Garrison removed from post
at KSU:

Chairman can stay on faculty

By Scott Cook
Record–Courier staff writer

June 25, 1998

     Kent State University Professor George Garrison will no longer be chairman of KSU's Department of Pan-African Studies as of June 30, following a lengthy review process resulting from differences between Garrison and col- leagues within his department.
     "It was my judgment to remove Dr. Garri- son as chair," Joseph Danks, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said Wednes- day. "The primary reason is his loss of support from the faculty of the department."
     Danks sent an interdepartmental memo dated June 23 to members of the Pan-African Studies Department, including Garrison, noti- fying them of his decision.
     Danks said that despite Garrison's removal from the chairman's position, he can continue his tenure at the university. Garrison also has the opportunity to appeal the decision with the provost, he said.
     Garrison declined comment Wednesday on the decision or if he will remain at KSU.
     Problems developed in the fall of 1996, when several faculty members within Pan- African Studies voiced their disapproval of Garrison's administration of the department. The faculty said Garrison was "aloof and distant from the students," according to a copy of a May 22, 1997 letter from Garrison to a Pan-African Studies professor.
     Garrison responded in a letter to Danks, calling the faculty's actions "blind ambition," and "simply fabrications, distortions and intentionally misleading."
     Danks tried unsuccessfully to mediate with the groups before the faculty called for an "Extraordinary Review" of Garrison last fall.
     Review Committee Chairman John Gargan, a political science professor, said there "was a diversity of viewpoints" while reviewing the case.
     "The (committee) did not make a recommendation as to the retention of the chair," Gargan said, adding its final report included suggestions for preventing such an incident from recurring.
     Former Pan-African Studies Chairman Edward Crosby, who was one of the faculty members concerned with Garnson's lead ershipstyle, said Garrison's plight was lamentable.
     Garrison could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
     Danks said he expects to name an interim chairman soon, noting it will be filled internally. The permanent chairman will be named next year.