Friday, June 13, 2014

A Summary—Ten Years at Boston University

A note from Ray Carney: On the blog pages that follow I am reprinting answers I have written to a number of emails I have received asking questions about the site or my situation. I have picked these particular examples to post because of their representativeness. They raise issues or ask questions that I have received dozens (and in some cases, hundreds) of inquiries about over the course of the past year of blog postings. I hope they are of interest to readers. —Ray Carney

An excerpt from one of dozens of emails I have received from faculty members teaching at major American universities asking for a general overview of my situation and information about the response of Boston University administrators to these blog postings:

Professor Carney,

Your Boston U. blog postings are, not to be harsh, a little overwhelming. Can you please summarize the basic issues so that I don’t have to spend ten years reading every entry! Please don’t take this the wrong way. I am extremely sympathetic with your situation, and have seen many of the same things, to the extent I understand what you have experienced, taking place at my own university and those of other faculty members I know, particularly the virulent intolerance of different points of view by teachers in Gender and Multicultural Studies. They are big on preaching diversity and toleration, but can’t seem to open their own minds, or tolerate points of view different from their own in their classrooms or appointment and promotion meetings. As a colleague once said to me: They are members of a cult and function like a cult; it’s not about knowledge but belief. But the problem is that if he ever said something like that in front of any of them he would be reprimanded or removed. It’s not quite Joe McCarthy, but it gives me a taste of what it must have felt like back then, to realize that there were things you just weren’t allowed to say or even think. But that’s a digression. It’s not what I am asking about. I would just like to read a *short form* version of what you have observed and experienced at Boston University so I can warn my grad students and young faculty members what to watch out for. Something I could just hand them to read and think about would be ideal. Thanks and all best wishes. 

—Name withheld to protect the faculty member’s identity

Ray Carney’s response:

Dear XXXX,

Sorry not to get back to you in a timely way [and sorry not to get back to hundreds of other letter-writers at all], but I just don’t have the time to write a summary right now. (If it matters, I am eating, sleeping, and breathing my Robert Bresson manuscript, which is in something like the eighth or ninth draft, pushing 180,000 words—don’t laugh!—and absorbing every drop of my energy and attention.) It would be foolish, in any case, for me to attempt to summarize ten years and—literally and actually, no exaggeration—hundreds of memos, emails, nasty interactions, bullying punishments, public and private screaming and name-calling sessions, blackmail threats to ruin, publicly disgrace, or bankrupt me, and bureaucratic and financial acts of retaliation that have been taken against me by Boston University administrators in a few hundred words. It just can’t be done. But the following paragraphs, cut from elsewhere on the site, and strung together here, may provide a quick fly-by, a high-velocity overview of the actions of Boston University administrators to shut me up and stop my reports of ethical and procedural violations—or failing that, to make my professional life so miserable and my relations with students so untenable that I will be forced to quit, tenure or no tenure. With that apologetic proviso, I hope the following is of some use. Please make allowances for the cut-and-paste job! Happy teaching.


P.S. Keep telling the truth. It matters. All cultures, all tribes, all bureaucracies, all organizations practice forms of thought-control to some extent. Boston University is just the most blatant and shameless current institutional example in American academia. And, even more scarily, people, even professors, want to have their thoughts controlled. It's easier to think that way! It's hard to think for yourself! It's hard to be on your own. If intellectuals aren’t brave, or smart, enough to reveal the thought-control system and break free from it in their teaching and writing, who will?  Emerson was right: “Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet; then all things are at risk.” If he had lived today, he would have added that it’s not enough to be a thinker, the thinker must dare to say what he thinks…America is such a conformist culture. There is too much fear, too much timiditytoo much followership and too much hatred of the unconventional. It's a provincial, back-water culture of conformity—religiously, morally, intellectually. To deal with that is our job as college professors, as writers, as teacherseven if everyone else shirks it, because everyone else shirks it!

