KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
To Dr. John J.
Gargan, Department of Political Science
Date March 6, 1998
Chair Extraordinary Review Committee
RE Dr. George R. Garrison, Chair
From Dr. Edward W. Crosby, Chair and Professor
Subject My List of Particulars Concerning the Ineffectiveness
of the Chair
I never believed I would within a space of just one year come to the
conclusion that Dr. Garrison is destroying or has destroyed the Department
of Pan-African Studies. In February, 1996, Garrison implied that I had
been incorrect as the interim editor of KITABU. This was during
a mass meeting, which was inappropriately called by Dr. Garrison to discuss
a departmental matter. At that time, I tried to warn the University's black
faculty, staff and students in attendance that (1) he has a skill for altering
the truth, (2) he doesn't read his mail or other materials brought to his
attention, and (3) he has a way of relying on others to resolve problems
he has brought on himself. I also warned at the time that he was taking
the Department to hell in a handbasket. But no one wanted to listen to
me then. Two years later Garrison has brought himself to this job threatening
impasse, and as the result of his non-, mis- and malfeasance he should
be removed from the leadership of this Department. The man is a fraud,
a charlatan. I list below those areas where he has been deficient:
I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that Dr. George R. Garrison is
the classic personi- fication of what Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan and Haki
Madhubuti christened a few years ago as "Black Studies Pimps," for Garrison
has pimped this Department. The Department has retro- gressed under his
leadership. Indeed, DPAS has lost its internal dynamism, causing students
to jump ship. As Sowande warned us sometime ago, kubili, the destructive
number TWO has entered this facility; factions have been created and no
one or no thing can make it ONE again. Garrison's removal will help, but
the faculty must heal itself, if its not already too late.
Garrison talks about his vision for the DPAS's future. But this is always
off the top of his head. I, and others, have not yet seen any written document
outlining this vision and presenting methods for accomplishing same.
Garrison cannot accept criticism or having to deal with people who do not
agree with him. Whenever disagreement occurs Garrison bolts from the meeting.
This has happened in faculty meetings and at PAFSA meetings. A standout
instance was when he precipitously resigned his presidency and walked out
of the meeting after the faculty and staff refused to do what he demanded.
Garrison intimated to me before he came to Kent that he was computer literate.
Later, in meetings with Garrison, J. Rowser, G. Smiley Bell concerning
the fledgling E-JAS (the Electronic Journal of Africana Studies),
a cooperative effort between DPAS and the KSU Library (Media Services),
he demonstrated he was not as computer literate as he had led us to believe.
Now that I have mentioned the electronic journal, I should introduce the
DPAS publications situation. There are three scholarly publications that
have not been pursued by Garrison: E-JAS is one, the African
American Affairs Monograph Series is another, KITABU is a third,
but Dr. Badejo has assumed that responsibility. My gripe with Garrison
is that he has not even tried to keep these publications viable just like
he has not attempted to preserve the viability of other programs and components
of this Department: Communication Skills and Arts, the Progressive Education
Community School, the Henry Dumas Memorial Library, and the Freshman Textbook
Garrison has only attended BUS events when he is invited. He has never
attended an African Community Theatre production or any event sponsored
by the CP-AC. He just wants to take credit for their existence.
Garrison has alienated not only numerous African Americans off this campus,
but he has also alienated many African American students, faculty and staff
on campus. The student-friendly ambience of the Department has been destroyed.
What was once a safe haven, a place students could come to just to be around
their peers and faculty has been altered irreparably.
The Black United Students have been separated from the internal management
of DPAS. They created it and they have a right to be respected for their
ORIGINAL creativity, for no other student group on this campus or off has
created or provided the impetus for institutions that have lasted for 30
The Institute for African American Affairs
The Center of Pan-African Culture
The Department of Pan-African Studies
The Learning Development Program
The Progressive Education Community School
Communication with DPAS Faculty and Staff is woefully non-existent and
disrespect- ful. Minutes of meetings are not distributed.
