Medgar Evers: Top Black Politicos Want Interim Leader Immediately

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Yvette D. Clarke

[Education]

At Sunday Protest Top Black Politicos Demand Interim President For Medgar Evers

On Sunday, May 19 at 11:00 AM, outside Medgar Evers College, the Central Brooklyn Black Legislators Coalition will publicly protest and question CUNY’s commitment to the search process for a new permanent president at Medgar Evers College. Currently, the current president is still in place, despite his resignation, to the College’s detriment.

The protest will be outside of Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225.

It is obvious that Medgar Evers College’s best interests are served by immediately appointing an Interim Acting President who might immediately address Medgar Evers College’s challenges -- which arose under outgoing President -- while a full national search for a permanent president is conducted. In replacing previous presidents at City University of NewYork (CUNY) institutions, CUNY has always followed the the national “best practices” pattern of appointing an Interim President, while conducting a comprehensive and fully national search for a new permanent President. Recent examples of CUNY following best practices include the process for appointing new leadership at Kingsborough Community College, the College of Staten Island, Hostos Community College, Queensborough Community College, Queens College, City College and Baruch College.

It is customary that a presidential search be conducted over the course of a year, since it is always better to get a more qualified candidate than to get a candidate quickly. However, in the case of Medgar Evers College, CUNY only intends to allow ninety days for the presidential search. Additionally, only fifty candidates have been identified by CUNY as potential replacements for the College’s President.

Taking into account the large numbers of highly qualified individuals currently leading colleges and universities similar to Medgar Evers College, a “talent pool” of three hundred applicants would not only be ideal, it would be expected. Therefore the Coalition is requesting that CUNY devote the time and resources to this search process commensurate to Medgar Evers College’s importance to New York’s African-American and Latino communities. The Coalition is also calling upon Christine Quinn, the Speaker of the City Council to call a hearing to investigate the procedural and substantive failures of this search process to date.

“The academic standards of Medgar Evers College and the education of its students have been put at risk for far too long by an irresponsible administration and unqualified leadership that has also risked the institution’s accreditation,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “We owe it to this College community to do our very best to identify an individual who is capable of taking this long-standing and vital institution to the next level.”

“Sadly, I have witnessed Medgar Evers College veer away from its original mission to serve students with ‘diverse educational, socioeconomic, political, cultural and national backgrounds’,” added Councilmember Al Vann. “Over nearly 50 years, this College has educated countless men and women who have contributed tremendously towards the development of our city, state, and nation. We cannot stand aside and allow today’s and tomorrow’s generations be robbed of their opportunity and access to a high-quality education. That is why I stand with my colleagues today to demand immediate action by appointing an interim President, to restore the mission and preserve the unique nature of this predominantly Black institution.”

Who:

Congressmember Yvette D. Clarke

Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries

Councilmember Albert Vann

Councilmember Charles Barron

State Senator Eric Adams

Assemblymember N. Nick Perry

Assemblymember Karim Camara

Assemblymember Inez Barron

Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley

Assemblymember Annette M. Robinson

Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams

Councilmember Mathieu Eugene

Councilmember Letitia James

Councilmember Darlene Mealy

State Senator Kevin Parker

State Senator John Sampson

State Senator Velmanette Montgomery

Assemblymember William F. Boyland, Jr. 

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