Ray Carney
Professor of Film and American Studies
Boston University

Ray Carney is the author or editor of: Henry Adams, Mount Saint Michel and Chartres (Viking Penguin), Henry James, What Maisie Knew and The Spoils of Poynton (New American Library/Signet), Rudyard Kipling, Kim (New American Library); The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism and the Movies (Cambridge University Press); The Films of Mike Leigh: Embracing the World (Cambridge University Press); Speaking the Language of Desire: The Films of Carl Dreyer (Cambridge University Press); American Vision: The Films of Frank Capra (Cambridge University Press); American Dreaming (University of California Press at Berkeley); Shadows (British Film Institute/Macmillan); Cassavetes on Cassavetes (Faber and Faber/Farrar, Straus); Autoportraits (Cahiers du cinema), The Adventure of Insecurity; Necessary Experiences; Why Art Matters; and many other books, essays, and editions, published in more than ten languages.

* * *
 A Boston University Timeline
Ten Years of Administrative Ethical Abuse, 
Misconduct, and Denial

The institutional consequences of a head-in-the-sand, 
hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, know-no-evil administration

1998 and 2002: Ray Carney is twice nominated by his graduate and undergraduate students for the Metcalf Cup and Award, Boston University’s highest award for a lifetime of teaching excellence. 

Every year prior to 2005 without exception: Prof. Carney's annual performance evaluations, assessing his teaching, research, collegiality, and professional contributions to the university, awarded by his department Chairman and College Dean, are consistently and without exception among the highest of any faculty member at Boston University. 

January – March 2005: After Professor Carney speaks up on numerous occasions, in public and private, strenuously opposing the Dean of the College of Communication’s newly instituted policies to lower graduate admissions standards, change grading standards to artificially raise grades, and dictate to faculty how their courses must be structured, taught, and graded, the Dean tells him in private that he will “destroy” him by “digging up dirt” against him. In the event, he doesn't dig it up, he manufactures it. The Dean holds a series of secret and surreptitious meetings with Prof. Carney’s students during which he attacks Prof. Carney's competence as a teacher, smears his character, tells lies about his morals, and uses the authority of his office and title to pressure students to submit corroborating criticisms of Prof. Carney to senior administrators (who are of course not told that the Dean is the instigator and ghost-writer for all of the “student complaints”). The overwhelming majority of students refuse to participate in the unethical scheme, but the Dean knows that it only takes one or two disgruntled students who have received a low grade from Prof. Carney to go along with his instructions to build a made-to-order "case."

At various points during the 2005-2006 academic year, the Dean holds additional meetings with Prof. Carney’s students, without Professor Carney’s knowledge, telling them they should not be studying with Prof. Carney, in an attempt to further undermine his standing and authority as a teacher and a mentor and kill the enrollments in his courses. (See "Sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind," below for one of the results of this course of action.)

Starting this year, the Dean and department Chairman "zero-out" Carney's annual performance evaluations and pay increments, and tell him they will not improve until he stops speaking up (and subsequently stops reporting ethical violations). His evaluations stay bottomed-out for the next ten years, and continue that way at present. 

May 2005: Ray Carney resigns his position as Director of Film Studies, to protest the unilateral and unethical imposition of admissions, grading, and curricular changes on the program by the Dean of the College of Communication without free and uncoerced discussion, debate, and approval by the full-time faculty. The Dean secured the changes by making financial threats against specific faculty members and threatening to abolish the program if approval of his proposals was not forthcoming.The Dean is delighted with Carney’s resignation and hand-picks his replacement, a professor who in future months and years will work will hand-in-glove with the Dean to spread unfounded rumors and slanderous gossip about Carney to undermine his academic status and stature.

2005-2009: Ray Carney formally submits written appeals of the lowered evaluations and pay cuts he is receiving year after year for speaking up, and for making his subsequent ethics reports. (He is unaware of the Dean's, and later on the Film Studies Director's, secret meetings with his students for a significant period of time, and only discovers them subsequently.) His formal appeals are filed with senior administrators at the two levels above him, including the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television and the Dean of the College of Communication, to be forwarded to the Boston University Provost. No reply is ever received, other than for the department Chairman to call Prof. Carney names and jeer at his appeals as “rants.” His pay continues to be cut and his evaluations to be lowered for speaking his mind and filing continuing reports of significant professional misbehavior by BU administrators in subsequent years.

