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General Discussion Forum / Forsetti's Justice
« on: November 20, 2016, 08:06:02 PM »
Very interesting read about Rural America and why it's the way it is!!!

Sports Forum / Has Tuskegee Football Reached Its Ceiling?
« on: October 23, 2016, 03:23:34 PM »
I'm not asking this because I'm disappointed in losing homecoming two years in a row. I'm asking this being a financial, concerned alumni. Over the last 20 years, Tuskegee has been the most overall consistent winner in HBCU Football in either division. Coach Comegy made Tuskegee Football Great Again, and restored it to being relevant. Coach Slater has built onto that foundation that has led to TU continuing as the Winningist HBCU Football program of all time. However, when you look at the lack of leadership on the Institutional level, plus the antiquated and inadequate Football facilities, the question becomes has TU Football hit the ceiling in what we are capable of accomplishing?  Considering the facilities, I think TU is to be commended concerning the success and consistency over the last 20 years, but IMHO, I see it being difficult for the program to take the next step and being nationally relevant on a consistent basis until the facilities are brought up to par. To be sure, this isn't just a TU issue. My other Alma Mater, FAMU sufferers from this similar issue, but to a lesser degree than TU!

It's been a wonderful ride being elite on the HBCU level. It's now time for us to strive for excellence in the mainstream world.

Just one man's opinion!!!

Unless the Democrats totally screw this up (which they are most fully capable of doing), a Democrat should be a shoo in for 2016!!!

And for whatever reason, I noticed that the Good Doc was omitted from this evaluation!!

General Discussion Forum / Indiana Becomes Right to Work State!!
« on: February 02, 2012, 02:52:27 PM »
With Indiana becoming a Right to Work State, plus all of the events of the past year in Wisconsin, do you think this is a trend of the future?

Indiana joins right-to-work ranks, gov. signs bill



Indiana is the first Rust Belt state to enact the contentious right-to-work labor law prohibiting labor contracts that require workers to pay union representation fees, after Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the bill Wednesday afternoon.

The Senate approved the measure a few hours earlier Wednesday, following weeks of discord that saw House Democrats boycott the Legislature and thousands of protesters gather at the Statehouse.

"Seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered," Daniels said in a statement. A spokeswoman said he would not take questions on the measure Wednesday.

Indiana is the first state in a decade to enact a right-to-work law.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday to make Indiana the Rust Belt's first right-to-work state, passing legislation that prohibits labor contracts requiring workers to pay union representation fees.

Thousands of union members gathered inside the Statehouse chanted "Shame on you!" and "See you at the Super Bowl!" as the vote was announced. Thousands more amassed outside for a rally that spilled into the Indianapolis streets, already bustling with Super Bowl festivities, hoping to point a national spotlight on the state.

Indiana will be the first state in a decade to enact a right-to-work law, although few states with legislation in place boast Indiana's union clout, borne of a long manufacturing legacy. The move is likely to embolden national right-to-work advocates who have unsuccessfully pushed the measure in other states following a Republican sweep of statehouses in 2010.

Passage of the law will close one chapter in a contentious debate that sparked a five-week walkout by outnumbered House Democrats last year and saw them stage numerous boycotts this session, delaying action on other bills and threatening to spill over into Sunday's Super Bowl.

The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill in a 28-22 vote Wednesday morning. The bill now heads for the desk of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has said he will sign it upon arrival.

"We're giving freedom to workers who don't want to be a part of something they don't believe in," said Republican Sen. Carlin Yoder, shortly before the vote.

Over the past year, Republicans have pushed for other anti-union laws in battleground Rust Belt states where many of the country's manufacturing jobs reside, including Wisconsin and Ohio, but they also have faced backlash from Democrats and union supporters. Wisconsin last year stripped public sector unions of collective bargaining rights.

Despite massive protests outside the Capitol, Wisconsin's GOP-dominated Assembly passed a law backed by Gov. Scott Walker in March that strips nearly all collective bargaining rights from public-sector unions. Walker is now preparing for a recall election after opponents turned in a million signatures aimed at forcing a vote and ousting him from office. In November, Ohio voters repealed a law limiting collective bargaining rights that was championed by Gov. John Kasich and fellow Republican lawmakers.

State police estimated that 3,000 protesters packed the Statehouse Wednesday and another 3,000-4,000 packed the Statehouse lawn. Union protesters in Indiana said Wednesday they were not ready to be silenced.

About half of the protesters marched to the Indiana Convention Center and cheered when a person went over head on the zipline set up for Super Bowl fans.

