A Poet Thinks He Was Laid Off After 40 Years at Howard U., but He Isn’t Sure

A Poet Thinks He Was Laid Off After 40 Years at Howard U., but He Isn’t Sure

Howard University (Josh/Creative Commons BY 2.0)
Howard University (Josh/Creative Commons BY 2.0)

 

(The Washington Post) – E. Ethelbert Miller, a noted poet and longtime director of the Afro-American Studies Resource Center at Howard University, believes he was laid off last week in a round of staff cuts after working for his alma mater for four decades. He cites solid evidence: He was locked out of his university computer and e-mail account. A larger-than-usual paycheck from his employer was deposited Friday in his bank account. A local television news station reported that day that he had been fired along with more than 80 others.

But Miller said he still isn’t quite sure what’s going on. As of Tuesday afternoon, he said, no one in the university administration had directly informed him of his termination or told him what his severance package will be.

At age 64, this graduate from the Howard class of 1972 said he is owed some answers. He said it is mind-boggling that he would be uninformed about basic personnel issues roughly five days after University President Wayne A.I. Frederick announced to the campus community that financial concerns had led to the elimination of 84 staff positions.

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