Too Much Truth – Spelman’s Letter
Today on Too Much Truth, DB came across an interesting e-mail letter. The letter comes from the President of Spelman College, Dr. Beverly Tatum. In the letter, she expresses her concern about the status of Morris Brown to the bankruptcy judge. Is Dr. Tatum trying to help Mayor Reed’s land grab attempts? Check out the letter below where she is explaining what she did to the AUC Community.
From: “President’s Office”
Date: Aug 21, 2013 1:39 PM
Subject: Community Update: Morris Brown College
To: “Spelman College Faculty & Staff”
Dear Campus Community,
As the current chair of the Council of Presidents of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, I wrote the Honorable Judge Barbara Ellis-Monro on behalf of the members (Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse School of Medicine) to express our concern about the potential disposition of the land associated with Morris Brown College. While we are not informed about the particulars of the various deals that may be under discussion, we wanted to assert our interests and concerns as the member institutions of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the largest landholders in the area and the collective educators of more than 8,000 students. We recognize that the continued deterioration of the Morris Brown campus poses a threat to the health and well-being of the neighborhood in which our students live and study. We also recognize that the proposed Falcons’ stadium and the related community development represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to breathe new life into an economically disadvantaged area. While we are sensitive to the financial challenges facing Morris Brown, our primary concern is ensuring an optimal living and learning environment. Three of our four AUC Consortium members (Spelman, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta University), as well as the Interdenominational Theological Center, are also members of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, and the Library is one of the Morris Brown creditors. As permanent residents of the neighborhood, we are heavily invested in its well-being and sustainability. We worry that those who may seek to take over the land on which Morris Brown sits may use the land in ways that contribute to the decline of the neighborhood (i.e., check cashing stores, pawn shops, other similar businesses.) Conversely, we would welcome the presence of developers who are interested in enhancing the quality of life for our region (i.e., affordable quality housing attractive to our faculty and staff, retail businesses and other amenities that would support a thriving educational community), and we would fully expect to participate in conversations with such parties. We wrote Judge Ellis-Monro to request that during deliberations she take into account the well-being of the anchor institutions that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium, institutions committed to the long-term health and well-being of our neighborhood and the more than 8,000 students we serve. I’ll keep you abreast of any other actions taken by the AUC Council of Presidents regarding this issue. Thanks for your support. Sincerely, Beverly Daniel Tatum *******************************************************************************