Letters to the editor

Barbers should have been named for giving time to fundraising event

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the interesting article about the smart and speedy haircuts so many students had, as part of the recent competition/fundraising event. I’m jealous. Nowadays I cannot have such a severe cut as my hair-growing days are coming to an end, and I dare not take the chance.

I noted, however, that the barbers in question, who gave their whole day (and therefore forfeited their pay?), were not named, as others were. How nice it would have been to read more than a passing mention of the Jasons’ Barber Shop (South Water Street, in downtown Kent). Owners Jason Fabrick and Jason Manion and their colleagues deserve our thanks, and could have been interviewed.

Nevertheless another great event.

Geoff Broadhead

Professor, School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport

Contradiction exists between contract loss and diversity celebration

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, Kent State had a celebration. It was a Celebration of Diversity. Included in the celebration was an awards program. I know several of the recipients, and I know that they deserve the honor.

However, I perceive a powerful contradiction between this celebration and the non-renewal of the contract of Murphy Ajayi. He is a gentle soul, an accomplished artist and a native of Africa. He is currently a lecturer at the Geauga Campus. Previously, he was a faculty member of the Pan-African studies department on the Kent Campus. Ajayi was “non-renewed” for the next academic year due to an alleged lack of “programmatic need.”

Ajayi requested approval to teach several art classes from the art department. Such approval would have possibly allowed him to satisfy the “programmatic need” requirement so he could continue serving the students of Kent State as he so admirably has the last several years.

Murphy is a sculptor who has created monumental national works in Nigeria that garnered him world recognition. Indeed his name is well known in the African-American art communities of this country. As far as I can tell, his artistic accomplishments equal those of the most highly regarded artists working today. Yet, the art department will not grant approval for him to teach those several art courses.

In discussions with and in letters from the faculty in Pan-African studies, the majority of them state that there is a “need” for Ajayi in their department, and they have requested his return. Yet for some reason, the “administration” will not permit his return to the Pan-African studies department.

I think that the non-renewal of Ajayi’s contract is an embarrassment to Kent State. I ask the university and administrators who are advocates for diversity to take a momentary break from patting themselves on the back and to find a way to stop this embarrassment.

Tracy A. Laux

Lecturer, department of mathematics