In this guest blog LeRoy Larry Jr provides an update on his application for admission to the UCR Doctorate Program in Astrophysics, which was denied.
In November of 2021 I received notification from UCR that my 2016 legal appeal was rejected and that my 2015 application for admission to the UCR Doctorate Program in Astrophysics was still denied.
Prior to that, after having received absolutely no communications whatsoever from UCR during the years 2017, 2018, and 2019, in June of 2020 I submitted my legal addendum to my appeal in which I stated that on legal grounds I requested an investigation through legal channels be carried out to determine if the process by which my application for admission was evaluated contained elements of a discriminatory nature due to my race and/or nationality.
I feel it was because of my addendum that over a year later I finally received the decision. Had I not submitted my addendum I may still be waiting.
What happens now?
The only recourse is to proceed with the administrative or judicial process.
Three days after being notified that my application had been rejected I asked to meet with UCR. My faculty research advisor and the person who was Head of CINESPA (Center for Space Research) and Director of the Planetarium of San José offered to accompany me in support of my application. We were never given the opportunity by UCR to have that meeting.
Had the meeting taken place I would have proposed that I continue with my research at CINESPA for a thesis, which would then form the foundation for my doctoral research. This would solve the thesis issue. My MSc. Degree would still be from Tulane University.
I recently spoke about this during my Natural Physics Show in Season 2 episodes 9 and 10. They can be found at leroylarry.com by scrolling down and clicking on “Natural Physics Website”.
We are broadcast on Amazon, Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, with simultaneous video live streaming on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube. After two seasons each consisting of twelve one-hour episodes we have 50K+ listeners and viewers from around the world and from within Costa Rica!
From 2015 to 2021 I was not given the decency nor common courtesy by UCR to even respond to my continuous efforts to meet.
I was treated as if I was invisible, as if I did not exist. As a Black man growing up in the United States the lesson is repeatedly learned that racism hides under many cloaks. The way to combat racism in any form is by exposing it which I will do by any means necessary including through my Natural Physics Show.
My MSc. Degree in Physics from Tulane University and my BS Degree in Physics from Southern University, a Historically Black University (HBCU), were dishonored and my education disrespected by the certificate that I received from UCR.
Had I known what the certificate represented I would not have accepted it. I have no problem returning it.
My MSc. Degree has allowed me to be a member of the Galileo Project Mission to Jupiter and do astrophysics research at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to do space physics research at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), and to do high-energy physics research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).
Through the administrative or judicial process, I will finally have my opportunity to be heard.
My goal is to be admitted to the UCR Doctorate Program in Astrophysics as the qualified candidate that I am and that I have always been.