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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/19/14

The administration is bullying the philosophy department at the University of Colorado-Boulder

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) February 19, 2014: In recent days the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, Colorado, has published two new pieces concerning the report about the Department of Philosophy that the administration of the University of Colorado-Boulder unexpectedly made public on Jan. 31, 2014:


Let's back up a bit and review. In the spring of 2013, the department understood that it was in hot water with the administration. At that time, the department came up with the idea of inviting the outside review. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the provost accepted this idea. The American Philosophical Association's Committee on the Status of Women was invited to send a three-member visitation committee to the campus. The site visit took place in Sept. 2014. The report was submitted in Nov. 2013. The department head, the dean, and the provost received copies of the report as email attachments. Then on Jan. 31, 2014, the administration unexpectedly made the report public (online).






In a news story by Sarah Kuta, "Female CU-Boulder philosophy colleagues speak out on report," dated Feb. 18, 2014, she reports that six women with ties to the department have issued a joint statement about the report. According to Kuta, "The six women write that they believe a small number of men in the department are responsible for the sexual harassment or unprofessional sexualized behavior described in the report."


""We are all distressed that the report may damage the reputations of male colleagues who are completely innocent of sexual misconduct,' the statement's authors wrote. "It could also harm the prospects of our male graduate students currently on the market.'"


""We faculty women strongly believe that none of our currently untenured male colleagues or current male graduate students has engaged in sexual misconduct,' the women write. "We believe that many have heard about the problems, if at all, only through the rumor mill.'"


Evidently, a certain number of women have been the alleged victims of sexual harassment by a supposedly "small number of men in the department."


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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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