Delaware State University Police arrested Assistant Professor Dr. Jahi Issa as they were trying to disperse a crowd of 20 students protesting DSU President Dr. Harry Williams’ management style Wednesday afternoon.


Delaware State University Police arrested Assistant Professor Dr. Jahi Issa as they were trying to disperse a crowd of 20 students protesting DSU President Dr. Harry Williams’ management style Wednesday afternoon.

A group of 20 students began protesting Williams at around 1 p.m. Wednesday for a recent, critical report by the state auditor on the university’s business practices and for the increasing number of non-black students at the historically black college, according to students.

"Providing full scholarships to non-blacks and raising tuition it makes it harder for black students to attend the university," said one student involved in the protest who did not want to be identified. "This movement progressed to the Administration [building] where a representative of the student body voiced our concerns to the Board of Trustees."

Issa, a faculty member of the DSU Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, joined the protest.

However, Delaware State University Police informed the crowd, which had drawn many onlookers, that their gathering had not been properly organized, DSU spokesman Carlos Holmes said Friday.

“DSU is just like any other municipality,” Holmes said. “You cannot go and have a parade in Dover unless you have a permit [et cetera]. We have the same rules at DSU. You cannot have an event unless you go through the proper channels.”

Police informed students and Issa that they had to disperse, at which point the faculty member became very uncooperative, Holmes said. When he became verbally abusive, police arrested Issa.

As they escorted him away, Issa dropped to the ground and requested an ambulance, Holmes said.

He was taken to the hospital and later released, Holmes said. At that point, DSU police charged him with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, offensive touching of a law enforcement officer and inciting a riot. He was released on his own recognizance by the magistrate judge in Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7.

DSU police then issued Issa a no trespass notice and was told he could only enter campus with permission from the police, Holmes said. College of Arts, Humanites and Social Sciences Dean Dr. Marshall Stevenson will decide how to handle Issa's courses in the interim.

A press release from the protesters demanded more African American tenured professors. The group claimed that only 20 percent of 43 tenured, full professors are black.

The group also demanded that DSU "stop the constant decrease of admitted African American students."

"It is understood that by the start of the 2012 fall semester, Delaware State University will be less than 50 percent black," the press release stated. "The sudents of this historically black institution find this unacceptable and believe the culture of their university is fading away."

The student group also referred to the recent state audit that stated DSU broke state bidding and procurement laws. Holmes said their protests were puzzling since DSU had expressed its concerns with the state audit on bidding and procurements while also improving its business practices in response to the report released by Auditor of Accounts R. Thomas Wagner Jr. in February.

With regard to diversity, 73 percent of DSU’s students are African American, 11 percent are white, 5 percent are Hispanic, 3 percent are Asian and 8 percent are classified as “other,” Holmes said.

“Sounds like a predominantly black institution to me,” he said. “Having said that, diversity is one of the core values – as identified by the Blue Ribbon Commission established by Dr. Williams in early 2010. [And] we have a richly diverse faculty."

Holmes pointed to the group's small size of 20 as not represented of DSU's 4,400 students.