Black students rallying last week at the University of Maryland's College Park campus sharply critized the university administration, saying it does not support their programs or protect their rights sufficiently.
Some of the strongest criticisms at the rally, attended by about 50 students, came when the speakers denounced the student government's cutback of activities money for black groups. The Black Student Union was given slightly more than $6,000 -- $3,000 less than last year. Funding for black fraternities and sororities fell back by 40 percent.
Black Student Union President Mwaidele K. Olushola of Baltimore also charged that an inordinate number of black students were brought before the campus judicial board.
Ken Morgan, a critic of the university's minority policies who was fired from his job as head of minority student recruiting last year, charged that school officials are trying to dissolve minority programs and phase blacks out of administrative jobs.
Statistics show most black administrators at College Park hold mid-level positions. The campus human relations office and its Upward Bound and intensive education programs are headed by black administrators.
Equity officers in three of the university's five divisions are also black, as is the newly appointed associate dean for research at the campus graduate school. But out of the approximately 75 academic department -- has a black chairman. And none of the university's five provosts of three vice chancellors is black.
Marie Davidson, acting assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in an interview that while the number of black administrators is increasing, officials agree there is a need to bring more blacks into higher level decision-making positions.
Davidson and other university officials said they are trying to protect and develop a "multiracial environment" in College Park.
Asked at his weekly press conference about the black students' rally, Chancellor Robert L. Gluckstern said, "This campus does not subscribe to the use of discrimination in any form. We above all believe in justice and equality of opportunity."
Gluckstern said in an interview that he could not discuss Morgan's dismissal, but added, "You need to assume he wasn't fired for racial reasons." d
Discussing funding, a university spokesman said the umbrella groups for predominantly white fraternities and sororities suffered cutbacks comparable to those experienced by the black groups -- about $3,000 for each of the organizations. Student resident and commuter organizations got moderate increases in their activities funds, however, and the Jewish Student Union received $5,426, and increase of $320 over last year.
Asked about student discipline, Gary Pavella, judicial programs director, said that of 26 students suspended this year, two were black. One out of the only three students expelled this year also was black, he said.