February 2006—January 2013: Ceremonies of Public Humiliation, Shaming, and Blackmail Threats as Administrative Techniques. For a period of more than seven years, Prof. Carney is subjected to a variety of ceremonies of public abuse and humiliation, and a series of blackmail threats to destroy him financially, professionally, and bureaucratically by the Dean of the College of Communication, Associate Dean of the College of Communication, Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, and Director of Film Studies. In these events he is screamed at, called names, told he is mentally ill, has his character and morals attacked, and is threatened with public internet postings being made against him on the university web site or other actions by the university explicitly designed to bankrupt him financially. These ceremonies of abuse are occasionally conducted in private, behind closed doors, but often in public spaces—in front of students, staff members, junior colleagues, and other university administrators. (As well as in front of a representative of the Boston University legal office who clearly sees nothing wrong with these bullying, shaming, threatening, name-calling, character-assassination tactics, since these techniques were frequently used to force tenured faculty to quit during the administration of John Silber and the lawyers apparently see no reason to alter their methods during the administration of Silber’s successor Robert Brown.) Doing these things publicly, in front of students, staff, junior faculty members, and others, is clearly part of a larger strategy to turn Carney's students against him, and to publicly humiliate and harass him with the goal of forcing him to renounce his tenure and quit. (See “Sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind,” below, for one of the results.) 

March—April 2006: “Saying What is Not Allowed to Be Said in the Classroom” Citation. In several closed-door meetings, Prof. Carney is told by the Dean of the College of Communication that he is not allowed to espouse “controversial” intellectual positions in his teaching (specifically positions indicating the limitations of certain gender and cultural studies views and methods), or to say anything that might “upset” or “disturb” his students intellectually—and told that since he has been guilty of doing this in the past, he is being formally reprimanded, and will be financially punished for having done it. This blatant violation of academic freedom is stunningly endorsed by the Silber-trained Boston University legal office.

In a separate series of actions, the Dean of the College of Communication secretly deputes a number of Carney’s students, without Carney’s knowledge or permission, to sit in on Carney’s classes and report back to the Dean about any “violations” of the above policy. (Prof. Carney remains unaware of the "spying" policy for a significant period of time.) Carney’s evaluations are lowered, his pay is docked, and research funding for his projects is subsequently withdrawn for his failure to adhere to the “no-controversy” policy. The Boston University Office of General Counsel (i.e. the university lawyers) formally endorses the Dean’s actions in a meeting held with Prof. Carney by Erika Geetter, a lawyer from that office.

November 2007 – March 2008: The Director of Film Studies, the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, and various faculty members in the Department of Film and Television hold a series of secret meetings with students during and after class, in which students are instructed to “complain” about Prof. Carney’s character and morals, with the administrators and faculty members stipulating specific points the students are to make, and with the administrator actually dictating or writing part or all of the “student complaint," but instructing students to conceal the involvement of the administrator in the creation and composition of the letter. Many students, needless to say, refused to participate in such a put-up job, but a small number understood that their grades and letters of recommendation were contingent on their cooperation and, under pressure, agreed to sign the ghost-written complaint. A number of other students who refused to go along with the suborned and perjured letter-writing campaign did in fact experience negative repercussions. The campaign was instigated and led by Associate Professor and Film Studies Director Roy Grundmann.

2007 and the following years: Prof. Carney's teaching schedule and classroom assignments become part of the Dean's and Chairman's punishment regimen. Prof. Carney's film classes are assigned to media-unfriendly classrooms (where films have to be viewed on a small television in the front of a large room, making subtitles on foreign films unreadable), the least popular times (8 in the morning and 9 at night), unpopular parts of the day (late Friday afternoons and early Friday evenings), and grueling durations (a teaching schedule strung out to create a 13-hour teaching day) to punish him, limit his enrollments, and try to force him to quit. His requests for normal rooms, days, and times are ignored or ridiculed. He is also assigned massive course overloads, being forced to teach up to twice as many courses as he is supposed to be responsible for. 

