A letter to the Chancellor: A Series #9

Spook-Country-William-Gibson-unabridged-compact-discsDear Colleagues,

It’s a sign of relief that the end of administrative hegemony has ended. We hope that the new faculty chair can get back on track to protect and preserve the autonomy of the “independent voice” of WSSU faculty. `As you well know, this past year there has not been any movement to address the issues raised by faculty.

Instead, the past chair became an instrument of “selling out” the faculty concerns in order to satisfy the need for his own recognition, a malady that seems to spread at WSSU from top down, an infection worse than the HIV crisis. Faculty working loads have been violated with the excuse that the budget crisis demands such measures. After providing a document for the graduate faculty workload, no response from the Chancellor was ever received despite the fact that the constitution outlines procedures and timelines.

Tenure has been denied without reading our portfolios.  This has been publicly acknowledged and recorded, a blatant violation of our property rights (Editor Note: not sure that you have a property right in tenure that has not yet been granted?). What planet in academia does this (Deleted by Editor) come from? 

For the last three-years, we have heard this outdated flower-generation rhetoric and nothing has been accomplished. Deans need to collaborate with the faculty instead of staying below the radar for fear of retaliation. Many chairs should be replaced for they adhere to the same philosophy and rhetoric of an old era that is no longer relevant or functional.

The above phrase is nothing more than the same crock we have heard from the chancellor: “blame someone else for his failures”.  Now, he has decided to blame GA, by saying that he does not get direction from them nor are they clear in their directives.  Since when has this truck driver ever followed directions or listened to the voice of reason? (Editor Note: Certainly not since arriving in Winston-Salem).  Does the Emperor have on any clothes? (Editor Note: No…he does not and is too arrogant and hard headed to admit it and  acknowledge that he needs help finding his pants and shoes). 

 The administrators he has hand picked by violating the search process and acquiescence from Shah, are nothing more than clones who have sold their professionalism and souls because otherwise no other university would have employed them.   Subash Shah used “anecdotal reference” for his conclusions.  What that means is one or two comments from his little circle of the old network that hide behind tenure and have been unproductive. They do not bring new ideas, hardly do any work and give grades to students for practically doing nothing.

Thank God we no longer have to read those e-mails forwarded by the chair during the last few years. We hope that the new faculty chair is able to stay independent, follow the voice of the faculty and stay away from that infectious disease that has slowly paralyzed WSSU. Our next agenda should include a VOTE of No Confidence in this Chancellor!!! Remember to wear Black every 11th day of the month. Let’s collaborate with the staff senate in order to restore WSSU to its former status.

Independent Faculty for a better WSSU.

CC: Erskine Bowles, Hannah Gage, Harold Martin, Larry Womble, Nigel Alston, Marshall Bass,Donald Reaves

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 1:05 am  Comments (6)  

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  1. From: HBCU Sports Blog http://www.hbcusportsblog.com/2009/06/all-roads-lead-back-to-ciaa-for-winston-salem-state-university/

    All Roads Lead Back to CIAA For Winston-Salem State University
    by JC on June 18, 2009

    Winston-Salem State University has too much working against it to complete a big move to Division I. Through all of the drama about fundraising and direction, no clear initiatives have been brought forward to salvage the goal of economic growth and sustainability. The only thing we ever read about is heated discussions at town hall meetings and the potential for students to foot the bill.

    I would commend Chancellor Donald Reaves for his honesty and candor, but there is more that he can do. He has the power to do something other than meekly shrug his shoulders and loudly lament the lack of support. There is a move he can make to soften the blow of blogs like FireDonaldReaves.com.

    Chancellor Reaves can stop making soft excuses for what they don’t have, and start the hard move back to the CIAA.

    There’s nothing wrong with Winston-Salem State working toward the MEAC and Division I athletics. They look around, and they see how Aggie Pride has flourished even with lean times at North Carolina A&T in the win and loss columns for its money-making sports.

    They look at North Carolina Central, who like the Rams, are caught up in the rapture of D-I. They see their national coverage and lack of public turmoil and probably think, “Why not us?”

    But most WSSU alumni do not support the move to Division I. The school’s most prominent athletic alumnus is on record opposing the transition. The mark of solid leadership, above making money and having the people that like you outnumber the people that dislike you, is knowing how to play to your constituents. You can’t please everybody anytime, but you can please some people all of the time.

    And on the issue of D-I vs. D-II, enough people would be satisfied if the program was quickly thrown in reverse.

    Winston-Salem’s core supporters are an interesting bunch. They are loud enough to make their opinions known, but rarely back it up with action or resources. They boisterously complain, but allow their pocket change to remain silent. Moving to Division I makes sense for the university, but they are in desperate need of the alumni and community support to make it happen.

    It’s not there, so the school can’t go there.