Some of the protesters were holding signs reading "Hands off My Union," "Stop the War on Workers" and another said "Ditch Mitch."

Bruce Frazier, 56, an ironworker from Muncie who works in Indianapolis, stood on the south lawn of the Statehouse on Wednesday afternoon surrounded by more than a thousand union members and supporters protesting the vote.

Frazier said many of the buildings now being used for this week's Super Bowl events were built with skilled labor.

"We built everything in Indianapolis to bring the Super Bowl here -- and this is how they thank us, by breaking our way to make a living," he said.

Indiana AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Harris said protesters planned to hand out leaflets before Sunday's game. Daniels said this week that it would be a "colossal mistake" for union protesters to disrupt Super Bowl festivities and that any such move could backfire on them.

Indiana AFL-CIO president Nancy Guyott pledged that Wednesday's vote wouldn't be a permanent victory, noting that Indiana has adopted and repealed right to work before.

"We'll take our state back, one block at a time," she said.

Supporters say right to work helps create a pro-business climate that attracts employers and increases jobs. Opponents say it leads to lower wages and poorer quality jobs, and they accused Republicans of rushing the bill through to avoid disrupting the Super Bowl.

But with Republicans outnumbering Democrats in the House and Senate, and House Democrats facing stiff fines if they walked out for a lengthy period as they did last year, opponents had few opportunities to stop the bill.

Testifying against the bill Wednesday, Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington, said there was no evidence that right to work created jobs and likened the bill's fate to the Super Bowl, but with one team playing at a huge disadvantage.

"Our side has fewer men on the field, and our team doesn't have pads or helmets," Simpson said. "We already know what the final score is going to be."

Experts say many factors influence states' economies and that it's nearly impossible to isolate the impact of right to work. For major industries, access to supplies, infrastructure, key markets and a skilled workforce are key factors, according to business recruitment specialists. For a state's workers, the impact of right-to-work legislation is limited because only about 7 percent of private sector employees are unionized. Over the years, job growth has surged in states with, and without, right-to-work laws.

Oklahoma, with its rural-based economy that produces comparatively fewer union jobs than Indiana, was the last state to pass right-to-work legislation, in 2001.

With myself at one time having had an ownership interest in a Motorcoach operation that was contracted to haul several HBCU bands and football teams, I personally don't see where this lawsuit is going to go too far. :no:

Family to sue owner of bus where FAMU student died

ORLANDO, Fla. — The parents of a Florida A&M band member who died after a hazing ritual last November said they will sue the company that owns the bus where the hazing took place.
Robert Champion's parents and their attorney told The Associated Press on Monday that the bus company's negligence contributed to his death as band members were allowed to get back on the bus to conduct hazing rituals after they had returned to an Orlando hotel following a football game against the school's archrival.

Ray Land, the owner of Fabulous Coach Lines, said his staff did everything to get help once they were notified there was a problem. Land told the AP in December that the bus' driver was helping students unload their instruments when Champion collapsed.

"The bus company has some liability," the Champions' attorney, Christopher Chestnut, told the AP. "They knew or should have known that hazing was occurring on the bus."

An autopsy ruled Champion's death a homicide. It concluded Champion suffered blunt trauma blows to his body and died from shock caused by severe bleeding.

Witnesses have told Champion's parents that the 26-year-old drum major may have been targeted for severe hazing because of his opposition to the marching band's culture of hazing. Other witnesses have told them Champion being gay, and the fact that he was a candidate for chief drum major, also may have played roles. They believe it was the first time he was hazed.

"The main reason that we heard is because he was against hazing, and he was totally against it," Champion's father, Robert Champion Sr. said in an interview in Orlando, Fla.

But the Champions and their attorney said they are uncertain how or why Champion was on the bus since it was well known that hazing rituals were organized on the bus by a group of band members known as "Bus C" after the Florida Classic football game against archrival Bethune-Cookman University. Band members, mainly percussionists, would return from the game, drop their gear off in their hotel rooms and return to the bus to haze others who wanted to be indoctrinated into the organization, Chestnut said.

Robert Champion Sr., and his wife, Pam, discount homophobia as a major motive in their son's hazing since other band members had known about his sexual orientation for years and had never bothered him about it.

"His sexual orientation was not something he was defined by," Chestnut said. "He was more defined by music. This was not something that he quote, unquote 'advertised.' It was a part of who he was."

The Champions are unable to file a lawsuit against FAMU for another several months because of state law setting up procedures for suing public entities. Suing the bus company will allow the Champions' attorneys to depose witnesses and gather documents, Chestnut said.