2008 Dubious Distinction Award:  Prof. Carney holds the honor of being arguably the only faculty member in America banned from hosting a faculty web site on his university's server, because of the unanimous decision of Boston University administrators in 2008 to censor the expression of his ideas--especially those connected with the teaching of film and the limitations of many contemporary critical practices and beliefs. When Prof. Carney objected to the censorship of his publications, Boston University administrators threatened to destroy his reputation by making internet postings against him on the university web site and to bankrupt him with legal actions by the Boston University Office of General Counsel (i.e. the university lawyers) if he did not agree to “voluntarily” remove all of his publications and references to them from the university server.

January 2008: Professor Carney meets personally with the Boston University Provost to protest the history of censorship actions, and the removal of his faculty web site from the university server. The Provost upholds the policy, says it has the backing of the university lawyers, and reiterates the willingness of the university to destroy Professor Carney with internet postings against him and bankrupt him with legal actions if he resists and does not “voluntarily” agree to the censorship policy. The Boston University President, Robert Brown, and presumably the Boston University Board of Trustees, subsequently ratify the decision of lower level administrators to censor and suppress Professor Carney's work, and condone a variety of additional actions to punish him, financially and bureaucratically, for having said and written what he has.

April 2008: The Boston University Provost issues a list of subjects Professor Carney is not allowed to make internet postings about. The Chairman of the Department of Film and Television gives the list to Professor Carney.

Spring and Fall 2008: “But Wait, There’s More (Punishment in Store)” Category: All of Prof. Carney's previously granted and promised research support is withdrawn by the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television in the spring and, and after Prof. Carney appeals the decision as a violation of a set of earlier written agreements, the withdrawal of support is endorsed by Assistant Dean Maureen Mahoney and Dean of the College of Communication, Thomas Fiedler, in the fall. The withholding of all university support for Prof. Carney's research continues into the present day.

January 2009: In a meeting with Prof. Carney, the Dean of the College of Communication, Thomas Fiedler, tells Prof. Carney that his reports of ethical violations, procedural irregularities, and other professional misconduct (including serious failures to perform their assigned duties by specific classroom teachers) are of "no interest" to him and will not be acted on. The Dean makes it very clear that the only "problem" he sees is the reports themselves, not the ethical violations or misconduct they describe, and tells Prof. Carney that he regards him as "a troublemaker" for filing them, and that he does not want him to file similar reports in the future. A series of veiled (and not-so-veiled) threats are issued by the Dean at this meeting and in several subsequent meetings and memos about the negative financial and bureaucratic consequences on Prof. Carney's career if he continues to "make trouble" (the Dean's term for filing an ethics report) by filing similar reports in the future. Carney continues reporting the major ethical violations and egregious acts of professional misconduct he witnesses.

In the months and years that follow, Dean Fiedler (with the assistance of Film and Television Department Chairman Paul Schneider) follows through on the threats. Prof. Carney is administratively retaliated against and financially punished for filing his reports—making it official: It is the avowed and acknowledged policy of the administration of Boston University President Robert Brown to retaliate against faculty who report ethical violations and acts of professional misconduct.

Spring semester 2009: Sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind.The effect of the “hear no evil, see no evil, know no evil” Robert Brown administration as the successor to the “reign of terror” John Silber administration: There are a series of death threats as a direct consequence of the more than four years of shameless and irresponsible lies and vicious personal attacks against Prof. Carney by BU administrators. To learn more about the results of this kind of behavior, consult the Old Testament.

March—April 2009: The Dean of the College of Communication, Thomas Fiedler, asserts his “ownership” of, and absolute right to read, all faculty and student emails. The Assistant Dean of the College of Communication, Maureen Mahoney, asserts the right to call telephone numbers faculty have called from their offices to check up on who they spoke to and what they said. In previous months both Deans have surprised the faculty by retrospectively revealing that they have been secretly electronically monitoring what faculty members print on their printers (and that they have reprimanded specific faculty members for printing material with content the Dean disapproves of). They have also been monitoring (and controlling) the content of what faculty members have Xeroxed on the College copying machine—which, as one of his first acts upon assuming the Deanship, the Dean of the College of Communication removed from a room freely accessible to the faculty and relocated in a locked office strictly controlled by a member of the Dean’s staff, who has been deputed to read and monitor the content of all material being copied by faculty.

