Students, alumni and community members are rallying Monday against the selection of Darrell Allison as chancellor of Fayetteville State University.
The protest, in the parking lot of the NAACP office in Fayetteville, is billed as an event in opposition to “the UNC Board of Governors’ heavy-handed treatment of this HBCU chancellor search.”
On Tuesday the Fayetteville State University Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. The meeting, announced late Friday, comes on the heels of contentious meetings with faculty over Allison’s appointment.
Allison, a former member of the UNC Board of Governors, was chosen by the board despite not initially being a finalist in the search for the school’s next leader. Students, faculty, alumni and even members of the school’s board of trustees have questioned the process and the refusal of those involved to answer questions about how Allison was chosen. After the Fayetteville Observer confirmed that Allison’s mother-in-law was a member of the school’s board of trustees, Allison broke his silence in a series of interviews with local media in the Fayetteville area. But Allison did not address specific questions about the process by which he was chosen over more than 60 applicants, many of whom had education and experience he lacks.
Last week the Raleigh-Apex NAACP joined the FSU faculty and the school’s national alumni association in opposing Allison’s appointment.
“Even though I didn’t attend Fayetteville State, I did attend Lincoln University in Jefferson City and I’m a member of the Lincoln alumni association and I sympathize with the Fayetteville alumni association.” said Gerald D. Givens Jr., president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP. “Most HBCU executives bring years of experience in higher education. They will have demonstrated their capacity to leverage relationships with previous HBCU presidents, governments, industries and leaders to address some of the challenges facing many HBCUs collectively, such as growth in enrollment, student achievement, fundraising, affordability and financial stability.”
Givens questioned whether the controversy over Allison’s appointment could even endanger the school’s accreditation, noting that in 2019, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), sent a letter to the University of South Carolina requesting more information about its search for a new president because of allegations that Governor Henry McMaster was pressuring board members to vote for General Robert Caslen. The same association is responsible for FSU’s reaccreditation.
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