Orange County detectives and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents are investigating Champion's death.

Any death involving hazing is a third-degree felony in Florida, but no charges have been filed so far in Champion's death. In a separate case, three band members were arrested in the Oct. 31 beating of a woman band member whose thigh bone was broken.

Band director Julian White was initially fired by FAMU President James Ammons, then re-instated and put on administrative leave. Four students dismissed by the university were also reinstated while authorities work on the investigation.

Trustees have reprimanded Ammons, but the board rejected Gov. Rick Scott's recommendation that he also be placed on administrative leave.

General Discussion Forum / First merger of GA Universities Imminent!!!
« on: January 04, 2012, 01:39:40 PM »
Looks like the merger of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University is imminent:

I'm sharing Jemele Hill's piece about The 100 that I received in my email this morning.  I might add, there's nothing really new here that we haven't previously discussed:

What would happen if members of a high-profile college football team were accused of hazing one of its captains so badly that it later resulted in his death?

And for the sake of argument, let's say this was the high-profile team's third serious hazing incident in the last 13 years. On the previous two occasions, one player was paddled so badly he suffered kidney damage, and the other was hospitalized for several days because of a beating.

There would be incredible outrage, obviously. The incidents would demonstrate a destructive pattern and a clear institutional failure. The NCAA would have to get involved. And shutting down the program would be reasonably considered.

These incidents aren't hypothetical. But they don't involve a college football team, but instead Florida A&M University's famed marching band, the Marching 100. The band has performed for U.S. presidents and at numerous Super Bowls, been featured in nationally televised commercials and is just as visible and powerful as any big-time college football program.

If we've learned anything from the fall of Joe Paterno and Penn State's dismantled reputation, it's that there can be a stunning lack of accountability when entities are allowed to become bigger than the institutions they serve.

Last week, Robert Champion, a first-year drum major, collapsed on a bus and later died at a nearby hospital following FAMU's loss to Bethune-Cookman at the Florida Classic in Orlando. Champion, who didn't immediately attend FAMU out of high school, was 26.

Orlando police are awaiting the results from Champion's autopsy, but they believe hazing caused Champion's death.

No charges have been filed, but since Champion's death FAMU has fired band director Julian White. All band activities, including performances and practices, have been suspended. And FAMU president James Ammons has vowed to get to the bottom of this, appointing a task force that's being headed by a former Florida attorney general.

If Champion's death were merely a singular, tragic incident, FAMU's response might be considered sufficient. But FAMU has twice settled lawsuits because of hazing. (The Champion family announced Monday that they plan to sue the school also.) Even more damning, White revealed at a press conference Monday that he had to suspend 26 band members two weeks before Champion died, making it apparent that the current culture is toxic and administrators seem either unwilling or incapable of changing it.

"When you have cases that are high-profile, you have to really start making statements," said Dr. Walter Kimbrough, a hazing expert who testified during the 1998 hazing case of former FAMU clarinet player Ivery Luckey, who was hospitalized for 11 days with kidney failure and eventually reached a $50,000 settlement with the university. "You have to expel people. You're going to close that organization. Those are the kind of stances that have to take place. But the question becomes, is the band too big to be banned?"

FAMU hasn't indicated how long the band will be suspended, but if police officially determine that Champion's death was a result of hazing, the Marching 100 shouldn't be allowed to perform for at least the next five years.

Maybe that sounds too harsh to some, but not when you consider the Marching 100's track record, or that other universities and colleges have permanently banned fraternities and sororities from campus for equally serious hazing incidents.

"This is the most prominent band, period," said Kimbrough, who also is the president of Philander Smith College, a historically black college in Little Rock, Ark. "That's why it's important. This is the SMU football situation, where the band should get the death penalty."

Certainly those who were responsible for Champion's death or have willingly hazed others deserve the worst punishment, perhaps even a prison sentence. But the only way this sickening culture can be reversed is if those in power choose to issue serious consequences, rather than preserve the benefits, status and public relations windfall that a revered marching band provides.

If FAMU sends a stern message, other universities will be pressured to set a no-tolerance standard. And if the university doesn't, it will reinforce its own trivial role.

Jemele Hill can be reached at

General Discussion Forum / Seeking a College Presidency? Come to GA!!!
« on: November 29, 2011, 07:30:10 PM »

The University System of Georgia is hunting for college presidents and will need at least eight new campus leaders by August.

The system currently has presidential search committees in operation for Valdosta State and Georgia College & State universities. Four other colleges have interim presidents, and two additional presidents plan to retire June 30. The new president of Gordon College starts Jan. 1.

