In April and May, 2016 tenure foe Kathleen
longtime friend and hired hand of Brand NU's Office of General Counsel,
and General Counsel for St. Xavier University, cobbled together a
report claiming I was a crazy, violent person, a
project undertaken in reprisal for my
critiques of NU's military board and the defeat of the Board's choice
of a retired general to run the Buffett Institute. NU then
the report as a pretext for banning me, in violation of NU's Faculty
Handbook and employment and
defamation laws, among several others.
It didn't work. NU's own psychiatrist did not make the
they expected, the real world let Brand NU's world know it was
watching, and on September 19, 2016 Dean Adrian Randolph revoked
As result of the administration's misguided and therefore bungled efforts
Randolph's position is that having
as posing the lowest threat of violence on the risk scale and given me
a clean bill of mental health, NU may pursue disciplinary measures
me on grounds of intentional
alleged incivility: "...your
behavior was intentional and controllable." (Letter from Randolph to
Stevens, September 19, 2016.)
NU's problem is that their claims underlying the ban were not
based on any specific behavior, but rather mendacious allegations I was
"incoherent," "rarely lucid," and "broke from
reality," such that I had imagined Tillery yelling at me when
at me, not that I myself yelled or slammed a door, and that such
"psychotic" symptoms on my part led people to fear I would "shoot" them
or produce a "blood bath." This was Rinehart's basis of
misconduct and disloyalty to NU.
that their own psychiatrist found no evidence of this, NU should be
disciplining Tillery for yelling,
slamming the door, and lying.
The only way around this is Brand NU making the Kafkaesque
claim I intentionally "broke from
reality," i.e., that I sat in Tillery's office and intentionally was
also learned that the crusade against me continues. Tillery,
Monoson, and Alter are furious and will not relent.
Some faculty behind this are now claiming, falsely,
was open when I met with Tillery and she heard no yelling, and also
that the witness has backed off from his sworn statement.
claims are more lies. Alter's door was definitely closed when
emerged from Tillery's office. When
I asked if she heard anything two days later she said no, and that she
was not sure if she
was in her office. The witness has not backed off from
that he heard a man
yelling, including "Get out!" and heard a door slam, and that he
told this to Rinehart.)
At present, I continue to be subject to retaliatory
measures, in violation of NU's policy
and the Faculty
I have been banished to an office away from my colleagues
although the person who clearly has violated NU's civility code
Al Faculty-Shoot-Each-Other-In-Universities-All-the-Time Tillery.
Also, there are logistical problems with the current
including that my computer is
following NU shipping it to my apartment. Randolph has ignored
I remain off the Political Science Department faculty
Randolph is aware of this and is ignoring my
Sara Monoson and Randolph tanked student research
and my own, by depriving the students of their Farrell funds and by
ordering us not to speak with each other. I have
these disciplinary actions on the basis that I was afforded no due
process and my appeal is currently pending with the
Faculty Senate Committee on Cause.
4) Monoson is harassing me when I am in the building.
Monoson has twice gotten in my face without any provocation
whatsoever and is unable to contain her rage about her failure to fire
me. Randolph refuses to investigate, in violation of NU Civility Policy
which requires supervisors, including Deans, to respond to such
incident reports. Nor have Monoson or Tillery been required
undergo "fitness-for-duty" evaluations, even though their outbursts
were witnessed by third parties and the accusations against me are
unsubstantiated. (I mention this to highlight a clear double
standard, not to suggest they be required to do this.)
5) I am taking the mandatory 567 question Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Test, Phase 2
on Friday morning. (Colleagues on FB tell me mental health
professionals have been protesting the forced use of
in this context.)
6) Monoson and Alter are pressuring colleagues to disparage
and not interact with me.
