Saturday, August 30, 2008

CNM: Slam and Faculty Advisor

I've been following recent NM & Albq slam lists' discussions, including the one about the firing of Bill Nevins, Faculty Advisor of the CNM Slam Poetry Team/Write Club.

Wed, 8/27/08, Bill Nevins
wrote (forwarded to lists by Sal Treppedi):
Just so you know, and seems to me that the poetry community would want to know, so feel free to tell them. The founding Faculty Advisor of the CNM Slam Poetry Team/Write Club, Bill Nevins, who is also instructor of the CNM Creative Writing Poetry and College Writing and Analytical Writing courses has suddenly and without explanation or any warning been fired, effective immediately and meaning that the above courses prepared by that instructor and advertised in his name by CNM will be taught by someone else, if at all. The future of the CNM Slam is in doubt, as now there is no faculty advisor it is reported that no one else is willing to take the job for fear of similar firing by CNM. It appears that CNM does not want an active student creative voice nor active voices among its faculty.

The CNM faculty union has expressed shock at this "mean-spirited" action and has asked for the immediate reversal of this action, but so far no response from the CNM Admin. The action was taken via a one sentence letter to Nevins mailed Aug 18 and signed by Irving Berkowitz, Dean of CHSS (School of Communication, Humanities, and Social Sciences) at CNM. Incidentally, Dean Berkowitz publicly announced his own resignation and plans to leave the State of NM in an email sent Aug 14 to all faculty.

Deja vu all over again, or retaliation for Committing Poetry in times of .... ?
(reference to well known story about free speech, poetry and war that took place at Rio Rancho High School. A post by Bill Nevins that describes what happened and how he lost his teaching job at Rio Rancho High School over free speech issues around the time of the start of the Iraq war.)
Blogging the newly created Albq Slam Championship was my first choice - especially untl I read that Hakim Bellamy, PWP featured reader, topped the list of qualifiers. But Hakim responded to CNM story by posting this on NM Slam, Fri Aug 29
How YOU can help Bill Nevins.

The teachers organization (dare I say union) at CNM has filed a request to the President of CNM to overturn Bill's firing on the grounds that the outgoing administrator had no reasonable cause to initiate such a targeted action. It would do President Winograd well to hear from the community (as CNM is a community serving institution) and especially from CNM students, faculty or staff (because your money keeps the lights on).

KATHARINE WINOGRAD, President’s Office, can be reached by telephone
(505)224-4415, by email at, or by snail mail at President’s Office, 525 Buena Vista Dr. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Thank You,
I figured Hakim would rather this take precedent over the other, so here it is. Time to catch the other later. Check those addresses and write CNM.

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