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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/26/14

Mighty administrators at the University of Colorado-Boulder are bullying the philosophy department

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) February 26, 2014: Are the faculty in a university department somehow collectively responsible for monitoring other faculty in the department regarding possible sexual harassment? If so, how are they supposed to proceed to do this monitoring? How often is the possible sexual harassment public enough that other faculty can observe it when it is occurring?


After a certain faculty member has been found guilty of a sexual harassment charge, should his identity as a harasser be made public? If his identity as a harasser were made public, what exactly should the other faculty members in the philosophy department do as a result of knowing this? But if his identity as a harasser isn't made public, what, if anything, is supposed to deter him from further sexual harassment?






These intriguing questions are raised by Sarah Kuta's news story "Philosophy profs.: CU-Boulder shouldn't have shared private info" in the Daily Camera, the newspaper in Boulder, Colorado, dated February 24, 2014.


I know, I know, Colorado is flyover country. Why should Americans be concerned about what the administration of the University of Colorado-Boulder is doing to the philosophy department there?


Unfortunately, many university administrators think they are mighty administrators. But I think the administration there is abusing its power against the philosophy department. Let me explain my concern.


The administration shared confidential information with the three-member visitation team from the American Philosophical Association in connection with their invited assessment of the climate of the philosophy department. The three signed confidentiality agreements regarding the confidential information they reviewed in the files of the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH).


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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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