CUNY Professor Says She Was Fired Over False Accusation in Email
This sounds like a big messy game. Did the school get real proof of what was said in the email because it just seems far fetched to go against their own. Of course, we don’t know the full story or her background at the college.
A former CUNY department chair said her career was derailed by an anonymous e-mail sent to the college president that claimed that she was sleeping around on campus and even had a student’s baby — and she’s demanding that Yahoo give up the user’s identity.
Dr. Zulema Blair, 38, who headed up the Public Administration Department at CUNY’s Medgar Evers College, had her tenure offer revoked two weeks after the December 2010 e-mail, which accused her of having sex with the student, legal papers charge. She says she was later fired.
“This e-mail is slander. It’s horrific, and I want whoever sent this out to be punished,” Blair told The Post yesterday. “This is character assassination. This does not speak to any work or any of my accomplishments at Medgar Evers College.”
Blair swears she never had a romantic relationship with a student.
“No. No student, not anyone ever at Medgar Evers College,” she said. “I separate my personal life from the school.”
Blair’s lawyer filed court papers in Manhattan Supreme Court ordering Yahoo to fork over the sender’s identity and seeking all information in the e-mail account, email@example.com. They plan to file suit against the sender.
The e-mail was sent to CUNY President William Pollard and other administrators shortly after the school drafted a tenure offer for Blair.
The offer was pulled back and Blair was dismissed by CUNY last month.
“The obvious conclusion according to the papers that were filed is that the e-mail was a motivating factor not to grant her tenure,” according to Blair’s attorney, Michael Borrelli.
Blair says she met the student, whose name is being withheld by The Post, at the college in 2006 while he was part of the school’s Black Male Initiative.
Blair said their relationship was strictly business, and the two at one point discussed his plans to major in public administration.
“He and others came to me to be their mentor. I’m close to all my students,” said Blair, who has two kids, ages 2 and 14, and has been living with her significant other for six years in Brooklyn.
“You can’t turn a whore into a housewife, but you can definitely turn one into a Dean,” the e-mail begins.
“Dean Gibson, a woman of such arrogance, and ignorance. A woman who is among the elite Medgar ’Staff Slut’ list, which includes but is NOT limited to Nicole Berry, and Zulema [Blair],” the e-mail says.
“Inquiring minds wonder was that BEFORE or AFTER she passed him in her class?” it says.
The student named in the e-mail did not return requests for comment.
Gibson declined to comment.