Brand NU World

Provost and Chair Trump NU Faculty Senate Committee on Cause, Order Short-Notice Office Move on Thursday, January 19 

January 23, 2017

Two independent professional bodies have stated that under the rules of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the NU Faculty Handbook the administration should not move my office without disciplinary charges.  

Consistent with my narrative from day one, Provost Dan Linzer and Chair Sara Monoson are retaliating against me for my academically protected speech and reports on their unprofessional conduct. After banning me and nine months of threats the Brand NU administration is officially conceding they have no disciplinary charges!

None of my colleagues with whom I spoke were aware of Monoson's plan to move my office until I informed them, and have called it "shameful." Senior colleagues report being "scared" of Monoson; junior faculty are afraid of retaliation if they are seen speaking with me.

By Provost Dan Linzer and Sara Monoson executing a retaliatory action of moving my office from its location for the last six years in Scott Hall, the Political Science Department will continue to earn its reputation as a safe haven for witch hunters, as reported last month in the Chicago Reader, where my surreal ordeal was ranked #2 of the Ten Surprising Stories in the Year of Chicago Culture.

Some readers may remember their feelings on seeing movers carrying out items from the offices of Obama staffers last Thursday.  For me, January 19, 2017 also coincides with when the Political Science Department Chair, with fewer than 48 hours notice, had a crew of five men pack up my Scott Hall office and move its contents into 300-302 Locy Hall, a.ka. the Speaking Truth to Power Annex of the Political Science Department, with no elevator and the sole cramped restroom located in the basement, three flights down from my office.

Monoson did this with the backing of faculty who are retaliating against me for challenging their unprofessional conduct, in particular, Karen Alter, Mary Dietz, Jim Farr (Dietz's husband), Will Reno, Al Tillery, and of course Monoson herself, who has now admitted lying about her own false report of feeling threatened by me in the spring of 2015.  (Others have jumped on board because of completely false reports I am not allowed to confront; one prominent colleague apologized for writing a hostile attack on me at the behest of those retaliating and prior to obtaining facts; he said he regretted doing this and that he did not anticipate Alter would circulate his statement on Facebook.)

It is embarrassing that a Political Science Department with faculty who favor democratic governments, the rule of law, and due process allows itself to be run by dictatorial tactics in service of a larger authoritarian regime installed by three of the world's largest military contractors. I am hopeful that going forward wiser voices in the department and university will overcome the intimidation and end this damaging witch hunt, including reversing the irrational, purely retaliatory forced move.  

The Committee on Cause advised mediation, as I have been requesting for years.  Moving me out of the building has no logical relation to alleviating tensions, and will not substantially reduce physical proximity, since I must use the Scott Hall administrative services, and will be attending department meetings, talks, and other events.  The only real effect is a forced march before I can perform routines necessary for my teaching, research, and service; isolating me from students and collegial interactions where my office was located; and depriving those who work with me and me of ready access to indoor plumbing while ghettoized in the department's Speaking Truth to Power Annex.

Meanwhile, Dean Adrian Randolph's echo of the company line that singling me out for an office move is not punitive or discriminatory, but a "solution," is as convincing as President Woodrow Wilson's letter endorsing the racial segregation of federal employees:

Wilson, in reply to the 'distressing letter' [from Oswald Garrison Villard, Editor, New York Evening Post] affirmed the presence of federal segregation, begun upon 'the initiative and suggestion of the heads of departments.' He knew about it, and believed it was in the interests of both races. It had been introduced, Wilson continued, 'with the idea that the friction, or rather the discontent and uneasiness which had prevailed in many of the departments would thereby be removed.'  [Kathleen L. Wolgemuth
Source: Journal of Negro History, 44 (1959), p . 162, 163.]{I bumped into this preparing for class and the patronizing show of propriety and concern to mask the crude use of arbitrary authority resonated.  Obviously there are a number of important differences in the particulars, but the arrogant condescension of asserting force  on the side of the powerful party while pretending it is for the general welfare is too familiar.}

Recent Chronology

December 2, 2016
Just before winter break, Monoson sends an edict that my office will be packed up and moved on Monday, December 12 to the third floor of Locy Hall, a decrepit, non-ADA compliant building across campus with no colleagues, no administrative support, no mail, and no copy machines, and a loud, adjacent construction site.  No other offers of an alternative, adjacent space, including in nearby Kresge, which has empty offices, is available--a fact I mention because several colleagues have raised this.  Monoson claims moving me into building on its way to demolition is not disciplinary and therefore requires no evidence of rule violations.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 
Anity Levy of the national American Association of University Professors (AAUP) considers Monoson's edict a "minor sanction, which, under our policies (see Regulation 7b of the attached Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure), should be appealable to a faculty body..."

Dean Adrian Randolph disregards this analysis, again insisting the move is not disciplinary.

