Yale’s Carby Resigns, Then Decides to Stay After All
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Dr. Hazel V. Carby, the head of Yale University’s African American Studies Program, reversed field last month and decided not to resign her post. Earlier in February, she had said that she was leaving Yale because she was offended when her institution’s president’s lavished praise on Harvard University’s Dr. Henry Louis Gates.
Yale’s president, Dr. Richard C. Levin, last month held a ceremony honoring Gates, the head of the Afro-American studies department at Harvard. Although she didn’t attend the dinner, Carby says she heard about it from colleagues.
In her letter of resignation, Carby said that Levin’s comments at the dinner ceremony for Gates had damaged her program’s reputation, according to The Yale Daily News. Apparently Carby’s anger boiled over after hearing that Levin said: “We have watched with interest and admiration, and a little jealousy, as you have followed in your [undergraduate] mentor’s footsteps — building an extraordinary program in African American studies at Harvard.”
But she changed her mind about resigning after a show of support by Levin and by the program’s graduate students and faculty members.
Levin sent a letter to faculty members and graduate students in the program, saying, “It appears I have unintentionally caused great consternation, and for this I sincerely apologize.” He expressed gratitude for Carby’s “outstanding leadership,” and called the program “a vital enterprise, growing stronger with each passing year.”
Carby has been critical of the administration in the past for not giving her program departmental status. The newspaper said that she repeated the charge in the letter of resignation.
It also was reported that Carby’s letter said Levin’s comments at the ceremony fueled speculation that Gates is being courted to lead Yale’s program.
Calling it an “unfortunate rumor,” Gates says: “I’m not interested in going to Yale, and Yale’s not interested in having me there.”
Historians Won’t Meet at Adam’s
Mark in St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo. — The Organization of American Historians has decided to unofficially relocate its annual meeting, in response to threats of a boycott by African Americans, Latinos and other members who did not want to patronize the Adam’s Mark hotel chain.
The U.S. Department of Justice in December sued the owner and operator of Adam’s Mark Hotels and Resorts for engaging in a pattern of discrimination against minorities.
The historians association announced last month that it will move registration, sessions and other events out of the St. Louis Adam’s Mark as it locates alternative venues in St. Louis.
“All [organization] members must be able to participate fully and freely in [our] conventions,” organization officials say.
The association won’t however cancel its 1995 contract with Adam’s Mark, to avoid paying a hefty penalty. The group says it won’t pay the fee because the hotel chain has “made a normal convention impossible.”
The historians urge Adam’s Mark to sign a consent decree with the Justice Department. Owner and operator HBE Corp., has said it expects to be exonerated once the case is concluded, and hasn’t signed a decree. It says it is working with Justice to resolve the allegations and demonstrate its commitment to diversity and equality.
Since 1991, the 21-hotel Adams Mark chain has been the subject of several lawsuits in which Black guests and employees charge discrimination. The Justice Department complaint — filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando — alleges Adam’s Mark hotels have placed minorities in less desirable rooms, segregated guests to the least desirable areas of the hotel, charged higher room rates and applied stricter security, reservation, and identification requirements (see Black Issues, Feb. 17). Title II prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in places of public accommodation such as hotels.
The Department says its investigation, which began in July 1999, also found that Adam’s Mark implemented policies that limited the number of minority clientele in the hotel’s restaurants and bars.
The investigation stemmed in part from a class action lawsuit alleging discriminatory treatment of African Americans who stayed at the Daytona Beach Adam’s Mark in April 1999, during Black College Reunion. Some of the guests’ charges: the hotel had in place excessive security, refused valet parking and required them to pre- pay full in cash.
Black Applications Drop at U. of Virginia.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Raging debates over affirmative action may have taken a toll on Black student applicants at the University of Virginia. The number of Black applicants for the fall of 2000 freshman class dropped 25 percent, the largest single year- drop in Black applicants in the university’s history.
The number of Black applicants for the fall dropped to 961 from 1,287 in 1999. University officials believe the decline stems from publicity from the university’s deliberations over the use of race in its admissions policies.
Last year, the university’s board of visitors recommended ending the practice of racial preferences in university admissions to prevent a costly discrimination suit. However, the university still uses race as one of several factors in admissions decisions. The university stopped using a scoring system that gave preferences to non-White applicants early in the admissions process.
University officials say this year’s higher application fee may also have contributed to a decline in minority student applications. This year, the university increased the application free to $60 from $40, says Louise M. Dudley, director of university relations.
Applications to the university from all students dropped by 16 percent this year, Dudley says. The number of applications for the fall class dropped to 14,298, compared to 17,090 applications last year.
Eligibility Reqs for College Athletes Survive Another Round in Legal Battle
WASHINGTON — The National Collegiate Athletics Association’s freshmen eligibility standards survived another round in its legal battle to remain intact when the entire, 11-member 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review its three-judge panel’s December decision.
That ruling — which had overturned a lower court decision that found the NCAA’s freshmen eligibility requirements had an unfair negative impacted on students of color — stated that because the association did not receive federal funding, it was not subject to sanctions under federal civil rights laws. The three-court panel’s ruling did not address the complaints of the plaintiffs that the eligibility standards are discriminatory and violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (see Black Issues, Feb. 3,).
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in Cureton v. NCAA, four Black students athletes who went to high school in Philadelphia but could not participate in freshmen athletics because they failed to score 820 on their SATs, say they will now seek redress from the U.S. Supreme Court.
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