Planned Protest Held at Wilberforce University
Several members of the Wilberforce University faculty along with nearly 100 students held a rally Tuesday morning to protest several ongoing issues with the school’s administration. The faculty is asking Wilberforce President Patricia Hardaway to step down and for the Board of Trustees to disband.
Students gathered were chanting, "Hardaway must go, Hardway must go, no Board of Trustees, no Board of Trustees," at the rally, which was held at the school's Alumni Multiplex.
Richard Deering, president of the Wilbeforce University Faculty Association, says lack of student retention, limited or non-existent fund-raising efforts and no additions or improvements to the academic program our three main reasons why Hardaway should step down.
"Going through internal channels has not led to any result and so this was an effort to make the issue very public in terms of the administration and the Board of Trustees. It so happens that today's convocation was the annual Founder's Day Convocation and we have a senior member of the Board of Trustees who was the main speaker, Dr. Jayme Coleman Williams, and so this was really an effort to increase the visibility of the problems at the institution with the senior administration and the Board of Trustees," he said.
Hardaway and the Board of Trustees did not directly address the protestors but did discuss at the convocation that tough fiscal measures have been put in place to help keep the university open in a bad economy. Hardaway mentioned that all of the faculty's grievances concerning fiscal mismanagement had previously been submitted to the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the complaint was dismissed.
The mostly peaceful protest resulted in the arrest of adjunct professor David Evans who was handcuffed by campus security and then detained by a Greene County Sheriff's deputy.
Richard Deering says the protest was effective because it successfully put all of the issues facing the university in the public's eye.