Most disturbing, a large number of students in the Political
Science Department, graduate and undergraduates, have been devastated
by the vicious, anti-intellectual,
unpredictable autocracy in which they find themselves. As a
direct consequence of the malicious, duplicitous
claims circulated by Monoson et al. and the distrust and fear
generated thereby, graduate students across subfields have been seeking
ways of transferring out of the department and out of the
months after the Rinehart report was produced, the only evidence of any
threats, bullying, and retaliating are those undertaken by Brand NU's
Office of General Counsel Philip Harris, Stephanie Graham, Provost Dan
Linzer, Sara Monoson, Alvin Tillery, and their cronies among the full
professors in the Political Science Department, who should be ashamed
for perpetuating this havoc. (I have invited several
to review my personnel file in full in my lawyer's office. The best
explanation of the animus toward me is in the article on academic
The Authoritarian Confidentiality Game Hacked,
On Wednesday September 21, 2016, shortly before noon I returned to the
Science Department, just in time for the first faculty meeting.
As I was heading in, a member of the Department staff
approached with some paperwork to pay an indexer and was showing me the
that required my attention. A few seconds later
heading in, interrupted and told my colleague to stop working with me,
leave it in your box!" Monoson left, the colleague finished
explaining what I needed to fill out, and then I headed into the
Okay, so, here's where I must pause. Statements
in faculty meetings, no matter how politically relevant and disturbing
according to Department rules, confidential. Public
statements by Chair Sara
Monoson, Associate Chair Alvin Tillery, Professor Karen Alter,
and now Professor Ben
Page have run afoul of NU's confidentiality policies--because they are
either supervisors revealing confidential documents or faculty
revealing the substance of confidential meetings. But nothing
website violates these policies.
The Chair's meltdown after a meeting in a public hallway? Not
the least bit confidential.
had returned the forms after the faculty meeting and was leaving the
building when I crossed
paths with a new assistant professor.
As we were chatting and others milled around, Monoson,
with the ressentiment
gang member undone by her boss's surprise capitulation, rounded a
and encountered us. Monoson walked past my colleague and,
next to me, shouted, "I want you out of here!" and then
waited, as though her wish were my command.
I replied, "I know you
do," and turned my attention back to the new colleague.
her order ineffective, Monoson stormed off.
So, there it
was on public display. The raw, hateful peeve that drove her
bizarre administrative hit on me. I later will be releasing
Monoson's May, 2016 letter that officially set the ban in motion -- it
is filled with malicious lies she and others are still spreading -- but
today I want to reflect on the politics of the confidentiality game
that she and others have trotted out as the newest grounds for
excluding me from the Department.
Political Scientists Abandon the Political Science Department
latest excuse to exclude me from department governance is this website,
which the administration dislikes because of the transparency it
creates. Shockingly, people who
been successfully exploiting secrecy to create a false, serving-record
apoplectic when exposed for doing so. If they cannot conduct
their business secretly, they cannot work at all!
email Karen Alter had sent Adrian Randolph just before our noon meeting
Wednesday, Alter wrote:
Many members of our department would ask to relocate, not come to Scott Hall, not attend departmental meetings or events, and/or be unwilling to speak in her presence. In a world of free speech, everyone can talk. Stevens, because of her actions, including posting on her blog, has created a situation in which her mere presence ensures that very few of our colleagues actually will talk freely.
Alter copied this to the Chair of the Committee on Cause who, "in the
interests of transparency," forwarded it to
can't go into details, but shortly after Alter sending this, we learned
that many more members are perfectly happy being in the same building
with me, fine with "attending department meetings or events" with me in
the room, and are not "unwilling to speak in my presence." And we
learned that colleagues find Alter's demands corrosive to our
department, NU, and the academy.
These folks have
managed to draw Ben Page, just back from China, into all
this. He writes in an open letter that "In intellectual terms
have a great respect for Jackie. She is very smart. Always
provocative and interesting." He continues, "Personally, we
always been on friendly terms. She has never caused me the least bit of
harm or discomfort," save that he finds on occasion I speak too long
during department meetings, a habit he says does not distinguish me
from others. Then he goes into what he's
from the rumor mongers.
