Friday, May 15, 2015

Jay Perman, President of University of Maryland at Baltimore Was at the Center of Discrimination Investigation by NAACP

by Lachin Hatemi M.D.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has issued a citywide curfew after the death of Freddie Gray, whose spine was 80 percent severed while he was in police custody. Police says as many as 15 officers have been injured in northwest Baltimore in the early days of the protests, where a large group of juveniles converged and began to throw bricks and other items at officers. The officers were injured with broken bones and cuts, and one was unresponsive. Mainstream media reports conflict with eyewitness accounts, with eyewitnesses reporting that officers instigated the confrontation by cornering the teenagers and throwing bricks at them.

While Baltimore is struggling with riots, the leader of University of Maryland is being asked to answer questions about his dark past at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Jay Perman is currently the president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Before coming to the University of Maryland, he was the dean of the University of Kentucky’s medical school where he was at the center of a discrimination investigation spearheaded by the NAACP.

Dr. Jay Perman’s tenure was marked with poor enrollment and retention of Black students at the University of Kentucky Medical School. A significant number of Black medical students have either been dismissed or held back a year or two in their education over the last decade under Perman’s leadership. The exodus of Black students was so great that it could not be explained simply by one individual student’s failures.

Under Dr. Perman’s leadership, countless Black medical students had to end their dreams to become physicians. Dr. Perman was never reluctant to use his power and authority to misrepresent student records and punish students by denying access to grades.

Dr. Permans track record got the attention of the local NAACP Branch which repeatedly requested the statistical data about minority student enrollment at UK College of Medicine. Efforts to access minority student enrollment data were denied by UK Administration for more than a year.

Jay Perman’s track record is worrisome, and he has persistently tried to hide from the general public for years. Today we need to ask if Jay Perman is the right person to lead one of the Leading institutions of higher learning in Baltimore.

Lachin Hatemi is a physician and a civil rights activist based in Lexington, Kentucky. Hatemi is also the founder and partner in consulting firm, Hatemi & Wallace Consulting. You can reach him at

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kentucky's "Bucks for Brains Program" Has No Trace on Emails


The Endowment Match program, also known as the “Bucks for Brains” initiative, was established through the 1998 biennial budget and was designed to attract top researchers to Kentucky. B4B was using tax payer's money to support faculty members.
The Bucks for Brains (B4B) program requires that universities match the state funds with donations from philanthropists, corporations, foundations, and other non- profit agencies. Public and private matched funds are invested and the earnings fund faculty positions, programs, or scholarships. The invested principal remains untouched in order to provide a perpetual source of funding to ultimately meet the goals of HB 1 through the commercialization of research, the creation of knowledge economy jobs, and the improvement of Kentucky’s economy and standard of living.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

All-American Basketball Star and Educator Attends a Graduation Party in a Kentucky Detention Center

                                                                  by Lachin Hatemi M.D.

Two dozen inmates sat in a big study room on a Friday afternoon at the Division of Community Corrections at Lexington, KY. This was a special meeting – inmates in the room were present to receive their graduation certificates for completing various educational programs, and most of the inmates were there to receive their G.E.D. diplomas.

It was a happy day for everybody in the room, community leaders and leaders of local NAACP were also present in the audience. After hearing a group of inmates giving a small concert, a renowned School Principal in Lexington, Mr. Wade Stanfield, took the podium and gave a very personal speech to the inmates and other members in the audience, talking about lessons he learned from his life’s tragedies and triumphs.

For the next 60 minutes, the magnate school principal discussed how he approached life’s challenges and how he benefitted from his education. Stanfield described his transition from an All-American basketball player to a very successful educator.

Such programs are now gaining popularity across the nation, but the Division of Community Corrections at Lexington takes it into a whole new level under the leadership of Detention Center’s director Rodney Ballard.

The inmates at the detention center can learn life skills and gain education to better transition to life in the outside world. The G.E.D. program at Division of Community Corrections at Lexington, seeks to put that idle time to use. In the short term, it hopefully will allow the inmates to leave prison with better education compared to before they got institutionalized.

This experience reminds us the two new bills sponsored by legislators that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Illinois’ House of Representatives last week, which rewards inmates who continue their education behind bars with shorter sentences and sealed criminal records.

The Illinois bills would seal criminal records for non-violent felony offenders seeking employment, if they receive a “high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational technical certification, or bachelor’s degree, or passed the high school level Test of General Educational Development” while completing their sentence. The same applies for individuals who earn a certificate during aftercare or supervised release.

According to a RAND Corporation study, a person who pursues academic or vocational education while serving time is 13 percent more likely to find employment. Correctional education also leads to a 43 percent lower chance of recidivating. These statistics show that education behind bars is the best investment we can do for our inmates.

Hopefully one day, we will see the same legal changes in Kentucky and inmates at the Division of Community Corrections at Lexington will never had to come back again, other than to cheer for next year’s graduates in their graduation ceremony.

Lachin Hatemi is a physician and a civil rights activist based in Lexington, KY. Hatemi is also the founder and partner in consulting firm, Hatemi & Wallace Consulting. You can reach him at