Stephanie Graham of NU’s Office of the General Counsel, having previously proposed a solution whereby I could largely work out of the Deportation Clinic office, which I accepted with some minor alterations to meet students, backtracks, saying, “With respect to the office issue, Professor Stevens has now introduced the issue of an AAUP finding and we need to understand what is happening there. I understand she is sending the correspondence she received from the AAUP to the Dean. The Dean can then respond.”

Faculty Senate President Laurie Zoloth convenes the Committee on Cause (CoC).

Friday, December 9, 2016
CoC sends letter to Monoson and Randolph stating the move was indeed a "minor sanction" and requests it be postponed until they can review the matter more fully.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The CoC issues a report advisory to lame duck Provost Dan Linzer: “[I]t was our unanimous opinion that this move did constitute a minor sanction and could be appealed to our committee as provided in the Faculty Handbook...The Committee on Cause does not support a physical and/ or administrative removal of Prof. Stevens from the department at this time."

More on CoC Report
The following is largely from the analysis of my attorney, Rima Kapitan, edited for pronouns:
The committee also addressed a matter which was not before it, namely, the propriety of the recommendations of Dean Randolph’s October 7 letter. It rejected some of the recommendations as disciplinary (such as administrative or physical separation from the department), but recommended moving forward with others, due to “the need for all parties to work to remedy a very unfortunate state of affairs that was detrimental to the normal functioning of the Dept. of Political Science” (p. 2). It suggested that I take advantage of behavioral coaching, “make demonstrable progress in personal interactions with her colleagues,” and that the department as a whole “obtain advice and coaching on how to work towards more positive interactions as a group” (p. 3).

The Faculty Handbook identifies “extensive training activities” as one of the types of “minor sanctions” which require the administration to provide specific charges and evidence to substantiate the need for the sanction. Faculty members should not be required to undergo behavioral training unless specific objective problematic behaviors are identified and substantiated and unless the faculty member has the opportunity to defend herself against those charges. It must once again be emphasized that I am still unaware of conduct necessitating these supposed non-disciplinary remedies.  [As one student who has followed this said, what behaviors exactly do they want me to change? Do they want me to be less supportive of students?   Do they want me to publish less?]

I am unpopular with specific powerful individuals within the department for documented political reasons, but am well-liked and respected by many others. Even the Committee on Cause admitted that it was recommending behavioral coaching despite not knowing what behaviors were lacking or impaired -- the CoC acknowledges “the lack of solid evidence regarding the many accusations in this case.”

I favor bringing a mediator to the department to attempt to work out any actual or perceived problems, a suggestion I have been making for several years but which those behind the ban and move rejected.  I of course object to being singled out for behavioral training without having been found to have engaged in any impropriety or wrongdoing, [and absent investigations into information provided Randolph about specific retaliatory misconduct by Monoson and Tillery, supported by references to third party witnesses].

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Linzer replies that he would be disregarding the Committee's interpretation and allowing Monoson to go ahead and have my office move. Monoson has told me in person that she intends I "never" have a key to my office again, even though Linzer states the move is "temporary."

I have been using my Scott Hall office since 2010, including since January 3 this quarter. In early January, as Monoson observed, I was meeting with students in my office without incident.  The administration, and especially Monoson, have made clear their dissatisfaction with the fact that I am exposing their actions through this website, however, and have repeatedly attacked me for my reporting on a matter of public interest.

Freedom of the press and transparency are easy to endorse, as long as it's reporting on someone else's abuses of power.  Monoson and her minions seem to think that The Ivory Tower should somehow protect their abuses of my academic freedom from exposure.  Indeed, the massive transfers from the public coffers to Brand NU means actions that undermine higher education for which tax deductions are provided demand extra scrutiny, including a vindictive office move that thwarts the university's teaching and research mission.

Here is Linzer's 12/22 email in its entirety:

Dear Professor Segraves [Mark Segraves chaired the Committee on Cause]:
I am writing in response to the recommendations of the Committee on Cause
concerning the appeal submitted by Professor Jacqueline Stevens.
Although many items have been knotted together in this case, the actual item being appealed is that the chair of the Department of Political Science assigned an office to Professor Stevens in a building other than Scott Hall.
The Dean assigns blocks of space to each department, and the chair of each
department is then responsible for allocating that space for faculty offices and other purposes. I am unaware of any restriction on department chairs that requires them to provide offices for all faculty in one building, and, in contrast, I am aware of other cases in which faculty from a single department occupy assigned offices in different buildings. So, I find that the Committee’s view that it is a minor sanction to locate a faculty member’s office away from the primary home of the department to be factually incorrect. The Dean has the authority to provide a department with space in more than one building, and the chair has the authority to use such space in more than one building for faculty offices.
As the Committee on Cause is aware, significant tension exists between Professor Stevens and other members of the department. Thus, the chair’s decision to assign an office to Professor Stevens outside of Scott Hall is in my view a temporary solution to a serious problem rather than a minor sanction. All of us can hope that those tensions will evaporate completely, and collegial interactions and good will be reestablished among all the faculty in Political Science. The Committee has made recommendations on how that process could be accelerated. Still, until the situation is demonstrably improved, my conclusion is that it is in the best interests of Professor Stevens (despite her appeal) and of all the other faculty in the department that her office remain outside of Scott Hall for now.
Daniel Linzer

