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This letter was sent to Dr. Bradley by Joe Tinsley on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Good Morning Dr. Bradley:
In light of past events, I feel sorrow and disappointment for the Paine College family. There are dedicated employees at the college who in no way contributed to the current predicament the college is in. As a colleague that stood along side those dedicated men and women, I quickly understood the value and importance of my work and of others.
I often reference to comments you’ve made in speeches about planting trees at the college that we will never sit under. I always liked that metaphor. I’m sure there are many ways to interpret the aforementioned, but I’ve always looked at it like this: To operate with a level of purpose, determination, integrity and altruism that promotes humility and authentic stewardship over the students we are entrusted to educate, the alumni that will forever be shaped by the foundational craftsmanship of Paine’s educational sculptors and the next generation of those who desire to one day enroll. Any place that exist on this earth that offers a real palpable and pragmatic way for young people to grow intellectually, socially and professionally should always remain inoculated from the flaws of self-preservation, myopic vision and egotism.
Though as humans, we may be guilty to a degree of some, if not all of the above at times. At Paine College, an incubator of higher education, the above mind-set cannot permeate a campus. It has. The will to fight, the desire to innovate, the energy to serve—-the sheer joy of coming to work has been forcibly and systematically drained from the campus. When all of the above-mentioned takes place, man’s natural proclivity to self-preserve kicks in. It’s plain to see. You know it. Quite simply, they’ve lost faith in you.
Though I’m sure it was not your intentions when the newness of the beginning was in front of you. It now has metastasized to the point that it can only be vanquished by a healing rebirth of new blood, direction and purpose. The College deserves that. It needs time to heal and re-establish it’s place as a progressive light for society. It can remain a beacon of hope for those who desperately need quality educational training, nurturing support and social structure. The brick and mortar of the college can never be explained in acres or location. It quite literally is the collective spirit of whites who opposed the stain of slavery and slaves who persevered so that one day they could see their lineage as free men and women receiving a quality education———to the generation that protested to preserve and earn a seat at the table of equality and now to a generation that desperately needs our tutelage. Their ancestors DNA is in them. We must re-ignite and re-align that focus and determination. In spite of what many may say about this generation, they are salvageable. Deep within them they cry out for structure, discipline and love. They need that. They crave it. I see it. I still remain recklessly naïve that our colleges and universities can deliver that with assembly-line like proficiency again.
With all that has been said, I hope you make the right decision to abdicate your position with the college and depart with the hope that She will rise again.
Integrity is a road that has few footprints and even fewer admirers. (I believe it is one of the core values) It does however reward the soul of a man’s progression throughout life’s journey. You have more to give, and a population to serve in a place that will be richer for your presence.
Joseph D. Tinsley
Former Admissions Director