• Petitioned Louis Paradise

This petition was delivered to:

Provost of the University of New Orleans, Louisiana
Louis Paradise
President of the University of New Orleans, Louisiana
Peter Fos

Maintain Bill Lavender as the Director of UNO's Low Residency MFA

    1. Petition by

      John Shinholser

      State College, PA

Maintain Bill Lavender as the Director of UNO's Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing

Dear Peter Fos, President of the University of New Orleans, and Louis Paradise, Provost of the University of New Orleans,

I have started this petition to request that Bill Lavender, the director of the University of New Orleans's Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, be allowed to remain in his position. Bill Lavender is one of the primary reasons that the Low Residency MFA at UNO has become the thriving, financially profitable masters program it is today. UNO's Low Residency MFA has recently been praised in Huffington Post's "Top 25 Underrated Creative Writing MFA Programs" and is both well loved by its students and alumni and among the most highly regarded programs of its type by academicians and writing professionals around the world. All of the alumni and currently enrolled students of UNO's low residency program whom I have spoken to feel that the University of New Orleans is making a serious mistake in firing Mr. Lavender and replacing him with a member of the University's unrelated and fundamentally distinct residential creative writing program, and we would like both the President and the Provost of the University of New Orleans to know.

We feel that this unnamed faculty member of the residential creative writing program, no matter who he or she might be, is not likely to be attuned to the Low Residency's needs and methods in the way that Mr. Lavender and the other Low Residency professors have proven themselves to be. Considering the general profitability of UNO's Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program and the UNO Press (also run by Bill Lavender), both of which are likely to suffer after Mr. Lavender's dismissal, we also feel that the university's decision needs to be rationalized more convincingly and, if it cannot be rationalized, we would like the decision to be reconsidered. It is academically unconscionable and unethical that Bill Lavender be dismissed after 15 years of service while faculty members hired within the past year are being retained. All those who believe, as I do, that Bill should be allowed to remain as the head of the University of New Orleans's Low Residency Creative Writing Program, are signing this petition. Please--listen to their voices.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at zamnath@gmail.com.


Sincerely,

John Shinholser
Current Student
University of New Orleans Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing - Fiction

 


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To those petition signers wishing to contact Peter Fos or Louis Paradise directly, their emails are as follows:

Peter Fos, President, pfos@uno.edu
Louis Paradise, Provost, lparadis@uno.edu

As per in the statement above, if you have any further questions, please contact me at zamnath@gmail.com.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. I'd just like to make a note about potentially fishy signatures

      John Shinholser
      Petition Organizer

      Hi guys,

      It seems that we got some fishy signatures in this petition. Whoever signed for other people, I am thoroughly annoyed with you. This does no good for the petition whatsoever and I can't imagine why anyone would think that it would. Specifically, the signature from Susan Krantz, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, is egregiously forged. Dean Krantz has made her opinion on this issue clear, and she would never have signed this petition. Please find the list of fishy signatures that I and several others have managed to compile below. Anyone who has any further suspicions, please email me at zamnath@gmail.com with the names you suspect to be forged and your reasons for doubting their authenticity.

      List of suspicious signatures:

      Susan Krantz (questioned by Beth LeBlanc)
      April Bedford (questioned by Beth LeBlanc)
      Norm Whitley (questioned by Beth LeBlanc)
      Joe King (questioned by Bill Lavender)
      John Joerg/Nancy Ballardini (signed twice, likely by mistake)

    2. Reached 500 signatures
    3. Wow! 350 people have signed this petition in three days!

      John Shinholser
      Petition Organizer

      If you know anyone who hasn't yet signed the petition but has participated in UNO's low residency programs, be sure to ask them if they would like to sign the petition. Including details concerning the achievements you have earned as a result of your relationship with UNO will add extra weight to the emails you send out and really give them punch!

    4. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Donna Guillory DESTREHAN, LA
      • about 2 years ago

      I support Bill Lavender as the Director of UNO's Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing. To replace Bill with someone who has little understanding of the complexities of the program will ultimately affect its overall integrity. Please reinstate Bill Lavender.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • shirley rickett ALAMO, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      Why end a good thing? A successful program demands the kind of dedication and attention this one obviously has enjoyed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Hedwig Gorski CARENCRO, LA
      • about 2 years ago

      Don't like the way UNO did this when program and press were vital. They should have cut 1% from all budget categories university wide to meet Jindal's budget cuts for higher ed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jeremy Yuslum NEW ORLEANS, LA
      • about 2 years ago

      Reason for firing is specious at best. There is no better person for the job than Bill Lavender.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • P H UPPER DARBY, PA
      • about 2 years ago

      We are moving to New Orleans. We have an interest in this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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