over Blair Hall and outside the building. What a contrast from all of our past chancellors except Alvin Schexnider.

Contrary to his statement “I am pulling together the best team”, he has brought to University 1.)  Dorcas Colvin who refuses to operate by state policy; who thinks that nothing happened good at this University until she arrived; and who refuses to learn the community and its relationship to the university, 2.)  Gerald Hunter who lead a school in Ohio to financial ruins and who has so far managed to disrupt the approval process, slowing the University’s productivity to a “slow drip”. Hunter does not have a clue about state budget processes. Hunter conducts his meeting just like the Chancellor. He gets upset and calls his employees names. Dr. Reaves moved Randy Mills into business and finance to do Gerald’s work. Now we have two people for a grand total of at least $350,000 wasted salary. 3.)  Ivan Foster’s children are the God children of Deborah Reaves.  It is evident that Foster is not one of the people that the Dr. Reaves is speaking of when he speaks of bringing the best. Ivan was hired to support and cover up for the Chancellor’s bad hiring practices which do not reflect EEO nor policies of any state and  4.) Dr. Allen who the Chancellor claims we (faculty) endorsed 100%. She has very little teaching experience, very little research and grants experience, and very little leadership and administrative experience. Did you ever look into how many trips he took to Rhode Island, we are wondering if this was paid with state funds? However, he has chosen this person to lead the most complicated convoluted division in the University. These are examples of his vision for an excellent team?  No.  These are examples of poor judgment.

Look at who he has maintained from Dr. Martin’s administration.  He kept Rovanda Dalton-Rann who will do anything to maintain her job.  She is actually running the University. She also covers illegal practices for him such as purchasing large amounts of liquor for private consumption through University processes. Dalton Rann has committed some pretty serious acts under the instructions of the Chancellor.  (Deleted by editor: Please, watch your content). Look at our Website; look at what is getting out to news media about the University; and look at the release on Dr. Caldwell.  Again, this is an example of his vision for an excellent team.  It is example of poor judgment on his part.

Our leader of this significant University is void of any experience, knowledge or understanding of academics and his outrageous statements indicates his naivety.  He made this profound statement in an administrative meeting: “I don’t care about SACS”, and it is evident that academic excellence is not important to him. He also stated in the presence of a group of faculty that research is not profitable.  He has managed in his tenure to debase the educational philosophy of the University and higher education. He has a record of making statements about the faculty and staff being inept in meetings with stakeholders. He has maligned our students.   Take a look around you, faculty.   Most of us are struggling for supplies, space and faculty positions. He has transformed the Faculty Senate into the Dr. Donald Reaves Senate.  He hijacked the faculty senate by keeping Dr. Shah as Co-chair for an additional term and grooming Dr. Aileru to take Shah’s place.  (Deleted by editor).

If there were any hope that he possessed the skills to lead the faculty, that hope was lost in his attempt  to defend his actions in conducting the tenure and promotion process.  To say to the faculty that he denied several faculty because of time at the University shows that he knew nothing about the policy.  To then say he sought the guidance of some senior faculty, when senior faculty in the departments had already spoken, is an indication that he did not read the policy.  Again Drs. Shah and Aileru were the senior faculty that he consulted.  They not only have (deleted by editor) also have done very little in research, improving teaching and publications since they joined the University (especially Shah).  If time is a factor in the tenure and promotion process, why is he bringing a Provost to the University who does not qualify in time (according to Reaves) nor the eligibility for tenure and promotion.  She will arrive as a tenured full professor (Editor Note: and has never been the Chair of a Department or the Dean of a School….any school….ever!!!  She is a glorified Diversity Officer with a bunch of articles.  If you look at her letters of recommendation, they are all full of “qualified” statements about her preparedness.  We haven’t decided if we’re going to release those to the public b/c the new Provost doesn’t really have a dog in this fight..she just accepted a job (although she was being pushed out the door).   I guess you may just have to trust us on this:  While her recommendations were from “name people” who did support her, they were all laced with qualifying language like “Although she’s never actually lead a department or been the Chair of a Division, I think Brenda can do the job.”  Read between the lines and you decide what it means.)

