Ronald Jackson, the University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences dean, and Carol Tonge, A&S Recruitment and Retention Initiatives assistant dean, were derogatorily depicted in a cartoon posted around campus and circulated among faculty members in an email this week.
“When we see cartoon images, caricatures or any discourse for that matter that is designed to demean, dismiss, or devalue difference, we all ought to be outraged,” Jackson told The News Record in a statement. “No single individual ought to stand alone in a just community.”
The detailed sketch depicted Jackson and Tonge as the king and queen of A&S, and suggested Tonge’s recent appointment represented racial bias in the college when hiring new administrators.
“We’re not really sure where it came from or who put it out there, but it’s something that’s not acceptable at all,” said student body president Joe Blizzard.
Copies of the cartoon were posted in campus buildings sometime on Monday night and were removed by Tuesday morning.
“This isn’t just about principle and the UC community. It’s personal. It’s about our office,” said A&S Assistant Dean Tara Warden in an email to staff members.
“I am hurt for my colleague and friend [Carol Tonge] with whom I’ve worked for 10 years, amazed at her strength and resilience, grateful for her continued dedication to continue the fight,” she said.
Of the 444 total A&S faculty members, which includes professors, associate professors, assistant professors and instructors, 320 are white, 25 are black, 18 are Hispanic and two are Indian, according to an American Association of University Professors 2012-13 portfolio of A&S.
“We must not be afraid to name racism for what it is — a form of incivility,” Jackson said. “Its complexities often paralyze people to the extent that they cannot speak productively about it, unless they are wiling to be vulnerable.”
The cartoon has been confiscated and the university is expected to release a statement about it. The statement was not available as of press time.
“It is derogatory in nature toward two members of the administration of the College of Arts and Sciences and it’s something that is not tolerated or condoned by the university,” Blizzard said.