Inter-Departmental Correspondence
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
Kent, Ohio
 

To              Dr. George R. Garrison, Chair                                             Date April 16, 1996 
                      Department of Pan-African Studies 

From          Dr. Edward W. Crosby, Chair and Professor Emeritus, DPAS 

Subject       DPAS Faculty Advisory Council Meeting: A List of Particulars 
 

I do not feel that I should be discussing issues that concern the Chair in a general meeting, for I believe this format will not accomplish more than add fuel to a fire that has all the potential for becoming a conflagration. I had requested a one-on-one meeting so that the Chair and I could talk freely and candidly. Should a meeting with faculty be required afterwards, fine, but the Chair and I will have already discussed and hopefully resolved our misunderstandings and misapprehensions. 

  I. The Black United Students 

  • Students must not be separated from the internal management of DPAS. They created it; they have a right to be treated in a manner that befits the ORIGINAL creativity of the . . .
                 Institute for African American Affairs 
                The Center of Pan-African Culture 
                The Department of Pan-African Studies 
  • Yes, BUS was caught up in the swirl that demanded the creation of Black Studies Programs; however, NO ONE IN HIS OR HER RIGHT MIND can say that because of this, BUS's accomplishment cannot be attributed to them in such a way that their esteem and pride can be enhanced. Their creation of the IAAA and its evolution into DPAS is the premier Africentered educational program in Ohio and contiguous states. DPAS, in terms of the former Chair's activities in fostering quality Africentered curricula and THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AFRICANA STUDIES DISCIPLINE, is recognized nationally as a premier Black Studies Department.
  • To alienate the Black United Students, the largest African American Student organization in Ohio with a reputation for progressive programming and role modeling to other similar university/college-based black student organizations, is criminal. Furthermore, the University, primarily the Dean has for 25 years tried to get me to VOLUNTARILY separate DPAS from BUS, become more like a traditional department (read: Do nothing that will cause the students to critique the quality of the learning environment at Kent State).
  • To become alienated from African American students will render DPAS naked before its enemies. This is a political situation we are in; BUS in union with DPAS is the force that built and maintained this department for the past 28 years. REMEMBER ALL THOSE PROGRAMS THAT FAILED TO RELATE TO STUDENTS AND TO DEVELOP A COMMON AGENDA ARE NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE OR ARE ON THEIR WAY OUT. This also applies to how part-time faculty (excluding English faculty) are treated in DPAS. 
 II. Communication with DPAS Faculty and Staff 
  • Failure to follow the Duties and Responsibilities and work hours outlined in the CB mandated "Faculty Handbook" and the "Collective Bargaining Agreement."
  • Formulating DPAS academic and student affairs policies without communicating these new formulations to the faculty in a timely manner.
  • Changing the editorial policy of KITABU without communicating to the person responsible for the departmental newsletter's publication.
  • Changing the newsletter into a refereed journal BEFORE asking the Interim Director of the IAAA for his comment. And when provided, refusing to talk to him about the matter apparently because the Chair's unilateral decision had already been communicated to the Provost.
  • I was told earlier on by no fewer than three of your faculty that the Chair was not following the mandates of the AAUP bargaining unit's agreement with the University.
  • Apparently Faculty/Staff expectations, beyond simply meeting minimum workload, have not been fully communicated to faculty, I continue to see faculty not attending faculty meetings or coming to work at 12:10 and leaving immediately after the faculty member's classes are over. Again, you cannot build and maintain a Department with a faculty composed of individualists. Personally I and others have noticed that the Chair's door is always shut even though he claims he has an open door policy. In the 39 years I have taught at the college level, I have never seen the president, the deans, chairs, or faculty who cocoon themselves off from students and faculty during the workweek, but leave their doors wide open on the weekends when no one is around to communicate with.
 III. Faculty and Staff Hires 
  • Read for once the Faculty Handbook and the CB agreement. The faculty have the primary responsibility for suggesting to the Chair candidates who meet established DPAS hiring criteria. The first among these should be the candidate's experience in and knowledge of Africentrism as a justifiable methodology for becoming the Department's organizational theme. Second, no candidate should be considered who is unwilling to commit themselves to developing a legitimate academic and holistic discipline.
