Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Part 6—Punishments

Controlling Faculty Expression

Defeating Tenure

Acts of Retaliation and Retribution

For Filing Ethics Reports

Boston University has a long and inglorious history, beginning in the 1970s and extending into the present, of finding ways to control its faculty members’ expressions and of defeating and legally getting around the supposed protections of the tenure system in particular. I have received a surprising number of inquiries from faculty members and administrators at other universities who read the blog regularly and want to know more about the treatment I have received in response to the reports of ethical misconduct and professional misbehavior I have filed and the attempts of Boston University administrators to ostracize, marginalize, and remove me from the decision-making process in the university. This is the sixth part of a seven-part posting touching on some of the ways I have, as I note in a previous posting, been “bullied, beat-up, and bludgeoned administratively,” “turned into a persona non grata,” and “effectively expunged, banned, and prevented from doing anything but teaching my courses” in my College. Due to lack of space and the number of years these events have taken place, the individual postings will be of a summary nature. Details are provided on earlier blog pages. —Ray Carney

Part 6—Acts of Financial, 

Bureaucratic, Pedagogical, and Professional Retaliation

Most of the events I have described on the preceding five pages could be categorized as forms of emotional, psychological, social, and intellectual control and punishment, but there have, of course, been more tangible punishments of the bureaucratic, financial, and professional sort inflicted on me as retribution for my reports of professional misconduct and unethical behavior in administrators above me. Since I have discussed many of these punitive actions at length on other blog pages, I’ll only provide a summary and partial listing on this page. All of the following matters are documented by internal Boston University documents.

After receiving the highest annual evaluations in my College for more than ten years, and being twice nominated (once by my students and once by a previous Dean) for the highest honor Boston University awards for excellence in teaching, in the years immediately following my reports of ethical problems, my annual evaluations were “zeroed-out” to the lowest in my College. My teaching reviews from my students continue to be glowing.

My pay was similarly affected.

All of my previously promised (and granted) support for my research from the university was taken away from me. I had previously been promised and guaranteed a part-time research assistant, a small  budget for  research, and a small travel budget. Every penny was taken away and I was told (in writing) that I would, from that point onward, not be given one cent of support for my research and publication attempts. Nothing. We're talking about extreme measures here to slow or impede my research and publication efforts. The punishments went beyond withholding and denying financial support. The goal was to try to stop my work in every way possible. My previous Dean actually prohibited me from using the College xerox machine to copy research material, and his successor laid down the law against printing out manuscript drafts and book chapters. As intended, the prohibitions greviously affected all of my research and publication efforts for almost ten years and continue to affect them today. In fact more than one book that I was working on (including one book that was actually in bound galleys) has had to be withdrawn from publication and cancelled. Beyond being unable to copy or print necessary material, I have been unable to pay the fees to clear permissions, to purchase photographic material, to pay for the smallest amount of clerical assistance, to access special collections in research libraries and archives, or to pay for things as small (but necessary) as copying expenses or required fees for librarians and archivists in other cities to make copies of material for me. Needless to say, I have been unable to make research trips beyond the Boston area myself, since all travel money has been cut off. (I have much more information about this subject, about the deliberate attempts of administrators over me to impede my scholarship, including denying me the opportunity to speak at events in other cities, in a report I filed with the university Ombuds in 2009.)

          As another factor in the university's attempt to prevent me from publishing, denying me the opportunity to host a faculty web site on the Boston University server (as described in the eighth paragraph in the preceding blog posting: "Controlling What Faculty Write and Say" and on many other pages in this blog) has also severely negatively impacted my ability to connect with individuals who would otherwise have invited me to contribute to publishing projects or to speak at events they are hosting in the past eight years. As I describe on the aforementioned blog page (and as is a matter of public record, since the removal of my web site from the university server was ordered by my Chairman and various other BU administrators in writing), by unilateral decision of the Dean of the College of Communication, the Chairman of the Department of Film and Television, and the Boston University Provost and President, and against my strong protests, my faculty web site was officially inactived in the spring of 2008, making me almost certainly the only faculty member in America to be banned by his university from having a faculty web site. The result was that from 2008 on individuals have been unable to contact me via the site to invite me to participate in scheduled events or proposed publishing projects.

       Notwithstanding these facts, and as I note above, the outright cancellation or withdrawal from publication of several specific major projects that has resulted from the denial of university support, I have gone deeply into personal debt and managed to support my own travel and research expenses for the past five years in order to complete a major, lengthy (350,000 word) book on the life and work of French filmmaker Robert Bresson. This work is close to being finished. Beyond that, this blog itself (approximately 100,000 words and counting) is also a major publication with a worldwide high-level readership. I have independent and unsolicited testimony from more than 500 major intellectual figures—including prominent academics, high-level administrators at American and foreign universities, faculty at all levels, and other leading intellectual and legal figures living in more than 20 different countries—that this is one of the most important web sites in the world devoted to the subject of academic freedom.

My teaching schedule was changed without my permission or agreement; I was (and continue to be) told to teach course overloads (more courses than I am supposed to be responsible for) and to teach courses in place of colleagues; my classes were assigned to deliberately unsuitable classrooms, and scheduled to be offered at the worst possible times (either times least appealing to students—like 8 AM or late Friday afternoon class meetings, or times separated by as many hours as possible to stretch out my teaching day—so that for many years I was scheduled to teach classes 12 hours apart on the same day). When, on rare occasions, I have located better rooms and teaching times as being available and told the Director of Film Studies about them, he has given them to junior faculty members or even adjuncts, telling me explicitly that they and their courses have a higher priority, and first-choice on all available spaces and times, than I and my courses do.

In line with the actions perpetrated by the current Film Studies Director, a previous Dean, a previous Chairman, and a film department faculty member, as described in Part 3 above, I have had suborned, perjured, forged, and "tampered with" documents inserted into my personnel file, which then have fraudulently been used to justify lowering my evaluations and pay. To conceal the fraud, and in violation of all standards of fairness and disclosure in which one is entitled to know the names of his alleged accusors and the exact violations one is charged with, I have never been allowed to look at a single one of the documents, know the names of any of their authors, and to meet with and question the authors. (All of this is necessary of course precisely because the documents are fradulent and would not withstand scrutiny, just as the authors could not withstand cross-examination; but separate from those issues, my rights have been completely ignored from start to finish, for more than eight years.)

To read a chronological presentation of the various punishments I have been subjected to,  month by month, year by year, for more than a ten year period, see "A Summary: Ten Years at Boston University."

I have strongly objected to all of the preceding financial, bureaucratic, and pedagogical punishments and pointed out their punitive and retaliatory nature.

[Continued on the next page]