August 25, 2010

Genoways takes charge, VQR staffers pull names

Virginia Quarterly Review staffers were stunned by the news that University officials have allowed editor Ted Genoways, whom they accuse of bullying managing editor Kevin Morrissey before he took his own life on July 30, to take control of the fall issue of the magazine.

“I never could have forecast that the University would allow us to remain in this situation,” wrote VQR online editor Waldo Jaquith on his blog last Friday.

Indeed, workplace bullying expert Gary Namie says he’s surprised by the University’s decision. Genoways was the recent subject of a Today show feature, during which a VQR staff member called his treatment of Morrissey in the last two weeks of his life “egregious.”

“I would have put Genoways on leave,” says Namie, “just to cool things down.”

Instead, it appears the staff has taken leave and the embattled editor is busy putting the fall issue together with UVA spokesperson Carol Wood, who has been ensconced in the VQR office since Morrissey’s death.

“Ted has been involved with editing and proofreading of the fall issue with Carol Wood,” says Genoways’ lawyer Lloyd Snook. “I don’t know whether it is actually ‘to press’ yet— they were proofing furiously yesterday.”

Wood did not immediately respond for comment on Genoways’ status or her own work on the VQR.

Initially, Jaquith and fellow staffers had vowed to finish the fall issue, for which Morrissey had been serving as interim editor in Genoways’ absence; but now they have removed their names from the online masthead and left the “un-proofed and non-fact checked” issue for Genoways to finish.

Jaquith, who resigned just days before Morrissey’s death, will be going on vacation before he starts a new position at the Miller Center. Associate and assistant editors Sheila McMillen and Molly Minturn will be going on leave. Wood, however, emphasizes that they are both still employees of the magazine.

“We came back to finish the issue that Kevin worked so hard on,” says McMillen, “but we’ve had enough.”

Last week, UVA president Teresa Sullivan ordered a “thorough” review of VQR’s management so that “the issues and allegations that have been raised” can be addressed.

From: The Hook

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