1. There were a host of procedural violations by administrators in my College connected with the faculty review and promotion process. The Dean and Chairman gamed the review system to favor candidates they favored in at least three different ways: 1. Votes and discussions at the department level had been deliberately scheduled to exclude the participation of faculty members who were expected to vote differently than the wishes of the Chair or Dean. 2. “Outside” reviewers, individuals supposed to have no prior relationship with the university or candidate had, in fact, secret, undivulged prior connections with the Chair or Dean and had been “lobbied” to vote one way or another by the Chair or Dean; 3. With respect to the input of “internal” departmental reviewers, the Dean had hopelessly prejudiced and compromised the review process by criticizing specific faculty who submitted opinions different from his own—telling them they were being “uncollegial,” they were not “team players,” or that their opinions, insofar as they differed from his own, were not appreciated or useful (and later penalizing their pay and perquisites for not going along with the majority opinion).2. There were a large number of inappropriate or unethical activities connected with course offerings. Student evaluations, which heavily influence a faculty member’s annual review and future salary, had been rigged by specific faculty members to eliminate or minimize negative responses and create falsely high ratings for the faculty member. Faculty members were known to absent themselves from their own classes, or to delegate significant parts of their class to their T.A.s to run. Graduate students in academic areas were being taught by individuals lacking appropriate academic credentials, experience, or research records. Undergraduate courses were being deceptively re-numbered to suggest that they were being taught at the graduate-level and fulfilled graduate level curricular needs, even as they remained undergraduate course offerings in every other respect, including their enrollments and intellectual level. The students deserve better for their tuition dollars.3. But it wasn't enough to ignore my reports. The way to stop them once and for all was to attack and undermine me, and to force me to quit by employing a variety of threatening, harassing, and intimidating tactics. My official Boston University faculty web site was censored by the university on a number of occasions and formally and finally banned in the spring of 2008 (making me arguably the only faculty member in America not allowed by his university to have a faculty web site). I was given formal notice of this decision in writing by my Chairman, and the Chairman’s censorship policy was reaffirmed in a meeting I held with the Boston University Provost (to whom I appealed to rescind it), and in several other meetings I held with the Dean of the College of Communication. In concert with the notice to force me to remove my publications from the university server, the university additionally formally threatened to make negative statements about me on the Boston University web site that would destroy my professional status and reputation, and to “bring in the lawyers” (in the oft-repeated words of my Chairman in many different faculty meetings) to tie me up with legal actions and bankrupt me financially, if I did not “voluntarily agree” (a new use of the concept, worthy of China or North Korea) to these acts of censorship against me.4. In addition to the preceding actions and threats to destroy my reputation and professional stature outside the university, a number of other actions, on numerous occasions spanning a period of years, had been taken to attack and undermine my position inside the university--specifically to censor what I said in the classroom and to undermine my students’ respect for me as a mentor and teacher. I was formally told that I was not allowed to discuss “controversial” material in my classes (which, in my Dean’s definition of the term, chiefly meant discussions of current critical methods and practices and certain gender theory positions). To enforce his policy (and attempt to obtain grounds to get around my tenured status and build a case to dismiss me), the Dean deputed a group of my own students to spy on me in my classes—secretly and without giving notice to me that the spying was going on—and covertly to report back to him if I mentioned any of the “prohibited topics” or "controversial" issues in class. Needless to say, the Dean’s covert and unannounced spying activities represented a flagrant violation of university policy and basic professional respect--and the idea of prohibiting certain topics from being discussed is anathema to any concept of faculty freedom of expression; but none of that stopped him from pursuing his diabolical plan to get rid of me. I'll leave to your imagination the devastating effect such insinuations of misconduct and instructions from a senior administrator to students that they are supposed to "investigate" and report on the potential misconduct of their own teacher have on class morale and on students' respect for their teacher; undermining my position with my students was part of the Dean's plan (and something he even discussed with me at one point). His plan was to destroy me as a teacher, make my teaching impossible, and encourage students never to study with me.Over the course of several years, three university administrators, one of whom was my Dean, another my Chairman, and the third the Director of Film Studies, and several faculty members (with the full knowledge, support, and encouragement of the administrators) secretly and surreptitiously met with a large number of current and former students of mine, individually and in groups, in a conscious and calculated campaign to undermine my status, reputation, and authority; to discredit me as a teacher and mentor; and to discourage students from taking courses with me. They told my students deliberate and knowing lies about my personality, character, and morals. They