Morgan State University Announces the Finalists for the Position of Provost

MorganMorgan State University, the historically Black educational institution in Baltimore, Maryland, has announced the names of four finalists to become the university’s first provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. The candidates have all visited campus in recent days for interviews and public presentations. Three of the four finalists are Black.

gibsonGloria J. Gibson is a professor of communications studies at the University of Northern Iowa. She served as executive vice president and provost at the university until June of this year. Before joining the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. Gibson was a professor and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Arkansas State University. Earlier in her career, she taught at Indiana University in Bloomington. Professor Gibson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. She earned a Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University. Dr. Gibson is the co-author of Frame by Frame II: A Filmography of the African American Image, 1978-1994 (Indiana University Press, 1997).

SteveMichaelSteve O. Michael is the interim executive director of the Association of Chief Academic Officers. He is the former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Before joining the staff at Arcadia University, Dr. Michael was vice provost and professor of education at Kent State University in Ohio. Dr. Michael holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Amadu Bello University in Nigeria. He earned a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Alberta in Canada.

Donald-B-Pope-Davis-Donald B. Pope-Davis is a professor of clinical psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and served as provost during the 2013-14 academic year. Previously, he served for 13 years on the faculty and in several administrative posts at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Pope-Davis is the co-author of three books: Multicultural Counseling Competencies: Assessment, Education and Training, and Supervision (Sage, 1996), The Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender: Implications for Multicultural Counseling (Sage, 2001) and Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology (Sage, 2003). Dr. Pope-Davis is a graduate of Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. He earned a doctorate in counseling psychology at Stanford University.

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  1. After reviewing all four of the candidates and their respective backgrounds, I would venture in saying that none of these candidates would be a “good fit” for Morgan State University. All of these candidates are far removed and totally oblivious to the overall functionality and purpose of HBCUs. I am most confident all of these so-called candidates were probably verbally pontificating during their respective interviews how great of an opportunity to work at Morgan State University. If such is the case, none of the so-called candidates have any substantive work experience with any HBCUs which should definitely raise red flags by any measure. These so-called candidates are in the winter years of the careers from the HWCUs(Historically White Colleges and Universities) and assume they would be able to be a “administrative cruise control” at an HBCU.

    Further, this is merely another tactic the so-called Black administrators’ at HBCUs(in this instance, Dr. David Wilson) and their neoliberal ideological framework that’s being used as breaching point to incrementally dismantle HBCUs be hiring person who have not shown their commitment towards HBCUs. In fact, I am most confident not one of these so-called candidates would send or allow their own children to attend any HBCU. For those who dissent, if you have the opportunity to ask any of them in order to prove my claims are wrong.

    We have to be mindful that simply because one visual phenotype is considered “Black/African”, does not imply such persons will make decisions in the best interests of the group and let alone its survival. Many of these so-called HBCU administrators’ should be dutifully ashamed of themselves for the incessant dereliction of administrative, cultural, and academic duties. Lets see how many HBCUs Presidents or Chancellor’s children attend or obtained their respective degree(s) from an HBCUs. Last point, HBCUs need to stop seeking validation from a White racist system in hopes of being viewed as a equal.

    • I agree with Michael. I graduated from Morgan State University (MSU) in 1998 and I went on to receive my advanced degrees from historically white colleges. There are people at MSU who are qualified to be Provost, why weren’t the internal candidates considered for the position. I believe that they would have a better understanding of the inter-workings of MSU than an outsider. Dr. Hillaire should be the provost. He was there when I was student and he is over the MSU Political Science Department. Why wasn’t he considered for the position?

  2. The current so-called Black leadership at Morgan State University is mired in making administrative decisions against the vested interest of the university. In fact, these so-called Black Administrators’ are more concerned about being “all things to all people” except for Native born Blacks. We have to be mindful that simply because ones phenotypes is Black/African, does not imply such persons is deeply concerned about the survival of the collective Black community. In fact, these so-called aspiring administrators’ should have been asked during their public discussion: 1) how do they feel about the Coalition for Equity, et al v. MHEC case? and 2) Do they believe HBCUs in Maryland have been treated disparately by the State of Maryland? Then, based upon their response it would be determined if they would be a “good fit” for Morgan State University.

    Unfortunately, these so-called Black administrators’ at Morgan State University(e.g., Dr. David Wilson and his noble higher education praetorian guard) are implementing neoliberalism within the core of the university to the point they vaguely assume they’re above public critique of their questionable business deals and accelerated outsourcing of the university services. In my professional opinion, such persons pose a clear and present danger to the cultural integrity to the university.

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