FSU Alumni: Allison doesn’t possess qualifications to lead usBy Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Senior Contributor / February 26, 2021
A Change.Org petition, sponsored by Fayetteville State University Concerned Alumni, and sent to Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Gov. Roy Cooper and State Sen. Ben Clark (D-21), seeks “the removal of the newly appointed Fayetteville State University Chancellor Darrell Allison.
The all-Republican UNC Board of Governors appointed Allison, a former member of UNC Board of Governors and a school choice advocate, as FSU’S 12th chancellor last Friday, February 19th, unanimously, amid controversy.
The FSU Board of Trustees – which has two of Allison’s relatives on it – recommended Allison to the board.
Wilmington Attorney Peter Grear, an FSU alumnus, says he signed the petition because, in his judgment, “Unfortunately, Darrell Allison doesn’t have the credentials, qualifications or experience to serve as chancellor of Fayetteville State University.”
According to the petition, which exceeded its initial 1,500 signature goal on Monday,”… Allison was not one of the six finalists for the position and was added to the list at the last minute.”
Allison is an NCCU alumnus and has no doctoral degree or/and experience teaching at the university level or as a college administrator. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Press accounts say that he is a “longtime education advocate,” who was nominated by UNC System President Peter Hans to takeover FSU leadership in mid-March.
“Darrell Allison is a creative leader who understands the value of Fayetteville State University to the community, the region, and the state,” Hans says.
UNC Board Chairman Randy Ramsey also speaks highly of Allison.
“I have worked alongside Darrell for many years now and he is not only a person of great ability but one of true character,” Ramsey said. “He is deeply committed to higher education and to the citizens of North Carolina. He brings to this position a broad understanding of Fayetteville State University’s strategic role and impact in the region.”
Allison, who is politically unaffiliated, indeed has a history of educational advocacy, including serving on the NCCU Board of Trustees, the UNC Board of Governors, but the Fayetteville State University Concerned Alumni apparently are not impressed.
The FSU Concerned Alumni allege that Allison “…resigned as [a member] of the UNC Board of Governors in September 2020, knowing that he was assured and guaranteed to become the new chancellor of Fayetteville State University. Equally in question is the watering down of requirements of the position as well as the change in appointment procedure by the UNC Board of Governors.”
The petition goes on, “The selection process was fraudulent, dishonest, biased, flawed and cheated from the beginning. Unethical maneuvers allowed Darrell Allison the pathway to become a candidate in the first place. In addition, we believe that it was also Allison’s ties to his mother-in-law and his god mother who both serve the FSU Board of Trustees that also proved favorable to his appointment….”
The petition concludes alleging that Allison is “without a day of teaching…” or serving in any other capacity building or training in higher education, and “…has a history of scandals involving financial mismanagement, tampering with leadership and steering vendor contracts.”
He has worked as a lobbyist for school choice and currently serves as the vice president of governmental affairs and state teams at the American Federation for Children, a national group that works to expand school choice programs, once headed by former President Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Cash Michaels is a journalist covering state news with the Carolina Peacemaker. He is based in Cary, N.C.