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Chancellor Selection News & Commentary Round-Up

Updated: Mar 26

Last updated 26 March 2021 at 6:27 AM


As a service to the Fayetteville State community, we're gathering links related to the selection of Darrell Allison as Fayetteville State Chancellor and the way it puts Fayetteville State's re-accreditation at risk. Have a piece you would like to see shared? Contact us at FayStateFaculty AT gmail DOT com.


National coverage:

InsideHigherEd summarizes many of the key events and allegations up through the Faculty Senate resolutions of 26 February 2021 in a story released 1 March 2021: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/03/01/fayetteville-state-faculty-criticize-selection-chancellor-whos-backed-school-choice


Diverse Education reports on the Faculty Senate resolutions and the issues leading up to the vote of 26 February 2021 in a story released 1 March 2021: https://diverseeducation.com/article/206594/


The American Association of University Professors sends a letter to Mr. Augustine, chair of the Fayetteville State Board of Trustees, stating in part: "For the board to change course and appoint Mr. Allison suggests that the faculty's participation in the search process was merely for appearance's sake and calls into question whether the search itself was conducted in good faith. That the board instead appointed as chancellor a candidate who was not among the five finalists raises the more serious concern that the board subordinated principles of shared governance entirely in its disregard of the faculty's appropriate role in the process." Full text: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ec4kKXdBRYTfqiev2sGVfMqXxdeOAzN3/view?usp=sharing

Predictions:

Greg Doucette in late September 2020, predicting Mr. Allison's appointment after his resignation from the Board of Governors: https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1311404391350579200 and Mr. Doucette's comments after the announcement: https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1362476756255584270


Jarrett Carter, Sr. in HBCU Digest in mid-December 2020, connecting Mr. Allison's resignation with the "re-vamped" Chancellor search process in the UNC System: https://www.hbcudigest.com/p/unc-system-darrell-allison-fayetteville


The Announcement:

PBSNC's footage of the UNC Board of Governors meeting with Mr. Allison's nomination by UNC President Peter Hans and vote by the board (starts at 1:37:50) https://www.pbsnc.org/watch/livestream/bog/


WRAL's footage of the press conference announcing Mr. Allison, where he and others declined questions about the search process: https://www.wral.com/new-fayetteville-state-chancellor-to-take-over-in-march/19534141/


Questions and Reactions:

WRAL reports that Mr. Allison's name "wasn't included on search committee's final cut but was added at the last minute to the list sent to the Board of Governors for the final selection." Alumni-led petition calling for Mr. Allison's removal reaches 1,500 signatures. https://www.wral.com/online-petition-calls-for-removal-of-new-fayetteville-state-chancellor/19540806/


Willis McLeod, a Fayetteville State alum and former chancellor (1995-2003), questions the search process and whether it was followed as described by the Board of Governors. https://www.wral.com/former-chancellor-questions-process-used-to-pick-fayetteville-state-s-new-leader/19542479/


NC Policy Watch does a deep dive into the process, with "sources close to the process, including several FSU trustees and those directly involved at the UNC System level" stating that Mr. Allison "was far from the most qualified of the more than 60 applicants...[and that his] close political and personal relationships on the board of governors and in the North Carolina General Assembly ultimately got him the job." The article notes that Mr. Allison voted to hire President Peter Hans as president of the UNC System, that it was Mr. Allison's former colleagues on the Board of Governors who ratified President Hans' selection of him as chancellor. http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2021/02/24/pw-special-report-how-did-darrell-allison-cut-in-line-to-become-the-new-chancellor-at-fayetteville-state-its-a-secret/


A former Dean of Education at Fayetteville State publishes an open letter raising questions about the process and asking that Mr. Allison refuse any move to re-name Fayetteville State to UNC-Fayetteville or otherwise shift the university's core mission. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/opinion/2021/02/24/open-letter-fayetteville-state-chancellor-elect-no-unc-f-fsu/4552548001/


The Fayetteville Observer confirms allegation that Mr. Allison's mother-in-law served on the Fayetteville State Board of Trustees until shortly before the announcement of his selection: https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/02/25/fayetteville-state-universitys-chancellor-elect-had-relative-board/4553486001/


The Fayetteville State University National Alumni Association, Inc. formally announces its opposition to the selection of Mr. Allison, asks that his name be withdrawn. http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2021/02/25/national-fayetteville-state-alumni-association-opposes-new-chancellor-selection-process/