On their word alone, he finds, it "appears" I'm a department menace and
a troublemaker. He complains about my
blogging" (it's not clear he has even seen the site) and asserts that
this is now the basis for excluding me from
department governance for one year.
I was banned because I was crazy. Now they want to ban me
the way we foiled their plot to ban me because I am crazy was
my exposing it on this site? (Across the board, everyone is
that if I had not posted about this, I would not be back on campus,
including people who now want this site down.)
it occur to these
guys that if you are among those caught falsely
someone is likely a "shooter or an ax murderer" -- that is a direct
from one of the descriptions of me Randolph cites in his letter to the
psychiatrist -- it might be inferred you have
zero credibility for any other claim, and that if you lack the decency
to apologize for this, you should at least keep quiet and just do your
work? Note that the main documents whose release is making
uncomfortable are their own over-the-top statements about me.
Privacy, Secrecy, and the Rule of Law
So, who exactly is threatened by the exposures of BrandNU.world
First, who is not threatened: the staff person whose work
interrupted; the students in my fully enrolled course; the students who
are trying to find me so I can help with
their research and applications while I am locked out of my
office in Scott Hall; the colleagues in the department and elsewhere at
NU, not to mention numerous other unversities, law offices,
news rooms who continue with our normal interactions.
Who is so
nervous that their actions might be revealed that they badger the Dean
complaining they can
no longer participate in department events when I am present?
small number are those who maliciously retaliated because I challenged
decision-making processes and criteria inconsistent with meritocratic
standards implemented by the appropriate personnel through
deliberative, consensual procedures. The opposition to NU's
culture of cronyism, effective with Eikenberry, was
department matters in large part because colleagues such
Mary Dietz, former Chair James Farr (her husband), Monoson,
Tillery, under the cloak of "confidentiality" proceeded
the accountability of transparency. No wonder they dislike my
commentary and release of documents and their names here.
larger number of colleagues have forsaken
thoughtful much less scholarly consideration of "confidentiality" and
have deferred to thin-skinned autocrats for determining our information
Karen Alter studies courts. Ben Page studies
doesn't take a PhD from Princeton to know that every day across the
country our institutions of self-governance demand the public scrutiny
of individual transactions, including the release of personal as well
as business information, in order to avoid corruption and ensure
compliance with the laws. Why should business conducted in a
private non-profit university be done in complete secrecy while
elsewhere, including public universities, occurs with much
expectations of transparency? (For instance, colleagues in
universities in Illinois and elsewhere have obtained email between
their chairs and administrators, and among administrators, and all
release not only budgets but salaries as well.)
NU has over a $2.3
billion annual operating budget
Why should the allocation of funds to schools,
departments, and within these to individuals be subject to the whims of
a small clique of those who signed Alter's email?
it be great if my colleagues resumed their professional vocations and
discussed this as a serious political question, rather than shoot off a
thoughtless email implying that their say-so alone should be the
criterion for the release of information?
Speaking of Research
work undertaken through the Deportation
" engage political questions about
information. Ironically, the internal Farrell Fellow
funding Monoson unilaterally cut off, was for "Knowing Citizens: Privacy,
Secrecy, and the Rule of Law.
" This site, http://brandNU.world
is an expression of "forensic intelligence" and an extension of my
research. Here is the description
of Farrell Fellow responsibilities
to which students
responded and whose applications Monoson last spring ordered staff to
hide from me.
the project implies, decisions on what should and should not be
public are political. As political scientists, you'd
colleagues would be at least a little curious to reflect on these
matters, including prominent claims by Hannah Arendt related to Daniel
's release of "the
," not to mention
Justice Louis Brandeis (of ye olde "sunshine is the best disinfectant,"
the public health equivalent for destroying government misconduct, as
we describe its role in the work undertaken by the Deportation Research
there are good political theoretical or
policy reasons for why well-endowed nonprofits whose priorities and
operations are determined by Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics and
J.P. Morgan, and implicated in the domestic and foreign policies of the
U.S. and other governments should be able to conduct their affairs in
secret. What are the arguments and the scholarship that would
this? Is a sense of entitlement to doling out funds to suit
kleptocratic or idiosyncratic preferences, or just cronyism,
a.k.a., "business as usual,"
a fair substitute for thoughtful, departmental conversations
secrecy does and on whose behalf?
