Good Morning Chancellor:
Students at Medgar Evers College are extremely disappointed in your decision to reinstate Dr. Crew for one more year. In doing so, you have yet again delivered another strike to the already battered Medgar Evers College community.
The Medgar Evers College Community are likened to an abused powerless woman: The reappointment of your friend President Rudolph Crew for another year is a further slap in the face to a population of black students, a majority female black students, with black females outnumbering men 8 to 1 at Medgar Evers College.
Therefore, your actions are similar to a judge in a divorce case deciding that an abused, raped and battered wife must reconcile with her abusive husband and take him back for another year before getting a divorce.
You speak of difficult and challenging times. Medgar Evers College students are well aware. With a predominantly black student population, we experience difficulties and challenges every day. I believe if CUNY conducts research on which college campus student population was devastated most by COVID-19 the finding would determined that MEC students were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, in comparisons to other CUNY colleges.
Due to COVID-19, MEC students experienced a loss of wages, lack of access to technology, food insecurity, home-schooling children difficulties, homelessness, loss of health insurance, hospitalization, and death, disproportionately in comparison to other CUNY campuses.
Sadly, during the height of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, President Crew publicly sought employment with the DeKalb, Georgia school district, announcing his departure at a crucial and vulnerable time for Medgar Evers College students and when students needed strong and dedicated leadership the most. President Crew was satisfying his interests and exemplifying that he didn’t want to stay at Medgar Evers College.
It is for that reason that in different and challenging times we need a strong leadership at Medgar Evers College, immediately– leadership with integrity, a cohesive plan, and a step-by-step implementation strategy to move the MEC community effectively forward and has the support and confidence of MEC stakeholders.
That integrity and strong leadership is not Dr. Rudolph Crew, Provost Augustine Okereke, nor in his entire administration.
Chancellor, it is completely unacceptable and a blatant disregard for the betterment of the students, faculty and staff to reinstate Dr. Crew for one more year. Faculty and staff are overwhelmingly outraged and disappointed with you and the entire CUNY system.
Your actions exemplify nepotism, as you referred to your “forged friendship” with Dr. Crew in your public statement. Your decision further speaks to a bigger issue of institutionalized racism and the silencing of black students at Medgar Evers College.
You never once met with the students to determine how your decision could affect the students at Medgar Evers College.
Your decision is bigger than you think, for a population of black students that has disproportionately suffered due to COVID-19, police brutality, and now a college president that sought to leave them during a pandemic for another job.
Subsequently, that job he wanted didn’t hire him because he or his failed record at Medgar and because he didn’t meet their its standards of educational excellence.
Psychologically, you delivered the fatal blow to our morale and institutional worthiness by bringing Crew back to Medgar because “Medgar students don’t deserve the best, they put up with anything less than excellence.” Your message reads loud and clear.
That, Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, is your message and legacy to Black students at Medgar Evers College. And we will be sure it is never forgotten in the Black community.
However, you do have the opportunity to change your message and lead the Medgar Evers College students down a long road to healing by immediately forcing the resignation of Dr. Rudolph Crew and Provost Augustine Okereke and dismantling the entire college administration from their leadership positions.
Second, you can meet with me, other concerned students, the Committee on Protecting the Integrity of Medgar, alumni, and the MEC community to discuss progressive strategies and an interim president appointment.
Lastly: Aappoint an effective interim college President with the recommendation coming from our meeting.
The Medgar Evers College community waits for you to give us the opportunity to heal or not.
Medgar Evers College