Former Professor Accuses Valdosta State University Of Retaliation After Sending Open Letter To Governor Deal

Winnie Wright
August 20, 2014

Valdosta, GA - Last June, Mark George, a former Valdosta State University Professor wrote an open letter to the Governor on behalf of the Mary Turner Project, a group he coordinates.

In that letter, he asked the State of Georgia to stop supporting Confederate holidays, events, historic sites, and roadways. Since then, George claims retaliation by the University.

"The day I sent that email, using my Valdosta email account, through the University, it was immediately deactived."

George says VSU argued that he was using the University's resources for political purposes. George also says funds were then frozen for the Mary Turner Project. According to George, when he addressed the University as to why, he had difficulty obtaining open records.

Monday, he sat down with VSU President, William McKinney to discuss his concerns.

In a written statement, McKinney said of the meeting,
"We discussed the history of the Mary Turner Project, as it relates to VSU, as well as Dr. George's role in it while he was a VSU faculty member."

When asked if a resolution was met, McKinney said,
"I was [also] pleased to have the opportunity to restate VSU's commitment to follow the university processes that are in place and to make certain that the Mary Turner Project has access to its resources consistent with university procedures. In that respect there has been a resolution."

George says he feels differently.

"I was extremely disappointed in the meeting in a variety of ways. The biggest thing was, please show me the policy that I violated, and I haven't seen it yet."

George says he still wants to see the policy he violated when it comes to using a VSU email address for political activities. VSU says it'll send George some "links" discussing the practices they're governed by, when it comes to public information.

For more information on The Mary Turner Project, visit http://www.maryturner.org/mtp.htm.


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