March 2009: Ray Carney speaks out at a faculty meeting protesting the violation of confidentiality and lack of professional respect these policies represent, and the chilling effect such actions have on faculty communication. The Dean and Assistant Dean defend their positions and refuse to make any adjustments to them. Ray Carney files a formal complaint with the Boston University Faculty Council, who refuse to express an opinion or take any action on the issue, out of fear of alienating university administrators. (The John Silber years live on.) They remain silent and pass the buck: passing the complaint on to the University Ombuds, Francine Montemurro, who herself files the complaint away, never contacts Carney about it, and takes no action on it. The Dean’s and Assistant Dean’s policy of monitoring and controlling faculty expression—in faculty emails, faculty telephone conversations, and in what faculty print on their printers and Xerox on the copier—continues at BU unchanged into the present, and continues to have the chilling effect that Prof. Carney predicted. Faculty warn each other about the danger of writing, emailing, or copying anything, or telephoning anyone, the Dean does not approve of.

2008-2010: Ray Carney is excluded from attending Visiting Day, Open House, and Orientation events by the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television. 

2009 and following years: Guilt by association as an official intellectual policy. Ray Carney is told by the faculty organizer of the College of Communication Department of Film and Television Visiting Speakers Series (the BU Cinémathèque) that he is not welcome to attend events and that anyone he personally recommends being invited to speak will not be invited. Over the course of the following years, Prof. Carney is told by filmmakers and critics in his circle of acquaintance that when they innocently name Prof. Carney as a friend to the faculty member who runs the event and/or express admiration for Carney’s writing, they are told that there are “problems” with their visits, which are then cancelled.

October 2010: Actions that cannot bear the light of day are always done in secret or with a demand of secrecy. How to get rid of "troublesome" ethical reports by buying off the reporter and getting rid of him: In a formal memo he sends to Prof. Carney, the Dean of the College of Communication, Thomas Fiedler, asks that Prof. Carney consider renouncing his tenure and resigning his position, and attempts to secure his agreement by offering him a semester free of teaching if he immediately agrees to quitbut adds that the offer, which the Boston University Provost has already approved, must scrupulously be kept secret. Prof. Carney is not to reveal the deal to shut him up and buy him off and not to tell anyone that the Dean has written what he has to him. Just as he has refused to be silenced by years of bullying threats and retaliatory punishments, Prof. Carney turns down the bribe and continues filing his reports.

September 2011: “Limiting What Faculty Can Tell Their Students or Suggest That They Read” Citation: Acting on his own announced policy of monitoring and controlling faculty emails, the Dean of the College of Communication, Thomas Fiedler, tells Ray Carney that the Dean has read emails Professor Carney has sent to his students and former students and strenuously objects to them. Professor Carney is specifically told by the Dean that he was not to have sent emails to current and former students containing links to articles in The New York Times and IndieWire, raising philosophical questions about the value of majoring in film production as a prerequisite for becoming a filmmaker, and describing the real difficulties of obtaining post-graduation employment for a film production major. The Dean formally reprimands Prof. Carney in writing, describing what he has done with an obscenity, and subsequently lowering his evaluations and docking his pay for having communicated “discouraging” information. He is being punished and all future communications with his students are to avoid alluding to such realities. Only happy facts are to be communicated to them. Anything else will be reprimanded and punished.

October 2011: “Censoring What Boston University Faculty Are Allowed to Say in Interviews” Department: The Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, Paul Schneider, informed Professor Carney in writing that he wanted formally “to go on the record” to caution him that he is not allowed to speak about his treatment by university administrators and his overall situation at Boston University when doing interviews with the media. His discussion of the history of the censorship he had experienced (and continues to experience) at Boston University is officially being censored. Chairman Schneider offered the dubious legal justification that since Boston University is paying Professor Carney, the university had the right to control what he says in interviews.

