STAND IN UNITY w/ Black UC (Unity Coalition).Social Justice Now @ University of Cincinnati
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On July 19, 2015 Sam DuBose was murdered off campus at point blank range by UC Police Officer Ray Tensing. Mr. DuBose's murder is indicative of a larger concern at UC - a climate in which racist acts are routinely dismissed. This is further exacerbated by a demonstrated disinvestment in Black students, Black faculty, and Black male executive administrative leadership at the level of Dean, VP, or President. Proof of this has been UC's steady decline in Black freshman enrollments at the Uptown/Main campus from 2005-2014. This decline is evidenced by the fact that, according to the UC Office of Institutional Research student data reports, 9.4% of UC's freshman admits to MAIN campus were Black in 2005. In 2014 that number is 4.9% admitted to MAIN campus. The 2015 data reports are now public, but the freshman data by ethnicity at main campus has been omitted. These are not careless conjectures or wild speculations. These are UC's reported facts! By comparison, in 2005, Black students represented 14.3% of all freshmen at UC at ALL campuses, but in 2014 Blacks were merely 8.5% of all freshmen. As of the Fall 2015 Black students comprise 8.4% of all students at UC, and the data for UC Main Campus has been omitted; however those numbers appear to be declining each year. Meanwhile the 6-year graduation rate is 44% compared to virtually everyone else who has graduation rates above 60%. Check it all out on the UC Office of Institutional Research site: https://www.uc.edu/provost/about-us/profile/institutional_research/student_reports.html. All of this is happening as we prepare for the 2019 Bicentennial celebration of the university.
The numbers tell their own story. At the time this petition was written the 2015-2016 comparable student admission and faculty by ethnicity numbers were not available. If they are in line with the trends we can expect them to reveal a UC Main campus Black freshmen population below 5%, a main campus total Black student population below 8%, and a UC Blue Ash Black freshman class near 28%, outnumbering and outpacing Black student population growth and stability on UC's main campus.
The university administration has publicly explained that UC is doing a fine job recruiting and admitting Black students at UC. It is disingenuous at best to claim that UC cannot find Black student excellence (defined as high ACT/SAT scores + high relative GPA). Do they realize how that is insulting our alumni, Cincinnati residents who have CPS students, and Black families whose students are highly recruitable across the nation? The insinuation is that White students and/or perhaps Asian students are the only ones smart enough or worthy enough to be recruited? This poor recruitment charade has gone on long enough. Black alumni and community members are fed up and want immediate change.
Provost Davenport hired a Black associate provost over the summer. That was a good first step. Three Black females serve in executive roles as Senior Legal Counsel, VP for Student Affairs, and Chief Diversity Officer. We are proud of that. Their presence as leaders represents a good first step. We need the same thing to happen for Black male executive leaders. We need UC to hire Black males and females into executive level positions with real power, with personnel and budgets, then we need the President and Provost to support those persons. The horrendous divestment of support of Black male leaders has been conspicuously apparent in recent years with ex-HR VP Gary Dent's lawsuit against the university, in addition to the sudden departures of Police Chief Michael Cureton, A&S Dean Ronald Jackson, and most recently Senior Assoc VP of Diversity Development Myron Hughes. It is very odd these departures have left UC devoid of any Black male executive leadership at a time when it is being touted as a leader in diversity and inclusion. The university has done a wonderful job with PR, but not so great of a job with REAL inclusive excellence.
Furthermore, it needs to be clear that it is terribly insufficient to have far fewer than 5% Black full-time faculty (i.e. out of nearly 2,000 full-time faculty there are less than 80 Blacks). That is embarrassing to the entire campus community, especially when we live in a city with a 45% Black population. The numbers are likely worse, but again the university has removed those data from public view.
The University of Cincinnati has spent the time since Sam DuBose's death on July 19 talking about UCPD hiring and reform. They have apparently hired a crisis management firm to help. They have selected to have programs and panels almost every day to gauge our feelings and suggest they are open to help. They have essentially run from the responsibility to recognize the fact that the university requires REAL structural change rather than token efforts to suggest how much they care. REAL structural change needs to start now. It is no longer enough to have panels. It is time for UC to invest in inclusive excellence. There are very specific ways this can be done. The constituencies that must be addressed include students, faculty, staff/administrators, and the community. We are prepared to meet with President Ono, Provost Davenport, and Trustee Humes to offer a roadmap to inclusive excellence for Blacks at UC.
STAND in UNITY with Black UC (Unity Coalition) and sign this petition if you agree and want to see REAL structural change, REAL social justice, and REAL investment in Blacks at UC. The time is now! #BlackUC
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