University of Mobile dean apologizes for offensive post about slavery

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Another controversial post by a local educator has added to the strain on race relations on the Gulf Coast.

The University of Mobile confirmed to WKRG News 5 on Thursday that it has addressed the post, made by Dr. Al Miller, Dean of the Alabama School of the Arts.

A former student brought the post, a meme about slavery, to our attention. The post was made on Miller’s personal page.

In a statement, President Dr. Lonnie Burnett said he had a discussion with the dean, who removed the post and offered an apology to the person who voiced concern.

News 5 asked the university to clarify whether Miller would face any additional punishment or investigation beyond just the discussion. We were told nothing would be released beyond the statement since this is a personnel matter.

President Burnett said the dean showed bad judgment, and the post “is not reflective of the views of this institution.”

The following is the full statement from University of Mobile President Dr. Lonnie Burnett:

On Monday, June 15, it came to my attention that a Dean at the University of Mobile had shared a post on his personal Facebook page that could be considered offensive.  A former student expressed her concerns in a response to the post which, in turn, prompted several other comments.  Within an hour of learning about the post, our Vice President for Academic Affairs, on my direction, met with the Dean to discuss the seriousness of the matter.  The Dean removed the post and reached out to the student and offered a personal apology.  Having known the Dean for over 15 years, it is my belief that the sharing of this post was a matter of bad judgement.  While this post was not on any University of Mobile media and certainly is not reflective of the views of this institution, the incident can be used as a teachable moment.  One of the most important lessons that I hope will come out of the dialogue that has been initiated by the recent tragic national events is that we all will understand why certain words, symbols, monuments, and practices are so painful to a substantial part of our population.

Dr. Lonnie Burnett
University of Mobile President

A high school teacher in Northwest Florida recently faced scrutiny as well for an offensive Facebook post. Lisa Dillashaw was placed on administrative leave while Santa Rosa County Schools investigated the comments.

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