WSSUINSIDER received a copy of this letter to the NC Governor from Shira Hedgepeth, who won a judgement against WSSU for her firing, by the EEOC. We verified that this letter was indeed sent to the Governor’s office, and that she has recently received responses from his offices concerning this allegation.
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
I am writing to request your assistance with information that has been forwarded to me since September 26, 2012 when a story entitled “Former Winston-Salem State University employee says she was fired because she is white EEOC agrees — says race played a role Shira Hedgepeth’s termination from WSSU” ( http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/winston-salem-state-university-employee-fired-white-article-1.1168896#ixzz2Njsq2cXN) was printed by the New York Daily News. Even though the story is no longer making the headlines, I am receiving calls, e-mails, and other correspondence from current and past employees and concerned students who have faced and continue to face the same issues. What is the most disturbing is that the issue remains unresolved and ignored by the state of North Carolina. This is not only costing the state tax dollars but has seemed to empower the individuals at Winston Salem State University (WSSU) to continue their practice of racial discrimination. Given that you ran on the platform of improving the educational system, I am hoping that information contained in this letter maybe of interest to you and that your administration would make this a priority.
Students Grades Based on Race:
One of the first phones calls I received was from a former faculty member who had left the university because of the hostile work environment and the unfair grading of students. She reported that she had on numerous occasions had her final grades changed by Dr. Lenora Campbell. She reported this to Dr. Peggy Valentine and no action was ever taken. Additionally, she tried to report this information to SACs and the Nursing Board but no one investigated her complaint. This faculty member kept detail records of the violations and was more than willing to share them with me. Her records included the class name, the students name, all the grades earned by the students, the final average grade according to the syllabus, the grade she as the faculty member entered into the WSSU system, and the grade the students received after Dr. Campbell had changed the grades. Here is an example of the grades she possess (I have removed the student’s name for this letter but I have that as well).
|Final Average||Instructor Grade||Changed to||Race|
The only basis for the change was race. This information is easy to verify and has been totally ignored by governing officials. Not only is this against any policy of the university and the University of North Carolina system it is prohibited by Federal law.
This complaint is consistent with other complaints that I personally have forwarded to the administration of the University of North Carolina – General Administration including the current President Tom Ross. They have gone un-investigated and appear to be no concern to anyone except the non-African American faculty of WSSU. I have many other examples that I would like to forward and can connect you to faculty with admissible evidence to prove any claim.
Continued Racial Discrimination Among Faculty and Staff:
If the state of North Carolina does not act soon there will not be any non-African American faculty at WSSU. Today I received another phone call regarding a faculty member who has been in meetings where the current Provost has stated that a faculty search will be ruled invalid by her if there are not a majority of African American candidates. The Provost has acted as she has stated in a recent faculty search. Additionally, such statements have been recorded and are readily available where the Provost has stated that she KNOWS of racial discrimination at WSSU and that she will not act to prevent it.
Currently, there are several cases filed with the EEOC against WSSU. A determination has already been found in my favor and I am awaiting the decision of the Federal Department of Justice as to whether they will file suit on my behalf or grant a right to sue letter. During conciliation where I was still unemployed, WSSU posted my open position the night before but would not agree to employ me in ANY position. Thus, the damages continue to grow and eventually will cost the state more damages. As a tax payer of North Carolina, it is fiscally irresponsible not resolve this issues as soon as possible.
Beyond that another case was filed when an individual was dismissed without cause but was not granted an interview for a position that he was qualified and an African American was granted the position. Dr. Kathy Stitts did not even qualify under the posted job description. She told me personally that the Provost appointed her because “she could work with faculty.” During the same interview process, Dr. Denise Pearson was given a position that was never posted. There was never an interview committee or any other notifications. This individual was dismissed by Dr. Denise Pearson.
Another individual recently filed with the EEOC for being dismissed not only because of her race but because of her nationality and religious background. Prior to being dismissed this individual reported the racial violations to the new EEO/AA Officer Silvia Ramos. Upon reporting to Ms. Ramos she was promptly dismissed from her position. The individual did not realize that Ms. Silvia Ramos is actually Mrs. Silvia Ramos-Cotton who is married to Vice Chancellor Trae T. Cotton who was appointed by the Provost. Dr. Cotton just happened to be good friends with the individual’s direct supervisor. I personally reported this to the University of North Carolina – General Administration and no action was ever taken.
