I'm proud of Madison for hiring competent Black leadership to head a number of our important institutions: Carlton Jenkins as superintendent of Madison Public Schools, Shon Barnes as Madison police chief, and my friend, Kalvin Barrett, as Dane County sheriff.
However, some in Madison are criticizing the UW athletic department for hiring the well-qualified Chris McIntosh as the new athletic director because he is white. This is an insult to both McIntosh and the selection committee.
The further comment that the athletic department lacks an environment of racial inclusion which caused an exodus of Black employees is simply false. Many Black employees left for significant promotions and more lucrative jobs elsewhere: Shawn Frazier as athletic director at Northern Illinois, and David Harris as athletic director at Northern Iowa via Iowa State are just two examples.
McIntosh was the only candidate who brought first-hand experience of the cultural expectations at UW, because he lived them both as a student and athlete. He was by far the best choice for this job and I'm disappointed some of Madison's Black leaders don't share the perspective of his former teammates -- both white and Black -- that he has the competencies to be successful.