NEW: The University of Mississippi is investigating the group of whistleblowers who helped us break the story about racist emails between former journalism dean Will Norton and a wealthy donor who referred to Black women students as "Black hookers." 1/…
Some faculty and officials at the school are now accusing the whistleblowers, known collectively as Ole Miss Information, of creating “a hostile work environment.” #UMEmails 2/…
As UM investigates the #UMemails whistleblowers, ex-journalism dean Will Norton, who resigned in May when a public records request brought the racist emails to light, continues to earn almost $20,000 a month—even though is not teaching classes. 3/…
The #UMEmails Part I: The Fabric Is Torn In Oxford’: UM Officials Decried Racism Publicly, Coddled It Privately…
The #UMEmails Part II: ‘The Ole Miss We Know’: Wealthy Alums Fight To Keep UM’s Past Alive…
The #UMEmails Part III: UM’s ‘Culture Of Secrecy’: Dean Quit As Emails Disparaging To Gay Alum, Black Students Emerged…
If you support the work we do to hold power & public institutions in Mississippi accountable, please support paywall free, non-profit journalism at
NOTE: We don't know who university officials actually believe the anonymous whistleblowers are or if they have even identified them.…
Source(s) have expressed concern that UM may be targeting "innocents" who are not even involved in the whistleblower group's activities to peg for the group's activities.

But we simply do not know. The school isn't giving us any info.…
When I first investigated the #UMemails, multiple sources told me they & others feared retaliation if they spoke out publicly.

Some claimed a "witch hunt" ensued after a tape leaked to a reporter that almost revealed the Norton/Tartt story in 2018. 👇🏻…
In an email to journalism faculty, Provost Wilkin acknowledged an EORC investigation into whistleblowers & cited "ongoing, persistent, and accusatory emails from an anonymous source."

As provost, Wilkin is the final line of appeal after any EORC decision.…
Since Norton resigned as dean and returned to the faculty, the whistleblowers have questioned UM's decision to continue paying Dr. Will Norton a salary that retains the extra administrative pay he received as a dean.

They claim that violates IHL policy.…
The whistleblowers cite IHL Board of Trustees Policies & Bylaws Section 402.01 B, which says “additional salary” for holding an administrative position “shall not be paid to the faculty member when he or she ceases to hold the administrative position.”…
Norton didn't teach classes over the summer or in the current fall semester.

A September budget projection doc lists Norton as continuing to receive $65,378.59 in yearly “fringes” since stepping down as dean, his additional administrative salary intact.…
Whistleblower OMI: “For years...Ole Miss has violated this clear & unambiguous policy language. In the process, countless former administrators have been enriched with ‘additional salary’ well beyond the time they cease serving as administrators.”…
OMI: "Despite being chased from his job in disgrace" UM "allowed Dr. Norton to retain his additional salary" resulting in him "being paid more than 2x the salary paid to any other 9 month" j-school professor—"over $200k to NOT perform any teaching duties.”…
On Oct. 22, Provost Wilkin told the MFP that the university policy that allows Norton to keep his pay has existed since at least 2005. He sent a copy of the policy, which isn't listed in any publicly available documents.…
The decades-old policy Provost Wilkin cited only refers to "department chairs," though—not deans or other types of administrators.

Wilkin said UM has "been principled" by applying that policy to all administrative roles beyond the single one it describes.…
“In the absence of a policy for every administrative title or role we have applied the approach outlined in the chair’s policy consistently with all administrative positions."

Wilkin couldn't say which UM body had created or approved the hidden policy.…
Wilkin: "According to the system, the policy...predates the policy directory that was populated in 2005 with existing policies. The original bodies that would have approved policies that predate the policy directories would be difficult to ascertain."…

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More from @ashtonpittman

22 Nov
Don't reply to a story of mine about Mississippi racism with, "Well, it IS Mississippi, so..."

I don't report these stories so smug Californians/Michiganders et al., can hop on a high horse & look down on the Blackest state. I do it to make MS better.

