21 October 2006

At Least Seven of Gallaudet's Board of Trustees are of No Use to the University

Backbone for the Board
Gallaudet's trustees should not surrender their principles.
Friday, October 20, 2006; Page A20

TRUSTEES AT Gallaudet University knew they weren't making the most popular decision when they selected Jane K. Fernandes to be the school's next president. But they believed she was the best choice to lead the renowned school for the deaf. If the trustees are to take seriously their obligation to the university, they must not surrender their principles to mob rule.

Weeks of unruly protests that have disrupted the university, a faculty vote of no confidence and unrelenting bad publicity appear to be weakening the resolve of some members of the board of trustees. As reported by The Post's Susan Kinzie, as many as seven of the 20 trustees (cloaked, of course, by anonymity) are having second thoughts about Ms. Fernandes and think she should step aside. This is the board that just six months ago unanimously appointed her and that, as recently as five days ago, called her "the most qualified candidate to run the institution."
Contrary to the false claims of protesters, Ms. Fernandes was picked after a careful six-month search by a 17-member committee that included people of color as well as deaf and hard-of-hearing representatives. The majority of the committee was made up of faculty, students, staff and alumni -- all appointed because of their good standing on campus. Ms. Fernandes emerged as a finalist after she and five other candidates were interviewed. Such facts don't appear to matter to those students and faculty members who have just one goal in mind: to get their own way. It is instructive that even now they have offered no cogent explanation of what they see as so wrong with Ms. Fernandes. Indeed, even her harshest critics concede that "on paper" she is qualified.

It is clear, however, that one factor that went into the faculty's vote of no confidence and that is now affecting the board is a belief that it would just be easier for Ms. Fernandes to leave so the university can move on. How, though, will the university ever function if the people who are charged with its interests go against their best judgment and give up their legal authority to individuals who behave so badly?

Ms. Fernandes knows the answer, and that's why she, at least, is standing by her principles. She should not be left standing alone.


At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Disgusted said...

Have those 7 Board members lost their minds completely? Do they have NO understanding of the precedent they would be setting? The university will never be able to make a decision ever again. Who picked these people to be on the board in the first place? This has to be the most short sighted thing I have ever seen in my life. I hope in the future Gallaudet is a lot more careful about who becomes a board member. This is absolutely insane!

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous InsideGally said...

I was horrified to see that these board members are leaking information that should be confidential. JK's letter and that man in Wisconsin. What is wrong with these people? These seven people clearly have no morals and no integrity. If they had any shred of decency they would resign IMMEDIATELY. That would be the best way they could serve the university. Just leave.

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See thereconcilers.org for the peace movement at Gallaudet. Make the Pledge to Return to Education On-line now! Numbers count!


At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Dave R said...

Actually, there is some precedent for a Board to remove a President, and although it's pretty rare, it does happen. Also, I am sure all of the BOT have been made aware of the protests and the arrests, so it really shouldn't be too surprising that some are wavering. That's the nature of the beast. I am a bit of a skeptic in this case though. You also have to remember, the board is made up of a wide variety of people so it shouldn't be a schock when there is disagreement amoung them. The BOT is selected by the sitting President, so a number of them are long time allies of IKJ. That some of them are wavering says a lot.

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Dave R said...

Oh, and another remark, if the 7 BOT members that are wavering resign, then that would be far more chaotic than any other scenario. Imagine the uproar that would cause, and would be much worse than them asking Jane to step down. Just my humble opinion.

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pls post at protestveritas-

As for some of underlying, and unreported, causes of the 'eternal flame' behind protests at Gallaudet

1. There are many faculty members who disinvested in Gallaudet years ago, and put their efforts into outside ventures: free-lancing, consulting, and service work in the US and overseas. They teach their classes, and then use university resources for their side activities. They have never hidden this abuse, and their names are well known by employees. Some abuses were stopped by the Administration, making enemies who are now at the dark heart of the protest (fssa inner core). For example, the former Chair of Education Dept (Lytle) disinvested years ago when his China project was not adopted as aprt of GU's international services. He spends most of his time doing World Bank consulting and China trips, and now serving as media contact for FSSA. In this group we may count the Opportunists (Faculty Chair Weinberg,etc.) who see this as an opportunity to get out of the 'white hearing man' box that is expected to be stepped on if protestors win.One of several examples.

2. There are also principled people at center of protest--people who deeply care for direction of Gallaudet and do not feel JKF is right person. Some have made long investments in Gallaudet and impriving Deaf people's lives. But it is a 'sore loser' fight--their person was not selected.
And with GU Presidents serving for many years, it's their Historic Moment to fight the choice.