The Fayetteville Observer reports on the Faculty Senate resolutions of Friday, February 26th, which thanked Dr. Valentine (R1), noted that alleged manipulation of the chancellor search process puts Fayetteville State's accreditation at risk (R2), asked for greater transparency in leadership searches (R3), authorized the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to act on behalf of the Faculty (R4), declared the chancellor search failed (R5), objected to changes of the provost search process and demanded its suspension until the current crisis is resolved (R6). https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/02/26/fayetteville-state-university-faculty-call-reinstall-chancellor-valentine/6836844002/


The alumni petition, which focuses on Mr. Allison's lack of credentials, reaches 2,000 signatures. https://abc11.com/education/petition-grows-to-revoke-selection-of-fsus-newest-chancellor/10374413/


A faculty member connects the dots on the appointment, accreditation, and the way the manipulated search process puts $36,000,000/year at risk. https://www.faystatefaculty.com/post/the-36-000-000-accreditation-bet


NC Policy Watch points out that the cronyism of the process was a "bridge too far" for members of the Board of Trustees who have said that in the pool of candidates "it would be difficult for anyone with [Allison’s] resume to make the top five… even the top ten, maybe." http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2021/03/02/ham-handed-power-play-at-fayetteville-state-symbolizes-unrepentant-trumpism-in-action


The Raleigh-Apex Chapter of the NAACP releases a statement condemning the search process and adding their voice in support of the Fayetteville State faculty and alumni. https://docs.google.com/document/d/149VM56dMq9fAxysodtGb9smrrrMZhfTetu_Lp5JB2Ig/edit?usp=sharing


Daron Davis, Fayetteville State '14, criticizes an earlier piece in the The Fayetteville Observer and argues that allowing Mr. Allison's appointment to proceed to "give him a chance" is saying that corruption is okay. fayobserver.com/story/opinion/2021/03/03/fayetteville-state-chancellor-what-does-qualified-mean/6885953002/


The Fayetteville Observer reports on the way loss of accreditation would mean a loss of at least $36,000,000 in federal funds, a devastating blow to the institution, city, and region. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/04/fayetteville-state-chancellor-selection-causes-accreditation-concerns/6887328002/


Fayetteville State students protest the Chancellor selection process, ask for student voices to be included. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/05/fsu-students-protest-lack-input-selection-new-chancellor/4591906001/


Stuart Augustine from the Fayetteville State Board of Trustees refuses Faculty Senate resolutions, claiming search process was followed and that the Board of Trustees had the right to insert new candidates for the chancellorship. Darrell Allison addresses Faculty Senate but refuses to commit to choosing a provost from the finalists selected by the search committee. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/06/fayetteville-state-trustees-mum-chancellor-search-details/6919410002/


Fayetteville State alumni protest the Chancellor search process, with one alum characterizing community input during the chancellor search process as "disrespectfully disregarded."

https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/09/fsu-alumni-raise-concerns-new-chancellor-darrell-allison/4602171001/


HigherEdWorks looks at the problems the occur when a board micromanages the institution it governs. Belle Wheelan, president of SACS-COC, noted in 2020 that it's difficult for a board member to say "no" to a demanding legislator - but it's important. "You may not get reappointed, but you will leave with your integrity and you will have protected the integrity of the institution, which is indeed what we expect board members to do." https://www.higheredworks.org/2021/03/best-board-practices-to-avoid-micromanagement/


The Fayetteville State Board of Trustees Executive Committee approves a $12,400 housing disbursement on top of the new chancellor's salary to cover a housing rental for four months until the chancellor residence is available. That sum is equivalent to three years of tuition and fees for an in-state commuting student. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/10/lease-approved-fayetteville-state-university-chancellor-elect/6927746002/


The Fayetteville Observer reports on the letter the American Association of University Professors sent to the Board of Trustees, raising questions about shared governance in the chancellor selection process. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/11/fsu-chancellor-search-questioned-professors-group/4595335001/


The Editorial Board of the Greensboro News & Record warns that the situation at Fayetteville State offers a preview of what might soon happen at UNC-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T, asking in part "Given the heavily weighted vote [the chancellor search process] now bestows on the UNC Systems president, why even bother with a search?"

