Dr. George R. Garrison's 
Self Study 
of his 
Administrative Accomplishments, 1994 1998
 
February 10, 1998
 

    I.  Chair's Statement 

The contract letter between KSU and me, that was signed by Dean Rudolph 0. Buttlar and myself in August, 1994 states: "As the administrator in charge of the Department, you will have responsibility for and carry full authority over such matters as the development and supervision of the program budget; recommendations regarding the appointment and retention of all personnel; interpreting the needs of the program to the department, college and univer- sity, and the needs of the department, college and university to the program; recommending and implementing program and course offerings; establishing course assignments and work loads; assisting in the administration of the University's personnel and Affirmative Action policies; and enforcing all University regulations, policies and procedures. You will also be responsible for carrying out such other special assignments as may be given to you from time to time." In addition to these responsibilities and duties, Dean Buttlar indicated, and I was in agreement with him, that there was a need for the Department to become more scholarly, and in general, raise its academic standards. All of this I took to be a mandate, and incorporated it into my set of goals and objectives as Chair of this unit. 

My vision for this Department is a natural outcome of its dual mission. I envision a Department with both an undergraduate major and minor, and a graduate degree (MA, MFA, PhD) granting program, as well. As I mentioned in the annual reports, we get enquiries [sic] about a grad- uate program continuously. There are very few in the nation, and since DPAS is one of the strongest undergraduate Departments in this country, in the field of Black Studies (BLST), it is proper, fitting and logical that a graduate program in PAS would take root at this institution. 

Moreover, I envision foreign exchange programs for DPAS students and faculty, between this Department and Universities throughout the continent of Africa, parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean and other places where African and Neo-African culture and life exists and/or is being studied. It is time for this Department to extend itself beyond the narrow boundaries that have defined its domain for the last three decades. The world is much smaller now, given the explosion of technology and accessible global transportation. In order for our students and faculty to be fully empowered intellectually, and to become optimally developed as researchers and scholars, the foreign educational experience is both crucial and neces- sary. Furthermore, it is my belief that the faculty in DPAS are experts in their fields, and in some cases, have distinguished themselves in various ways. Consequently, some are at a stage in their professional lives, where they have something of significance to contribute to the students, faculty and communities, with whom the exchange programs will be established. 

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Additionally, it is my belief that the concept of a holistic, multidisciplined and interdisciplinary philosophy of education should manifest itself, within and outside of the academy, in-all ways that are natural, logical and appropriate. As I indicate in "The DPAS Niche Report" (see Appendix II), most of the faculty in DPAS have been trained in the traditional disciplines. This is strength, because those that are, have a grasp of two important paradigms the Eurocentric and Afrocentric methodologies. This means that we have the capacity to build natural bridges between Departments on this campus, and thereby expand the educational opportunities and/or options for students on this campus. Moreover, this reveals the potential for bilateral and multilateral cooperation between faculty members. Furthermore, this provides the faculty of this Department with an opportunity to accomplish another important objective of the academic mission of BLST (PAS), viz., to be a leader in the movement to reform, update and further enrich the curricula across the University, including those in the various Departments and the LER. It is the obligation of DPAS, in my view, to make available to the University at large, the knowledge, expertise, experience and resources that we have developed and accumulated over the years. It is a primary responsibility of BLST Departments to preserve and disseminate knowledge and information about the sacred legacy of African people and their descendants. It is an academic duty of all faculty at this institution to bring to the table, whatever knowledge, experience, expertise and resources they have, in order to positively contribute to the progress and evolution of the academy. This benefits us all, and most impor- tantly, the students who represent our ralson d'etre. 

Finally, but not less in importance, I envision this Department continuing and expanding its social mission, through direct involvement with local communities. The element of commun- alism, in the Afrocentric world, obligates this Department to assist the broader community in its quest to find solutions to the myriad of problems that it faces. Those who are without such human resources need the expertise and knowledge of faculty members. Moreover, these and other types of outreach efforts assist the University in its attempt to honor its social respon- sibility to the city, state, nation and globe. 

