More unrest in ASU faculty - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More unrest in ASU faculty

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April 14, 2004

Albany- Just weeks after complaints of racial hostility, there's more unrest in Albany State's English Department.

The interim department chairman, Dr. Sandy Cohen, is being replaced, but there are different stories on why. President Dr. Portia Shields says she removed Cohen as English Department head so he could take part in mediation about racial relations, along with the entire department.

"In order for all of the faculty to be able to participate, I asked Dr. Pandey who is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to assume the administrative duties in the department, so that all department members including Dr. Cohen would be able to participate," Shields said.

Cohen says Shields fired him as chair and didn't give him a reason. So, he's decided to retire at the end of the summer because of the hostile work environment.

"There's too much racial tension, too much racial division in the department," Cohen said. "There seems to be a group of people in the department that have just made it very, very difficult for the white professors in the department now."

Shields says that the school will conduct a national search for a permanent head of the English and Modern Language Department at the end of the Spring semester.

updated at 11:55AM by brannon.stewart@walb.com