Try that in your state.
Cause I promise y'all's states all have racism too—all 49 of them. Mississippi is just a mirror for the rest of America, but lots of folks like to pretend it's a window to some separate land. It isn't.
Honestly, the soft bigotry of low expectations is just plain old bigotry. And it's damaging.

And when directed at Mississippi? It's racist. Bc the people hurt by it are the almost 4 in 10 Mississippians who are Black that get written out of the story in favor of white racists.
Read 5 tweets
21 Nov
NEW: With hospital resources quickly dwindling, Mississippi smashed COVID-19 records with with 1,972 new cases today.

The old record, set at the height of the summer wave on July 30, was 1,775 cases.

But this time, there is no slowdown in sight.…
“We’re not at the peak—not by a longshot,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said as the state set a new daily record. “The hospitals are full...It’s going to overflow, & we’re pretty much there...We’re not just making this up. It’s real.”…
“One of the things that’s really helped about the mask mandates is churches and businesses feel like they have the authority to do it, and when we take the mask mandate away, they feel powerless," said Dr. Dobbs.

Gov. Reeves ended the mandate on Sept. 30.…
Read 7 tweets
21 Nov
Biden shouldn't be signaling whether or not he'd want his future AG to prosecute Trump.

Don't accept Trump/Barr DOJ ways.

Presidents shouldn't influence DOJ decisions—whether the goal is to target political rivals like Trump does or to show them mercy. Either corrupts Justice.
The idea that it would be appropriate for Biden to signal that he wants Trump prosecuted, but that it's ok for him to signal that he wants the DOJ not to prosecute Trump so we can "move on" is a fallacy.

Both are undue political influence on DOJ even if one is far more sinister.
It also insults the idea of equal justice.

If presidents can't be prosecuted for crimes while in office (but their aides can be prosecuted for crimes a president ordered them to commit)...

And then can't be prosecuted after they leave bc the next president wants to "move on..."
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
"Legal votes" is code for "white votes."

"Illegal votes" is code for "Black and other unfavorable non-white votes."

Just auto replace these terms in your mind when you see them and many of the asinine comments about the election being thrown around will become clearer.
Many remarks make sense when you replace 50% of mentions of "socialism" w "more power & equity for POC."

McConnell saying "DC+PR statehood="full bore seizing the means of production" makes no sense.

But DC+PR statehood="full bore more power & equity for POC" does.
When the Mississippi governor asks for “Patriotic Education" to combat "indoctrination in far-left socialist teachings that emphasize America’s shortcomings" (slavery), that isn't about seizing the means of production. It's about the Lost Cause.…
Read 7 tweets
20 Nov
NEW: MAIS, a top a private school org, is defending its schools' refusal to comply with lawful orders to report data on classroom COVID-19 cases and outbreaks among their "customers" (meaning students) to the Mississippi State Department of Health.…
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs: “We are seeing a lot of private and independent schools not reporting their numbers. They need to do it, and it is a public-health order, and they are going against the legal mandate to report."…
MAIS on private school refusal to report COVID data: “(Private schools) aren't agents of the state. They are small businesses that happen to be in the business of teaching children. The best they can do is report what customers report to them.”…
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov
NEW: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is asking the Legislature to cut funds for schools that don't offer in-class instruction.

The proposal comes after the worst week for COVID-19 in schools so far, with over 1,546 positive cases and 16,705 quarantined.…
Gov. Tate Reeves' request for the Legislature to strip funds from all-virtual schools came after more than 65 schools moved to all-virtual amid large outbreaks.

MSDH reported 70 school outbreaks last week—up from 24 the week before.…
Reeves’ proposed budget does not include a plan to raise pay for teachers—despite 2019 campaign promises of a substantial teacher pay raise. Instead, he wants $3 million for "Patriotic Education."

The news comes after yet another teacher died of COVID-19.…
Read 16 tweets

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