Brand NU Financing and Reclaiming the Real Northwestern
Over the last couple years I've sent emails to Provost Dan Linzer
Brand NU's Vice President of Administration and Planning with requests
for budget information by school, program, and department.
Responses from both indicated NU considers this
"private." McCoy told
me a couple years ago that even the Dean of Weinberg, then Sarah
Mangelsdorf, did not know the budget of the college she ran or
This is not conducive to good governance within the university nor
within the state of Illinois. We need to change Illinois state law, to
same transparency of
private non-profit universities as is presently in place for Illinois
Why not just leave it to NU's officers
and accountants? Because the officers have
conflicts. Take McCoy, who manages NU's
Conflict of Interest policies for its trustees and sits on NU's
Investment Committee. McCoy earns more from
work as a trustee for J.P. Morgan ($315,000 in 2015) than from
her income at NU ($278,000 in 2013). (Figures from SEC and
NU IRS Form 990, 2014).
McCoy has been a member of J.P. Morgan's One Group Mutual Funds Board
since 1999 and was appointed to her lucrative position on the Funds
Board in 2005, 14 months after NU used J.P. Morgan to manage
the $185 million bond issued with funds loaned from Illinois.
(Illinois loans Brand NU $185 million; Brand NU uses the
funds, supposedly for buildings; Brand NU pays tax-free
interest (~4%) to individuals who invest in its bonds; NU has a
schedule for repaying the bond. The repayment could come from issuing
What about J.P. Morgan's checks on the conflicts of its directors?
According to J.P. Morgan's 2015 disclosure, "Ms. McCoy is the
of the Compliance Committee. As a
member of the Compliance Committee, she has participated in the
oversight of the Fund’s compliance with legal, regulatory and
contractual requirements and compliance policies and procedures, as
as the appointment and compensation of the Fund’s Chief Compliance
Officer. The members of the Compliance Committee also oversee the
investigation and resolution of any significant compliance incidents.
Ms. McCoy also serves as a member of the Equity Committee."
worry is kickbacks, and not only in the form of salaries, but
that's not what troubles me. My concern is that the
World is ground zero for the real Chi-raq. NU and other
Illinois private boards run by conflicted trustees are at
epicenter of a global network that cycles profits from capitalism and
war sales through
private nonprofits that propel and survive on militarized research
funding and scholarship, while telling working class residents of
get along with a dilapidated transportation system, broken
schools, shabby public parks and programs, and forcing them to
pay obscene sales
taxes, income taxes, and property taxes that subsidize the elites'
There are a number of instantiations of this. The one I'm
describing here is NU's board and officers using Illinois
for projects that conveniently line their own pockets while
sucking money out of Illionis'
impoverished public sphere. Brand NU has $595 million in bond
loans from Illinois
(IRS 990, p. 328) and University of
billion in Illinois bond loans
(IRS 990, 2014, p. 244).
(We'll get to the hospital investments later.)
For those whose eyes are glazing over--and this is not an accident--our
bankrupt state somehow has Illinois funds that can pay for shiny new
buildings on Lake Michigan benefitting the bottom lines and individuals
at the finance firms behind NU investment decisions, while the Chicago
State University is going belly up
for want of a small
fraction of this. University of Chicago already has
come up short on covering interest payments, leading to budget cuts
affecting faculty and students, and Brand NU's President Morton
Schapiro responded to a question at last spring's Faculty Assembly
about what keeps him up at night by sharing his anxiety that something
similar might happen at NU.
