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Old 06-10-2018, 05:44 PM
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Default Black female "Diversity Dean" complains about being fired by new president that she ruled against


Dean: City College president fired me for ruling against him in misconduct case
By Melissa Klein and Susan Edelman
June 9, 2018 | 10:07pm

Michele Baptiste
Helayne Seidman

The new president of City College has canned the university’s diversity dean , who once ruled against him in a discrimination misconduct case.

Michele Baptiste said she was the third administrator to be terminated by Vincent Boudreau in the last few months. One of those let go was black and the other Hispanic.

Her firing comes as the college hosted lying law professor Anita Hill, who famously accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, as its June 1 commencement speaker.

“This is their way of saying we are inclusive — as a black woman, she was badly treated and we are honoring her — while they are doing the same stuff,” was the view of Ravi Kalia, a City College history professor. “That’s hypocrisy.”

Baptiste said Boudreau unceremoniously dropped the ax on her April 26, appearing in her office with a vague pronouncement about wanting a change in leadership in her department.

“Vince just left the room,” she said. “I think that it was less than a minute.”

But Boudreau left behind a college security officer, who also acts as his driver, to watch as a stunned Baptiste had to pack up her diplomas and belongings.

“What did they think I was going to do?” she said. “Why would I need security? Why would I need to be handled in that manner?

Baptiste, who is a lawyer, had worked at the college since 2013 and dealt with issues such as diversity in recruitment efforts and sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.

She reported directly to the college president and never received any performance review, she said.

Boudreau was named interim president of City College, the flagship of the public City University of New York, in November 2016 after the previous president, Lisa Coico, resigned amid a probe of alleged financial misconduct, which she has denied.

Last fall, Harlem leaders including Assemblyman Keith Wright and former Rep. Charles Rangel, raised questions about Boudreau’s pending appointment as the permanent leader saying he had little engagement with the surrounding community. Boudreau was named the college president on Dec. 4, 2017.

A political science professor, he had previously been dean of the college’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

During that time, Baptiste had investigated a complaint made by Lynda Dodd, a highly regarded scholar and legal studies professor who has multiple sclerosis and contended she was being discriminated against because of her disability.

Baptiste found that Boudreau and a poli sci professor had “retaliated against Dodd” and recommended that Boudreau get a “letter of discipline,” according to a lawsuit Dodd filed against the college in December after she was denied early tenure.

Baptiste said she believed her firing was in retaliation for that and her handling of another employee’s discrimination complaint.

Boudreau told The Post he couldn’t comment on personnel matters and that “the college is committed to upholding the very highest standards in fair employment, diversity and inclusion, and in putting a staff in place that is able to translate that commitment into action and policy.”
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