Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Not All Welcome Mason as Jackson State's New President

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Not All Welcome Mason as Jackson State's New President

Article excerpt

JACKSON, Miss. -- A student protest, upset faculty members and a bomb threat wasn't exactly the kind of greeting Dr. Ronald Mason Jr. was expecting his first day on Jackson State University's campus.

While speaking about his desire to take over the top post at Mississippi's urban and historically Black university last month, Mason had to block out the student protest outside the college's new library. He will assume the job in February, but the criticism of the process used to fill the position has begun and the target is the state College Board.

"Our position is that the process was a flawed process and it wasn't carried out in the best spirits or in good faith," says Ivory Phillips, faculty senate president.

Some Jackson community leaders, students and faculty, including Phillips, are upset that interim president, Dr. Bettye Ward Fletcher, was not named as a finalist for the post. Students held the protest outside the campus library during Mason's speech to an advisory committee that helped select the university's next president. …

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