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According to The Associated Press, Boston University has revealed the results of its thorough investigation into the financial management of the Center for Antiracist Research (CAR), founded by renowned scholar and author Ibram X. Kendi.
The investigation, prompted by organizational changes and staff layoffs, revealed that CAR’s handling of finances and grants were in full compliance with established financial protocols.
In an article released by BU Today, Gary Nicksa, the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Boston University confirmed the integrity of CAR’s financial management by explaining that the university’s Center for Antiracist Research has been audited without accruing any findings from the time it was founded in June 2020 to September 2023.
Kendi says stereotypes are driving the investigation
Kendi, who was tasked with establishing Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research based on his nationally acclaimed publication “How to Be an Antiracist”, responded to the allegations related to his financial stewardship.
In an interview with The Associated Press Kendi highlighted the unfortunate racial stereotypes associated with financial management by saying, “Unfortunately, one of the most widely held racist ideas is the idea that Black people can’t manage money or Black people take money.”
Kendi went on to assert that these harmful and baseless allegations were wrongfully taken at face value because he is a Black man. “People didn’t necessarily need evidence to substantiate their belief that that happened because apparently my skin color was enough evidence,” Kendi said.
19 employees have been fired from the Center
Kendi posted an official statement regarding the clean financial audit of the center on the social media platform X.
In the statement he addressed the firing of 19 employees as well as the operational changes that led to the investigation of CAR’s finances.
He explained that the original operation structure established three years ago was not financially sustainable. “Making the necessary changes, including staff reductions, has been extremely difficult yet crucial to ensuring the longevity and impact of the center,” Kendi said.
Though the center’s project execution and management has faced scrutiny due to the media coverage of the investigation, Kendi believes that restructuring the center’s operating model and hiring a consulting firm is in the best interest of CAR.
Boston University plans to continue investigation despite criticism
In the statement Kendi also shared how the accusations he faced through the investigation into the center’s financial management furthered his dedication to CAR’s mission of building an antiracist society. He added, “What happened demonstrates just how much CAR is needed–and needs to be supported.”
According to The Associated Press, Boston Univeristy plans to continue the investigation, shifting to CAR’s management of external grants and adherence to reporting requirements.
Additionally, the university enlisted the expertise of consulting firm Korn Ferry to conduct an evaluation of the center’s organizational culture and management practices.
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