Letter: Statement from the communication department chair

CV Vitolo-Haddad will no longer be accepting a position at Fresno State. (Courtesy CNN)

Written by Professor and Department of Communication Chair Kevin Macy-Ayotte, Ph.D

The faculty of the Department of Communication were extremely disturbed to learn last week of the allegations regarding CV Vitolo-Haddad and worked quickly with the university administration to address the issue; as stated in the article, CV Vitolo-Haddad will not be joining the faculty at Fresno State. The goal of social and racial/ethnic justice is central to our mission of educating students to practice ethical communication in a diverse world, and integrity and honesty must inform the pursuit of that goal.

In that spirit, and with an understanding that personnel-related topics are both sensitive and confidential, we feel that it is important to ensure accuracy in reports regarding the assignment of courses to faculty. Assignment of specific courses to faculty members each semester is not assured; in fact, class assignments frequently rotate among qualified faculty. Our faculty are determined qualified by departmental committees and are assigned courses based on a variety of factors. Although Mr. Boroujeni’s quote states that he was removed as debate coach, in reality, another qualified faculty member who had expressed interest in teaching the courses associated with forensics and who is highly qualified in individual events, another type of forensics activity, was assigned to those courses this year as has happened in previous semesters. The assignment of classes in Communication was completed as consistent with university policy and the CFA collective bargaining agreement.

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