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Monday, 27 April 2009


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For once, some good news from the Diaspora!!! Congrats to the prof

SMU Alum

Kudos to Kofele-Kale and to SMU which took a very very long time to warm of to this great intellectual as theses 1992 & 1993 New York Times articles show:

Campus Journal; Tenure Dispute at S.M.U. Raises Suspicions of Racism
Published: Wednesday, November 11, 1992

Southern Methodist University has labored hard in the last two decades to live down a reputation that it is a hostile place for minority teachers and students. But a tenure fight involving a black professor at the law school now threatens to undermine the institution's efforts.

Ndiva Kofele-Kale (pronounced DEE-va Ko-FAH-lee KAH-lee), a 46-year-old professor born in Cameroon, was a visiting professor at S.M.U. four years ago when he gave up tenure at the University of Tennessee Law School to remain in Dallas at the law school's request. Implicit in that invitation, the professor said, was tenure.

A tenure committee voted unanimously last spring in favor of the professor, and the law school's tenured faculty also gave its approval. But C. Paul Rogers, the law school dean, gave Mr. Kofele-Kale a negative review and Ruth P. Morgan, the university provost, rejected the professor's dossier as inadequate. This fall, the professor appealed the rejection to the university president, A. Kenneth Pye, who is expected to make a final decision by year's end.

"We aren't perfect," said Ms. Morgan, who has been both supported and criticized for her decision but stands firm. "Intelligent, honest people are going to have different judgments."

Tenure disputes are common, but at S.M.U., the case of Mr. Kofele-Kale, who is the first black professor to come up for tenure at the 75-year-old law school, has revived complaints of racism from minority students and teachers. It is also reminiscent of recent debates at other law schools over tenure, most prominently one at Harvard Law, where a black professor gave up a tenured position in protest of the institution's lack of black women with tenure.

Although S.M.U. has been a leader in Texas in aggressively recruiting minority students, increasing minority enrollment to 15.2 percent this year from 5.4 percent in 1975, it still has a reputation for racial exclusivity.

"It can be a difficult place," said Eric V. Moye, a black alumnus who practices law in Dallas. "S.M.U. has a history of not having a great deal of racial tolerance. I think there is a lot of angst to change and do better. But S.M.U., like Dallas, like America, has a long way to go, and there are a lot of fits and starts and bumps along the way."

The case of Mr. Kofele-Kale has rekindled those feelings on this campus of 8,700 students, most of them white and relatively affluent. Last spring, as Mr. Kofele-Kale's case became public, leaflets distributed anonymously at the law school said that if blacks could not meet the academic standards they should leave. The Black Law Students Association, meanwhile, joined by some white students, has picketed and staged other protests in support of the professor.

"The administrators have presented themselves as people interested in diversifying the student body and the faculty," said Mr. Kofele-Kale, an international law expert who received his undergraduate degree from Beloit College and his law degree and doctorate from Northwestern University. "I guess that's why the black and other minority students are so pained by this decision. It's a very painful thing to me, too."

He maintains that he was never told by his superiors that he was deficient in any of the three areas on which a tenure application is judged: scholarship, teaching and publications. Despite requests for specific reasons for his tenure denial, he said, he has received only vague replies from the administration.

"I'm the first to come this close to breaking the glass ceiling," said Mr. Kofele-Kale. "It's an old boys' club."

Some students also argue that the tenure process is too subjective and clandestine, and prone to disputes like the one that has engulfed Mr. Kofele-Kale. "We tried to make it an issue that everyone could understand," said Andrea Stephens, a third-year law student and a leader of the student protests. "It's too easy to say it's racism. This could happen to anyone."

But because it concerns a black professor, the dispute has led students to question the university's sincerity about increasing the number of black faculty members.

Ms. Morgan, the provost, says confidentiality policies preclude her from discussing Mr. Kofele-Kale's case in detail. She said, however, that her decision was based on his merits and had nothing to do with race.

"Tenure is more difficult to get at S.M.U. than it was 10, maybe even five years ago," said Ms. Morgan. "I understand the emotion behind the case, but it comes with the territory."


enure for Black Wins Support
Published: Wednesday, January 20, 1993

The president of Southern Methodist University has recommended that a black law school professor be awarded tenure, overruling the university's provost in a case that had raised complaints of racism among students and faculty.

The case of Ndiva Kofele-Kale (pronounced DEE-va Koh-FAH-lee KAH-lee) received wide attention last fall, when the provost turned down the 46-year-old associate professor for tenure despite the recommendation of the law school faculty. The provost said Mr. Kofele-Kale's dossier was lacking.

The university, trying to overcome complaints that it was an inhospitable place for minorities, has been aggressively trying to attract minority students and faculty. Mr. Kofele-Kale's rejection made some question the sincerity of those efforts.

Mr. Kofele-Kale appealed to A. Kenneth Pye, the university's president; last week Mr. Pye recommended to the university's board of trustees that the Cameroon-born professor be granted tenure.

The 42-member board, which next meets on March 5, has the authority to reject tenure recommendations. But university officials say it has never done so.
A version of this article appeared in print on Wednesday, January 20, 1993, on section B page 7 of the New York edition.

Ndiforngu Charles Che

Prof, I am so proud of your academic records and background especially being a Cameroonian like yourself.
Congratulations and may some of us with unsatiable academic desire emulate your example.
May God bless and guide you to continue to produce young legal minds that wii rail your prints.

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