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Houston Breakthrough 1980-02
Page 5
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-02 - Page 5. February 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 19, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/371/show/345.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-02 - Page 5. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/371/show/345

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1980-02 - Page 5, February 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 19, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/371/show/345.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-02
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 32 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 5
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_557ae.jpg
Transcript LOCAL COLOR mmm Max Ernst Cancelled, 1975, Manual (Ed Hill and Suzanne Bloom), Lent by Cronin Gallery for Photography Exhibit, Museum of Fine Arts Chancellor dismisses dean of humanities BY JANICE BLUE "For the sake of academic nicety, the matter ought to be called a reassignment," said Alfred Neumann, Chancellor of the University of Houston at Clear Lake City (UH/CLC). "The word that I feel, that describes my reality, is fired," responded Calvin Cannon, former Dean of the UH/CLC School of Human Sciences and Humanities. Whether Cannon was reassigned or fired is indeed academic. Last week he was dean: this week he isn't. On January 17, Neumann informed Cannon, in a confidential letter, that his administrative assignment would be changed, effective February 1, from dean to the director of special university events, with specific responsibility for The Dinner Party (due to open next month on the UH/CLC campus). "We have been urging Dean Cannon to concentrate on his area of greatest strength, namely, the arranging of special exhibits and events," the chancellor said in a prepared statement for the Uhc/idian, the UH/CLC paper. In response to the rumors that there had been a mishandling of The Dinner Party project's funds on the part of Dean Cannon, the statement continued: "Unfortunately, the calendar year began with certain administrative procedures, prescribed by the Board of Regents, not being followed. There was no personal malfeasance or impropriety, however." Neumann's first public statement, written at the request of the campus paper, appeared in print the week of February 11, almost three weeks after his letter was sent to Cannon. The time lag contributed to the rum- Janice Blue is an editor of Breakthrough. ors linking Cannon's demotion to some financial scandal. The chancellor left on a cruise ("a postponed vacation") the same day he mailed Cannon the confidential letter (Jan. 17). In it, he alleged 'There has recently been some evidence concerning the transfer of gifts for the benefit of The Dinner Party which was handled contrary to the rules of the university's Board of Regents in their strictest interpretation. However, there appears to have been a series of misunderstandings which, at best, would be difficult to clear up completely." "All this suggests some dark, strange complicated cloud that still lingers," said Cannon, reading from the letter. It continued: "In this particular situation, the university suffered no apparent damage. The matter is, therefore, considered closed." "Of course, apparent, bothers me. But what the matter is, nobody can figure out and that's the last I've heard," said the deposed dean. Cannon had expected some sort of administrative statement early on. When none was forthcoming, he drafted his own, to his faculty, in which he announced another part of the transfer— with the falKsemester he would become a full-time faculty member in Literature. He told the group, "I shall assume this position with ... a sense of profound pride in becoming your immediate colleague." He also read them the chancellor's confidential letter to him. Shocked by the news of Cannon's demotion, some of the faculty were also troubled that their views had not been considered. A letter of strong support was immediately drafted by 45 of the 51 faculty members of the School of Human Sciences and Humanities. But what concerned the faculty as a body after they heard Cannon's part of the story, was the implication of financial misdeeds. Cannon described the matter as "an innocent mistake." Someone donated $2500 to The Dinner Party and their broker called Cannon to ask if the gift should be in the form of cash or stock. He said, "Cash, because I've got to pay the (exhibit's) bills," and the broker said, "I'll need a university number." I don't know any of these university procedures, so I'll have you talk to someone in my office," Cannon told the broker. "When the check arrived, my secretary called Neumann's office and asked how the gift should be handled. She was told to bring it to the Chancellor's office," Cannon said. "I realized there was some agitation, so I called the chancellor, who answered me sternly, and said I had no authority to sell stocks. Only three people at the university (the president, the vice-president for financial affairs and the assistant to the vice-president for financial affairs) were authorized to do so. Finally he asked me if I had ever heard of Sam Harwell. And I said, 'Yes, I've heard of Sam Harwell,' whereupon he hung up." Sam Harwell was a UH financial analyst, charged with scheming to defraud the university of millions of dollars. He was convicted and sentenced to a four-year term in a federal penitentiary. "I might have used a different comparison," Neumann allowed later, to a Houston Chronicle reporter. He blamed Cannon, though, for "choosing to publicize the things which I've not chosen to do. Why should I publicize anything negative about anyone? I don't do that." Cannon feels the need to clear the issue and his name because "it is dam aging to me professionally. "If I were to apply for an administrative position at any other university, one of the first things they'd want to know, of course, is Why did you leave the university on February 1? Isn't that a strange time to cease being dean?' Well, yes it is. 'Well, why?' And, of course, they'd want to talk to the people who were my superiors." Cannon believes that the administration has not sufficiently laid to rest any suspicion of financial impropriety, so Breakthrough asked Neumann (February 5): Breakthrough: Did Dean Cannon do anything illegal? Was it a scandal? Neumann: It was not a scandal. Q: Then, the (charges) have been completely dismissed? A: There will be no follow-up on that. Q: No follow up. You're saying there is still some suggestion of (wrongdoing)? A: We will avoid everything we can to avoid any repetition of the avoidance of procedure. Q: Did Dean Cannon mishandle funds or not? If he did, that's a scandal, and there shouldn 't be any cover up? A: He did not mishandle any university funds. Q: He did not. A: He did not follow university procedures in the processing of funds. Q: That sounds less severe. I'm just trying to get this straight - A: From the horse's mouth, that's me. What Cannon is guilty of, according to the chancellor, is "a disdain for administrative minutiae." Neumann gave an example. "I have in my drawer here, a beautiful piece of scotch tape, which is red and it says red tape, maybe you've seen it advertised. That's my attitude toward some of the paperwork, but ... I have to follow rules. People who work in institutions have to follow routines, and it's my unhappy duty to enforce these rules. The dean's job is not necessarily the visionary's role. The dean has to take care of the minutiae, and sometimes that is less than spectacular," he added. Neumann maintains that university regulations were repeatedly set aside by Dean Cannon. "In other words, why do I have to follow this regulation as long as my goal is right? "Again and again," continued the chancellor, "there were numerous situations where rules were not followed. If the (stock) incident had happened as an isolated incident, we would have said, 'Don't let this happen again,' but there had been a two year accumulation. "We did not choose to make any charges," added Neumann, "and he (Cannon) knows that I could have used 15 other things." Neumann said that Cannon came close to being removed from his dean- ship two years ago, after the humanities and human sciences faculty "came very close to recommending non-confidence in Dean Cannon." They took a poll and the final vote was in Cannon's favor "but not by much. "At that particular moment, if I had wanted to proceed, I think the overwhelming faculty would have wanted a change. The outcome was more on the margin." Neumann related an anecdote. 'This is meant facetiously: 'We decided to send you a get-well card. We took a vote and it was 7-6 to send you the card.' It was not that kind of a situation, but the poll taken by the faculty was very divided. So we're not dealing with anything new, that happened suddenly. We're dealing with a situation where it was HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH FEBRUARY 1980