KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
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
• Institute for African American Affairs
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 . . .
• The Center of Pan-African Culture
• The Department of Pan-African Studies
II. Communication with DPAS Faculty and Staff
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.
III. Faculty and Staff Hires
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.
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.
V. Black Experience Textbook Development
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
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
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.
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.
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.