Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— A campus divided at Morgan State University. On one side is students; the other, the Board of Regents. It’s all over the board voting not to renew the contract of its president, Dr. David Wilson.
Mike Hellgren has details on how students are coming to the aid of their president and asking for the reversal of the board’s decision.
The abrupt decision to get rid of Morgan State University President David Wilson has divided the school, ending the respected educator’s three-year contract in a drama now playing out both on and off campus.
“I don’t understand why they would take something so precious away from us, knowing how much we care about him,” said Bashan Prah, senior.
“I just want them to know that the students of Morgan State University should have a decision in who runs their school,” said Ebony Miller, senior.
“We should have some say in it or at least know why,” said Geoffrey Brown, senior.
A 15-member Board of Regents, which includes several prominent community leaders, made the move behind closed doors with little explanation as to why.
Some believe it has to do with a recent rash of crime on campus, including two daytime shootings. But several faculty members say it goes beyond that. They complained of a lack of resources and technology while student enrollment increased.
“The faculty has been marginalized in terms of the governance of the university,” said Max Hilaire, PhD, Chair of the Department of Political Science. “It didn’t look like the administration had agreed on how to check this issue.”
“Many of the students have been feeling unsafe of their home, which is Morgan State University,” said Chinedu Nwokeafor, junior.
Morgan has long played a key role in the Northeast Baltimore community. Students are so outraged at the removal of Dr. Wilson that they have planned a protest rally and started a petition urging the governor to reinstate him.
“As a union representative, we have a right to know what the board is doing. We have a right to know why they made that decision. We have a right to be included in that decision as well,” said Jeannette Rufus, administration assistant AFSCME VP.
Wilson said in a statement, “I stand proudly on the body of work we have been able to achieve during my tenure. It is indeed unfortunate that half of the members of the Board of Regents and I do not see it the same way.”
Wilson also hinted that a rumored job in the Obama administration and interest from another university may have played a role in that non-renewal.
Students will hold a rally on campus Thursday at 1 p.m. at Holmes Hall.