    Returning to WSSU’s CIAA roots makes the most sense. Attendance trends and dollars raised show the ever-growing popularity of the CIAA, and its vision to present it’s members schools to the corporate community. Is there really any more profit in playing a MEAC schedule than a slate of CIAA games? Does it make sense to lose fans who oppose the move and its accompanying losing seasons? Is it sensible to be a championship-caliber program, even in a lower division?

    Yes. To all of the above.

    There is no reason for the NCAA’s divisional caste system to dictate how and how often an athletic program can generate attention and funds. WSSU is in a unique position to maintain its heritage as a D-II institution, while bolstering fundraising and community support with new ideas. They can move forward as an athletic entity.

  2. Faculty working loads have been violated? How have you been over worked? Has anyone demanded that you write something scholarly? Has anyone demanded that you become published? Has anyone asked that you be considered knowledgeable in the field that you teach? Do you feel overworked simply because they are going to make to teach four classes on salary opposed to two?

    You claim to have “property rights” in tenure. This, indeed, is the inherent problem with those opposed to the Chancellor. Everyone feels entitled. If the Chancellor wants you to work for anything, you become upset. At the last public hearing, the Chancellor addressed tenure and spoke of faculty members applying early for tenure. Some people applied without even having a masters or doctorial degree. You have no right in tenure without earning it. If you want the Chancellor to read your portfolio; then, start by having substance in it to read.

    Finally, you want a vote of no confidence on the Chancellor. You should ask the students and the 87% of students who do graduate within four years if they have confidence in their teachers and faculty to provide a sound and basic education. Maybe you deserve a vote of no confidence.

    • Deacon1 are you still smoking crack man!!? The last Chancellor, Harold Martin, when applying for Masters 1 status said the core of the teaching/learning model at WSSU was to be “scholarly endeavor”. The professors are the role models for a scholarly community and intellectual students.

      Question: Who is the least scholarly Chancellor WSSU has ever had?

    • I believe the most recently published 4-year graduation rate at the university is 13%.

  3. Deacon 1 is more interested in lobbying for her hubby to be moved from Board of Visitors to Board of Trustees. She wants Donald to notice her zeal by running a public relations campaign on his behalf. She is one of those members who benefited from free tickets, free meals and slipping into the university box during the games and we all know her close relationship to you know who. That’s why she thinks that she has all the answers and regurgitates what she is being fed. As the song says: Bad girl, bad girl, what are you going to do when they come for you…

    Has anyone contacted the National AKA offices to investigate how they have benefited from tax payers money? Let’s ask AKA to close their chapter?

    By the way is not “doctorial” is doctoral ask the Superintendent.

  4. Dear Mr. Hunter,

    I have read your cost saving plan to help balance the university budget and I’m astounded. Let’s first deal with the phones and copiers. What makes you think that this will bring substantial savings? When using a copier, people will have to synchronize the system and your vendor will make more money because of the numbers of repairs that will have to be done to this system. Don’t you know that Robert Botley tried doing this before you came? It was a big fiasco! Are you planning to sell individual printers on E-Bay?

    Why do so many people have phones? Have you monitored whether or not these calls and costs are work related? Why don’t you stop their use, including the replacement of blackberries that the Chancellor has lost during his stupors and/or senior moments ( yes, a lot of gray hair in the last year due to stress caused by his inability to run a university).

    Now, are you planning to dismiss maintenance workers, those poor hard working folks who have kept WSSU from becoming another ghetto? I have an alternative proposal since you requested our input:

    Dismiss administrators who do nothing except keep the Chancellor(miserable)company.

    VC for Strategic Planning $175,000. Now she has been moved from Enrollment Management to Human Resources, how convenient!

    Consultant who flies from Porto Rico and has never worked at a university or as a consultant before this gig. $55,000+ meals, hotels or is he staying at the chancellor’s home at the expense of taxpayers? When he eats at the Chancellor’s home or at a restaruant with the chancellor’s discretionary account does he get pay for those meals a second time? By the way why are you paying him with emergency checks instead of the usual requisition process?

    Stop all payments for AKA functions including the one on September 13, 2008. Please request reimbursement. Why are you so generous with this group? Are you the same with other organizations?

    You have quite a number of people working on a twelve month contract. I bet you don’t even know how many you have. Have you ever visited or called their offices? They are never around. They go on vacation, unreported time off which is a state violation. After graduation you cannot find them. Reduce their salary to 10-11 months.

    Restore those poor folks who really work hard under the sun and inclement weather. They do not have air conditioning offices like you do, they work hard in maintaining the grounds. Do you know how much they make?

    Of course not, you will have to ask someone else in your office to get the answer.

    Who is that Special Assistant to the Chancellor and what does he/she get paid? For what?

    Secretary to the BOT, Special Assistant to the Chancellor… priceless.

    By my calculations you will save over 3/4 of a million dollars. Quite a hefty sum for difficult economic times. My math is better than yours even though I have a high school diploma.

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