UPDATE: Both faculty members placed on administrative leave, termination letter sent to one

Louisiana

UPDATE: MONROE, La. (06/09/2020) — The University of Louisiana Monroe has made an announcement in regards to the two faculty members under investigation for racist statements made on social media.

According to ULM, both faculty have been placed on administrative leave. A letter of termination has been sent to the instructor, Dennis Bell. As for Mary Holmes, ULM states that the appropriate steps prior to the termination of tenured faculty have been initiated.

The announcement, made on the University’s Facebook page, states that “the ULM Faculty handbook defines expectations for faculty behavior in regards to citizenship and civility. The behavior we have witnessed this week does not reflect the values of this institution or civilized society.”


UPDATE: MONROE, La. (06/09/2020) — Dennis Bell, the first faculty member of ULM to be investigated last week over racist statements on social media, has been removed from the staff directory of the biology department.

As of Tuesday morning, the staff directory for the biology department no longer shows Bell. Bell’s faculty profile has also been removed.

As of right now, the faculty profile for Mary Holmes, the second faculty member under investigation, is still active under the list of nursing instructors.

The university plans to host a Univesrity Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Forum tonight, Tuesday, June 9, at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum beginning at 6 PM.


UPDATE: MONROE, LA. (06/08/2020)– While many express their beliefs through protests in the streets, others are sharing their thoughts through social media.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is investigating two professors after they were accused of making racist statements on Facebook.

Dennis Bell, a biology professor at ULM, allegedly made multiple posts concerning his views about race and politics. In one post, Bell wrote that police brutality is a narrative used to “keep blacks on the democrat plantation.” The posts began circulating over the weekend.

“It kind of sucks to go on there and see your professors say insensitive racial things,” Jamariuana Thomas, said. “What if I have to go into a classroom with this man? What if I encounter him on campus? How can I feel safe?”

Jamariauna Thomas said she posted the screenshots of Bell’s posts in hopes of getting the university’s attention. Thomas said although she is now an alumni, she still has friends who attend the university.

“I’m scared for them to have to go into a classroom and feel like their teacher doesn’t value them because of the color of their skin or not getting equal treatment like everyone else,” Thomas said.

Many users tagged the university and local media outlets, asking the university for a course of action.

A second faculty member was also accused of making racially disparaging comments on Facebook.
Mary Holmes is a nursing professor at the university. Her post surfaced on Sunday. Holmes is accused of making a racist statement about former President Barack Obama.

The University has responded to both situations saying “These posts are hurtful and do not reflect the core values of this institution”

“I do appreciate them responding quickly and effectively with it, because ULM is a school that puts themselves on diversity, so it’s very important to us for them to stand by us and you know, take action,” Thomas said.

Thomas said she believes in forgiveness and second chances, but in this case the professors in question should have consequences to their actions.


MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The University of Louisiana Monroe is now investigating another faculty member accused of making racist statements online.

According to the News-Star, ULM administrators are aware of and are investigating a screen capture that began to circulate on social media over the weekend.

In the image, a comment on an article states “Thank God for our President. He takes no salary for his loyal commitment. Not like the m—-y before him.”

The commenter in question, Mary Holmes, is an assistant nursing professor at ULM. According to the “biographical sketch” on faculty profile, Holmes has taught at ULM since 1991 and is currently on the Admission and Academic Committee along with the Assessment and Evaluation Committee.

On Sunday evening, ULM made the following post to their Facebook page:

This all comes after screen captures of comments made by Dennis Bell, a biology instructor, were circulated online last week.

KTVE/KARD’s Isabel Albritton will have more on this developing story tonight on NBC 10 and FOX 14.

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