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The Boston Globe Must Cover the Crisis at CPCS

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Brief Overview: The most diverse college within the most diverse university in the Northeast, the UMass Boston College of Public and Community Service (CPCS), is in serious risk of destruction at the hands of its own Dean (supported by the UMass Boston Provost and Chancellor). For months, the CPCS community has tried to get serious coverage of this crisis in the Boston Globe, and has been repeatedly rebuffed. Now the CPCS community is demanding coverage, through this petition, after providing statistics demonstrating that the Boston Globe has an established pattern of seriously underreporting events at UMass Boston--a large public college--when compared to its generous coverage of large private colleges in the Boston area. *To sign the petition, please scroll to the bottom of this page.* Or read on for more information. Full petition text: To the Editors of the Boston Globe, Despite being right across the street from the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Boston Globe--Boston\'s newspaper of record--rarely devotes coverage to that most diverse public institution of higher learning in the Northeast. Our university. While we understand that the Globe can\'t possibly write about everything that happens at the dozens of Boston area colleges, we would think that having 11,000 students would qualify us for roughly equivalent coverage to large area private universities like Harvard, MIT, BU and Northeastern. However, our analysis of Globe coverage of these colleges during this calendar year, clearly demonstrates a glaring disparity when compared with UMass Boston. Between 1/1/06 and 9/10/06 according to a full text Lexis-Nexis search on the names of each of the 4 private colleges for articles of all types appearing in the Boston Globe, we determined the following number of references: Northeastern=384, MIT=558, Harvard=589, and BU was the big winner at a whopping 1010 references. UMass Boston by contrast was referenced a mere 99 times. If one only looks at the number of references in articles written by either of the main Globe higher education reporters Marcella Bombardieri and Sarah Schweitzer during the same period, the picture remains disturbing: Northeastern=13, BU=21, MIT=23, Harvard=31. UMass Boston comes in last again at 6. Now when there is a serious crisis at a large local public college like UMass Boston, we would certainly--again--expect the same level of reportage that our more expensive and fashionable sibling institutions regularly receive. Sadly, as the numbers show, this has not been the case. For several months, the Boston Globe reporter responsible for the public higher education beat, Sarah Schweitzer, has consistently failed to cover the growing and extremely damaging series of scandals taking place at the UMass Boston College of Public and Community Service (CPCS). Our college. Schweitzer has written only one poorly researched paragraph on the crisis at CPCS in a March 2006 \"College Roundup\" column, trivializing the problems at CPCS by insinuating that this public College was imitating the faculty at Harvard by voting no-confidence in its Dean. Though many faculty and students from CPCS have contacted her about the crisis at our College and sent her extensive materials, Schweitzer has--with the explicit backing of her Education Editor, Linda Wertheimer--petulantly refused to carry out her ethical and journalistic responsibility to follow such a story wherever it may lead. In this case, the story at CPCS leads to the following: a CPCS Dean, Adenrele Awotona, was hired in Summer 2005 by UMass Boston Provost Paul Fonteyn, despite the fact that Fonteyn knew that Awotona had been fired under sensational circumstances from his previous job as Dean of the Southern University Baton Rouge (LA) School of Architecture. Provost Fonteyn failed to provide that information to the Search Committee responsible for vetting Awotona


Concerned Members of the UMass Boston College of Public and Community Service (CPCS) Community


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