At the same time, I feel I've been pretty restricted in what I'm able to disclose about my side of the story. I've posted all kinds of allegations from the other side about outrageous conduct on my part, without responding at all; the part about making a girl cry, the story about ridiculing a guest in the classroom, and a disturbing episode at Professor Bush's residence which I see that I haven't yet discussed in any detail. It's not that I don't want to respond: I just don't feel the time is right, strategically. I'd like to think that someday I'll have my say.
And by the way, the University has had ample opportunity to hear my side of the story. I showed up at my disciplinary hearing on March 23rd with a big file full of documents that I wanted to disclose, but the committee chair, Grace O'Farrell, cut me off shortly after the 30-minute time limit which she had decreed for my presentation, before I had gotten half-way through my presentation. And then the Board of Governors ignored repeated requests on my part to hear my further appeal, even though the University rules seemed to guarantee me that right. So I'm still waiting for my chance to tell my story.
But in the meantime the University's case against me has been emerging in dribs and drabs. The first thing to come out was the Registrar's letter to me summarizing the complaints that the Dean had submitted to him. Remember, I was kicked out of the practicum on Nov. 21st 2011 and the misconduct proceedings were initiated the next day: it wasn't until four days before Christmas that the Registrar finally disclosed the case against me, and even then only in the form of a bare-bones summary. I posted it on my blog last January, and even though the allegations made me look pretty despicable, I didn't post my response. Not because I didn't have a response, but because I wanted them to put their evidence on the table first. I'm still waiting. In any case, here is the link to that letter of Dec. 21st.
I don't think I've been avoiding opportunities to tell the University's side of the story. I was going through everything in sequence last winter until March, when I abruptly stopped blogging. At this moment I'm not quite sure why that happened. I had just gotten up to the point where they had banned me from the campus last winter, and I had asked for the right to appeal the ban. They refused to let me appeal, and they refused to disclose the grounds for the trespassing order. Again, I'd like to tell my side of the story, but at the risk of repeating myself, I don't feel it's in my best interests at this time. So we'll have to leave it at that for now.
In any case, my blog cuts off around that time with no further explanation, and doesn't resume until September, around the time when I launched my lawsuit against the University. Shortly after I filed, the Free Press picked up on the story and ran an article about it. There were a lot of talk-backs to the article, and they were generally pretty hostile. In particular, someone complained that the University's side of the story wasn't being presented. So I replied by posting a link to the Registrar's letter where he lists the accusations against me. As a result, that particular post got more hits than anything else on my blog....496 hits as of today, to be exact. "Ernest Goes to Jail" is a distant second at 279 pageviews. (Interestingly, both are beaten by "How A Motor Works" on my physics blog, with 591 hits.) The point is, I haven't been shy about telling people what the University says about me.
In the meantime, there's a pretty big hole in the narrative, which I see now that I've never gotten around to filling in. So let's see...first of all, the stuff I was posting in March was about things that had happened back in January. So there's a two-month gap that needs to be filled in. Here is the short story. I was suspended from attending class on the afternoon of the 11th, and notified of the trespassing ban later that evening. In other words, if I showed up on Campus, I would be arrested. I pretty much considered that to be a de facto expulsion, and told the University as much in my letter the next morning, when I asked permission to appeal. I said if they weren't willing to allow my appeal, they ought to refund my tuition in full.
My letter was answered by Vice-President Academic John Corlett, who said that the University was not willing to reconsider the trespassing ban, and accordingly he would undertake to arrange for a full refund of my tuition fees. There was a catch: I had to voluntarily withdraw from the program.
I didn't like that very much. If I withdrew voluntarily, wouldn't that mean I would relinquish any right to defend myself against the charges of Non-Academic Misconduct, which were still pending? Corlett assured me that the Registrar would be issuing his findings on those charges as soon as possible, so I decided to wait.
It took the Registrar another nine days to decide I was guilty of misconduct. Not a thing happened during that time interval except for a curious milestone that occured on the seventh of those nine days: the deadline for second-term voluntary withdrawal (without penalty) came and went. The University then calculated my tuition refund on the basis of VW after the second-term deadline. So instead of getting a full refund of my $4200 tuition fees, as promised by the VP, or at least my second-term fees refunded it full, I got instead a check for $1300. Slick move.
But that's hardly the point here. I told you I was going to present the University's case, and that's what I'm coming to. Because when Colin Russell found me guilty, he wrote a report to Lloyd Axworthy which I received a copy of. And that's what I want to share with you.
But let's wait until tomorrow for that. In the meantime, I notice I made an accidental pop culture reference two paragraphs ago which....well, here you go: