What lessons can be learned from the killing of Michael Brown and its aftermath in Ferguson?
For three hours Wednesday night, several panels discussed that question and more at “A community in turmoil,” a symposium at Harris-Stowe State University. Not surprisingly, given the setting, a lot of the answers had to do with education, on campus and on the streets.
And in many cases, speakers said it will be the young teaching the old, not the other way around.
Harris-Stowe State University is looking for a new president, and its professors are working under a new contract that was imposed on them by the school's governing board. The labor issues are just one indication that Harris-Stowe faces many long-simmering problems that raise questions about the institution's future.
To outsiders, the atmosphere on the venerable midtown campus was calm. But long-simmering disputes between the faculty and top officials were about to go public.
Harris-Stowe’s journey to the university it is today began in 1857, when the St. Louis Public Schools founded a teacher-training institution for white students only – the first such teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River.
It later became known as Harris Teachers College, which in 1920 grew into a four-year undergraduate institution, offering a bachelor’s degree.
Art McCoy, who is currently on paid administrative leave from his job as superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, is in the running for the position 0f president of Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has learned.
Asked about his candidacy for the job, McCoy said in an interview he did not want to discuss it while his status in Ferguson-Florissant remains unclear. But he did acknowledge that he had been asked by several people to consider the Harris-Stowe job, and he agreed to join the search pool.
Updated at 3:23 p.m. Mon., Feb. 17, with announcement of new SIU president. Some of the jobs came open suddenly, one at the end of a long campus standoff and still others quietly at the end of long, productive tenures, but they all have resulted in room at the top of the ivory tower:
At least four local schools – Saint Louis University, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Community College and the Southern Illinois University system – have vacancies in the office of their top administrator or did until Monday, when SIU named a new president.
(l-r) Justin Ivan Brown, Ron Himes, and Ronald L. Connor in the Black Rep's production of "The Whipping Man," which the company performed in last year's season at The Grandel Theatre. This year the company will be housed at the Emerson Performance Center on the campus of Harris-Stowe State University.
After being ousted from their home at The Grandel Theatre in Grand Center, The Black Rep theater company has found a new place for its productions at Harris-Stowe State University.
The company will now hold its performances at the Emerson Performance Center on the school’s campus, which seats over 200. The Grandel Theatre was owned by Grand Center Incorporated, which sold it earlier this summer.