September – December 2012: Continuing the Dean’s announced policy of monitoring faculty emails, and penalizing faculty for writing things he doesn't agree with, the Dean of the College of Communication reads and distributes to other university administrators, without Prof. Carney's knowledge or permission, copies of personal and confidential emails he wrote to an individual unconnected with Boston University, and severely criticizes what he has written and penalizes his evaluations, pay, and perquisites for the content of the emails, in which, among other things, Carney criticizes the Dean’s ethics. This action, like so many of the other actions the Dean and Chairman have taken against Prof. Carney, is approved by the University Office of General Counsel (the BU lawyers), in the person of a university lawyer named Erika Geetter.

November 2007 – Present:  For more than seven years and continuing into the present, the Director of Film Studies (Associate Professor Roy Grundmann) plays a variety of calculated “dirty tricks” on Ray Carney, intended to destroy his reputation and drive his course enrollments to zero—including telling Film Studies and American Studies students not to take courses with Prof. Carney, telling them he will refuse to work with students who ask to have Carney as their thesis reader or director, and attacking or making damaging insinuations about Prof. Carney’s character, morals, competence, and the value of his teaching and research. (This last accusation is all the more ironic, almost to the point of comedy, coming from someone who himself has done little or no original and important research, and who administers a Film Studies program where virtually none of the professors other than myself have published any important or original critical work, a program where many of the Film Studies professors who teach graduate students do not even hold the Ph.D. degree.) He does this in a series of private meetings he holds with students in his office, in the performance of his formal administrative duties as Director of Film Studies, as someone who advises and approves students’ course selections. Everything he tells the students is a lie, calculated to discourage or prevent them from taking Prof. Carney’s courses or working with him. Knowing no better, and needing the approval of their designated adviser (and letters of recommendation from him), many students innocently and unquestioningly believe and accept the lies and misrepresentations. Even those who are shocked by the demonstrable falsehood of what they are being told, or who are independent-minded enough to question why it is being said, don’t dare express disagreement for fear of jeopardizing their job or graduate school recommendations, since Grundmann has an established record of retaliation against students who express independent views. When the tactic succeeds, after a short period of time, Grundmann enlarges the game and tells a series of similar bare-faced lies to faculty members in the American Studies program and the Department of Film and Television. The Chairman of the Department of Film and Television (Paul Schneider), Dean of the College of Communication (Tom Fiedler), and Boston University Provost (Jean Morrison) refuse to do anything to address, correct, or reprimand Grundmann's egregious professional misbehavior.

November 2009 – February 2013: Ray Carney prepares a 50,000 word written report detailing the personal abuse and financial and bureaucratic retaliation he has received for speaking his mind and filing reports of ethical violations, and meets with the Associate Provost for Faculty Development Julie H. Sandell to explain that his formal appeals of his treatment  have not been replied to. Prof. Sandell says that she is sympathetic and has no reason to doubt that the situation has occurred exactly as Prof. Carney has described it, but as an official BU administrator, she can do nothing to help him. She suggests that Prof. Carney file a report of his mistreatment with Francine Montemurro, University Ombuds. Prof. Carney continues to inform Associate Provost Sandell of subsequent ethical violations, professional misconduct, and outrages to academic freedom on a regular basis for the next four years, sending her many additional reports and memos. No action is taken at any point in the entire period of time. (As far as Prof. Carney can tell, all administrators ever do is ask the perpetrators if it "really" happened. Not surprisingly, those asked decline to "bust" themselves.)

October 2011 – January 2013: Ray Carney sends a series of memos and emails to Boston University Provost Jean Morrison documenting numerous serious ethical and procedural violations he has observed, appealing to her for action and redress for the retaliatory treatment he has received for filing these and other previous reports with more junior administrators. He also carbons her on memos he sends other administrators. No action is ever taken, and not a single memo, carbon, or other communication is responded to or replied to. Provost Morrison makes no request for more information from Prof. Carney, no request to meet and talk with him, and never even acknowledges with a token reply that she has received, or read, anything he has sent her.

