[Milton-L] For Jameela Lares: Gary Stringer Dismissed

Carol Barton cbartonphd at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 7 20:22:50 EST 2004


------------------------------------------------------
(Please send replies to jamlares at yahoo.com rather than my university
address.)

Dear friends,

There are a number of you that I should have already written
individually, but the last few days have been terribly traumatic.

If you don't already know, my senior colleague Gary Stringer, a tenured
full professor currently serving as the Charles W. Moorman
Distinguished Alumni Professor in the Humanities and the long-time
director of the NEH-sponsored Donne Variorum Project, was suspended
pending termination and locked out of his office on Friday by the USM
university president, Dr. Shelby Thames.  Gary had led an investigation
into the qualifications of the Vice President for Research, who had
been given the position without the normal search and whose resume
claims--falsely or ignorantly--that she was a tenured professor at the
University of Kentucky when she was only tenured in the Kentucky
community college system.  Thames did not reply to earlier inquiries by
the local AAUP chapter, following AAUP's receipt of an anonymous packet
of information in this matter.  The AAUP conducted its own
investigation, finding that the resume contained misleading
information.  The veep's response to the papers was that she would sue.
 Gary and also Frank Glamser, AAUP president, were called in abruptly
on Thursday to be interrogated as to where they got the information,
but since a lawsuit had been threatened, they declined to answer
further questions.  They were informed on Friday that they could either
resign or be fired.  While they were meeting with the president, the
university police were sent to change the locks on their doors and
confiscate their computers.  The action was apparently initiated by the
president.  Neither the appropriate dean nor chairs were informed. 
Even the provost did not know.  Earlier this year, the president's
"risk manager" had attempted to change the faculty handbook to allow
the president to fire tenure faculty with a minimum of due process.

As you might imagine, the entire university community is in an uproar. 
This action is the latest and in a long series of decisions and actions
that have been questioned to no avail by the beleaguered USM faculty. 
I hope we can count on your support.  We are facing NCATE and SACS
accreditation next year, we are trying to hire new faculty to replace a
few *hundreds* who have left, we are trying to recruit top students,
and we are trying to do our work in an increasingly impossible
situation.  We are also concerned that our status as a Carnegie 1
institution is in jeopardy.

There have been numerous local stories over the last three days; I am
patching in the links below.  A reporter from the Chronicle of Higher
Education was expected today to begin an investigation, and a
preliminary story should appear on their website tomorrow.  We are
hoping for national news coverage.

If once you review this material you agree that something should be
done to support Gary, Frank, and scholarship at USM, you could help the
effort greatly by expressing your concern to Dr. Thames's immediate
superiors, the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of
Higher Learning at <http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/contact.asp> and by
sending a copy of your comments to your local news service or perhaps
even to one of the papers listed below.

Thank you,

Jameela Lares



Sunday March 7:
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/updates/4733.html
http://www.picayuneitem.com/articles/2004/03/07/news/06usm.txt
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040307/localnews/28940.html
(this article talks about protesting students being kicked out of
yesterday's
basketball game)
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040307/opinion/29019.html
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040307/localnews/28945.html

Saturday March 6:
http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0403/06/ma02.html
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040306/localnews/22581.html
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040306/localnews/22502.html
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040306/southernmissnews/22791.html
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/8119971.htm

Friday March 5:
http://www.wtok.com/news/headlines/634366.html
http://www.wdam.com/global/story.asp?s=1692435&ClientType=Printable
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/politics/8117204.htm
http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/updates/4709.html
----- End forwarded message -----


-- 
Jameela Lares
Associate Professor of English
University of So. Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-5037
+601 266-6214 ofc
+601 266-5757 fax

=====
Jameela Lares, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of English
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
+601 266-6214 ofc
+601 266-5757 fax




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