Sunday, October 7, 2012

Danny Blair Conducts an Impartial Investigation

For the last few days, I've been going over the letter of complaint submitted by Prof. Laurelyn Cantor. I think it should be clear to anyone that she had no business complaining to the Dean about an essay I wrote. Even if the contents of the essay raised legitimate concerns about my suitability to be a teacher, they were still entirely confidential. And even if she felt it was necessary to breach the trust of confidentiality for the sake of some higher purpose, she ought to have done so objectively, in a nuanced way, instead of by taking snatches of discussion out of context and playing them back to the Dean in such a way as to cast me in the worst possible light. As I have already said, she ought to be ashamed of herself.

What I haven't told you is how Professor Cantor's letter fell into my hands. It's an interesting story, because the University did everything in its power to hide the complaints from me. Although the complaints were written in October and November, and I was formally barred from the campus on January 11th, it wasn't until the 20th of March that I got to see the complaints. That was just two and a half days before I was to have my final chance to appeal the expulsion before the Student Disciplinary Appeals Committee.

The Chair of the committee, Grace O'Farrell, did not want me to see those reports. She wanted to convict me based on thirdhand hearsay consisting mainly of the findings of the Registrar, who had never heard my side of the story. This was the information she provided to the committee members as to the case against me. But without thinking it through, it seems she also included a copy of the Third Party Report which the Registrar had ordered prior to initiating official proceedings against me, as called for in the university's Disciplinary Procedures. The Registrar called on Associate Dean of Science Danny Blair to prepare this report, and it makes me look very bad indeed. I have posted a copy so you can see what he said about me.

It's quite appalling really...remember, this is supposed to be an "impartial" report. He conducted his "investigation", as he calls it, be reading through the charges against me. He didn't find it necessary to ask me for my side of the story. From his investigation he concluded that there was ample evidence in the five letters of complaint to find me guilty of Non-Academic misconduct. He found the evidence so compelling that he was moved to strongly urge the University to take whatever measures necessary to make sure that I would never be allowed to teach children. And all this without ever hearing my side of the story.

It seem Professor O'Farrell thought Blair's comments would be helpful in convincing the Comittee to ratify my expulsion, but she failed to notice that she had given me an opening. She had circulated a letter quoting Blair as saying there was "an abundance of evidence within the written complaints" showing that my behavior constituted non-Academic misconduct. But she had not circulated those letters themselves. I wrote the Board of Regents pointing out this discrepancy, and I observed that if the Chair of the Commitee was allowed to introduce Blair's letter into evidence, then it would be manifestly unreasonable to not also include as evidence those very letters which Blair had already identified as containing the gist of the case against me.

The letters of complaint were disclosed to me the next day.

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