Demotion of history chair still questioned

The history department isn’t talking — or at least they were told not to.

John Jameson, professor of history, was removed from his chair position Nov. 7 after allowing associate professor Julio Pino to go to the United Arab Emirates without asking the dean’s office for approval.

Jerry Feezel, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, sent an e-mail to history department faculty Monday.

“We should all be cautious about what we say publicly that could be detrimental to the department,” Feezel said in the e-mail. “Though we have problems to be addressed, I am hopeful we can move ahead constructively to deal with them quietly and internally.”

Jameson called it a “gag order.”

The Stater sent an e-mail to all members in the department, asking for further comments and concerns from staff. Pino sent the only reply, saying he would be willing to discuss the controversies within the department.

No one is talking to Jameson either. More than five weeks into his removal, he said he still has no concrete evidence of the policy the administration is

referring to.

“Isn’t it sad, even tragic that the man fired still has not been told … nor has he been asked to provide his perspective,” Jameson said in an e-mail.

Feezel, however, referred to university policy register items 3342-6-11.8 and 11.9.

Both mention faculty leaves of absence.

“The university does not provide leaves of absence with pay for faculty,” according to the policy. “Leaves of absence on a one-year (or less) basis without pay may be arranged through the department chairperson or school director and, with his/her approval, the approval of the dean of the college or school, and the approval of the vice president for academic and student affairs.”

Jameson said there’s more to his removal than what has surfaced. He said like any department, there are cliques, factions and power struggles.

“I think people are scared and are afraid of retaliation … I mean, look what happened to the chair.”

Contact College of the Arts and Sciences reporter Angelo Gargaro at [email protected] and academics reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].