    II.  Administrative Accomplishments 

During the period of time that I have been Chair of DPAS, there have been a significant number of changes. When I took over in January, 1995 the operating budget was $17,400; the compu- ter lab had old Zenith computers that were quite obsolete, with no access to the INTERNET. The building itself was not wired to the other computers on campus, nor was there access to the World Wide Web. Only two faculty members had computers in their offices, and only one of those were computer literate. The rest of the faculty were neither computer literate, nor did they have this technology in their offIces. The-computers in the Main Office were also obso- lete, and represented a serious barrier to clerical efficiency. Furthermore, furniture in the gal- lery and throughout the hallways of DPAS's portion of ORH was old and deteriorated. Addition- ally, there was a vacancy at 

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the Associate Professor level. Moreover, there was one Associate Professor, who had been hired by KSU at that rank, while all others (5) were Assistant Professors and there had not been a promotion in DPAS for over a decade. Furthermore, the Department's theatre was in extreme-disrepair,.undersized, poorly equipped and located in distant Franklin Hall, and there were no concrete plans for renovation or new construction--this was also the case with ORH. The following changes have occurred over the last three years, which represent improvements in the Department, under my leadership: 

  • The operating budget has increased from $17,400 to $27,400, as a result of negoti- ations with the Dean and Provost; 
  • The computer lab has been upgraded twice first with Gateway 486s, and most recently with new up-to-date Pentium Dells and Gateways. Furthermore, the computer lab is wired, with INTERNET accessibility. 
  • Through a meticulous and methodical plan of reallocation, all faculty offices now have computers. There have been two cycles of distribution of these machines to the faculty of this Department. First there were Zenith 286s that were acquired, updated with Word Perfect 5.1 and distributed to each faculty member. More recently, Gateway 486s from the computer lab, have been updated in terms of capacity of the hard drive, speed of the CPU, enhancement of the RAM, installment of INTERNET card, etc. and distributed to each faculty member. Faculty offices are next in line to be wired for the WWW/INTERNET. Moreover, faculty members have been continuously encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities that exist both on this campus, and in the broader community, for training on the PC. 
  • Construction for DPAS's new theatre on the second floor of ORH, will begin this semester. This project will cost over three-quarters of a million dollars, and is phase I of a much larger project which will result in the total renovation of ORH. 
  • ORH is now part of the campus's capital improvement plan, and is scheduled to be totally renovated within the next five years phase II of the complete renovation of this building. This project will cost over $6.4 million. 
  • There is new furniture in the Gallery, the lounge and throughout the hallways of ORH. This refurbishing cost $25,000. 
  • The vacant position has been up-graded from Associate Professor to Full Professor and filled. 
  • Faculty members have been encouraged to apply. for promotion, and in the three instances where they did, the Chair has supported each. Of the three applications for promotion, two have been successful (Assistant-Associate), and the third is currently in the process. Moreover, faculty have been encouraged to develop themselves profes- sionally through research and conference presentations. One 
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  • (cont'd) faculty member applied for research time to do research, and received it for two semesters. Two faculty members were supported in their efforts for sabbatical leave. They are currently excused from their professorial duties, ostensibly engaged in research. Another very important addition to this Department has been the inaugura- tion of "The Wells Barnett-Hamer Distinguish Scholar Lecture Series." The first scholar to appear in this series was Prof. Derrick Bell, an imminent scholar and legal mind from NYU's Law School. 
  • A faculty member was assigned to develop a web site for the Department; He, along with media experts from the distant learning division, have accomplished that objective (http://www.kent.edu/pas). 
   III.  Scholarship 
 
Over the last three years I have had two articles published in refereed journals and have given several scholarly presentations: 
  • "The Philosophical Dimension of Afrocentrism and its African American Presence," Electronic Journal of Africana Studies, Vol. I, No. 1, March, 1995. 
  • "The Social Responsibility of the Academy and its Academicians," American Council of Learned Societies. Occasional Paper, No. 31, 1995. 
  • Presented a paper, "The African God in Colonial America," at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Afro-American Studies, Inc., Baton Rouge, La., Feb.,1995. 
  • Presented a paper, "The Social Responsibility of the Academy and its Academicians," 76th Annual Meeting of the American Council of Learned Societies, New York City, April, 1995. 
  • Presented a paper, "The Appeal of Garveyism to Segregated and Oppressed Black America," Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Afro-American Studies, Inc., Tallahassee, Fla., Feb., 1996. 
  • Presented a paper, "The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.," Keynote Speaker, Barberton NAACP's Annual Freedom Jubilee Program, Jan.1997 
  • Presented a paper, "The Multicultural and Multiracial Origin of the United States of America," KSU-Ashtabula Campus, Oct 1997. 
  • Presented a paper, "What does It Mean to be a Scholar: the Perspective of Black Studies," KSU's Celebration of Scholarship Program, May 1997. 
  • I was co-editor of the first issue of the Electronic Journal of Africana Studies. 
In addition to the above, I am scheduled to deliver two papers in the near future, that will, in all probability, be published "W.E.B. Dubois and Marcus Garvey on Pan Africanism," at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Afro 
 
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American Studies, Inc. in New Orleans, Feb 1998; and "Pragmatism and the Black American Religious Tradition," in Bad Bold, Germany, at the Highland Institute of American Religious Thought's Third International Conference on American Philosophy and Theology, in July1998. 