On top of that, Chancellor Hank Huckaby is searching for a new chief academic officer, a key position that provides leadership over academics and research for more than 318,000 students and 11,000 faculty members at the state's 35 public institutions. The system expects to have finalists for that position in early 2012.

"We have a lot of turnover right now, but there have been other years where there were about 10 president openings," system spokesman John Millsaps said.

The number of openings in Georgia "is not surprising" considering national trends, said Gretchen Bataille, senior vice president for the American Council on Education. The California university system has 23 colleges and is searching for five presidents, she said.

The council warned in 2007 that many colleges would lose leaders to retirement because about half the presidents are 61 or older. At that time, the average president's tenure was about 8.5 years.

Augusta State President William Bloodworth and Gainesville State President Martha Nesbitt will retire June 30. Bloodworth has been president for 18 years, and Nesbitt has served for 14 years.

Some people decide to leave or retire when the system gets a new chancellor, Millsaps said. Huckaby started July 1.

Still, the openings and delayed search committees have caused some concern because of merger discussions.  Huckaby suggested merging campuses to save money, and consolidation candidates are expected to be announced this winter. Campuses without permanent presidents have wondered whether their schools are at risk.

Huckaby said presidential openings won't be a factor. Logistics prevent the system from conducting too many searches at one time, he said.

College president vacancies

Eight of the 35 institutions in the University System of Georgia are either searching for new presidents or will be in coming months.

Augusta State -- President William Bloodworth will retire June 30. A search committee has yet to be formed.

East Georgia -- Robert Boehmer, an associate provost at the University of Georgia, will begin serving as the interim president Jan. 1, following the retirement of President John Black. A search committee has yet to be formed.

Gainesville State -- President Martha Nesbitt will retire June 30. A search committee has yet to be formed.

Georgia College & State -- A search committee was formed in August, and Stas Preczewski is the interim president. He was the vice president for academic and student affairs at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Georgia Highlands -- Robb Watts, who was recently the system's chief operating officer, starts as interim president Jan. 1, following the retirement of President Randy Pierce. A search committee has yet to be formed.

Savannah State -- Cheryl Dozier has served as the interim president since May. She was an associate provost at UGA. A search committee has yet to be formed.

Valdosta State -- Louis Levy, who previously served as the provost, has been the interim president since July 1. A search committee was formed in August.

Waycross -- Mary Ellen Wilson, previously a vice president at Middle Georgia College, has been the interim president since July. A search committee has yet to be formed.

Source: University System of Georgia

General Discussion Forum / Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« on: November 08, 2011, 06:19:49 PM »
Here we go!!

With no discussion, the state Board of Regents Tuesday unanimously approved six guidelines staff will use as they consider how to merge some of the system’s 35 colleges.

It's too soon to say how many and which colleges will merge.

Regents Chairman Ben Tarbutton said he expects the board will receive recommendations during the first quarter of 2012. Once approved, Tarbutton predicted the mergers would be implemented over 12 to 18 months.

Campus consolidations have the potential to save taxpayers millions while affecting thousands of students across the state. The move also will set off a firestorm as alumni, students, politicians and community members fight against changes that threaten their campuses.

"We've done the easy part," Tarbutton said. "Applying the principles will be much more difficult and time consuming."

The "consolidation principles" approved say that any merger should make the system more cost-effective, improve graduation rates and provide more access statewide to quality programs.

As part of the process, University System of Georgia staff will review degree duplication among the colleges to make sure campuses are not competing against one another, Executive Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley said.

Wrigley said staff will spend "as much as a couple of months" reviewing data based on the merger parameters and then will submit recommendations to the regents.

Tarbutton said there is no target number of campuses the University System is looking to reach, adding "every school is on the table."

Chancellor Hank Huckaby has told the state's colleges not to panic but staff, students and community leaders have spent the past couple of months wondering if their campuses are at risk.

Mergers have long been controversial and emotional.

A state senator ignited widespread debate  three years ago when he suggested the system merge Armstrong Atlantic State and Savannah State, both in Savannah, and Albany State and Darton College, both in Albany, to save money. The idea was shot down by local politicians, alumni and supporters of historically black colleges, which include Savannah State and Albany State.

The Drum / New "Tuskegee Fans" Chat Board
« on: March 14, 2010, 08:32:00 PM »

Whether or not you are an alum of the great Tuskegee University, we extend an invitation for you to sign up and join the new Tuskegee Fans Chat board.  We hope that you join us in the discussion of HBCU athletics, bands, and all the other things that make the HBCU experience unique!

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