Tempers Are Boiling Over at Medgar Evers College

At Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, relations remain tense between many members of the faculty and the administration of President William L. Pollard. Dr. Pollard became president in 2009. Previously he served five years as president of the University of the District of Columbia, a tenure that was also punctuated with controversy.

Last summer, many in the Medgar Evers college community were outraged when ATM machines belonging to black-owned Carver Federal Savings were replaced by Citibank ATMs. Then in December, the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Issues was evicted from its campus offices. The administration ended a center program that would have brought 300 nonviolent offenders to campus for training rather than sending them to jail. The center’s leaders have filed a lawsuit against the college.

When 10 faculty members were not rehired late last year, several received notices of their termination hand-delivered by security guards. Some of the notices were delivered to faculty while they were teaching in the classroom.

In December, 59 of the 66 permanent faculty members attending a meeting of the faculty senate approved a vote of no confidence in the administration.

Blacks make up 86 percent of the 7,000-member student body at Medgar Evers College.