Reinstate Dr. Fleming as Founder of NAI

We the undersigned call on President Steven B. Sample and the University of Southern California staff to reinstate Dr. James C. Fleming as the Founding Director of the Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI).  We, the NAI scholars, USC/NAI Alumni, NAI Family, and former NAI staff, know it is only just to give him the recognition and credit he deserves.

The Neighborhood Academic initiative, including and all of its components, was the brain child of Dr.  James C. Fleming.  He not only developed the Master Plan for the program, but was its Director for 10 years and fundraised throughout the Country in order to ensure the full implementation of the program.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1)    <!--[endif]-->Dr. Fleming wrote the NAI Mission statement and Pre-College Enrichment Academy’s educational philosophy.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2)    <!--[endif]-->Created and negotiated the contract initiating the successful partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District, University of Southern California Administration and, Neighborhood Academic Initiative students and their parents.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3)    <!--[endif]-->Developed the curriculum and teaching approaches that addressed the scholars; cognitive and affective domains with equal depth and intensity.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4)    <!--[endif]-->Included Mood Check as part of the NAI Academy’s daily routine as well as Fantasy Flight to help the scholars express their emotions and teach them how to deal with them. 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5)    <!--[endif]-->Wrote the Scholar’s Code of Ethics, part 1 and 2.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->6)    <!--[endif]-->Created the Family Development Institute, Saturday Academy, Counseling sessions, the Mentoring program and several other key components.

It is because of his vision that USC’s community investment has yielded unprecedented results.  Countless students and their families have broken the barriers of attaining higher education and are able to call USC their alma mater.  They were afforded the opportunity of their lives 

As President Sample himself stated, Dr. Fleming “created a model for others to follow.” (Steven B. Sample's recommendation to Dr.Fleming dated February 16, 2000). NAI is recognized as a phenomenal program nationwide.  As a result of its success, Dr. Fleming was sought by institutions in other cities, states and countries to duplicate his creation, the NAI model.

To date more than 500 scholars have been accepted to USC.  This year 28 NAI scholars have been accepted, the largest group since its inception and yet, some of these scholars do not even know who created this great opportunity.  Since his retirement, Dr. Fleming is talked about less and less when referring to NAI.  In print or on-line.  If he is mentioned, it is stated he was just the director, not the creator of the program or its founder.  Nothing is said even about his collaboration with Dr. Barbara Solomon and Sylvia Manning.  For example, in the Trojan Family Magazine in the Winter 2003 issue, NAI is talked about in three different articles and Dr. Fleming is not mentioned once.  If the NAI history is researched on-line you will not find his name.

It is time to give him the respect and credit that he deserves.  Therefore, we the undersigned request for the University to recognize Dr. James C. Fleming as the founder of USC-Pre-College Enrichment Neighborhood Academic Initiative and recognize USC as the patron who made it all possible.

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