Troupe resigns as Calif. poet laureate

UCSD literature professor Quincy Troupe resigned from his post as the nominee for California’s first poet laureate on Oct. 18, after admitting to falsifying information on his resume.

Troupe had claimed on his resume that he graduated from Grambling State University in Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree, a statement he now admits was incorrect.

“”I deeply regret my ill-advised decision to include inaccurate information on my curriculum vitae,”” Troupe said in a statement released by the governor’s office. “”While I attended Grambling College, I never earned a college degree.””

Troupe, 62, had been appointed poet laureate by Gov. Gray Davis in June over 55 other candidates. The position was awaiting confirmation by the California State Senate when the discrepancy arose during a routine background check. The governor’s office has not decided how it will replace Troupe.

A mention of the falsified degree appeared in UCSD’s records as well, according to Vice Chancellor of External Relations James Langley. However, according to Langley, the discrepancy was not discovered earlier because an in-depth background check was probably not performed when Troupe was hired as a tenured professor.

“”People who come in as tenured professors or full professors … [are] usually hired on the body of [their] work,”” Langley said. “”It is assumed that [a background check] has been done before. You’re really reviewing academic accomplishment.””

Troupe disclosed his intention to resign from his laureate post to UCSD early last week, Langley said. It is not clear what effect the resume discrepancy will have on Troupe’s future at UCSD.

“”There are options open to the university … [ranging] from reprimand, censure …[to] some financial penalty, and it could include dismissal,”” Langley said. “”There are a range of options that [the university] will consider in determining what the appropriate punishment would be.””

According to Langley, Chancellor Robert C. Dynes will make the final decision regarding Troupe’s punishment.

Troupe was scheduled to read poetry during UCSD’s annual Open House on Oct. 19. He did not appear at the event, and Open House programs were stamped “”canceled”” across the paragraphs promoting Troupe’s reading, titled “”Word! Journey Towards Excellence.””

The Open House committee was notified by Langley on Oct. 16 that Troupe would not perform.

“”He’s not here because of the things you read about in the newspaper,”” said Yolanda Leyva, Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities director and Open House 2002 co-chairperson. “”Mr. Troupe had the opportunity to perform today. We still have a parking spot reserved for him.””

Troupe also canceled a scheduled reception at the Faculty Club on Oct. 17, titled “”Quincy and Friends.””

Troupe’s associates at UCSD expressed support for the poet.

“”[Troupe’s resignation as poet laureate] is unfortunate because he’s a wonderful person, a great artist and a great writer,”” said Diane Wells, an undergraduate program assistant in the literature department.

Bill Mohr, a colleague of Troupe’s, said that Troupe’s resignation will not diminish his status in the poetry world.

“”Quincy Troupe is a superlative poet, and I wish that he had not resigned as poet laureate of California,”” he said. “”He remains as well-qualified for the post as the day he was first nominated. My fellow poets in Southern California … agree that our estimate of his accomplishment has not altered in the least.””

As poet laureate, Troupe was to provide a minimum of six poetry readings throughout the state during his two-year term. The position carried no salary, but offered a $10,000 honorarium to cover the costs of reading and travel.