Mounting concerns about the leadership and administration of Oakwood University have prompted alumni to take action. Graduates have united under the banner of “Concerned Oakwoodites” to address the ongoing administrative challenges and propose potential remedies.
The group recently engaged in a meeting with Oakwood University’s board of trustees, yet their confidence in the prospect of meaningful changes was not bolstered by the session.
In a joint statement, the founders of Concerned Oakwoodites expressed their gratitude for the invitation extended by Dr. G. Alexander Bryant, Chair of Oakwood University’s Board, for the opportunity to discuss their concerns. However, they expressed disappointment that the board members did not commit to a specific course of action or provide a timeline for such actions.
The statement went on to say, “We hope to establish common ground with the Board in the future. Nevertheless, if this proves elusive, we remain steadfast in our commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and remedial actions at our beloved Oakwood University.”
The Concerned Oakwoodites group has pinpointed three critical areas that require the University’s attention. Firstly, the institution grapples with a staggering number of job vacancies, exceeding 60, primarily due to issues related to employee retention. Challenging workplace conditions, including the absence of air conditioning and structural ceiling problems, have driven faculty and staff away from the university.
Secondly, the group calls for a comprehensive review of the institution’s ethical procedures. Former faculty and staff have cited unethical practices as a contributing factor to their departure.
Lastly, Oakwood University has witnessed a significant decline in student enrollment and retention rates. Alumnus Christel Lobbins commented on this decline, stating, “I am aware that enrollment is currently lower than when I was a student here. I hope to see enrollment grow, and that our students will desire to attend Oakwood, just as we did in our youth.”