YOUR PARTICIPATION IS REQUESTED IN A CALL TO ACTION FOR DANCE LEGEND DONALD MCKAYLE
Donald McKayle is a legendary choreographer and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. Working for over 27 years, he has had an incredible impact in arts and education internationally, but also directly mentoring and educating students as they prepare for professional careers in performance, education and more.
It has been brought to the attention of UCI undergraduate students that Professor Donald McKayle will be dismissed. UCI’s previous chancellor, Michael V. Drake stated that Mr. McKayle could remain faculty “until he was cold.” However, this statement insinuating that Mr. Mckayle could keep a position a UCI indefinitely was not put into writing, therefore it is being disregarded by the department.
With the university wide campaigns to create diversity amongst students and staff the Claire Trevor School of the Arts Dance Department is certainly lacking is demonstrating racial diversity amongst faculty. Mr. McKayle’s work and legacy continues to demonstrate a cultural perspective of high value. While some members of the department may think his work, which honors not only a historical black experience, but also the human experience is outdated, many of the thematics in the McKayle repertoire are very present and at the forefront of the media in movements such as Black Lives Matter amongst other global concerns. Through the work, new generations of UCI students who work with Donald McKayle and audiences who attend concerts are able to learn about history and think critically in order to develop their own artistic voice to serve humanity with art and learn to become conscientious global citizens and future leaders.
As students who admire, respect and honor Mr. McKayle, and find extreme value in his contribution to UCI and our personal experience as growing artists. He continues to be inspiring and after all that he has poured into the dance department he should not be treated as if he is unwanted or expiring. Donald McKalye is a legend that continues to create new work, mentor and write recommendations. The youth and vitality coming from the students is sure to be a part of his life line. Many of Mr. McKayle’s contemporaries have passed away, what a true honor it is what we still have him and that he is still creating and making an impact in his community.
If Mr. McKayle cannot retain his current position as Professor Emeritus we petition for a role to be created for him under the title of Advisor Emeritus. Under this title Mr.McKayle can continue working part-time with the Etude Ensemble, guest teach in undergraduate and graduate choreography classes, advise students for independent study, and present work for campus wide discussions and events.
If Donald McKayle has impacted your career in anyway, we invite you to sign this petition in support of his reinstatement.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION
Written letters are requested to have him reinstated until he decides to stop working!
It was determined by UCI that this is his last year because they cannot give him any more recalls to keep teaching by the rules of UCI.
At one point he went on sabbatical and then retired out of necessity, not knowing that recalls are limited and was not told that there are rules of limited recalls. His tenure as Professor Emeritus will conclude in June 2016 unless enough attention is brought to the right people.
Sign the petition, send letters and emails for our beloved Donald McKayle to be reinstated permanently!
Lnaugle@uci.edu - Lisa Naugle, PhD Dance Department Professor and Chair
Barker@uci.edu - Stephen Barker. Interim Dean, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Chancellor@uci.edu - Chancellor Howard Gillman
President@ucop.edu - President Janet Napolitano