  • No hiring of a full-time tenure track faculty person should be based on one or two interviews from an already short list of applicants. If DPAS wishes to move to a higher academic level (graduate studies), then, it must choose faculty who can take them there, not as an imitation of what Dean Buttlar wants to refer to as "Eurocentric Traditional Departments."
  • Graduate Students are in fact and deed University staff. They, like part-time faculty, should be included in faculty meetings so that they are mentored as future full-time faculty members at this university as well as at other institutions. Moreover, from what I have noticed, DPAS's graduate students have no real work to perform that will mentor them and advance the Department's programmatic objectives. WHERE ELSE IN THIS DEPARTMENT ARE THERE STAFF PERSONS WHO BELIEVE THEY ARE NOT GIVEN APPROPRIATE AND MEANINGFUL ASSIGNMENTS. ASSIGNMENTS WHERE THEY CAN EMPLOY THEIR OWN INTELLECTS TO ACCOMPLISH. 
IV. Programming 
  • Almost two years have passed and still there are no extracurricular activities planned except those staged by the Center of Pan-African Culture. What is DPAS's role in bringing in speakers during the school year and not only during February. But even then, no named speakers were asked to speak or lecture.
  • It appears to me that there is a slothful attitude evident when it comes to programmatic ideas and/or ideals. For I see some important issues in DPAS's need to take the lead in our catchment area which includes besides Kent, Youngstown State, The University of Akron, and Cleveland State University. I see very little being done by this Department in any of the urban communities surrounding Kent.
  • I also see little attention being paid to the recruitment of African American students to the University and, in turn, to DPAS. You cannot sit idly by and depend on the Office of Admissions and the Schedule of Classes to bring in additional students and thereby increase DPAS's academic and financial importance to the University.
  • DPAS has allowed the University to usurp Black History Month programming and keep the Black United Students out of the act. Johnny Cochran was not the choice of African Americans but rather the choice of our European enemies who do not trust you to bring in speakers THEY can relate to. YOU MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOUR ENEMIES WILL USE MONEY, POSITION, AND SMILING FACES TO MOVE YOU OFF YOUR COURSE, i.e., working without let up to advance the position of our young and older people on this campus, in their home communities, in Ohio, and in the nation at large. That is why Black Studies was demanded by black youth. They needed and wanted some direction; others could participate but their emphasis was on community development and organization and this is where you should keep it.
  • Moreover, the Photo Lab, the Computer Lab, the Malcolm X Lounge, and the Henry Dumas Memorial Library are also under the CP-AC. Of course, there is a close Departmental connection with these facilities. But the administration of these facilities rests with the Director.
  • The formulation of these responsibilities was developed in order to preserve the fact that BUS created the TWO institutions housed in Ritchie Hall: CP-AC controlled the programming space and the acquisition of office furniture; DPAS utilized the space for its classes and assigned faculty and staff to their offices. Room 117 and the Marcus Garvey Conference Room are the exclusive spaces set aside for DPAS.
 V. Black Experience Textbook Development 
  • I am led to believe that the faculty has voted to maintain the current textbook for Black Experience I and II. There was, however, no meeting held with the entire relevant faculty, including English, to decide on the reading materials that should be included. The only proviso is that the articles chosen to include should not be overly expensive. This is also true for halftones (photographs). Tim Moore was supposed to coordinate this activity. But like other assignments he has been given he cannot seem to bring himself to doing things with dispatch. IN FACT, I SEE HIS FOOT DRAGGING AS A VEILED ATTEMPT TO SABOTAGE THE DEPARTMENT'S DEVELOPMENT OF ITS OWN TEXTBOOK DESIGNED EXPRESSLY FOR USE IN DPAS. Why else would he suggest a textbook written by Julian Bond who, in my estimation, is not an Aricentered scholar in any contemporary context. I am extremely peeved about his lackadaisical efforts and his disrespect of my time which I have been willing to DONATE to the Department.
This represents as complete a bill of particulars as I felt was needed at this time. The time given was too short for studious analysis. As I said to you when you first arrived on campus, I am not interested in micromanaging your administration. In fact, even though I was presented with criticisms of you immediately after your arrival, I refused to entertain them; instead I told the faculty members that it was entirely up to them to resolve any issues that may have with you. It was not until I worked with Prof. Dorsey's tenure dossier that I learned the full extent of the complaints. But I continued to push it off. When you implied that I had been malfeasant, I decided no holds were barred. When I was informed by BUS of your refusal to allow them to continue to refer to the CP-AC/DPAS as "The House That BUS Built," this has forced me to take public and en camera action against this revisionist declaration.