Date: December 12, 1996
To: Dr. Joseph Danks, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
From: Professor Diedre L. Badejo, Ph.D.
Subject: Unprofessional Conduct and Harassment
Dear Dean Danks:
I am submitting this report as a complaint against the continuous unprofessional behavior of Dr. George R. Garrison.
Specifically, Dr. Barnes-Harden called a special meeting of the departmental curriculum com- mittee last Friday, December 6, in order to interview two candidates for positions on our regional campuses. During the process of the interview, several members of the faculty asked the first candidate for clarification on her reading list and approach to the subject matter. Dr. Barnes-Harden opened with her concerns about the reading list. During the ensuing discus- sion and response, the candidate stated that her expertise was in literature not Pan-African Studies. At an appropriate time, I asked the candidate the following question: "Based upon your literary expertise, which texts would prefer to keep and which ones would you prefer to eliminate?"
Before the candidate had an opportunity to respond to my question, Dr. Garrison interrupted and informed her that he did not think it was necessary for her to answer that question, as it was now moot because she had agreed to include any text that the faculty recommended. I disagreed, and rephrased my question to try to make her comfortable. The question, however, remained unanswered.
Since the course is not a literature course, I felt that it was important to understand what the candidate really knew about her own subject matter as well as about the subject of the course. It was very clear to me and to others that she did not have a grasp of the subject of the course, but rather a grasp of poetry, which under ordinary circumstances could certainly supplement the core reading in the course. It was also very clear that she did not a have a command of the text which did relate to the subject of the course. I do have a problem with that.
After the candidate left the room, I stated to Dr. Garrison that my question was not moot, and that I felt that it was inappropriate for him make that statement in front of the candidate. Dr. Garrison reemphasized that it was moot and the candidate had agreed to use whatever text we had suggested, and that other members of the department who had taught the course could train her in any areas where she may be deficient. I said that I had a problem with that approach because 1) it could have an adverse effect on the quality of our courses, 2) it imposes an unnecessary obligation upon the faculty, and 3) that basically the candidate was unqualified to teach this particular course. He proceeded to say that was my opinion and that my opinion was not the opinion of the department and that he had heard enough from me.