His most egregious shortcomings are:
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 and programs without
communicating these new formulations to the faculty in a timely manner.
Through his mismanagement allowing the projected Engelmann Hall Diversity
Studies Program — a collaborative effort with Residence Services and DPAS
— to evaporate. Garrison failed to return calls from Ms. Constance Foley,
director of Residence Services, and to respond to memos from Lowell Croskey
about the breezeway between Ritchie and Engleman Hall. Since he didn't
respond, it was razed.
Treating DPAS's Black women faculty with callous disrespect. This character
trait was confirmed in my conversations with staff members at the University
of Nebraska at Omaha.
Changing the editorial policy of KITABU without communicating with
the person who was temporarily responsible for the departmental newsletter's
publication and attempting to turn the IAAA newsletter into a refereed
Summarily removing the DPAS founder and Emeritus Professor from all teaching
duties and barring him and Graduate Assistants from faculty/staff meetings.
This is in spite of the President's stating in her recent State of the
University address that "Kent welcomes having emeritus faculty continuing
to serve the University."
Graduate assistants are in fact and deed University staff. They, like part-time
faculty, should be included in faculty meetings so that they are either
informed or mentored as future full-time faculty members at this university
as well as at other institutions. There are policies demanding that this
be the case.
Faculty continue not to attend faculty meetings or to leave the premises
immediately after their classes are over. A Department and discipline cannot
be built with a faculty composed of individuals who, like the chair, are
I along with others have noticed that the Chair's door is always shut.
No one knows whether he is in or not. He leaves his office and tells no
one when he will return. His administrative assistant is not allowed to
maintain his calendar. In the 39 years I have taught at the college level,
I have never seen a president, the dean, chair, or faculty cocoon him-
or herself off from students and faculty by regularly shutting their office
doors during the workweek, but leaving their doors wide open on the weekends
when no one is around.
The Visiting Fulbright Scholar has been dissed and thoroughly insulted;
on one occasion, at least, he was summarily forced to change where he meets
his classroom WHILE CLASS WAS IN SESSION. Is this the impression of DPAS
we want to convey to the United Kingdom or the world?
Faculty and Staff hires have been made by the chair without first conferring
with the FAC. The DPAS Faculty Handbook and the CB agreement clearly state
that the faculty have the primary responsibility for suggesting to the
chair candidates who meet established DPAS hiring criteria. Garrison refuses
to follow these policies.
Full-time faculty have been assigned to teach classes they are not qualified
to teach. When they protest, Garrison simply ignores their protestations.
Some part-time faculty have been officially hired and their interview has
been conducted AFTER the fact.
Garrison always wants to say his intent is to have a Graduate Studies program,
but he personally has never sought Graduate Faculty Status for himself.
I suggested to him when he first appeared in Kent that he should seek this
status via Philosophy. He never did. In fact the two members of the faculty
who have sought Graduate Faculty Status he has discouraged from offering
courses in Graduate Departments.
Garrison does not know how to delegate meaningful work. His administrative
assistant, for instance, doesn't have work to perform on a regular basis
beyond her perfunctory responsibilities: assisting students with registration,
scheduling classes and assigning classrooms. The chair has never on his
own asked what her duties are. He did not discuss her duties with her until
she wrote him a memo and presented him with her Civil Service Position
In this same regard the chair has not ever to my knowledge asked his faculty
what duties and services they perform for the Department and how he can
aid their efforts.
Faculty are promoted and given merit increases even though they do not
deserve promotion or merit increases. Those who are deserving are overlooked.
It appears that only the chair's sycophants warrant his attention.
Special academic programming has been noticeably non-existent. Almost three
years have passed and still there are no regular activities planned except
those sponsored by the Center of Pan-African Culture. Yes, Derrick Bell
was invited, but nobody knew about it until the day he spoke. Garrison
has also allowed the University to usurp Black History Month programming.
Little thought is given to the recruitment of African American students
to the University and, in turn, to major or minor in Pan-African Studies
via Education and Fine and Professional Arts.
Garrison gives the impression that he knows why the Black United Students
demanded Black Studies at Kent State. Yet he refuses to acknowledge that
the students created something unique at KSU. There are no extant Black
Student Unions in the nation that have lasted uninterruptedly for 30 years.
Everything Garrison says and does belies his mouthings and his claims to
expertise in Africana Studies and Africentric educational programming.
Garrison does not understand the purpose of the Center of Pan-African Culture
and he has never tried to inform himself. I doubt he has ever read Dr.
Milton E. Wilson's Kent State University: Involvement, Two Years
Later which clearly — even though at times inaccurately — presents
the history of IAAA (now DPAS), BUS, and the Black Culture Center (now
the Center of Pan-African Culture).
Garrison attributes to himself what others have done. For instance he and
the Provost contend he created or upgraded the DPAS computer lab. The fact
is that lounge furniture and computer upgrades were requested on many occasions
before the advent of Dr. Garrison. These prior requests came to fruition
when Garrison assumed the chair. Garrison and others may claim he is the
one responsible for the possibility of CP-AC/DPAS occupying the
second floor of Ritchie Hall. The fact is that this was on the University's
agenda well before Garrison came to Kent. Talk to Lowell Croskey, Vice
President for Facilities and Planning! Dr. Dorsey had drawn up plans for
the second floor and presented them to the administration at least two
years before Garrison's advent.
The major and minor programs are in shambles. Faculty have argued for
a complete evaluation of the undergraduate major and minors. Garrison as
he did in Omaha believes he can teach each and every class in the curriculum.
But when he does this the classes become garbage. I have attached to this
document the curriculum of the Black Studies Department at UNO along with
the relevant pages from his Vita. A cursory examination will show that
Garrison seems to have taught just about everything in the curriculum.
This represents as complete a bill of particulars as I feel is needed
at this time. I could list much more. The time is too short for such thoroughness,
however. As I said to Garrison when he first arrived on campus, I am not
interested in micromanaging his administration. All I tried to do in the
beginning was assist with his transition. Garrison and others have tried
to argue that I am the force behind his current difficulties. Well, I am
not as powerful or as influential as some people would like to think I
am. I am not as well as some people think, too. I have just recently undergone
three serious and life threatening operations. So one can imagine that
I, pardon the expression, don't care if Garrison lives or dies. I'm too
busy keeping myself alive to care about him, my detractors, or DPAS. I
didn't retake an interest until BUS acted on November 21, 1997. Garrison
administratively erred when he wouldn't listen to his faculty and his students.
This is a university and people here — students as well as faculty — are
sup- posed to think for themselves.
Even though I was presented with faculty criticisms of Garrison immediately
after his arrival, I refused to entertain these complaints. It was not
until I was informed by BUS of his refusal to allow them to continue to
refer to the CP-AC/DPAS as "the House that BUS built," that I was forced
to take public and en camera action against this revisionist declaration
and a number of other things I objected to. This was two years ago when
BUS sat in the Executive Office portion of the Library. From then on I
have kept my eye on him, his sycophants, his yes men and his supporters.
I brought my grievances to Garrison in writing. But that did not help.
I became especially aggrieved when Garrison took over the class I was voluntarily
and tempor- arily teaching. He tried to teach it himself, but the class
fell apart because of his lack of knowledge as to what the class was all
about and the disrespect he showed the students. A similar situation now
obtains in the Research Methods course which was designed for Majors. It
is supposedly to inform them of the various research methodologies particular
to Black Studies, standard reference works used in research on Africa,
the Caribbean, Europe and the US, the Dictionary of National Biography,
encyclopaedia. How to use the several internet search engines and the WWW
in general for conducting research, etc. Students tell me that the course,
with Garrison as the instructor, has disintegrated into nothing more than
a term paper class.
For this faculty's own professional sake and the sake of the African
American and general student body, Garrison must go!