I have MANY other examples and feel helpless to assist these individuals. WSSU finds themselves in a position of power and stands in each case behind SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY every time a case is filled against them in their official or individual capacity. I would request that someone take action to STOP the state supported racial practices. As a tax payer, I no longer wish for my tax dollars to go to an organization who believes that they are above both federal and state law. I would welcome any opportunity to bring evidence to support the information in this letter.
In a recent study, the Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen linked consumption with aberrant, antisocial behavior. Professor Bodenhausen found that “Irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mind-set, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in well-being, including negative affect and social disengagement.” The recent spurt of buildings that have cluttered the campus and are taking a toll on its aesthetic value of the WSSU campus stems from the causes that Professor Bodenhausen has pointed out. In order to give the impression of leaving a legacy at WSSU, two things are very clear, naming a building that you did not want after yourself and forcing students to live on campus to avoid empty rooms will eventually create greater problems for WSSU. The Student Center will be known as the Student Center and it was the effort that former Chancellor Michelle Howard Vital pushed forward during her tenure as Chancellor. Ironically, when Donald Reaves came to WSSU, he did not want the building because he could not provide the evidence that he was remotely associated with its proposal. In his typical behavior pattern, to attribute and speak ill of other chancellors in order to enhance himself, Jonathan Martin and Darrel Burnette were reprimanded for putting this building on the list of capitol construction priorities for WSSU. We know what happened to Robert Botley and just like Nigel Alston and Dorcas Colvin, he made absurd claims to the press justifying their ouster due to “budget constraints; while at the same time he continues to hire his personal friend, Walter Holmes, to do jobs that Mr. Holmes has never done before!
DJ has now proposed that all freshmen and sophomores must live on campus? Why? Why didn’t he propose these five years ago? Because he has empty dorm rooms, enrollment is down and at the eve of his departure he must give the impression that the tax payers got something for an inflated salary, working 9 months out of the required 12, creating debt and alienating the WSSU business and alumni community. What is his legacy? Failure and alienation!
Moving forward by forcing students to stay in WSSU dorms will create more debt. Students and families will be forced to pay higher rent and required food packages that the vendor Aramark charges despite the recommendation from a university committee that favored another contractor. Unfortunately, DJ lives in the past era, where chancellors took credit for their accomplishments based on the construction of new buildings. The reality is that students and families continue to shoulder the burden of debt. But he does not care, he wants to wear a hard hat and ask his cabinet to follow him to admire what he considers his biggest accomplishment. Ahhh he tells his bubble heads, “look at my building, I have done well!” While the truth of the matter is that enrollment is down and students who find a better opportunities at other campuses will continue to exclude WSSU; WSSU is no longer a first choice. The real solution is, for DJ to go home, leave WSSU and let President Ross select a search committee that will give credibility to the search process and find a true leader that will uplift WSSU from its present stagnation.
WSSU student parents continue to going in debt due to the high rising cost of student tuition. The latest figures (2011) show the total number of Parent Loans from WSSU is 372. However, 372 families total debt is close to 3 million dollars per year! The average Parent loan for WSSU students is $7,189 per year! By the time students graduate, if they make it, is over $43,000 for the six year graduation. This is ridiculous! This is on top of financial aid and other assistance that students receive for state financial aid. Why are we, WSSU parents, going in to debt? In contrast, only 100 Parent loans were taken by Fayetteville State University. The total amount was $500,000 (half a million) the average student loan at Fayetteville is only $ 5,409, $1,780 less than WSSU. The number of WSSU Parent loans has increased by 33% during the last eleven years. Well, you bet you are going to see statements that this is not true. But this information is available to the public at http://chronicle.com/article/Parent-Loan-Debt-on-Rise/134846.
