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UMB Faculty of Color Respond to Boston Globe


Dear FSU Members,

As it relates directly to the FSU-Faculty Council Forum this Thursday, 1-2:30pm (contact FSU or Steve Striffler for Zoom information)., we share with you a letter from UMB faculty of color and minority faculty regarding the recent opinion piece in the Boston Globe.  Here is their letter:


We, faculty of color and minority faculty at UMass Boston, are dismayed by the inaccurate claims made by Adrian Walker in his column, “Allegations of racism roil UMass Boston campus, New Dean,” published in the Boston Globe on April 8, 2022.

To argue that UMB faculty as a body have been racist against our new dean Tyson King-Meadows is both false and incendiary. Mr. Walker provided no context for the Chancellor’s letter he quoted which made very serious allegations regarding one conversation at a meeting of the Faculty Council. Mr.Walker ignored all the responses that letter received from UMB faculty and students, which questioned the Administration’s representation of the conversation and called for a systematic and open enquiry (see here). Structural racism is a problem we all continue to contend with on our campus and society at large; this is challenging enough. In this instance, process and joint governance, as well as race, are at issue.

Mr. Walker’s argument that one challenge to the Provost’s decision-making implies that the Faculty Council and the entire faculty habitually “demean” Black administrators is, at best, a gross generalization.  The faculty were very much in support of at least two other recent Black administrators: our former Chancellor J. Keith Motley, who was unfairly removed by UMass President Marty Meehan, and our former Provost, Winston Langley who was not publicly “savaged” by faculty despite many deep differences of opinion. Our new Chancellor, Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, is the first chancellor to be chosen through a hiring committee that included faculty, trustees and administrators, proving that joint governance is both productive and necessary.

UMass Boston faculty have a rich record of combating racism, working with communities of color and advancing the cause of equality in the Commonwealth, as is shown in the breadth and depth of our publications, our teaching records, and our community engagement. To claim that the UMass Boston faculty is racist is both insulting and dismissive of all the work we have done for over 50 years.

It is time that the Boston Globe gives the only public research university this city has its due respect by getting the facts right.  UMass Boston should be a source of pride, an institution to be praised, not smeared with false accusations.  UMass Boston serves over 16,000 students, 55% of whom are students of color, working to reduce inequality gaps and address the historic injustices of structural racism from which our state, city and institutions continue to suffer. 

Signed by:

Ping-Ann Addo, Anthropology Department

Elora Chowdhury, Women Gender and Sexualities Studies Department

Nayelli Castro-Ramirez,  Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies

Reyes Coll-Tellechea, Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies

Amani El-Jack, Women Gender and Sexualities Studies Department

Leila Farsakh, Department of Political Science

Sommer Forrester, Department of Performing Arts

Christopher D Fung, Anthropology Department

Lisa Gonsalves, College of Education and Human Development

Sana Haroon, Department of History

Andres Henao-Castro, Department of Political Science

Rafael Jaen, Department of Performing Arts

Luis Jimenez, Department of Political Science

Terry Kawashima, Asian Studies Department

Patricia Krueger-Henney, Leadership in Education Department

Kibibi Mack-Shelton, Department of History

Rosalyn Negron, Department of Anthropology

Mickaella Perina, Department of Philosophy

Yumiko Inukai, Department of Philosophy