Re: Media Coverage of Two Medgar Evers Professors

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Milton Allimadi
Black Star News
11 Broadway Suite 519
New York, New York 10004

Dear Editor:

In response to recent media coverage regarding two women professors at Medgar Evers College, Dr. Zulema Blair and Dr. Gale Gibson, I wanted to shed some light and offer a different perspective concerning the information that has been presented in the press.

Medgar Evers College's commitment to equality for women is reflected in many ways which demonstrate a positive environment for opportunity and advancement. Women are well represented on President William Pollard's Executive Cabinet- The College's General Counsel, Chief Information Officer, and Assistant Vice President of Facilities are among women senior staff who play an active and invaluable role in management decisions of the College.

Out of 17 academic departments at our College, seven are chaired by women educators, including the Department of Education. The Assistant Provost is a distinguished female educator.  In short, the College administration is proud of its record and the work of its dedicated professionals.

In any organization, personnel changes will occur and sometimes unfounded complaints are made. Two individuals have made allegations regarding their personnel situation. The first, Dr. Gale Gibson, involves allegations that were investigated by the College and the University and found to be unsubstantiated. Dr. Gibson, however, has requested a review external to the University. Medgar Evers College respects the process and will reserve comment until it is appropriate, consistent with the review process.

The second matter involves allegations made by Dr. Zulema Blair, who is no longer teaching at the College. The College must limit its comments as follows in due respect to the grievance process:

---- Dr. Blair was not terminated as a result of an anonymous campus-wide email as she claims. The decision to terminate Dr. Blair's appointment was made in November 2010. The campus-wide email she refers to was sent in December 2010. This email post-dated the decision to terminate Dr. Blair, and thus the email could not have been a cause of the College's decision.

---- In January 2011, after the email was disseminated, College President Pollard granted Dr. Blair's appeal of the termination decision, and sought to extend her employment.  Dr. Blair rejected the proposed extension.

---- Other employees referenced in the December 2010 campus-wide email remain with the College. No employee, including Dr. Blair, was terminated due to allegations in the anonymous email.

Throughout its history, the College has strived to provide students with the highest quality education. The College seeks to recruit male and female faculty members with strong teaching and publication records – since April alone we have advertised twelve full-time faculty positions, and filled four of them.

We continue to enhance student resources through the establishment of new facilities, such as the impending $18.3 million dollar renovation of the College library.  On behalf of the College community and the public, we will continue to uphold the vision of our founders and of Medgar Wiley Evers.

Valerie F. Kennedy, Esq. is General Counsel, Medgar Evers

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