KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
PAN AFRICAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT
 

From: George R. Garrison

To: Gladys Bozeman

Re: Your memo of 11-15-95
 

Even though we have discussed the issues you raised in the above memo, I thought that I would respond to your memo in writing so that we both would have a record of what we discussed and my thoughts on the matter.

I indicated to you that the reason we did not meet on 14 Nov. '95 (the date in your memo is 15 Nov.), at 2:30 pm, as planned, was because two students had requests of me that appeared urgent, and this caused a postponement of your and my meeting until 10 am, 15 Nov.

Regarding your "first grievance", I indicated to you that it is not my intention to interfere with, or obstruct your ability to do your job. You gave me a copy of the Kent State University Classification Specification, Class Title: Administrative Assistant during our meeting. I indicated to you that this was the first time you or anyone had ever given me a copy of this job description. I read it, and it was clear to me that there was nothing on it that I objected to. I remarked to you that whether or not you, or anyone, could perform all the tasks indicated on that form would depend on ones [sic] training, experience and talents. Regarding your opening my mail, I indicated to you, as I have said before, that you or Carolyn can open general mail mail that impacts upon the operation of the Department but that I do not want anyone opening mail that looks in anyway to be personal or confidential. I am over burden [sic] with paper work, so, I welcome whatever help I can get from you or Carolyn in that regard.

You indicated that I had not "set down with you to find out what your responsibilities are to me and the Department. I distinctly remember you and I having at least two conversations in my office about your responsibilities, and how you had worked with the previous Chair. Since then, I have indicated to you, and others, that my administrative style is different from the previous Chair. This will necessitate you and Carolyn, both, adjusting to accommodate this.

Concerning my doing work that you are suppose [sic] to be doing. You and I will have no trouble correcting that. I want you to do all the work that falls under your area of responsibility. This will free me up to do the many other things that this job demands. If there is work that I am doing, that you think that you should be doing, please let me know. I will gladly turn it over to you.

You indicated that you feel that you are being hindered in the performance of your job. This came as a complete surprise, especially since all of you have witnessed my struggling with the Annual Report for the last month, and organizing the tenure, promotion and reappointment committees, and trying to get their results in a timely manner. I have not had the time to be doing your job and mine. It is not my attempt to hinder you, but rather to get this entire office, and Department, to operate at a greater level of efficiency. I do not think that we, at the present, are very efficient and timely in our operations. So, I want us all to do more, not less. And if you can help me more, then this is the course for us to take. Again, just let me know, anytime, when you think that I am doing work that you should be doing.

Concerning your keeping my calendar. This is good, and I welcome it, relative to my schedule on this campus. I did ask you to get another calendar, however. This will allow you to keep one on your desk.

Other things we talked about had to do with the appearance of the office, training student workers to answer the phone correctly and to take accurate messages, and eating in the conference room, and in other parts of the office. You suggested that I establish a policy against eating in the office, and to direct such activities to the Malcolm X lounge. I agreed to do this. This will be issued soon. I indicated to you that I thought we needed to ensure that we always had the proper business like atmosphere in the office, so that it did not get too relaxed, where the work did not get done. You asked me how I felt about children in the office. I said that I did not mind them, so long as the parents had them under proper supervision. Further, I said that it was not my intention to undermine the sense of community that existed in these spaces. And what we needed was a balance between that, and what it took to ensure that the work of this Department got done.

Gladys, you will find, as time passes that I am not the type of Administrator that looks over the shoulder of my staff, and try to micro-manage their areas of responsibility. I have always, and will continue to relate to my staff as professionals -- individuals who know their jobs, and who are capable of working independently. I will not always give you and Carolyn work, just to keep you busy. I will, however, direct things to you that are important to the work of this Department, and that I need you to do. During times when I have not given you, or Carolyn specific things to do, I expect you to keep yourselves busy with work that support our overall operations.

Please feel free to always raise whatever issues you deem are important. I always welcome your insight, comments, suggestions, etc.