The Glover Report: Coppin Stage Set for New, Steady Leadership: The Resignation of Dr. Reginald Avery, President of Coppin State University
By Doni Glover, www.bmorenews.com
It’s been a long time coming, but change has finally come. Embattled Coppin State University President Reginald S. Avery is to step down in 2013. One man, who preferred anonymity, said, “It’s a good day in Baltimore.”
BMORENEWS was contacted in the beginning of this year and asked to look into this story about a serious lack of confidence in Dr. Avery. We heard details of developments that were disturbing. In short, people at Coppin did not feel good about Dr. Avery. BMORENEWS was asked to be patient.
Today’s news demonstrates that a promise was kept in the black community.
Without going into details and naming names, let this be known: Coppin is "our" school. The Coppin family feels very proud about it, especially considering the investment made into it by the State of Maryland after all these years.
And we expect the best. We certainly expect results, but most of all ... Coppin State University deserves leadership: pure leadership. A leader, first of all, must have followers. Sometimes, academics forget the people dynamics. It's all about relationships. So, when relationships are poor, the morale goes down.
Coppin is a relatively small family - compared to larger universities in Maryland. However, there is a lot of history at Coppin. It's next leader must come to appreciate Coppin's legacy to the community and all of the beautiful people who graduated there. Yes, this next president must come acting like he plans to marry Coppin, the beautiful bride and treat her and her people like a leader should: firm, but fair.
I spoke with Dr. Calvin Burnett today upon hearing the news. He hadn’t heard about Dr. Avery’s departure announcement.
Actually, the conversation got off somewhere between Obama’s miserable performance during the first debate to the fact that he used to walk from Coppin downtown and back on a regular.
I called him because he has always been the Captain of the ship in my book. He was president for more than three decades. He fought the good fight, and I say, look at Coppin today.
When I think of Dr. Burnett, all I can do is think of where Coppin was when I was a little boy, and where it is today.
Dr. Stanley Battle should have stayed, in my humble opinion. We, at Coppin, were not into one-night stands. We were used to a long-term relationship where the president was comfortable being there and not looking for the next gig. To his credit, Dr. Battle did a hell of a job – especially with community outreach. On countless occasions, Dr. Battle was progressively engaged with the children of Baltimore City. I loved it! He was a man on a mission. And then, he headed to North Carolina.
Long story short, Coppin needs steady leadership. You’ve got a brand new ship, and it needs a captain who plans to invest a decade or so into leading Coppin in this, the 21st century.
According to sources, former Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume is on the short list. Can you imagine that?