Monday, November 18, 2019

FAMU dean appears to have made predatory loan to subordinate

Michelle Ferrier, Dean, School of Journalism and Graphic Communications, has been accused of predatory lending practices after a loan agreement between her and a subordinates surfaced.  

The agreement dated October 14, 2019, between Dean Ferrier and Patrice Campbell Monroe, an administrative assistant, in the School is for repayment of “Summer 2019 salary.”

According to sources with knowledge of the agreement, Dean Ferrier hired Monroe and had her start work before her employment “paperwork” with the university had been processed.  When Monroe’s paychecks didn’t come, Ferrier paid Monroe a total of $3,000 out of her own pocket between July and August. Monroe was to make bi-weekly payments of $400 once she began receiving her FAMU salary to pay off the loan.

Between July and October, something went awry causing Dean Ferrier to formalized the agreement in writing and include “hefty penalties” if the loan was not repaid in full by December 31, 2019.

According to the loan agreement, obtained by Rattler Nation, which appears to be signed by Dean Ferrier, the details of the loan and hefty repayment penalties are spelled out. 

In the agreement, Ferrier appears to write, “the loan comes with a hefty penalty for not submitting the payment in total by the time we discussed, by year’s end.  On January 1, 2020, a 50 percent interest penalty will be charged for any remaining balance, with and an additional 25 percent accruing monthly on the remaining balance(s) on February 1, and March 1 and continuing until the balance is repaid.”

The source also said, after receiving the new loan terms which were said to have been sent over the FAMU email, Monroe and her husband took their concerns to Provost Maurice Eddington, on October 16, 2019.

Ferrier, was appointed Dean in August of 2018, and began work on October 1.  She previously served as an associate professor of Journalism and former associate dean for Innovation, Research/Creative Activity and Graduate Studies at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication.   

Past troubles 
In April 2016, Ferrier filed a complaint against Ohio University claiming that she had been discriminated against as a dean because of her race and sex. She filed a lawsuit against the university after she was stripped of her associate deanship, according to an article in the Athens Post
At the time, Ferrier began tweeting at Ohio University and Scott Titsworth, the Dean of Scripps, to reiterate her stance against the university, according to a report in the New Political (Ohio).

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