Your Ad Here

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Former Hampton football Coach files $7 million lawsuit against University

Former Hampton University football coach Jerry Holmes, who was fired in 2009 amid allegations he was seeking another job, is suing the school for nearly $7 million.

Holmes claims that statements made by HU athletic director Lonza Hardy and then-director of human resources Angela Dunn were false and have damaged his professional reputation. Holmes was dismissed following his only season as head coach on Jan. 26, 2009.

Then, Hardy told local newspapers in the Hampton area that Holmes was terminated because he was networking for a professional assistant coaching position at the Senior Bowl all-star game in Mobile, Ala. Holmes denied he ever interviewed for another position.

The lawsuit claims Hardy knowingly or with reckless disregard made "materially false statements" with the intention of "humiliating" Holmes. The suit claims the statements were "willfully designed by defendant to discredit plaintiff in his profession."

The suit, filed by attorney Steve Forbes in Hampton Circuit Court, seeks $6.5 million in actual damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

Holmes, was the secondary coach for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League last fall.

In its response dated Feb. 14, Hampton University requested the suit be dismissed. HU claims that each alleged false statement "either was not published, was privileged, constituted opinion, did not prejudice (Holmes) in his profession, or by its plain and natural meaning was not defamatory."

In particular, the response argues that all correspondence from Hardy and Dunn were sent directly to Holmes and copied only to "university employees who were in a position to have a need to know." Dunn was never quoted in the media.

Holmes signed a two-year contract to be HU's head coach on Dec. 31, 2007, replacing longtime coach Joe Taylor after serving as an assistant for the previous four seasons. The contract stipulated Holmes could be terminated for violating NCAA rules or making negative comments about the athletic department or university to the media. There was no mention of interviewing for other jobs.

The Pirates went 6-5 in Holmes' only season. On Jan. 26, two days after the Senior Bowl, Holmes received from Hardy a letter of dismissal. Hardy claimed that Holmes not only told his assistant coaches of his attempts to leave, he encouraged them to do so. Hardy called that "highly unprofessional and disrespectful" to HU.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Howard U. Class of 2011 includes Three Fulbright Scholars

The Howard University Class of 2011 includes three Fulbright Scholars – Antonino Eugene Lyons II, Jessica A. Cooper and Manjot Kaur Jassal – who will spend next year in Brazil and India respectively.

Lyons, received a degree in supply chain management, will work to prepare small Brazilian businesses for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. He will also teach English. In preparation for Brazil, Lyons will study Portuguese at the Middlebury Language School in Vermont.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Congresswoman's "earmark" improves Edward Waters Col

A $2 million earmark by Jacksonville, FL Congresswoman Corrine Brown has made much needed improvements to Edward Waters College.

Brown, a democrat, made a point of saying the improvements were the result of a congressional earmark, which funds specific projects at a lawmaker's request.

"There's a lot of negativity about earmarks," Brown said. "But this project would never have happened without it."

Yesterday, the school and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority marked the end of the $2 million improvement project. About $1.4 million came from the federal government; $600,000 came from the state.

Brown's earmark added new sidewalks, bus shelters, lighting, landscaping and improved drainage and signals and even the college seal in the roadway.

Edward Waters President Nat Glover said the improvements made the area safer and more attractive to future students and their parents. And he said he hoped the project would lead to a neighborhood revitalization.

"Our first goal is the campus," he said. "But we also hope this spurs improvements in the community."

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hampton U. receives $1m gift from it's President

Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and Mrs. Norma B. Harvey have donated $1 million to Hampton University to be used as incentives to increase faculty salaries. This is the second $1 million gift they made to the University. For the academic year 2011-12, every Hampton University faculty member will receive at least a three percent increase.

The Harveys’ donation will provide additional funds to faculty members who have received grants, published articles in refereed journals, and provided significant service to Hampton University. Under this arrangement some faculty members may be able to receive salary increases up to eight percent.

In 2001, President and Mrs. Harvey donated $1 million to fund a scholarship, dedicated specifically for high school students from Hampton and Newport News interested in becoming teachers.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Southern University Baton Rouge chancellor chosen

The Southern University System's Board of Supervisors has chosen James L. Llorens as the next chancellor of its Baton Rouge Campus.

Llorens currently serves as the assistant chief administrative officer for the Office of the Baton Rouge Mayor-President. Before that, he was dean of graduate studies, chair of Southern's political science department and associate professor of public administration on the Baton Rouge campus.

"Having worked in both state government and academia, Llorens has a clear understanding of what it takes to lead the Baton Rouge campus," Darren Mire, chairman of the SUS Board, said in a Friday news release.

The board voted 11-4 for Llorens, one of three finalists named by a search committee last week.

System President Ronald Mason Jr. expressed his displeasure with the outcome after that meeting, but said he would follow the process.

Mason had praised Michael Sorrell of Paul Quinn College in Dallas and Philander Smith College President Walter Kimbrough as two rising stars in the historically black college community. Kimbrough was invited to interview, but withdrew his candidacy. Sorrell was not among the three semifinalists.

Llorens is a native of Alexandria. He received his B.A. from Loyola University, MS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He will replace Kofi Lomotey, who resigned under pressure in November, effective June 30.

Llorens was among the finalists for chancellor in 2008 , when Lomotey was chosen.