The president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP charged the University System of Maryland Board of Regents on Thursday with a lack of transparency in its search for a new Coppin State University president.
Kobi Little, who heads the Baltimore chapter, said the regents have waited months to start a search and failed to appoint a representative of the NAACP to the search committee.
“My concern is about transparency and … about making sure the president of Coppin has the independence and the strength to articulate and advocate a vision that is in the best interests of Coppin,” Little said.
The search committee on Thursday held its first public meeting, which Little attended. He said that there wasn’t enough notice and that the meeting was being held in the middle of the day rather than at night when more people could attend. During the meeting, Little said, the chair of the search committee agreed to meet with him to hear his concerns.
The Board of Regents, the state governing body of the university system, will appoint a new president of Coppin.
As a historically black college, Little says, the institution has not gotten enough money over the years.
“Given the history of white supremacy as relates to HBCUs in Maryland, it seems odd that the chancellor has not been intentional about reaching out to the NAACP and other civil rights organizations,” he said.
Little has concerns that the new president would be a “functionary that institutes the vision of the Board of Regents.”
Coppin State University president Maria Thompson wrote in an email to supporters that she would be returning to her native city of Nashville following her recent marriage and a lengthy recovery from a “serious health challenge.”