Posted: Feb 6, 2013 9:11 AM by Mychaela Bruner
Updated: Feb 6, 2013 1:34 PM
COLUMBIA - The St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is joining with civil rights and academic groups Wednesday to protest against MU's interviewing of former Army Colonel Larry James.
James is one of two finalists for the MU College of Education Division Executive Director position. According to the search committee, James and another candidate were selected as finalists because their leadership and management experiences matched the desired qualifications for the open position.
Protesters plan to gather Wednesday morning at the MU Student Center to discourage MU officials from hiring James because of his past. James spent 16 months during two stints in Guantanamo Bay overseeing interrogations at the U.S. military detention center. Protesters claim James witnessed sexual humiliation of a man who was forced to wear women's underwear. James said he stopped the specific instance after a five-minute coffee break.
MU College of Education Dean Daniel Clay wrote a statement Feb. 1 saying, "The search committee was aware of the allegations against James and investigated those allegations thoroughly. He has not been sanctioned for any professional or ethical misconduct by any state or appeals court, or any licensing board or accrediting body."
James currently works as the dean of the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University. He served in the military for 22 years, retiring as a colonel and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Defense Superior Service Medal.
If hired, James said he plans to recruit and support student veterans and open a research center focusing on gun violence in schools.
A decision on who will get hired for the position will be made at the end of the month.