Cal State Northridge officials have begun preparing disciplinary action against two faculty members allegedly involved in a grade-selling scheme in the Pan-African Studies Department, according to the professor's attorney and campus officials.
Tenured professor Eleazu Obinna and first-year instructor Willie Bellamy are accused of offering students A's in exchange for selling $100 worth of raffle tickets to benefit Obinna's United Crusade Foundation. Obinna said the foundation raised money for the homeless and people in the Third World.
Because Bellamy is not tenured, the Pan-African Studies Department could remove him simply by declining to renew his contract when it expires June 30. A campus source said that is likely.
Dismissing a tenured faculty member such as Obinna is more difficult and time-consuming.
Obinna's attorney, Francis E. Smith, said Obinna has not been informed officially by university President James Cleary, but "had heard" the university will try to dismiss him. "We will oppose it vigorously," Smith said.
Disciplinary action could lead to a reprimand, suspension without pay or dismissal. Two campus officials, who asked not to be identified, said the university administration is leaning toward the most-severe penalty.
One source said campus attorneys have asked for copies of all correspondence between Obinna and Pan-African Studies Chairman Verne Bryant.