Saturday, March 29, 2014

Current Events—Part 1

"Play deaf, dumb, and blind. 
If that doesn't work, deny, deny, deny. 
If that doesn't work, shoot the messenger
rather than deal with the message."

I receive an enormous amount of email, much of it from faculty members at other American universities. The most frequent question I have been asked is whether anything has changed in my situation at Boston University. Are the problems solved? Have things improved? Have university administrators taken action to correct the misconduct described on other blog pages? Have the ethical violations I reported been investigated? Have the wrongdoers been removed from their positions—or at least reprimanded for their misbehavior?

Virtually all of my correspondents express shock and dismay at the treatment I (and many other BU faculty members, a fair number of them having been forced out of their positions or having quit in disgust by this point) have received, and at how long these problems have gone on (they clearly date back to the days of Howard Zinn and John Silber). They tell me that they had assumed that BU had emerged from the “dark ages,” and after they read the blog, they assume that the specific problems I have reported must certainly have been corrected in whole or in part by this point, six or seven years into the reporting process.

Unfortunately, I have the lamentable task of telling them that, no, things have not changed at Boston University, and, perhaps even more amazingly, that no one in the entire university administration right up to the offices of the Boston University Provost (Jean Morrison) and President (Robert Brown) has even bothered to respond (in a serious or substantive way) to any of the memos I have submitted—let alone offered to investigate or correct the problems they describe. My memos have been ignored, dismissed, or (in the cases of my department Chairman and Dean) mocked, derided, and made the basis for additional punitive action against me. (The other pages of this blog have more than you want to know about the specifics of their punitive and retaliatory actions over the years.)

To illustrate the fact that these events are emphatically not confined to the past, I have decided to devote the next few blog pages to reprinting excerpts from my most recent “Faculty Annual Report.” Faculty members at Boston University are required to submit such a report every spring. The report I will be reprinting was submitted in March 2014 and covers my activity in the spring and fall semesters of the 2013 calendar year, and describes a host of harassing, discriminatory, and punitive actions that were directed against me throughout the year. It should disabuse anyone who has the impression that the Boston University administration takes reports of ethical violations, procedural irregularities, and faculty mistreatment seriously. Even after years of detailed reports and voluminous documentation of the professional misconduct.

I’d note that in the text I reprint on the following pages I am providing a slightly stripped-down, streamlined, lightly edited and rewritten version of the report I submitted, which, in its entirety, was approximately twice the length of the text I am posting here. I have eliminated a number of details and examples that would be meaningless to an outsider; given summary versions of a few of entries that appear at greater length or in a slightly different form in the original report; and provided a few sentences of clarifying information, here and there, where necessary, for someone unfamiliar with the issues. I have also removed the names of most of the people identified by name in the report to respect their confidentiality (why I bother to protect them, I don’t know). So, in short, what appears on following pages omits most of the names, dates, and other specifics of the events I describe and summarizes or paraphrases events described in more detail in the original report. (I also couldn’t resist inserting a few editorial comments at several points.) The details and references to specific documents, witnesses, dates, and times verifying the events I describe are in the original report, or else are included in one or more of the dozens of earlier memos I have sent to Boston University administrators at all levels—from the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, to the Dean of the College of Communication, to the Boston University Provost, to the university Ombuds—over the course of the past six or seven years, reporting a range of ethical issues and professional misconduct.

As I say, no one in the entire Boston University administration has even bothered to reply to anything I have sent them in more than a dismissive, perfunctory, or punitive way. That fact in itself should tell you a lot. It’s the BU way. Play deaf, dumb, and blind. If that doesn’t work deny, deny, deny. And if that doesn’t work, shoot the messenger rather than deal with the message. That’s the ethical profile of the university (and the administrators) I work for. Alas. The "old BU" lives on.

The text of my spring 2014 "Faculty Annual Report" follows on subsequent blog pages. — Ray Carney