Check it out for yourself; don’t get confused with the statistics that come from Donald Reaves, the Wizard of Finances and the Creator of WSSU Student Debt. This goes to show that despite financial aid and student Pell grants, WSSU continues to pass on the debt to our students. Write to your legislator and tell them to stop Donald Reaves from creating more debt for our students and families. Students should not be paying for empty dorms and construction of little use to our students. Consider attending a more affordable university and/or college.
|University||Number of Parent Loans||Total Debt per year||Average Loan Amount||Percent Increase|
WSSU Resident Tuition
New Freshman UG w/Parents New Freshman UG On Campus New Freshman UG Off Campus
Tuition and Fees 5,052 Tuition and Fees 5,052 Tuition and Fees 5,052
Room and Board 4,258 Room and Board 8,483 Room and Board 8,275
Books and Supplies 1,200 Books and Supplies 1,200 Books and Supplies 1,200
Transportation 1,150 Transportation 872 Transportation 1,680
Miscellaneous 1,500 Miscellaneous 1,500 Miscellaneous 1,500
Health Insurance 1,103 Health Insurance 1,103 Health Insurance 1,103
Loan Fees 103 Loan Fees 103 Loan Fees 103
1Computer Purchase 1,300 1Computer Purchase 1,300 1Computer Purchase 1,300
Total 15,666 Total 19,613 Total 20,213
Parents ask what these fees are for? There is a lot of hidden fat in these figures. Did my son/daughter get a new student et a lap top? Why are we paying so much for transportation? They don’t drive my son back home! How much are we paying to underwrite a sport box, food and free tournament travel and tickets for administrators and trustees? Ask WSSU to separate how much for tuition and how much for fees and itemize what those fees are. They continue to mix them together so that we do not complain!!
Hound dogs are a breed of dogs whose acute scenting powers have been used to follow a trail.
WSSU now has a new mascot, her name is Pat Norris. Lately, she goes around the campus smelling people’s breath and escorting employees to the Human Resource office to be “processed” for suspicion of drinking in the job. This is a violation of human rights. I’m not sure how Pat Norris acute scenting power can substitute a breath analyzer. Pat Norris needs to be instructed in several areas. People, who take medication, may smell like they were drinking. To accuse an employee of drinking on the job by simply citing that a chief of police smelled alcohol is a violation of the most basic human right, the right to someone’s dignity. Of course since there is a lack of leadership at WSSU, “human dignity” is not a value that is promulgated at WSSU. If Pat Norris were to turn her nose towards Blair Hall, we are sure that she would really be attracted by that Johnny Walker Red distinct scent. If you are stopped by this houndog and accused of drinking, go get a breath analyzer test, contact your lawyer and sue the living pants of WSSU!
Pat Norris, you give new meaning to that old song: “You are nothing but a hound dog”.
During my recent visit to Old WSSU, I encountered a number of construction projects that apparently have cluttered the campus space and has created a very ugly aesthetic look for the campus. Two dormitories were being built in the center for the campus. I recall that when Donald Reaves came to campus, I read about a report, a $20,000 consultant fee paid for an acquaintance in Chicago, to conceive a plan for the utilization of space in the WSSU campus. I’m not sure if this consultant was a really hired to do the job or perhaps was one of many who have been paid for reports that have yielded absolutely nothing except a reward for good old friends. Once again, North Carolina taxpayers have to foot the bill. Did I hear “efficiency and accountability”? President Ross, what do you think?
Why are we building dormitories when the WSSU enrollment is down and has not been able to meet its enrollment goals? Yep, I heard that before, “we are becoming more selective”, “we have raise the bar for admissions”, yet enrollment management offices are in disarray. How many more excuses are we willing to listen to, when we know that we are being bamboozled? Did you know that there are presently empty rooms in the dormitories? Of course, that has been going on for the last few years. What explanation do you have? According to Nancy Young and I quote:” Bigger is not better!” a quote directly from the booed Chancellor.
