Chancellor Montemagno comments on debated topics at final USG Senate Meeting

By Jeremy Brown , Staff Writer

At the final Undergraduate Student Government’s Senate meeting of the semester, Chancellor Carlo Montemagno spoke with students about a number of topics that have been getting attention across campus. 

The topics including his academic reorganization plan, the proposed police academy, the Africana Studies program and media coverage of his Ingenuity Lab.

USG Internal Affairs Chair and USG President-elect Toussaint Mitchell asked Montemagno how much money the reorganization plans will save the university.


Montemagno said saving money wasn’t part of the equation with reorganization plans.

“The issue was not to take that money, but to redeploy our resources better,” Montemagno said.

Codi Dugger, a senator representing Saluki Rainbow Network, said Montemagno’s ideas for cultural competency were contradicted by his plans for a police academy.

“If you’re going to have police officers, you don’t want them engaging in employing deadly force because someone was walking down an alley wearing a hoodie and got scared,” Montemagno said.

Montemagno said since he thinks the police will remain an important part of society, he wants to make sure they’re socially competent police officers.

“If we’re able to provide a unique educational training [program] that sets the standard for socially competent police officers, then I think we’ve done a great thing,” Montemagno said.

Dugger asked if there was a racial motivation behind the possible removal of the Africana Studies and the possible addition of a police academy.


“No, the motivation was based upon community,” Montemagno said. “I challenged the university council to think about how it is we think of our entire community, how our entire community can understand one another.”

The Africana Studies program reached 121 students at its peak, Montemagno said, and he wants to reach all students on campus by embedding diversity education into the curriculum.

“It doesn’t mean what they do isn’t important,” Montemagno said. “But the way it was being delivered was not enough.”

Mitchell said he’s heard from a lot of students that they have no idea what happens on campus.

“How do you plan on improving your communication with the students?” Mitchell asked. “It’s one thing to go to the students at the head. If you’re trying to change the campus climate, the students need to know what the campus climate is.”

Montemagno said he needed USG’s help on this, asking for suggested avenues to reach out to students other than his blog.

On the topic of media, Montemagno said reports on his Ingenuity Lab and hiring of his daughter and son-in-law have been misleading or inaccurate.

“The negative press doesn’t always speak the truth,” Montemagno said. “I’m not playing combatant. If you want to say things like that, you can say things like that but they’re not true.”

He also said the Daily Egyptian’s article — which included multiple sources claiming that Montemagno’s poor leadership contributed to an early downfall of the lab — didn’t talk about positive points of the Ingenuity Lab, such as the patents they developed.

Monteamgno said the lab will shut down at the end of the year because the government didn’t think anyone else could lead it after his departure, not because of his leadership.

“The government didn’t have faith that someone else could do it, so they decided to reallocate their resources,” Montemagno said. “That was why it went down, not because of my performance.”

Staff writer Jeremy Brown can be reached at j[email protected] or on Twitter at JeremyBrown_DE.

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