Who decided that Illinois financial expertise should devote
itself to building a trustee
party house on Lake Michigan
and not a center dedicated to the study of state violence?
fancy buildings for programs promoting "leadership," but no new digs
for promoting citizenship
Why not design a truly green campus coterminous with the cities NU
occupies without paying taxes, and promote civic spirit with dedicated
lanes in Chicago and on Evanston's Sheridan Road, where an NU
last week was run over by a cement truck
Why do we allow the Pritzkers and the Crowns to spend our
the way that suits their business interests and vanity, and not the
studied priorities of our communities?
On a larger
Brand NU's President Schapiro, gives a patronizing speech on
micro-aggressions while bumming rides to the Superbowl with
war-profiteering Crown family in their private jet, not to mention
doing everything possible to align Brand NU with the agendas of Abbott
Laboratories, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics (taken over by
Lester's father, Colonel Henry Crown). At half-time do you
think Schapiro confronts Lester Crown for the mega-aggressions of the
for cluster bombs General Dynamics produces (as pointed out by the
divestment committee of University of Vermont)? Do you think
is lobbying President Obama for "safe spaces" for the war refugees that
result from the missiles Crown's company sold to the Saudis and that
are killing people in Syria and Yemen, carried by fighter planes sold
No free pass for micro-aggressions such as Tillery yelling at
me, slamming the door, and lying about it, or Monoson harassing me in
the hall, but let's get our priorities
Why is it so difficult for citizens and (especially!) political
scientists to think about the connections between who we work for and
what and how we study (e.g., the Deportation Research Clinic is
directly engaged with the war refugees the Crown family is producing),
and why are scholars of politics failing so miserably in engaging the
violence and inequality? Why are we not making the insightful
scholarship on militarism, weapons spending, and research methods by
political scientists such as S.M. Amadae, Philip Green, Ido Oren, Kaija
Schilde, and Robert Vitalis more central to our
research agendas? Anthropologist Carolyn Nordstrom writes:
considering the staggering profits that accrue to war, I suggest that
the 'politics of invisibility' is not an accident: it is created ...
The modern state is as dependent on warzone profits as it is on keeping
these dependencies invisible to formal reckoning. Part of its
power rests on the optics of deception: focusing attention on the need
for violence while drawing attention awway from both the war-economy
foundations of sovereign power and the price in human life this economy
of power entails" (from Shadows of War: Violence, Power,
and the International Profiteering in the Twenty-First Century
 p. 34). Perhaps the more serious harm inflicted by
Brand NU is the further entrenchment of an idiocracy that emboldens
bulllies to squelch the academic freedom to raise questions about the
unearthed documents indicating
expenditures, hidden conflicts of interest, and investments that are at
best unsavory and several likely unlawful. To make this
research sustainable, the information needs to be more readily
available. Also, someone finally figured out I was able to download the
reports, my access to which was eliminated in the
NU banned me. (Don't worry,
have done is legal.
After NU failed to heed a whistleblower and was
its second multi-million
dollar settlement with the Department of
Justice responsive to a lawsuit alleging fraud
in recent history, it
implemented an expense report interface that is transparent by design.
Sometime this summer, Brand NU's administrators hid
expense reports, but have left the rest of the faculty reports
accessible, though effectively obscure.)
faculty, alumni, friends, if you want to discover
of our Illinois kleptocracy, and you are from NU or another
institution, or you are an Illinois resident who thinks your
dollars should go to educating Illinois residents and not fancy vanity
party houses on Lake Michigan to indulge NU's trustees (with J.P.
Morgan bonds), please write me at swn AT protonmail and use
a non-work email so we can use the Illinois legislature to pass the
following: "Be it resolved, that all non-profits in Illinois must
provide the same disclosures responsive to records requests as
Illinois public institutions of higher education."