The latest buzz coming from Blair Hall and the individual who is notorious for spilling the beans has revealed to several people in town that Walter Holmes is going to manage the utilization and construction oversight of these dormitories. Say what? Walter Holmes! Is this the same individual who was Donald’s coworker in Massachusetts Welfare Office? Is this the great consultant managing “national searches”? Isn’t he retired living in Puerto Rico next to a Golf Course? Well, well, well, did you say GOLF Course, friend, contract, mula and let’s play golf? What does Walter know about managing construction sites? Apparently, in a recent memo to Donald’s cabinet, he admitted that since he is too tired to do the work he is being paid for, Walter is the Man! Besides, Donald admits he needs his beauty rest, the three months he takes for vacation to renew his marital vows and to hide away from the disrespectful crowd that vociferously and intensely boo him last week during the Earl the Pearl basketball exhibition game. What, he was booed? Yes he was, so was his crime companion, Bill Hayes! Wait a minute, is Bill still collecting money using glass jars? Is that legal? Who knows, anything goes at WSSU. Tom Ross is too busy with scandals at Chapel Hill and now Governor Mc Crory has called him to do his task. By the way, did Dumb and Dumbest count the number of tickets for the event at the Gaines Center? Yep, they did, this time they learned how to count! Remember, he has been in that business for 30 years! He certainly does, 9 months of limited work for 12 months of pay. What a great system; me too, I want to be a chancellor in the UNC system!
How come Mr. Dell did not write about that in the Winston Journal? Well, Mr. Dell, like any reporter gets his stories in exchange for good publicity. Is the old system of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?” Humm maybe we need to write to the editors of the WS Journal and alert them to this situation. No, let’s just wait until he shows up to one of the games and we will boo him too!
DJ is constantly blaming Harold Martin for everything that goes wrong on the WSSU campus. Hummmm. Well, President Obama seems to think that Chancellor Martin is doing a fine job.
N.C. A&T Chancellor named to White House Board
Harold Martin, the chancellor at N.C. A&T State University, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
You do not get this appointment by staying three months away from doing work at the university!
Based on the rising reports of guns and crime at WSSU, we thought that as a public service, we would post a safe event for them to attend.
Dear WSSU Students,
You are invited to the most awesome and safe party in town. Come and join us in a safe environment. Please no weapons are allowed.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: THE OFFICIAL AGGIE/EAGLE AFTERPARTY
SATURDAY | DEC 1st | SATURDAY | DEC 1st | SATURDAY DEC 1st| SATURDAY | DEC 1st | SATURDAY | DEC 1st |
HOSTED BY: NEMON MARCUS
MUSIC POWERED BY: DJ KUTTA
ITS GOIN DOWN AT VISIONZ (4927 West Market Street Greensboro, NC)
The following e-mail was sent out to everyone at WSSU. We understand that WSSU went through a “terrorist incident practice event” that was supposed to prepare the WSSU police department for “gun incidents”. WSSU police also directed the re-routing of several egress points for the campus, in an attempt to “funnel” traffic so that the police could “control” incidents such as this. It is also SUPPOSED to be policy that in the event of any gun reports, that the police should activate the “emergency response center” as a needed precaution. Was the emergency response center activated in response to this incident, and if not, why not?
From: Young, Nancy N.
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:49 PM
To: Everyone-Students; Everyone – Faculty/Staff
Subject: Subjects with Handguns on Campus
At approximately 6:00 p.m. on 11-28-2012, subjects were observed by a staff member in the parking lot of Wilson Hall brandishing handguns.
According to the witness, she was walking in the parking lot of Wilson Hall and heard a car pull up behind her at a rate of speed that made her uncomfortable. She turned around and stated “don’t hit me” and a passenger in the rear seat of the vehicle displayed a silver handgun and stated “get in your car.” The witness then got in her car and observed the suspect vehicle drive away. She stated that as the vehicle drove away, the driver held a handgun out the window. The suspects did not threaten or try to rob her, nor did they ever point the guns at her.
According to the witness, there were four black males in the vehicle and she described the suspect vehicle as burgundy in color and being an older model with the tag number BAY-1816. This case is still under investigation. The Winston-Salem Police Department and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office have been made aware of this incident. A bolo (be on the lookout) was also sent out through WSSU police communications.
Captain Bobby Brown
Did faculty and students receive a text message for BOLO (Be On the Look Out)? The staff are still waiting for the text message from the police department via the emergency contact system.
Parents, this is a great concern for the safety of your children. Please contact the WSSU Alumni to address this matter!