Navarro College: Ebola precaution probably taken too far

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - OCTOBER 15, 2014

A Texas-based community college - Navarro College, is battling to contain a PR disaster after it apparently refused a prospective student from Nigeria admission over Ebola fears.

The school, situated out of Dallas, the site of one Ebola death and a second diagnosed case, reportedly told Kamorudeen Abidogun that he would not be welcomed for the spring 2015 term.

Abidogun, who is a mechanical engineer living in the US, is originally from Nigeria and has five relatives in Nigeria who were applying to the school using his home in Richmond, Texas, as a US mailing address.

In the letter, the college’s international programs director, Elizabeth Pillans, informed him that “Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.”

Abidogun said he got not one, but two letters citing Ebola as a reason for his rejection. A fellow Nigerian who lives in East Texas, Idris Bello, tweeted out a copy of the letter to bring attention to the case.

The college, however, claims that Abidogun was not rejected over Ebola.

“Our college values its diverse population of international students,” Navarro’s vice president for Access and Accountability, Dewayne Gregg, wrote to CNBC.

“This fall we have almost 100 students from Africa. Unfortunately, some students received incorrect information regarding their applications to the institution.”

Despite the letter posted online citing Ebola, Gregg said the rejection came because the college restructured its honors program to focus on recruitment from China and Indonesia in 2014-2015.

“Other countries will be identified and recruitment efforts put in place once we launch our new honors program fall 2015,” he wrote.

“We apologize for any misinformation that may have been shared with students.”