Advanced

Melissa Gomis, Doane University

From March 2019 to April 2019
Doane University (Private college or university)
Crete, NE, United States

Identity of Speakers

  • Melissa Gomis
    Faculty/Staff
    Other

    Melissa Gomis esd the director of Doane University’s Perkins library, holding the rank of associate professor.

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Other
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Neither
  • Incident Responses:
    Faculty sanctioned
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

Melissa Gomis was the director of Doane University’s Perkins library, holding the rank of associate professor. In March 2019, Doane’s library staff curated an exhibit of historical photographs and other memorabilia from student scrapbooks housed in university archives. In late April, a student complained about two photographs in a display called “Parties from the Past.” The photos showed students attending a 1926 Halloween party, apparently in blackface. There was no accompanying note from the curators explaining why the photos were included.

After speaking with the concerned student, Gomis decided to remove the photographs “out of genuine concern for the student.” In late April, under orders from the provost, the entire exhibit was removed. The same day, Gomis was told to collect her things from her office and that she was suspended indefinitely. The American Association of University Professors stated that Gomis’s suspension was the consequence of a grievance complaint about the exhibit. As of June 1, 2020, Gomis was employed as associate professor of practice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.