December 2009 – April 2014: Ray Carney submits more than 250 pages of documentation to Boston University Ombuds, Francine Montemurro. The material documents in great detail a more than ten-year-history of financial and bureaucratic retaliation taken against Prof. Carney by BU administrators for reporting a host of ethical violations, procedural irregularities (to rig the faculty evaluation and promotion system and feloniously secure pay raises and promotions for selected faculty members), monitoring and censorship of his communications with his students inside and outside the classroom, the censorship and abolition of his faculty web site, and a range of other attempts to threaten him, punish him, silence him, and force him to quit by Boston University administrators. While Ms. Montemurro tells Prof. Carney in a series of private conversations that she has no doubt the events took place as described, and, in fact, has abundant additional information corroborating his reports, no action is taken to remedy the problems described, to restore his lost pay, or to reprimand or replace the offending administrators.

The cover-up within the cover-up: Over the course of many years, dozens of Prof. Carney’s students are appalled by the treatment he is accorded and, spontaneously and without his prompting, seize the initiative and write letters to the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, the Dean of the College of Communication, or other administrators and staff members describing and protesting the disgraceful behavior of College of Communication administrators and faculty, including the meetings held by administrators to slander and defame their teacher. Most of their letters, which indict and incriminate some of the very individuals who receive them, are destroyed or thrown away by the recipients. They are not forwarded, as they should have been, to higher levels of the university administration. They are not shown to the Boston University Provost and President. The cover-up must be maintained.

March 13, 2013: After more than eight years of keeping his reports of ethical misconduct, violations of academic freedom, and egregious professional misbehavior at Boston University strictly confidential and private, filing them strictly within the official university reporting system, and not receiving a single meaningful or substantive response from a single Boston University administrator—let alone being informed of a single serious attempt to investigate the issues raised or rectify the situation, following a face-to-face meeting with Paul Schneider, the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, in which Chairman Schneider, in direct answer to Prof. Carney’s inquiry, tells Prof. Carney that no response will be forthcoming, that nothing will be done to remedy the situations he has reported, and that there are no plans to lift the university censorship order or allow Prof. Carney to resume hosting a faculty web site on the BU server, Prof. Carney creates a blog at and makes his first posting.

Present: Prof. Carney's student teaching evaluations continue to be among the highest and most complimentary, and his publication record the largest and most distinguished, of anyone on the entire Boston University facultywhile his annual performance evaluations and pay continue to be among the very lowest of all tenured Professors with his rank and seniority. The ethical violations, rigging of the pay, promotion, and tenure review system and teaching evaluation system, and the wide-range of pedagogical and administrative misconduct and egregiously unprofessional behavior he has reported for almost a decade continue in full force, uninvestigated and unabated. Easier to shoot the messenger than face, or admit, the problems.

* * *

Please note that I would highly recommend that blog readers communicate with me via my email account (under the name: raycarney1) rather than through my Boston University email account for reasons that are spelled out in several of the preceding paragraphs. My Dean has asserted his absolute and unquestioned right to read any and all email faculty receive in their university account, without notifying the faculty member or asking their permission, and in fact has called me personally on the carpet and lowered my evaluations and pay for things I have written students and others via my BU email account, and even more egregiously, has made copies of the texts of other private and confidential emails I have written and distributed them to staff members, university administrators, and faculty members in my department—meaning that anything sent to the Boston University email account has no guarantee of privacy or confidentiality of treatment. 

The blog has more than anyone (including my correspondent on the top of this page) wants to know on this subject. Three blog pages that deal with administrative spying on faculty emails and attempts to control what faculty write students and others are: "How Marketing and Branding Considerations Limit What Teachers Can Tell Their Students—or Suggest That They Read at Boston University" (March 2013), "Violations of Privacy and Confidentiality—A Continuing BU Saga" (May 2013), and “The Monitoring and Control of Faculty Emails, Phone Calls, and Personal Expression in the Boston University College of Communication.” (March 2013). Emails are only the tip of the iceberg of course when it comes to controlling thought and expression at BU. There is more information about other attempts to monitor and control faculty expression at Boston University on many other blog pages. See "Censorship, Punishment, Abuse, Threats—Being Banned in Boston" (March 2013) for starters.—R.C.