Harris-Stowe State University

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Another discrimination suit at Harris Stowe; but the jury said it wasn't racial discrimination, this time it was based on ethnicity. The last $5M suit was awarded based on racial discrimination:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/harris-stowe-hit-with-another-costly-discrimination-verdict/article_a18434d4-4bde-5319-b180-58e2bbda6375.html?mode=comments

A jury has awarded Shereen Abdel Kader, a former professor in Harris-Stowe’s College of Education, $2.5 million over complaints that the school didn’t renew her contract because of her national origin.

Kader is a Caucasian of Egyptian origin and an Arab Muslim.

The jury also dinged Harris-Stowe for retaliation. Kader’s complaint alleges college administrators punished her and conspired to fire her after she questioned the basis of a poor performance review.

Jurors awarded her $1.75 million in punitive damages and $750,000 in compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional distress.

On a third count, the jury decided in Harris-Stowe’s favor, rejecting a claim that administrators discriminated against Kader based on race.

Thursday’s decision follows a decision this fall when a jury awarded another former Harris-Stowe College of Education professor $5 million after finding the school discriminated against her because she is white.
I have a friend who also won a suit against them a couple of years ago. Used to teach there, and was forced out for similar reasons.
I still waiting for the proof of racial discrimination? Did somebody call her a "sand n*gger" or a "towel head"? I mean really this is kind of ridiculous. It looks like a dispute between two individuals turned into systematic anti-Muslim bias at Harris-Stowe? Give me a break. This whole thing is ridiculous and what they hell is a Caucasian, Egyptian, Arab-Muslim? Have any of you seen a picture of this lady? She could pass for black before she passed for white any day.
^ you've brought up some interesting things here with regard to identity and race. But the article says there was no finding of racial discrimination.

As for Arabs and race, the US historically has considered Arabs as Caucasian. I believe the Census though more recently has begun to treat the issue similar as it does for Hispanics, where self-identifying as Hispanic doesn't connote a particular race. (Personally, when I saw her picture I thought of her as Arab-looking but not of any particular race.)
goat314 wrote:
I still waiting for the proof of racial discrimination? Did somebody call her a "sand n*gger" or a "towel head"? I mean really this is kind of ridiculous. It looks like a dispute between two individuals turned into systematic anti-Muslim bias at Harris-Stowe? Give me a break. This whole thing is ridiculous and what they hell is a Caucasian, Egyptian, Arab-Muslim? Have any of you seen a picture of this lady? She could pass for black before she passed for white any day.

I agree.

I also believe HSSU let LaTisha Smith run around bossing and flexing her power largely unmanaged. Then on top of that the college neglectfully didn't follow through on Kader's requests for the visa extension, etc. etc. Come on, Smith saying, "You are not a part of the group" is grounds for discrimination? The plantiff was likely asserting herself where she had no business and the slick lawyer manipulated accordingly. This was ripe for a discrimination case - no matter how bogusly manufactured.

I'm sure Smith was flexing with African-American subordinates as well, but they can't claim racial discrimination. Smith sounds as if she was a bit** - plain and simple. Notice how the President of HSSC hasn't come out in support or to back-up of her actions. Crickets. This is why chick is now with SLPS.
This article in the Post-Dispatch is pretty damning: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/hiring-and-safety-issues-at-harris-stowe-mar-new-president/article_a2384fba-7e62-5b3d-a562-35148453f0bd.html

I understand Harris Stowe's mission is different than other schools, but if things don't change immediately, then the school should be shut down or absorbed by UMSL (or maybe even turned into another campus of STLCC).
There are a lot of reasons why UMSL running Harris-Stowe would be exciting, but it would obviously also be an unfunded disaster.

Making it a SLCC 4-year campus would be a smarter move by comparison. SLCC could build out associate degree programs on campus and strengthen the faculty ranks while Harris-Stowe concentrates on the full undergrad experience. It would give the university a wider pull and a pretty solid purpose in getting St. Louisans out of the "some high school" or "some college" ranks into the "Bachelor's degree" camp.

I think the recent move towards getting graduate programs at HS is a mistake. They should just run cooperative graduate programs through UMSL if at all. Were I an administrator over there, I'd be concentrating on a well-funded pipeline out of SLPS and SLCC. That's an important role to play and something the urban education college should be decent at.
While some of the crap at HSSU is inexcusable, Harris-Stowe State University needs to stay an independent university............period.

The state (and City of St. Louis) can't neglect this school for years and years, then all of a sudden want to merge or close it.

This school wasn't even allowed to have graduate programs until recently. How are you going to increase enrollment or recruit when your degree programs, offerings and schools are limited? Plus, the City of St. Louis has done almost nothing to advocate for this school - ie. programs, new colleges, funding, etc. etc. It is the only PUBLIC university of higher education in the City of St. Louis.

Shame on the city, state and federal representatives.

Merging or closing it is not an option at this time.

Remember all of the controversial junk happening at St. Louis University just a few years ago with Biondi?

Drama happens at almost every college and university in this country - even Harvard, Princeton and Penn State (Ivys, mind you) have had their problems.

With that said, the state should step in - for at least a year or two - to assist with ADMINISTRATIVE development and delivery.

Force officials at HSSU to put systems and models in place that have been proven to work at other schools - particularly other HCBUs - then MONITOR implementation for another two years.

Also, HSSU has a BOARD. Maybe it's time for some board members to be replaced. And if that doesn't work, put it under Lincoln University.
I know nothing about HSSU, but being a neighbor who's walked through there dozens of times, that place just exudes a "something's not right here" vibe.

I've passed through campus all those times, many times during school hours, and never seen more than three or four people. I mean, even the podunk-iest community colleges have more foot traffic.

On the surface, it sure seems like a very strange, abandoned city-type university.
Some sort of convoluted merger with UMSL would likely be an unmitigated disaster; UMSL is barely keeping its own doors open at the moment. The University of Missouri system, and to a lesser extent, the Missouri State system, look to be on the verge of entering a death spiral: budgets have been frozen for too long, and after events at Ferguson and Mizzou, the legislature is looking for people to punish, and they've found the students in Missouri's universities. No one really had any idea if the 6% funding increase is going to happen or if Kurt Schaefer will just turn around and sh*t down all the school tomorrow. The enrollment numbers at the two years are dire, confirming that the community colleges, especially STLCC, are already on life support. The enrollment numbers at Mizzou are looking just as bad.
arch city wrote:
Also, HSSU has a BOARD. Maybe it's time for some board members to be replaced. And if that doesn't work, put it under Lincoln University.


How are Board members appointed/elected? I agree that the first step should be the Board members asserting more control and oversight (and if the current Board won't do it, then its time to get new Board members). An audit by the State Auditor might also help.
If Harris-Stowe and Lincoln joined up, they'd suffer a lot of administrative bloat as a UM system lite, but they could do great things.
5M judgment against Harris-Stowe in racial discrimination lawsuit.

From the article: "Rarely have we seen such manifest and open evidence of racial discrimination," the appeals court ruling said.

This won't help the budget.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/5m-a ... e-47866114