SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – Missouri State University has hired an investigator to conduct an independent review of allegations of racist treatment against the school’s vice president of diversity and inclusion.
The university’s Board of Governors Chair Stephen Hoven announced Monday there would be an investigation of the treatment of Ken Coopwood, the university’s first black vice president.
An online petition claims Coopwood has been the victim of hostile behavior by his own staff and has been discriminated against by the administration. The petition, which was started by local business owner Du’Sean Howard, was submitted Thursday to the school board.
Howard says the allegations are based on several conversations with Coopwood. Coopwood declined the newspaper’s interview request but said in an email that he was thankful for petitioners’ support.
School officials hope to have the investigation completed by Dec. 30.