The widow of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers says the Brooklyn college named in his honor has turn out to be a nationwide “embarrassment” in want of new management.
Myrlie Evers blasted the Metropolis College of New York trustees for permitting Rudy Crew to remain on as Medgar Evers College president after he was set to go away for a job in Georgia that fell by.
“We, the household, strongly resent a call that may proceed to ship the college in a downward spiral by expedience, complacency, silence, ‘benign neglect,’ or friendship,” Evers wrote in a letter to the CUNY board, the bulk of whose members are appointed by Gov. Cuomo.
“In doing so, the College seems to be complicit in exacerbating a deteriorating scenario in an Establishment that carries our household title.”
Evers, 87, mentioned she had additionally introduced her complaints to Cuomo.
Crew, a former New York Metropolis colleges chancellor, was the publicly-announced entrance runner in April to go the DeKalb County college district exterior Atlanta. The DeKalb college board reversed course and determined in Might to not rent him. Some native mother and father protested Crew’s choice with one saying, “He’s all fashion, no substance,” the Atlanta Journal Structure reported.
The job as an alternative went to Cheryl Watson-Harris, who had been NYC College Chancellor Richard Carranza’s first deputy.
Crew, 69, mentioned he would retire in June 2021 from Medgar Evers, which he has headed since 2013. The four-year Crown Heights college enrolled 5,798 college students final fall, a 14 p.c drop from 2015. The one-year retention fee for freshmen who began in 2018 was 65 p.c, means beneath the university-wide fee of 80 p.c.
CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez referred to as his anticipated departure “a notable loss for CUNY’s management” and praised a “pipeline program” on the college to ease the transition for college kids from under-performing excessive colleges to larger schooling as “the sort of initiative that advances this College’s mission of extending academic alternative to all.”
However Evers, in her letter, mentioned the pipeline program “might theoretically be according to components of CUNY’s mission, but it surely has been an entire failure at Medgar Evers College and a laughing inventory within the Brooklyn neighborhood.”
Evers additionally took intention on the college’s 2013 strategic plan that was presupposed to end in 25 p.c will increase “in enrollment, retention, commencement charges, and fundraising.”
“To this date, not from our remark, however CUNY data reveal that the college management has not fulfilled the targets of this strategic plan, neither is there a documented present strategic plan that has been adopted by the College,” she wrote.
Evers is the board chair on the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute in Jackson, MS, which was based to hold on her husband’s civil rights legacy. Medgar Evers, the primary Mississippi area secretary for the NAACP, was shot to demise within the driveway of their Jackson residence in 1963.
Their daughter, Reena Evers-Everette, informed The Publish she would symbolize the household on a search committee for a brand new college president.
“I feel it’s vital to combat for the dignity and integrity that the college ought to symbolize,” she mentioned.
The household’s gripes about Crew’s management usually are not the primary. In June, lots of of college students marched calling for him to go — citing declining enrollment and a scarcity of funding within the college, based on a report.
Professor Zulema Blair, who heads the varsity’s Public Administration Division and is a Crew critic, mentioned he shouldn’t have been allowed again after he meant to give up.
“He was an absentee president earlier than the pandemic,” she mentioned. “He completely disappeared and tried to expire on us within the center of the evening throughout the pandemic. Why would he be there by 2021?”
Crew didn’t return a request for remark.
Crew’s lawyer contends in a June letter to the DeKalb colleges threatening a lawsuit, which was obtained by The Publish, that the hiring debacle price the educator no less than $1.5 million in damages and damage him at CUNY, which — after studying of his job prospects — mentioned “it not needed him as President and that he should quickly depart.” Crew has filed a grievance with the US Equal Employment Alternative Fee alleging age and racial discrimination.
A CUNY spokesman wouldn’t touch upon the allegation about his departure and mentioned it could work with “the Evers household and whole Medgar Evers College neighborhood within the seek for a brand new president. Collectively we’re working to make the college probably the most vibrant, anchor establishment it may be.”