attacked my competence as a teacher. They told students not to study with me. These secret, slanderous, malicious meetings to destroy my credibility as a teacher, mentor, and scholar continued for a number of years with the knowledge and support of the College of Communication Dean, my department Chairman, the Director of Film Studies, and several faculty members--and for the record the slanderous attacks, the acts of character-assassination, the attacks on my competence as a teacher and researcher from the the Director of Film Studies in particular (Roy Grundmann) continue right up to the present day and have every appearance of continuing into the future. Students still stream into my office (even as this posting is being made in 2013) telling me they have been told not to study with me, not to take courses with me, or that they have had to sit through lectures attacking my teaching and research from the Director of Film Studies, and been told by him that they will be punished by him if they work with me on a graduate project.5. In a series of separate events on separate dates, many of these same administrators and teachers actively pressured students to write a series of “complaint” letters about me, where the idea for the complaints, the nature of the complaints, the points to be covered in the complaint, and the actual wording of the complaint itself was dictated by the administrator or faculty member to the students—and where, in some cases, the actual wording and composition of the “complaint” itself was decided on not by the student, but by the administrator or faculty member—with the student being pressured not only to sign the letter as crafted and created, but to conceal the involvement of the administrator in originating or writing the complaint so that it would look as if it had originated with the student and not been cooked-up by the administrator. (Many students, not surprisingly, were shocked by the high-handedness and unethical nature of these strong-arm tactics and refused to play along with the attempt to put words in their mouths and to frame their teacher with false allegations. But other students felt an almost irresistible pressure to cooperate with the teacher or administrator—particularly in cases where the group meetings were held during class-time by teachers who had discretionary power over the student’s grade, or by teachers or administrators from whom the student desperately needed a favorable letter of recommendation for a job or grad school placement. Beyond that, it should come as no surprise that there are always a few students who receive a low grade in a course who are delighted to have some way to retaliate against the person who gave it to them, particularly once a respected, senior administrator has told them that criticism of the teacher is not only acceptable but is welcome and encouraged.) The suborned and perjured letters were then sent to a senior-level university administrator (sometimes another Dean but more often the university Provost) without revealing their actual origin, without revealing that they had been cooked-up and written-to-order and not been the spontaneous and independent idea of the student whose name appeared on the letter. The goal on the administrators’ parts was a double one: not only to make the conditions of my job untenable by discouraging students from taking my courses (in order to force me to quit, tenure or no tenure), but, equally importantly, to neutralize and nullify the impact of my reports by marginalizing me administratively, by making me (completely falsely) appear to be incompetent and unreliable to senior administrators.
6. Finally, in separate efforts intended to further undermine my status and reputation, and to humiliate me in front of students, I was screamed at, called names, and had my character, morals, and mental competence attacked by my Chairman and Dean in public places where students were present. (These public dressings-down were only, as it were, the continuation of the name-calling and ridicule I endured behind closed doors in months of meetings organized by my Chairman, my program Director, and as recently as December 2012, by my Dean.)
I'd note parenthetically that that my accounts of these events and actions against me are not merely baseless, unfounded or vague he-said/she-said allegations on my part. Not only had all of the events I had reported to Boston University administrators been documented in copious detail in my reports (including in reports I filed with the University Ombuds--see other pages of this blog for information about them), but almost all of them included easily producable documents, witnesses, and other components. There had been official documents and paperwork connected with the acts of censorship and ultimate suppression of my web site. The threat that the university would make an internet posting destroying my professional reputation had been given to me by my Chairman in writing. The group events had included large numbers of others who had witnessed or participated in them. Many of the meetings where faculty and administrators had met with students to attack my character and morals had been held in classes or other large group situations. The public ceremonies of humiliation where I had been yelled at and called names by administrators in front of students had been held in public and had numerous student witnesses--that was their point! And the sessions of shouting and verbal abuse that took place in faculty meetings had had numerous faculty witnesses. These events were highly documented and easily provable.
To read a summary of the past decade of financial and bureaucratic punishments, pedagogical failures, violations of academic freedom, verbal harassment, threats to destroy Prof. Carney's reputation via web postings and to bankrupt him with legal actions, and a variety of other forms of administrative misconduct and academic misbehavior at Boston University, see: “A Summary—Ten Years at Boston University,” available under June 2014 in the side menu on any page.