Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Daniel K. Wims, Alabama A&M's MAGA Republican president, has created a "hot mess" on the Huntsville campus, and the problems just keep on sprouting


Daniel Wims installed as Alabama A&M president

Historically Black Alabama A&M University might seem an unlikely place to have a MAGA Republican in charge. But a growing body of evidence indicates President Daniel K. Wims is a MAGA devotee, and he has created "one hot mess" on the Huntsville, AL, campus, according to a report today at How hot is the mess at A&M? On Wims' watch, the university has become riddled with allegations of financial mismanagement, sexual indiscretions, conflicts of interest, federal tax problems, failure to seek payment of a $527-million debt the state of Alabama owes A&M, and possibly much more ugliness.

Donald Watkins, a longtime Alabama attorney who has become  a leading voice in online investigative journalism, provides a summation of the trouble brewing at A&M and suggests it could get significantly worse, with more revelations to be made public soon. Under the title "MAGA Republican Daniel K. Wims Has Created a Hot Mess at Alabama A&M University," Watkins paints a picture that is far from pretty:

MAGA Republican Daniel K. Wims has created a hot mess at Alabama A&M University. Here is what we know so far:

First, Dr. Daniel K. Wims got the presidency of Alabama A&M under false pretenses in a “rigged” 2021 presidential-selection process.

Second, Dr. Wims is a closet MAGA operative who has turned Alabama A&M into a landing pad for struggling MAGA operatives and a hotbed of MAGA political activity.

Third, MAGA officials in Alabama are actually running the university, and not the school’s board of trustees.

Fourth, President Daniel K. Wims blew the Magic City Classic negotiations and cost Alabama A&M an estimated $9 million in lost revenues in the process.

The current period of upheaval at A&M started with reports about one-sided negotiations for a new contract on the Magic City Classic football game, which is played each fall at Birmingham's Legion Field, with A&M competing against Montgomery-based Alabama State. The hugely popular, and profitable, game has become one of the top-drawing events of its kind in the nation. But the new agreement reportedly favored White-owned, Republican-leaning promotions and event-management companies, with the Black institutions that created a cash cow seemingly being short-changed.

The latest controversies at A&M go way beyond football and could do long-term damage to the university's reputation and financial standing, writes Watkins:

Fifth, there is an ongoing coverup of Dr. Wims’ role in the university’s wrongful termination of tenured professor Edward Jones. University officials have told a lot of lies in this case to the public and a federal court. Furthermore, President Wims has an ugly conflict of interest in the Jones case that has not been disclosed to his full board of trustees or the public. This coverup is the subject of two upcoming articles.

Sixth, President Wims has an undisclosed conflict of interest with a member of the university’s board of trustees. This conflict of interest is the subject of an upcoming article.

Seventh, President Wims has failed to take aggressive action to collect the $527,280,064 debt the state of Alabama owes the university, as described in a September 18, 2023, letter from the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture to Gov. Kay Ivey.

Eighth, President Wims has created federal tax issues for the university and a group of employees who lived in university apartments for free, as directed by Dr. Wims. The university never issued these employees 1099 forms for the dollar value of their free housing for tax reporting purposes. This tax faux pas is the subject of an upcoming article.

Ninth, Dr. Roderick D. Watts, Alabama A&M’s board chairman, is a staunch Wims ally who has turned a blind eye to the myriad of problems at the university that were created by Dr. Wims. We will tell you why in an upcoming article. 

It's one hot mess at Alabama A&M University! This mess was created by Dr. Daniel K. Wims, and Dr. Roderick D. Watts appears to be part of the ongoing coverup.

Stay tuned for more explosive stories in the Daniel K. Wims series of investigative articles!

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