| Many of you in the readership of the Capital City Hues are aware of the fact that I have been involved for sometime in litigation against the administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When I began writing this column for the Hues, the Editor and I agreed that I would not use this space to promote my case against the UW. The litigation, and other similar claims filed with the Board of Regents and with the EEOC have now been dropped as my case has been settled out of court. A "settlement" is a compromise. Both parties agreed to a "non-disparagement clause" as part of the settlement. Given how I have been "disparaged" over the past three plus years, it is interesting that the other side now wants to cease and desist. "I gather that disparagement can come from two sources: it can come from lies and distortions; and it can come from the fact that, as the saying goes, the truth hurts. From the beginning, I maintain that I have told only the truth. Be that as it may -- Casting all of this aside, and while some may quibble with the terms of the settlement, more than anything else, I am most pleased to have this terrible episode behind me. I am grateful to the Hues for providing me with this opportunity to say a word of thanks to all who have been there for me; and who have not allowed themselves to rush to judgment like so many did before they got the facts. I do this fully knowledgeable of the fact that I am going to inadvertently not mention the names of a number of key friends and colleagues. Please know that I am equally grateful for your friendship and support.
I received much support from individuals on campus, in the community and from around the nation. On many occasions, on campus and in the community, many individuals from all types of racial, gender and economic backgrounds -- who did not know me personally -- approached me and offered words of encouragement and support. Each and everyone them greatly inspired me and gave me the strength to keep going.
First and foremost however, I will forever be grateful for the support I received from ALL of my loved ones -- especially my lady and her family who have stood beside me from the beginning. I am equally as grateful for the support I got from my children and the family that I have spread out all over this country. Most fiercely supportive, in the warrior spirit for which I named him was my son, Tshaka. I can't thank him enough.
Many of my former staff that are both colleagues and life-long friends, were also there for me from the beginning and I can't thank them enough. I received support from individuals from just about every office on campus including the Chancellor's Office, Provost's Office, the various Dean's offices, The Equity and Diversity Resource Center and even the Office of Legal Affairs. The one person who stands out more so than anyone else is Professor Richard Davis who said defiantly quoting Pharoah Sanders, 'When you mess with the chief, you're messing with the whole village!' Key others who I would also like to thank are Walter Lane, Dr. Ruby Paredes, Dr. Hazel Symonette, Roger Howard, Paula Gates, Jose Madera, Bill Hebert, Moji Olaniyan, Judi Roller, Kim Henderson, Henry Cuthbert, LaMarr Billups, Professor Don Downs, Professor David McDonald, Professor Sabine Moedersheim, Professor Larry Meiller and Professor Mary Anderson. There are also a host of student leaders that supported me including all of my former student interns.
When most of the mainstream media was absorbed in the making of sensational headlines and spreading rumor and innuendo, it was Jon Gramling, former editor of the Madison Times who was the first reporter/editor that gave me the opportunity to tell the full and complete story about what has transpired with my case against the UW administration. I will forever be thankful to Jon for having the courage to do what was right in the face of all of the negativity that was being spun out by the rest of the media. I also thank David Dahmer, the current editor of the Madison Times; as well as Milele Chikana Anana of UMOJA. Just before and during my public Hearing with the Academic Staff Appeals Committee (ASAC), the Capital Times broke away from the pack to give a more balanced perspective about my accomplishments, the vacuum that occurred after I left and put my case in a clear and balanced perspective. I can't thank former Capital Times reporter Aaron Nathans and the Editorial Board enough for their support including the very positive and straightforward editorials they did right after I was exonerated calling for the UW administration to 'make me whole.' I must say the same for Neil Heinen and the Editorial Board of Channel 3 for the interview on 'For the Record' and for requesting that I be treated fairly and made whole. I express a word of thanks to Mac VerStandig, former editor of the UW student newspaper, The Badger Herald. The Herald pummeled me more so than any other newspaper with salacious stories and wicked headlines. Mr. VerStandig sat through my entire hearing before the ASAC and shortly thereafter, came to my office, almost in tears, and apologized profusely for all of the distortions and misinformation that they had put out on me. It took much courage on his part for him to come to me, fess up, apologize and offer to use his remaining time as editor to write positive editorials and to put the truth out regarding all that transpired with my case. I also thank Brother Mike McKinney for having the strength and for allowing me the privilege of being one of the last individuals to be interviewed by him before he passed away.
I thank Senator Spencer Coggs and Representative Robert Turner for the letters of support they sent to the Chairman of the Board of Regents. I thank Rev. David Smith and the African American Council of Ministers for the support they gave me in the writing of two letters signed by the membership of that august body. I also thank the Rev. Larry Jackson and Rev. Elder Eugene Johnson for their support and spiritual guidance. I thank Dr. John Odom and Dr. Richard Harris who stood beside me and provided good advice and counsel from the beginning. I thank Linda Hoskins, president of the Madison Branch of the NAACP, for her steadfast support as well as former Urban League Director Steve Braunginn. I also thank all of the Brothers of 100 Black Men for their encouragement and support.
Lastly, and most importantly, I thank my attorney, Lester Pines and his firm, Cullen, Weston, Pines and Bach for the very solid legal support and representation that I received throughout this ordeal. I also thank Attorney Anne Sulton and her husband Jim for the advice and support that they continue to provide for me.
What's next? I remain committed to making a difference for those in this community who are underserved, left behind and neglected in whatever way that I am able. I also intend to continue to write about local, statewide, national and international issues of concern to our community in the Hues. What inspirational message can I share as a result of all that I have gone through? That message came to me by a colleague that I helped recruit to UW-Madison, Professor Dianne Gooding, who, after watching my interview on Neil Heinen's "For the Record" she sent me a wonderful card with words of encouragement with this quote from Maya Angelou: "I may be CHANGED by adversity, I refuse to be REDUCED by it!"
The Literary Divide/Dr. Paul Barrows
A word of thanks