    IV.  Teaching  

As Department Chair, I have a one course/semester teaching load. However, because of circumstances, I have had to take on a teaching overload for three of the six semesters that I have been employed at KSU one extra course during each semester of AY 1996-97, and two extra courses during Spring, 1998 semester, all of which have represented different preparations. My student teaching evaluations are attached (Appendix V). 

    V.  Service 

The position of Chair of Pan African Studies is unlike any other similar position at the Univer- sity. Because of the nature of the job, this person has the obligation to be a leader on cam- pus, and in the larger community, when it is necessary. Consequently, it becomes part of the list of duties of the Chair of this Department to become integrally involved with the work of the University, helping it to change and evolve in a way that: best promotes the interest of the Pan African community on campus students, faculty and staff; assists this institution in achieving its cultural/racial diversity goals; aids the campus in its quest to establish a real sense of community; helps to reform and develop the curriculum; etc. To that end I have served on the following KSU committees: 

  • NCAA Steering Committee 
  • NCAA Subcommittee on Equity 
  • Centennial Commission Task Force 
  • Police Advisory Committee 
  • University Scholarship Advisory Council 
  • Teacher Education Council 
  • Chairs and Director's Council 
  • PEW 5 Committee 
  • PEW Roundtable 
  • Advisory Committee of Kupita/Transiciones 
  • Office of Cultural Diversity Dinner Dance Committee 
  • Karamu Ya Wahitimu Committee 
  • Concerned Faculty Committee 
  • Oscar Ritchie Hall Space Committee 
  • Pan American Faculty and Staff Association (President for I 1/2 years) 
  • Stow Public School Diversity Committee 
Above and beyond this I have given numerous public lectures and participated in discussions throughout the greater community at such places as the SKEELSCenter, King-Kennedy Center, local churches, etc. Other service that I have rendered to the Department, College and University includes the following: 
  • Guest lectures in colleague's classes 
  • Building bridges between DPAS and other Departments in CAS History, Philosophy, Political Science, etc. 
  • Being an advocate for African American students, working directly with BUS, BGSA, and KASA on issues involving racism on campus, financial aid, enrollment and retention, local law enforcement issues, campus climate, First Amendment Rights Concerns, etc.
  • Curator of ORH. 
   VI.  Obstacles 

There are several major obstacles to progress in this Department. They include the following: 

  • Lack of cooperation on the part of some faculty members, and behavior that can only be characterized as unprofessional and antithetical to collegiality; 
  • An unrelenting campaign on the part of some faculty, current and retired, to destabilize and undermine my administration of this Department. Appendix III is a compilation of documents and items that show a pattern of sustained activity designed to weaken, and destroy confidence in this administration; 
  • No promotions in over a decade; 
  • Very little scholarly activity, very little interdepartmental collaboration and very little participation in national professional organizations; 
  • Interference by some representatives of AAUP into the internal affairs of this Depart- ment through clandestine meetings with the faculty under the pretense of official busi- ness, continuous comments to the media that serve only to exacerbate the problems in this unit, and by their involvement in the most frivolous complaints that are totally without merit. 
  • Manipulation of students that are closely associated with this Department, by some current and retired faculty members. 
 VII.  Final Comments 

It is my humble opinion, that despite all the distraction, misinformation and disinformation about this Department, and how it has been administered, there is incontrovertible and empir- ical evidence of significant progress that has been made during the last three years. It has been my intent not to be sidetracked from the original mandate that I was given when hired. Beyond this, it has also been part of my modus operandi to maintain fidelity to the true mis- sion of the Black 

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Studies Movement in Higher Education. It has been, and will continue to be so long as I am Chair, my intention to build upon the accomplishments of the past, to honor them and ensure there is appropriate recognition of the same. It is also my duty, as the current leader of this unit, to: chart new courses, establish new visions, and to employ the talents, expertise, know- ledge, training and experience of a life spanning half a century, for the purpose of aiding in the evolution of this Department to the next logical and natural stage. I have no personal agenda in the administration of this Department. My agenda, quite simply, is that which occupies the intersection of the agendas of the University, the Black Studies Movement in Higher Education and the Black Movement for Social Change in this nation. As for as KSU is concerned, as an Institution of Higher Education, I have found in the three years that I have worked here, that the common ground between these commitments is broad, compatible and supportive of the work in which I am engaged. DPAS must seize the opportunities that are implicit in this, and ensure the continued progress of this unit. 
 

/s/ George R. Garrison 

George R. Garrison, Ph.D. 
Departmeit Chair

 
 

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