Dr. Gregory Postel
The University of Toledo
2801 Bancroft Street
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390
Re: Meeting of July 27, 2021
Sent by Email and U S Mail Postage Prepaid
I write to express my appreciation and that of Teresa M. Gabriel, who accompanied me for the opportunity to meet Dr. Willie McKether, Vice President for Diversity and Equity and Vice Provost and you even though the content of the meeting neither what was agreed nor productive in addressing the concerns for the meeting. At your request, I agreed to meet to discuss the pervasive racial discrimination and hostile workplace environment experienced by present and former African American employees. The prepared agenda, which you would not discuss was to address the discrimination actually being experienced, much of which is documented no matter how viewed. You were clearly unwilling and unprepared to confront these issues except in a few minor areas. And even in those areas addressed, there was no substance to your reports and comments; they were disappointing and non-relevant to the discrimination charges filed against the university, many of which are currently being investigated by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
I brought to your and Dr. McKether attention that we have been informed by present and former African American employees that the University of Toledo does not have any official, regardless of race to whom complaints or racial concerns can be aired and investigated. I specifically offered my professional experiences before and during my employment at the University of Toledo and my understanding of the duties and responsibilities especially as arise for any office titled Diversity and Equity and Affirmative Action receiving federal funding. The University of Toledo is not in compliance with Federal guideline, rules, regulations, and laws.
When we, Ms. Gabriel and I, were handed a package of materials which was represented to consist of faculty, staff, activities, and most important projected plans for affirmatively confronting and correcting mistreatments of minorities at and by the university, instead the actual content was nothing more than a paucity number of African American faculty and staff and certainly did not represent anything of significant in relation to the discrimination charges recently filed. Moreover, such materials, which you provided and are now in our possession, did not even represent meaningfully the plight of African Americans in positions at the university, for evidence in any way the university is even marginally in compliance with federal requirements and guidelines required as a condition of the university being a recipient of government contracts containing millions of dollars. Notwithstanding that a room or door or both at the university was recently named in honor of a local African American Doctor whom I personally have known, and significantly respected, such an iconic deed was not connected to the purpose for the scheduled meeting between us. The honor doesn’t memorialize that he was African American.
Because you refused to discuss a resolution or even suggest steps to be taken or a process for making progress in addressing these issues, by claiming personnel matters cannot be discussed in terms of how and by what means the discrimination charges can be resolved amicably, you deceived me into meeting with you in the first instance. Clearly, you were looking for a talking point for your benefit unrelated to seeking any benefit or progress for the university. Had that been known before the meeting, I would not have accepted the invitation to meet. I was crystal clear before the meeting that I would attend the meeting only if the meeting agreed to would include substantive measures to be discussed at the meeting. Otherwise, the meeting would be, as it turned to be, a waste of time, especially mine.
Please know and understand that I will expose locally and nationally the University of Toledo Administration and Board Trustees, all of whom are Public Servants with regards to all officials not correcting discrimination within the institution. From my point of view and the facts garnered the university has turned a deaf ear to listening to comments and correcting behaviors about racial discrimination. The racial discrimination and hostile workplace environment are real and should not and will not be ignored. I wanted to be cooperative to the extent possible in working with you and your administration in eradicating intentional and unintentional racial discrimination. My efforts appear to be ignored. And my presence was sought for no other than pandering and placating.
Accordingly, among several planned activities, it will be my intentions to contact the appropriate federal agencies about federal monies received and to provide evidence of the university’s non-compliance with federal guidelines. I will be seeking a show cause determination against the university. What is more, I will make sure through the media that the local and national community knows of the university’s pervasive racial discrimination and hostile workplace environment used against former and present employees who have been and continuing to be ignored. Placation by the university administration and trustees is not an option of help for those negatively affected.
If you decide you want to have a sincere discussing concerning immediate positive steps to be taken by the university to address its problems despite your initial rebuke, I remain open to such discussions. I have been and will continue to be clear about my agenda and goals; I expect the same from you. Again, to be clear, how we proceed is up to you.
Earl Murry, Ph.D.
Cc: Teresa M. Gabriel
Dr. Willie McKether