Something we can do

May 1, 2009

In News

Note: Please sign the petition using the link above. You can also view current signatures here.

“We had little or no expectations of her; she is after all a woman of color.”

A tenured professor in Ithaca College’s Sociology Department included the above statement in an email he wrote to the Sociology Tenure and Promotion Committee at Ithaca College in 2005. The woman to whom he was referring to is Margo Ramlal-Nankoe, an assistant professor seeking tenure in Ithaca College’s Sociology Department.

This petition is about Margo’s struggle for tenure at Ithaca College. Margo’s tenure process became a struggle when a small number of influential faculty and administrators began campaigning against her. Margo became a target of their negative campaign because she (a) spoke out against sexual harassment within her department and (b) challenged students and community members to think critically about US and Israeli policy in the Middle East. The campaign against Margo is about to succeed: Ithaca College’s Board of Trustees has denied Margo tenure and her employment will be terminated at the end of the school year.

If Margo is fired, both Ithaca and Ithaca College will lose a fabulous teacher and citizen of 12 years. Despite the campaign being waged against her, Margo’s tenure review file is full of glowing letters from her students and colleagues. The Chair of the Sociology Tenure and Promotion Committee summarized the content of the numerous letters of support Margo received from her students: “Most students tell us that working with Dr. Ramlal-Nankoe has transformed their views, their life, and/or their plans for the future.” The letters of support Margo received from her peers also note her excellence. A typical faculty letter states that Margo provides a “superior example of pedagogy and of the teaching of traditional sociology.”

With glowing reviews from students and peers:

We, the undersigned, ask:

Why is Margo Ramlal-Nankoe being Denied Tenure and Terminated as an Ithaca College professor?

We, the undersigned, demand:

Margo Ramlal-Nankoe be granted an Independent and Transparent tenure review process.