https://greensboro.com/opinion/editorial/our-opinion-a-sneak-preview/article_be459162-8bf8-11eb-b3dc-f37ce97869ee.html


Daron Davis writes in The Fayetteville Observer about "Solidarity Saturdays," the alumni protests, and why the alumni are pushing for a clean selection process. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/25/daron-davis-rooting-fayetteville-state-means-supporting-qualified-leader-and-clean-selection-process/6982691002/


D. G. Martin writes in the Richmond County Daily Journal that it's crucial for chancellor searches to be "collaborative" and that it is "tragic" "for the situation to be poisoned from the beginning" as has happened here. https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/opinion/99796/d-g-martin-deciding-who-leads-a-university


From Fayetteville State AAUP:

A note of appreciation to Chancellor Valentine for her approach to shared governance: https://www.faystatefaculty.com/post/thank-you-chancellor-valentine-for-your-exemplary-approach-to-shared-governance


A demand for greatest transparency to restore trust, or the resignation of leaders responsible for the current situation: https://www.faystatefaculty.com/post/democracy-thrives-when-shared-governance-lives


The Accreditation Concern:

Fayetteville State is currently undergoing re-accreditation. SACS, our accreditation body, raised questions in 2019 about the University of South Carolina's presidential search. https://www.wltx.com/article/news/education/closer-look-at-the-university-of-south-carolinas-accreditation-and-its-future/101-e8ccfda1-1be1-4446-b393-e0aa72070186


For an archive of correspondence between SACS and the University of South Carolina regarding their presidential search and accreditation compliance, see the 2020 Monitoring Report here: https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/institutional_research_assessment_and_analytics/sacscoc_continuous_compliance/sacscoc_document_directory/index.php


The concerns at the University of South Carolina were so severe the Faculty Senate issued a vote of "no confidence" in their Board of Trustees. https://www.thestate.com/news/local/education/article235731772.html


For more from SACS on the role of a governing board (such as FSU's Board of Trustees) in protecting the university from undue external influence and fulfilling the fiduciary duty of trusteeship, see page 25 in this resource manual: https://sacscoc.org/app/uploads/2019/08/2018-POA-Resource-Manual.pdf and page 14 of the SACS standards: https://sacscoc.org/app/uploads/2019/08/2018PrinciplesOfAcreditation.pdf


From Faculty Senate:

The Faculty Senate, which consists of elected representatives from every academic department, school, and college, met in an emergency open session on Friday, February 26th. They passed six resolutions, including one asking that the FSU Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors consider the Chancellor search "failed."

https://www.faystatefaculty.com/post/faculty-senate-votes-to-declare-chancellor-search-failed


Resources:

What makes for a good [chancellor] search? https://www.aaup.org/issues/governance-colleges-universities/presidential-search


The UNC System and Chancellor searches:

In September 2020, in the midst of coronavirus concerns, the UNC Board of Governors passed a new policy giving the system president and the Board of Governors greater authority over chancellor searches. Here is a collection of stories about the change when it occurred:

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2020/09/03/east-carolina-university-faculty-oppose-potential-changes-to-chancellor-search-process/#sthash.ep4K9KdH.dpbs


http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2020/09/15/uncg-faculty-oppose-potential-changes-to-chancellor-search-process/#s


http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2020/09/16/in-voting-to-change-chancellor-search-policy-unc-board-of-governors-could-expand-system-presidents-power/


https://www.hbcudigest.com/p/unc-system-chancellor-search-process


Interviews of Mr. Allison:

While the AAUP remains focused on the process of the chancellor-selection, we are including here various interviews Mr. Allison has done. Note: the Faculty Senate Chair has stated repeatedly the request to meet was not denied, but rather any meeting had to wait until the Faculty Senate received an official response from the Board of Trustees regarding the resolutions of February 26, 2021. The response was received the evening of March 3, 2021 and an invitation was extended by the Faculty Senate Chair the morning of March 4, 2021.


Interview with Myron Pitts of the Fayetteville Observer: https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/03/04/myron-b-pitts-interview-fsu-chancellor-elect-darrell-allison/6912011002/


Interview with WIDU 1600AM: https://www.facebook.com/widu1600AM/videos/256163182792048


Interview with Akilah Davis at ABC11: https://abc11.com/darrell-allison-fayetteville-state-chancellor-fsu/10383848/

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