Ohio State Minority Affairs Director Lasts A Year
Dr. Timothy Knowles, hired to help Ohio State University improve diversity, has been fired after only a year on the job.
University spokesman Dave Ferguson says Knowles’ brief stint as minority affairs director at Ohio State was marred by problems with his management style.
The university’s provost, Dr. Edward Ray, made the final decision to fire Knowles after receiving a report on him that was conducted by the personnel office. The review was launched after workers in the minority affairs office forwarded complaints about their boss to university officials.
“The message that came back was pretty uniform; that he basically wasn’t working very well with people, that there were morale issues and issues of trust,” Ray says.
Knowles was hired as Ohio State President Dr. William Kirwan sought to attract more minority faculty members and students, and to improve the climate for minorities.
“A lot of what needed to happen this first year was to get everybody working together as a team to make all the programs as successful as possible, and he simply didn’t succeed at doing that,” Ray says.
The minority affairs office has long been plagued by student accusations that university officials didn’t pay significant attention to minority concerns and allowed the top post that Knowles held to remain vacant for too long.
After a two-year national search, Knowles was chosen from among five finalists.
The school will launch another search for an interim director and a replacement. Until then, Dr. Mac A. Stewart, dean of University College, will oversee daily operations, which include the Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center, minority scholarships and programs to attract and retain minority students.
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