1,000 signatures reached
To: Dr. Charles Waldrup (General Counsel), Mr. Timothy King (Chairman Board of Trustees), Dr. Harold S. Martin Sr., (Chancellor North Carolina A&T State University), Dr. Beryl McEwen, (Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs)
Stop The Dismantlement of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at NCAT
Because the University's decision to proceed with dismantling the political science department was shrouded in secrecy, we believe the spirit and letter of the Open Meetings Laws were possibly violated in this instance. Therefore we respectfully request an expedited response, pursuant to G.S. 132-1 et seq., this information:
The “full and accurate minutes of all official meetings, including and closed session held pursuant to G.S. 143- 318. 11. Such minutes may be in written form or, at the option of the public body, may be in the form of sound or video and sound recordings. When a public body meets in closed session, it shall keep a general account of closes session so that a person not in attendance would have a reasonable understanding of what transpired. Such accounts may be a written narrative, or video or audio recordings. Such minutes and accounts shall be public records within the meaning of the Public Records Law, G.S. 132 - 1 et seq.; provided, however, that minutes or an account of an closed session conducted in compliance with G.S. 143- 318.11 may be withheld from the public inspections so long as public inspections would frustrate the purpose of a closed session.” All quotes from the Open meeting laws. These minutes should be readily available.
All information, in paper or electronic form about the decision to dismantle the Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science.
All information, in paper or electronic form about the civic engagement of students and faculty of the Department.
All information, in paper or electronic form in regards to the UNC Board Of Governors recommendations to dismantle the department of criminal justice and political science.
All information, in paper or electronic form about the enrollment of the department of criminal justice and political science.
Why is this important?
We write on behalf of the alumni and the current students of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Our department has been operating for 49 years with a commitment to the behaviorist teaching model. Since 1969, we have produced competent scholars in the public and private sector committed to serving communities through justice and democracy. Although we are proud of the success of our department, we are deeply troubled that you are dismantling our department and moving political science to a department committed to humanities. This is even more troubling since the behavioralist approach is one more consistent with the STEM focus articulated in the “Preeminence 2020” vision. The behaviorist approach is also consistent with the historical and progressive direction of the discipline of political science and its commitment to an empirical trajectory to studying political behavior. We need more clarification on the rationale for proposing a change made with little discussion or consultation with the stakeholders who will be impacted. In this crucial moment in history, the Department of Political Science needs to continue to exist to provide scholarship and clarity on the critical political issues facing the community, state and nation.
The Open Meeting Laws state, in part that the Board of Trustees meet “solely to conduct the people’s business -- it is the public policy of North Carolina that the hearings, deliberations and actions of these bodies be conducted openly”
In reviewing the processes followed by the University and the Board of Trustees when discussing the dismantling of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, we believe the board met secretly in person, electronically, and by phone to make decisions in an effort to avoid the strict sanctions of the Open Meeting Laws. We remind you the law defines an “Official meeting” as “a meeting, assembly or gathering together, at any time or place the simultaneous communication by conference telephone or other electronic means of a majority of the members of a public body for the purpose of conducting hearings, participating in deliberations, or voting upon the public body.” Of course we are aware that purely social and informal gatherings are not necessarily “official meetings.” But the statute expressly provides such gatherings cannot be called or held to evade the spirit and purpose of this Article.
Veleria M Levy
William H. Clayton, II
Shauntai D. Dudley
Chrystal Lee Vaden
Joseph Frierson Jr