What exactly is this "serious problem," other than a bizarre self-serving hysteria among a few powerful faculty in the department well-connected with the administration?  Where is the "good will" toward intellectual independence, the forceless force of the better argument, impartiality, or even its appearance?  Do Randolph and Linzer really think retaliatory witch hunts and ostracism produce harmonious communities? Why is Randolph ignoring accounts from those outside the department on the malice and lies being circulated by Monoson and her cronies, not to mention specific, verifiable documentation of her own bullying, a clear violation of University policy?  Perhaps the folks writing these edicts should consider that genius idea of ignoring the rule of law to reduce friction within the departments of the federal government in 1913, and reflect on how well that worked.

(As I have reported previously, Linzer had to "step down" from his job as provost after months of my co-organizing of faculty opposing a retired general's takeover of the Buffett Institute on Global Studies, including my reporting on Karl Eikenberry's unsavory entanglements with the Rwandan military, posted the same day Linzer flew to Stanford in an unsuccessful bid to persuade Eikenberry not to withdraw; for details on Monoson-and-her-Minions retaliatory entanglements, please read go to Brand NU World home page and also read links on "The Ban."  Monoson leaned hard into Linzer's Save Eikenberry campaign.  After Eikenberry withdrew, Monoson feted him at his talk she introduced last spring.  Monoson is claiming her vendetta is not about politics but office politics; however, every incident reported bears on my academic freedom. I'll be exploring this at more length in an article I am submitting for review in a scholarly journal.)

January 12, 2017
Following a lecture for "Introduction to Political Theory," I entered Scott Hall.  A student visiting from another campus had accompanied me back and wanted a copy of the syllabus.  While we were at the front desk, Monoson interrupted my conversation with the work study student who was assisting me in procuring the key to my office, where I was on my way to meet a student to discuss her honors thesis.  Monoson stated, "You know you are not allowed to use the office to meet with students." I said I did not know this and asked her to explain.  She refused. I said my apartment keys and bag were in the office and asked if I could call security.  She said I should “come back tomorrow morning.”  Monoson left; the work study student provided me the key; and I met with the honors student, the last meeting I held in that office.

January 13, 2017
Dean Randolph responded to my inquiry about the status of my office, writing, “My
understanding is that you do not have an office assigned to you in Scott Hall, although your belongings are still there.”

January 17, 2017
Monoson sends email stating that movers will be packing up my office on January 19, 2017, even though she has made no effort at any mediation.  Her e-mail is typical Brand NU double-speak, presenting her unilateral order as an "option."  My e-mails repeatedly objected to any office move and I was never consulted about either the location or the timing.

Monoson's Brand NU e-mail:  

You will recall that Locy 300-302 was first made available to you in December 2016 and that you have been in possession of a personal key to that space for some time. That space remains available to you in an unlimited way immediately for office hours and all general needs.  To support that option, Josh [redacted] has agreed to assist us in making arrangements with movers to expeditiously relocate the contents in Scott 304 and quickly set up the Locy space to your liking. This can be accomplished in one day. We have requested the movers be available to you on Thursday, January 19th in the interests of having this option available to you in a timely way. Josh will contact you shortly to follow up. (Monoson to Stevens, e-mail

Translation key-

 "Locy 300-302 was made available to you in December 2016"  =  "I first informed you of the forced move just before winter break, and provided the Faculty Senate little time to review before the move was implemented."

"That space remains available to you in an unlimited way immediately for office hours and all general needs." = "Obviously you cannot meet anyone there because there are no chairs, table, or phone."

"To support that option..." =   "To support this order..."

"Josh [redacted] has agreed to move expeditiously" =  "I requested the move occur immediately before a mediator has a chance to resolve this dispute and before colleagues will have time to thwart this unjust plan that will continue to cast them as members of a fear-mongering department run by bullies."

"This can be accomplished in one day." =  "I am disregarding your previously scheduled teaching and other commitments."

"[I]n the interests of having this available to you in a timely way..." =  "[I]n the interests of my [Monoson] effecting my retaliation against you as soon as possible..."

January 19, 2017

Office packed up.   

On Other Fronts
I am trying my best to do my teaching and keep up with research commitments.  I am delighted to report that Citizenship In Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelesssness, co-edited with Benjamin Lawrance should be out any day now (Duke University Press, 2017).  It has contributions from scholars across the world documenting how governments fail to recognize their de jure citizens as such.

Also, over the winter break, NPR's Eyder Peralta wrote up a beautiful story about U.S. citizen Lorenzo Palma's near deportation, an outcome the Deportation Research Clinic helped prevent.  The article references exactly the research Linzer, Associate Provost Lindsey Chase-Lansdale,  Randolph, and Monoson-and-her-Minions have been destroying the last few months of their harassment.