On Saturday, November 7, 2015 while some Shaw University alumni were attending the annual Willie Gary “Show”, (also known as ‘THE HOMECOMING RECEPTION” hosted by Willie Gary and Lorenzo Williams) a group of 84 alumni gathered less than a mile away at the Chavis Heights Community Room. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent lawsuit filed against members of Shaw’s Board of Trustees and future strategy regarding the board of trustees removal. In attendance were past and president Shaw University Trustees, past and president faculty, alumni as well as current students.
During the two hour meeting, Ms. Maria Spaulding, Shaw University Trustee and Co-Chair of the Presidential Search Committee asked to be heard. During her opening statement she stressed that she wanted to be clear, “We narrowed the presidential candidates down from seventy-two (72), to fifteen (15) candidates and Dr. Dubroy was not one of the fifteen”.
Ms. Spaulding went on to say that the fifteen (15) candidates were narrowed down to three (3) and although she was the co-chair of the committee she was not privy to who the final three candidates were. Executive Committee Member and Secretary of the Board, Dr. Donnell Lewis who was also locked out of the final process, sent out an email criticizing the lack of transparency. This troubling issue is adding to the growing list of concerns from alumni about how Dr. Tashni Dubroy’s name resurfaced – which led to her eventual election by twelve members of the board.
When questioned by alumni, Ms. Spaulding stated she was unaware that a man named Dr. Honeycutt had been promised the Shaw University Presidency in 2014. After unanimously being voted down by the Board of Trustees, Dr. Honeycutt reached out to Shaw University alumni seeking support via email. In his email, (click here for the email) Dr. Honeycutt stated he had met with members of the Executive Committee on August 31, 2014 and he was promised the job. He went on to say, he was seeking alumni support as he was preparing to move his family to Raleigh and provided alumni with a copy of the contract that was offered to him. (see the contract here)
How did Dr. Honeycutt receive a contract and who promised him the job? How did Tashni Ann Dubroy get eliminated by the search committee and still end up as a finalist and then eventually president? Whatever happened to the search committee? Why does the board of trustees continue to operate under a cloak of secrecy after repeated public scrutiny?
We cannot continue to let our questions go unanswered. Shaw deserves better.