Rick Turner to Retire

Embattled UVa Dean of African-American Affairs Rick Turner has announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of the month, the AP reports. He was suspended two weeks ago after pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators in a drug investigation, though the details of that matter are a mystery. Presumably they’re not pretty, given Turner’s decision; on the other hand, he’s 65, and perhaps he figured it was simply time to go.

A lot of the fire was taken out of his role at UVa when the school named a Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity last September. Prior to that Turner was known for his work at UVa and within the community, as the head of the local NAACP chapter, often issuing fiery charges of racism at anybody unlucky enough to find themselves on the wrong end of his standards.

10 Responses to “Rick Turner to Retire”


  • A wise move on his part. Regardless of his innocence or guilt, this will minimize the University’s part in the investigation, although his past actions are not too wise to potentially bring about federal charges.

  • Good move althought I highly doubt f it was Turner’s decision. It’s called crisis management, something UVA has got to get better at.

  • The conclusion of today’s Daily Progress piece:
    “Now that Turner is leaving his high-profile position with UVa, will he continue to speak out at public meetings?
    ‘You will see me there being Rick Turner.'”

    I wonder who will care to listen to Rick Turner now that he has officially acknowledged that he lied to federal investigators about his “knowledge of the activities of a known drug dealer” and has agreed to be tested for illegal drugs as part of his 12 month probation agreement. How sad for the NAACP that Rick Turner remains president of the Albemarle-Charlottesville chapter, given the great damage caused by illegal drugs to the African-American community.

  • I wonder who will care to listen to Rick Turner now that he has officially acknowledged that he lied to federal investigators about his “knowledge of the activities of a known drug dealer” and has agreed to be tested for illegal drugs as part of his 12 month probation agreement.

    I’m not going to claim any special expertise here but it seems to me that if you live in a community for whom run in’s with the police and sometimes jail time are simply a fact of life. Lying about knowing someone isn’t going to damage one too badly.

    Or it could be said this way…

    An uptight white University took the first opportunity it was given to get rid of an outspoken champion for a black man’s rights. Who is perfect? A man does something wrong, sometimes they should get a second chance. Sure his crediblity may be damaged with white Charlottesville but then he was never really popular with them to begin with.

    I don’t think this will damage him too badly. I mean look at Marion Barry. They had him on video tape and he got a 4th term as Mayor and now serves on the Council of the district of Columbia.

  • I don’t hear anyone in the African American community coming to Rick Turner’s defense. Maybe the reason his current legal issues won’t “damage him too badly” is because that damage has already been done– self-inflicted during the Scottie Griffin debacle. Without a post at UVa or (come September, one presumes) leading the local NAACP chapter, will Rick Turner’s incendiary quotes still qualify as news? I doubt it.

    The Marion Barry analogy doesn’t work. for many reasons, not the least of which is that C’ville ain’t DC. Rick Turner for City Council or School Board? Hard to imagine. I figure Dede Smith might have a better chance.

  • “A man does something wrong, sometimes they should get a second chance.”

    While I agree with you, you must remember that at the University, the only sanction for a student caught lying or cheating is expulsion. Why should it be any different for the faculty?

  • I know this is pretty difficult to fathom but Charlottesville isn’t the center of the Universe. Not being in public life in Charlottesville isn’t the end of the world.

    The Marion Barry analogy does work because the only point I was trying to make with it was that “Black communities” are very forgiving about this sort of thing. The people who were listening to him in the first place will still continue to listen to him.

    I wasn’t using the analogy to suggest that he would run for city council or school board or have a chance at that here. The majority of the population in this town is still white, and this sort of thing is an issue for that voter.

    Additionally I wouldn’t be so quick to assume the local NAACP chapter will give him the boot in September, they might but then they also might not.

    …you must remember that at the University, the only sanction for a student caught lying or cheating is expulsion. Why should it be any different for the faculty?

    I didn’t forget. And I wouldn’t expect it to be any different for faculty, even though the UVA honor code is already inconsistantly applied and therefore considered a joke. The point I was trying to make is that the people who were listening to him in the first place will be the ones who will give him a 2nd chance.

    My point is that losing his job at UVA isn’t going to be the end of the world for him, as much as the cville political pundits would like for that to be the case.

    I frankly don’t know the man. So I’m not about to celebrate his misfortune anymore than I would any other individuals.

  • Turner will stay on til the end of the year because the NAAP Board is too afraid of him to kick him out. He should step down. He’s a mean nasty guy and frankly I’m glad we don’t have to listen to him anymore.
    Good riddance. While I’m not a fan of UVA I think they will be better served WITHOUT Rick Turner.
    imho of course.

  • “I don’t hear anyone in the African American community coming to Rick Turner’s defense.”

    I’m African American and coming to his defense! You OBVIOUSLY don’t know the Man! You can Bet, he has all his ducks in a row, and I highly doubt there will be a case against him…….he won’t be prosecuted! So………. to all the Critics, Judges, Racist, etc. out there, I know this may come to a shock to you, but this incident WON’T silence him, sorry. I know, and it sounds alot of you have been praying for his downfall for a long time. Yes, we (the forgiving BLACK Community) will forgive him, because we are a very forgiving race….to a fault! The NAACP aren’t afraid of him, I don’t know what you Mother Teresa’s (you have never told a lie…….yeah right!) are expecting………. him to be crucified. Oh and one more thing, I’m assuming he had more than one option posed by UVA, they could have fired him, but he was able to retire! The fact that he will be fine, and have not dropped off the face of the earth ie. Charlottesville (to some of you) Must have you “HATERS” fumming!

  • Okay, I stand corrected–one member of the African American community has come to Rick Turner’s defense. I don’t know who these “HATERS” are, yeahso–but please don’t count me among them. (I’ve met a lot of people, black and white, who dislike Rick’s tendency toward hatespeech, but I’ve heard no one say they hate the man.) I think Rick’s a smart guy and have found my conversations with him interesting. But I don’t think much of his leadership. True leaders (like MLK) summon the energy of a community and direct it toward productive change. Rick Turner’s anger has always gotten in the way of that. To have his career end this way is pretty sad. But let’s be frank: there is no one to blame for his current misfortune but himself.

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