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Give the Brother a Break

An article that ran in your Aug. 31 edition entitled, “Ohio State Minority Affairs Director Lasts a Year,” including a picture of Dr. Timothy Knowles, has had a chilling effect upon this reader. It appears to be biased in favor of Ohio State University and could help ensure that the subject of the article, Dr. Knowles, will not be employed in a supervisory capacity in the future. The only primary source of information appears to come from the provost of the university. There is no indication that Dr. Knowles had an opportunity to provide input into the article, or in the decision to oust him.
My 40-year experience in higher education suggests that there exists the possibility for error in judgment in cases such as this, even when available evidence is in favor of conclusions reached, considering the political and turf battles that take place in higher education, often undetected. In an environment in which strong leadership is absent for some time, such as that described in your article, staff often appear reasonably unanimous in their opposition to a new leader who attempts to set goals and directions counter to theirs. My comments are offered with no knowledge of Dr. Knowles or Ohio State University.
I do not recall having seen such an article in Black Issues previously.  It lacks the sensitivity I have come to expect of your reporters and editors. The whole issue of minority affairs in predominantly White institutions is a tough one and the dynamics can be monstrously complex. Frankly, I am disappointed with
Black Issues in this regard and expect more of this important publication in the future.

Richard M. Turner III
Turner Associates & Mentors, Inc.
Remediation Story Has
Happy Ending

Dear Editor:
Good news on the remedial education efforts at California State University: Brandon Kountz, the student you had pictured on your cover of the Aug. 3 edition passed his remedial mathematics class over the summer and is enrolled for the fall semester at California State University, Sacramento.
Thank you for your comprehensive article about what we are doing at California State to reduce the need for remediation. There are many more students like Brandon at CSU campuses who, once they know the standards, take their remedial classes, pass and continue to do well in their studies. 
It goes to show that once students know what is expected of them, they will succeed. I am very proud of California State University students and the efforts they make to obtain their degrees.

With kind regards,
Dr. Charles B. Reed

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