3. Partly it is a war being waged on IKJ- JKF by a faction of Deaf leaders led by Roz Rosen. She was let go as VP for cause (vindictive micro-manager) to feelings of great relief by many employees, including some protest leaders. (See footnote below.) Fernandes became Provost and Rosen never stopped trying to get vengeance. Her two children are lawyers for the protestors (Susan and Jeff) and her brother is at center of three Board members who push for her resignation (Goodstein).

The plot thickens... another dissenting Board member (Soukup) runs a business (CSD) that has employed Rosen. Moreover, Ron Stern, one of the finalists, is on the board of CSD. There is more, but enough for now.

This is just to say that in the end it is more about self-interest than anything, and much less about Fernandes' abilities or track record. After all, none of the protest allegations about problems at GU (audism, racism) were raised by people until Fernandes was chosen. Now all of a sudden it is a racist, audist, oppressive, brutal gulag?? Nonsense. (See footnote 2)

We pray that you dig into above issues, which are much of what is driving this thing. Sent to you out of respect for your interest in analysis in this case.

Footnote 1- FSSA protested about Post's note that dissenting Board members had 'someone lined up' to replace Fernandes. This is because FSSA leaders fear it may be Rosen, and they know that she was the true 'toxic leader' that Gallaudet has seen in past decade.

Footnote 2- See student David King's inner analysis of FSSA. He is an African Deaf student and once a member of FSSA. In April he and organization for people of color at GU protested the failure to select Dr Glenn Anderson as a finalist (a black man who had run the Board for many years and had good qualifications). The FSSA had no interest in these concerns. When 'their man' Stern was not chosen, they suddenly began cooking up reasons to protest, so racism at GU became an issue. That is why David King and organizations of people of color have split from FSSA. They see the hypocrisy and self-interest. Read David King's article in current issue of Gallaudet student newspaper Buff and Blue or go to protestveritas.blogspot.com

At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


See, it was very bad site...

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I commented that I do not agree it and I think that protesters are terrorist because locked down HMB, closed campus-blocked business and classes, blocked Jordan center's signboard, threw water to Jordan's family, delete opposite opinion in blog, slander to IKJ,JKF,Mercy Coogan, David King, and others who do not support protest, and forced neutral students to join protest.


Then, she delete my opinion and treat do not support protest people.

At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Closed all campus gates last spring semester. (Stop shuttle bus, only half day)
2. Locked down Hall Memorial Building
3. Closed Campus that stopped business and classes
4. Thew water to King Jordan's family
5. Brock Jordan Center's signboard
6. Enforcement neutral students to join the protest
7. Defamation to King Jordan, JKF, Mercy Coogan, David King, and others who do not support the protest.
8. A teacher who support protest gave pressure to other teachers who do not support the protest
9. Delete opposite opinion that do not support the protest from blog that support the protest.
10. Closed Highschool(MSSD) and Elementary school in Gallaudet.
11. Refused open 6th gate even King jordan allowed protesters can protest on the front gate.
12. A teacher cancelled classes 7 times for protest.

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many conflicts of interest among BOT members. Some of these are mentioned in previous comments. Those with personal stakes in this should not resign but should recuse themselves from further direct participation.

At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Carley D. Carbin said...

I have to agree with insidegally, board of trustee should not have leaked any types of information. Whoever have leaked the information should be asked to leave the chair.

I do not believe that there are any kind of "fixed" to have Jane Fernandes to be our 9th President of Gallaudet University. It is because of her qualification that is really excellent. Also, her leadership may be different from many of Deaf leaders. But that doesn't mean she is not qualified to lead the university. She is qualified to do so.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Carley D. Carbin said...

I am not sure how to post a different topic.. so go to http://protestchaos.blogspot.com/ to view my poem about the protest chaos.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Carley D. Carbin said...

The url address i just typed is no longer exist for some reason. Once when I figure out the problem and I will give you the right url address. Apologize for the inconvience.

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Carley Carbin said...

I agree with you all completely. I couldn't focus with my academics. I have been crying my heart out since 6pm to god knows!!!

I am deeply saddened that the Gallaudet Board of Trustees voted to terminate Janes Fernades contract for president starting January 2007.

I felt she may have been just the role model that many parents of deaf children, oral deaf, or deaf children with implants needed. Her leadership was questioned.....people do and can change. I do believe that Jane wanted the best for Gallaudet and wanted to lead Gallaudet with new ideas and continue to strive for excellence in education. It is too bad she was not given the chance to show what she had planned.

Gallaudet has always been "heaven" for the Deaf where everyone that comes is accepted and welcome. We must be proud of that.

Now I don't think Gallaudet University is knwon as "heaven" for the Deaf anymore.


Post a Comment

<< Home