Provost Daniel K. Wims to Alabama A&M University Professor Larry McDaniel: “I Am So Hard”
Updated: Nov 4
By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on November 3, 2023
An Editorial Opinion
Dr. Larry McDaniel, Sr., was a longtime, distinguished professor of Business Administration and Management at Alabama A&M University. Dr. McDaniel's interaction with Alabama A&M University President Daniel K. Wims, as described in this article, is shocking and embarrassing for all members of the university community.
In August 2014, Dr. McDaniel and then-Provost Daniel K. Wims attended the SWAC/MEAC Football Challenge in Orlando, Florida. While they were sitting together at the event, Dr. Wims leaned over to McDaniel and said, “I am so hard,” or words to that effect. Wims was referencing his penis in a sexual way.
At first, Dr. McDaniel thought Wims was attributing his sexual arousal to a female faculty member who was sitting with the two men moments earlier and who had just departed their company. McDaniel viewed the remark as inappropriate, especially since it was coming out of the mouth of the university's provost. McDaniel expressed his disdain to Wims about his gratuitous sexual remark.
This is when Dr. Wims made it clear to Dr. McDaniel that he (McDaniel) was the stimulus for Wims' sexual arousal, according to a letter McDaniel later wrote about the incident
Provost Wims’ unexpected sexual advance towards Dr. McDaniel stunned him. McDaniel had zero interest in any kind of sexual intimacy with Dr. Wims and he told Wims so, then and there.
Wims was unfazed by Dr. McDaniel's immediate rejection of his unsolicited "down low" sexual advance.
Dr. McDaniel eventually reported this incident and other acts of misconduct allegedly committed Daniel K. Wims to: (a) Dr. Delomize "Del" Smith, who assumed the position of Dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs in February 2015, and (b) Dr. Jarrett Walton, Director of the Office of Human Resources. These reports were provided verbally and in the form of written grievances/complaints.
Dean Del Smith was Dr. McDaniel's immediate boss. Dr. Smith would later be named as a "respondent" to Dr. McDaniel's formal grievances/complaints of "retaliation."
Dr. McDaniel also mentioned Wims' inappropriate sexual comment to a couple of colleagues on campus. None of these colleagues seemed to be surprised by McDaniel's report on Dr. Wims’ alleged inappropriate sexual comment.
After Dr. McDaniel experienced what he viewed as "retaliation" against him because of Dean Del Smith's: (a) demotion of McDaniel as the chairman of his department and (b) interference with McDaniel’s supervision of a female subordinate who appeared to have a special personal relationship with Dr. Smith, Dr. McDaniel reported this "retaliation" to Provost Wims.
During a meeting with Dr. McDaniel, Dr. Wims reportedly said to him: “I could put you back in the [Chairman's] position, but what am I going to get in return?” Dr. McDaniel understood this question to constitute an implied request for a sexual liaison with McDaniel in exchange for favorable administrative action by Wims on the chairman's position. A frustrated McDaniel simply asked Wims to "do the right thing."
Dr. McDaniel never submitted to Dr. Wims' implied sexual demand and never regained his departmental chairmanship.
McDaniel filed formal grievances/complaints against Dr. Wims and Dr. Smith using the university’s internal grievance process. The grievances/complaints alleged impermissible age and sex discrimination, workplace harassment, bullying, the creation of a hostile work environment, and various acts of retaliation.
In the end, Alabama A&M took no disciplinary action against Dr. Wims.
Dr. Del Smith departed from his Dean’s position in May 2021.
Dr. McDaniel retired from the university in December 2021.
There Were Several Sexual Harassment Complaints Against Daniel Wims
In September 2021, Dr. McDaniel was one of four individuals who were known to have filed formal grievances/complaints of sexual harassment against Dr. Wims at Alabama A&M, alone. The other three grievances/complaints were filed by female employees of the university. All four complaints were profiled in Josh Moon's articles.
Despite an established record of formal written grievances/complaints against Dr. Wims, Alabama A&M officials have been adamant in their public statements that: (a) the university has NEVER investigated Dr. Wims in connection with any complaint of sexual harassment or any other misconduct, and (b) Dr. Wims has NEVER been disciplined by university officials.
