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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

MSU Hires Outside Investigator to Look Into Allegations of Racist Treatment of Vice President

Michele Skalicky

The chair of the Missouri State University Board of Governors, Steve Hoven, has issued a statement on “current events” on campus.  The message, sent by the University Communications Office, is in response to a petition filed on by Du’Sean Howard to “call attention to the gross and racist treatment being hurled at Dr. Ken Coopwood.”  Coopwood is MSU’s first black vice-president and serves as vice president of diversity and inclusion there.

Hoven says they’ve hired an outside investigator to conduct an independent review of the allegations and charges that have been made in the petition.  The law firm of Ellis, Ellis, Hammons & Johnson, P.C., will conduct the review with John Hammons as the lead investigator.

Credit Missouri State University
Dr. Ken Coopwood, Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion at MSU

Howard alleges in the petition that staff in Coopwood's division have "been despicable and hostile towards him."

Hoven says, while they feel Coopwood has “been treated fairly as an employee of Missouri State,” they decided to hire the outside investigator “in the interest of openness and transparency.”

He says they hope to complete the investigation by December 30th.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.