Friday, April 26, 2013

Playing with Souls/Death Threats—Cynical Administrative Power-games

A postscript to the preceding posting: 

Lynch Mobs and Death Threats:

Disastrous Consequences from the 

Secret and Surreptitious Meetings 

Held to Foment Students Against a Teacher

A short time after the posting on the "Lynch Mobs" page went up (to read the page being referred to, see the entry in the menu to the right), I received an email from a site reader criticizing the comparison of how Boston University administrators played on student emotions in their incendiary attacks on me and my work in a series of secret and surreptitious meetings with the way a ringleader stokes up the emotions of a mob being incited to commit an act of violence. 

What the individual who wrote me didn’t know (since I don’t mention it in my summary statement—there are many events and facts I do not have space to mention in my summary, and there have been many other punitive actions taken against me that I have not mentioned on this blog) was that the words and actions of BU administrators to students were, in fact, so extreme, so inflammatory, and so divisive that they, at one point, resulted in actual death threats, which I describe in the document in the possession of Francine Montemurro, the university Ombuds. (For more information about that document, see the following two blog entries: "
Letter to the University Ombuds—“Events that Almost Defy Belief,” and "Egregious Professional Misconduct—For Academics Only," both available in the side menu.)

As I note there, in the recklessness, irresponsibility, and deliberate falsifications of their words and actions against me, university administrators were (and still are) playing with human lives and emotions. They were (and still are) playing with fire. And, most appallingly, they did what they chose to do consciously and deliberately. They played with students' souls and spirits knowingly—and for no other purpose than to further their own malicious and destructive ends against me. That is what makes their actions even more reprehensible than if they were directed against me alone. 

As I summarize in the blog postings on the "Lynch Mobs" and "Egregious Professional Misconduct" pages, and describe at much greater length in the document I submitted to the University Ombuds (as well as in other memos and reports submitted to Boston University administrators including my Chairman, Paul Schneider, my Dean, Tom Fielder, and the University Provost, Jean Morrison), the College of Communication Dean, the Chairman of the Film and Television Department, the Film Studies Program Director, and several other BU administrators and faculty members, over a period of years, conducted a systematic campaign to attack my teaching and publications by holding a series of secret and surreptitious meetings with students that pitted them against each other in opposed camps in a covert, underhanded effort to pressure them to make statements against me and my work (statements which would then be deceptively treated as if they had been free, independent, and spontaneous expressions). The willingness of these administrators and faculty members to employ students as unknowing pawns in their own personal power-games, their readiness knowingly and cynically to abuse the good faith and trust of individuals they have power over, almost defies belief.

The point is that the events these individuals organized had extremely serious consequences--beyond their bureaucratic, personal, and financial consequences  for me. They had emotional and pedagogical consequences on College of Communication students, who became as much the victims of these administrators' machinations as I was. (For an insight into a few of the appalling pedagogical consequences of the actions of the Film Studies Program Director, Roy Grundmann, in particular on Film Studies students, consequences which continue into the present, see my reply to the letter from the student who said he wanted to come to Boston University to study with me on the “Letters to Prof. Carney” page, available via the site menu in the right-hand margin. Administrator Grundmann has spread slanderous (and false) rumors about me, attacked my character and morals to students, told students not to study with me, attacked my competence as a teacher and researcher, and told graduate students that he will punish them if they choose me to be their thesis director. He has continued this practice for almost eight years at this point, and  it continues into the present and foreseeable future. A whole generation of students has been turned away from my courses or been told false and slanderous things about me by a Boston University administrator, in a situation where there are scores of witnesses (the students being told the malicious and false information or being pressured not to work or study with me have all clearly witnessed the nefarious activities) and the Boston University senior administration has done absolutely nothing about it.

In short, I stand by the lynch mob metaphor in the account on the preceding page—a metaphor that, after all, did not originate with me but represented a student’s own description of the tone and atmosphere of the meetings university administrators held with him and his fellow students, in their shockingly irresponsible efforts to destroy me and my work, and their willingness to use students and to manipulate their hearts and minds to pursue their cynical and immoral schemes.  

These well-documented events (dozens of students were involved in the meetings where lies and false information were promulgated by administrators, with the Director of Film Studies Roy Grundmann again at the head of the pack of bad actors) pressuring the students to submit suborned, perjured, and factually incorrect statements to serve the administrators' own cynical purposes) are among scores of serious ethical issues Boston University administrators continue to refuse to address. Even in these days after Columbine and Aurora, death threats apparently still don't get the attention of Boston University administrators. When you're determined to deny everything, or lie about what demonstrably took place, you are able to deny--or lie about--just about anything. Good old BU.   —Ray Carney 

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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.