If true, the litany of alleged sexual misconduct complaints against Wims evidence a pattern and practice of sexual abuse that was perpetrated by an apparent bisexual provost (and now president) whose lust for sexual conquests on the “down low” was unrestrained by Alabama A&M’s then-president and board of trustees.
Today, at least three members of the board of trustees have a checked past when it comes to sexual improprieties in the workplace. These three trustees are staunch supporters of President Wims.
After Dr. Wims, who was fired from top administrative jobs at three universities, was selected as one of three finalists for the Alabama A&M presidency in September 2021, he denied all allegations against him of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
On September 30, 2021, then-university president Andrew Hugine rescued Dr. Wims’ damaged candidacy for the presidency by becoming a spontaneous, enthusiastic, and public "character witness" for Wims. Hugine never addressed the merits the four sexual misconduct complaints against Wims at Alabama A&M, even though Hugine acknowledged the existence of Dr. McDaniel's complaints in a September 17, 2020, letter to him.
The trustee-led search committee failed to independently investigate the sexual misconduct complaints against Dr. Wims, as well.
In October 2021, the Alabama A&M trustees appointed Dr. Wims as president of the institution on a 7 to 4 vote. The "Yes" votes were cast by Trustees Kevin Ball, Roderick Watts, Tiffany Johnson Cole, Richard Crunkleton, Jerome Williams, Scherrie Banks Pickett, and John Hackett, Jr. The "No" votes were cast by Trustees Nichelle Gainey, Frank Williams, Ginger Harper, and Chris Robinson.
At the time, university officials insisted that Wims had never been named as an "offender" or "respondent" in any formal grievance/complaint. This was not true. Dr. McDaniel's May 14, 2020, complaint expressly named Dr. Wims as an "offender." [McDaniel's complaint can be viewed by clicking here.]
It now appears that the presidential search process was "rigged" in Dr. Wims' favor. It also appears that Wims attained the presidency and its substantial financial benefits under false pretenses.
Alabama A&M's Nest for Sexual Predators is a Matter of Significant Public Interest
Since Dr. Wims’ ascension to the presidency, Alabama A&M has become a nest for sexual predators in administrative positions. Well-known sexual predators and other washed-up hustlers are flocking to the university in droves.
Dr. Wims’ only defense to the persistent allegations of sexual misconduct against him, as reported in my investigative articles and related editorials, is this lame comment: “Somebody must be paying Watkins to write his articles on Alabama A&M."
Former Alabama governor Robert Bentley made the same lame and false claim after I exposed his illicit sex affair with his married lover/paramour, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, in my 2015 "Forbidden Love" and "Executive Betrayal" series of investigative articles.
In 2010, Bentley, a pre-Donald Trump MAGA Republican, received a $1,000 campaign contribution from Wims.
For the record, no one has ever paid me one penny to write any of my 900 + articles during my 22 years as a professional journalist/news publisher. I am “unbought” and “unbossed.” I have never sold advertisements on my news media platforms and I have never required a subscription fee to access my news content. On my media platforms, the cold, hard truth is, and always has been, free!
The sex scandals and complaints, the related "quid pro quo" propositions, and the nesting of sexual predators at Alabama A&M are matters of significant public interest. As of yesterday, 40,859 people had viewed the articles posted on my digital platforms in this investigative series of reports.
If Alabama A&M wants to keep Daniel K. Wims as its president, then the public needs to know who he really is. What is more, male and female employees at Alabama A&M need to know who Wims is so they can take the necessary prophylactic measures in their dealings with him.
Gov. Kay Ivey and her executive staff already know all about Dr. Daniel K. Wims. This is why Dr. Wims can never go to Montgomery and collect the $527,280,064 the state of Alabama owes Alabama A&M. In my view, Dr. Wims is deeply flawed and compromised university president. Gov. Ivey and her staff will expose everything they know about Wims, if he ever makes any serious move to get this money.
Stay tuned! More enlightening articles on this subject are on their way.