2 university officials resign after comment probe

AP News
Posted: Nov 14, 2014 11:09 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Two San Jose State University officials resigned following an investigation into an alleged derogatory comment made about Latino women during a meeting of university employees earlier this year, the university president announced Friday.

Wanda Ginner, an alumna and board member for the university's Tower Foundation since 2007, resigned from the board, University President Mo Qayoumi said in a message sent to the campus's community.

Hours later, Qayoumi announced Vice President for University Advancement Rebecca Dukes also resigned.

The university began an investigation after receiving a complaint that Ginner had allegedly made an insulting comment about Latinas and their ability to be successful in a February meeting. The complaint alleges Dukes was at the meeting and didn't intervene.

The complaint was filed by someone who was at the meeting but who hasn't been identified.

Ginner has denied the allegations.

"Although many efforts are already underway, a great deal of work lies ahead as we seek to be the welcoming, inclusive community all Spartans aspire to," Qayoumi said.

Qayoumi said he's still reviewing the external investigation's results and that they would only be shared with Ginner and the complainant.

"In an effort to preserve the privacy rights of the parties, the university is limiting distribution of this information to these individuals," he added.

Tower Foundation board chair Amir Mashkoori said Ginner's resigned to stop diverting attention from the university.

"The fact that Wanda agreed to step down reflects genuine concern for the university and her desire to avoid being a distraction," Mashkoori said.

Dozens of students who heard about the allegations held a campus protest against Ginner earlier this week.

The resignations come a year after four San Jose State University students charged with misdemeanor hate crimes for abusing a black roommate.

A report on that incident found the university was slow to respond to the students' cruel taunts and abuse, which included writing racial slurs on a whiteboard, hanging a Confederate flag in their suite, and barricading him in his room.