He does not follow any policies.   His hiring practices are totally outside the system and the state policies.  The University could be suited for the way the searches were conducted for the positions filled by Dr. Colvin, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Forster, Ms. Michelle Cook, Sigrid Hall-Pittsley and Dr. Allen and many of the assistance and secretaries employed by Rovanda Dalton Rann who never went through a search process.  Likewise his dismissal practices are unbelievable.  Dr. Caldwell was fired so that the Chancellor could blame him for inability to raise money to continue with MEAC.  He evidently did not look at Caldwell’s contract. Now we will be paying Dr. Caldwell and someone else in that position. The university is already paying 7 people who have sued because the Chancellor has not followed procedures. Mr. Robert Botley was fired so that the Chancellor could bring in Gerald Hunter.  Gale Barge was fired because she would not support his lies. He made life impossible for provost Martinez by asking him to fire people without cause and Martinez refused. Unfortunately, Dr. Martinez paid the price.

In a short period of a year, we have once again become a University without a community.  Reaves has completely alienated the community.  His whole mode for operating in the community is based on “destroy Harold Martin”.  He blames all of his inadequacies on Dr. Harold Martin who was a far better Chancellor than Reaves.  From his inauguration he has made public statements about how bad things were when he came.  So why did he come? The community is asking, “Where is he?” The alumni are totally embarrassed to call him our chancellor. 

Instead of trying to resolve controversies without making WSSU look bad, the Chancellor proudly showed up at the court trail of an alum he had arrested at homecoming.   This is not the way it is done in Winston Salem.  His respect for the University’s place in the community was very clear at MLK’s Community Breakfast.   We were represented by Rovanda Dalton-Rann’s husband who actually spoke for the University!!!  What a joke we have become in this community.   Do you realize how Mr. Rann’s wife, Ravonda, has tried to get him a job at the university time and time again….how she has plotted against people like McCarter, EEO, and others to try and make room for her husband? This is one of the reasons she spread lies about Provost Martinez because he refused to hire him. (Deleted by Editor).


Budget reductions that our Chancellor has advocated lately are a joke and it becomes very funny when we discover facts like the Chancellor took Rovanda Dalton-Rann to President Obama’s inauguration (Who paid for that, by the way?).  Also, facts like he is paying a consultant, a very good friend of his, over $150.00 an hour to do what the experts at the should be doing in running hiring searches. This consultant has no experience in higher education except his connection with Reaves when they worked together at the Mass. Welfare Office in Boston.  Donald Reaves has no degree in finance, he graduated with Subash Shah who sat on the selection committee.   Subash helped him get this job with the assistance of Kevin Myatt (Former BOT member and now head of HR at Yale) whose boss at the time was Gordon Gee, the President at Vanderbilt.  This Committee maligned the name and performance of Chancellor Vital to get Reaves in.  Now Myatt has left the BOT and we need to clean his mess!!

Colleagues we cannot afford to sit quietly by while Rome is burning.  Certainly we need our jobs.  But if we allow him to continue there will be no jobs.  His regime coupled with this economy could change the whole University. We evidently cannot depend on the Board of Trustees.  They have just rubber stamped all that he sends forward. Reaves gets angry when faculty members and staff attend board meetings. The senate President, Shah, just sits there nodding his head in approval of all the Chancellor is saying. Is Reaves taking medication? Is he bi-polar? Have you ever heard him use the “N” word when he refers to people of color (I have)?  Other witnesses have heard him say: “Spooks”. Who does he think he is?

Faculty, since we don’t have a real Faculty Senate, we must speak for ourselves.  I am sending Erskine Bowles a letter of no confidence in Dr. Donald Reaves, Dr. Shah and Dr. Aileru.  Dr. Aileru,…..(Deleted by editor) However, if you have any respect for yourself, I am asking you to do the same and send your letter to President Bowles.  Mark the envelope and the letter Confidential for Erskine Bowles’ Eyes Only.  He will not be able to share these letters with Donald Reaves.

Yours Truly,


Concerned faculty members


CC: President Bowles, Harold Martin, Larry Womble, Walter Marshall, Hannah Gage, Nigel Alston, Marshall Bass

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 1:07 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Riddle me this Batman. Why did the Chancellors Reaves and Ravonda, Dorcas Colvin and the Richardsons need three campus police cars – with sirens and lights flashing to escort them back to campus from WSSU stadium after the A&T game Saturday nite? They went blasting through all the traffic in the center lane on Martin Luther King Dr. at breakneck speed. Pedestrians and cars trying to move were forced to move unsafely and get out of the way so that the cortege could get through. Is this the best way to use campus police and state resources? Pat Norris shoud have known better. Someone could have been killed.

    • Chancellor Reaves was so upset because Harold Martin kicked his butt again. Reaves told Pat Norris, “just get me out of this situation. I can’t handle it” and Pat with her no back bone just did it without informing the idot that she couldn’t break the law in such a dangerous mannter with all the students crossing back over to the campus.

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