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More Fanciful Stories from Tilleryland
Prof Fails to Disclose Judge Dismissed his First Complaint and that he Pleaded to Settle Counter-Claims

June 14, 2018

Northwestern's Faculty Senate is considering revisions to the Faculty Handbook. The Political Science Department's Faculty Senate Representative invited us to send comments to two members of the committees proposing the revisions. On May 30, 2018 Alvin Tillery sent a long email to the entire Faculty Senate. It contains disturbing and even bizarre falsehoods about me contrived by him and a few disgruntled colleagues.(For the full story, start here: http://brandnu.world.)

Quick background: In the spring of 2016 I sent the Department Chair Sara Monoson a complaint about Tillery yelling and slamming a door, concluding with a statement that I hoped we could work it out. However, instead of apologizing for his outburst and moving on, Tillery threatened to sue me for defamation and then conspired with the Department Chair to have me suspended from my position on the claim I was a threat to campus "safety." After their plot to remove me from the Department failed, Tillery initiated a defamation lawsuit against me, in response to which I filed counter-claims.  Although the litigation has been resolved, Tillery is seemingly unable to move on.  

I have been a long-time thorn in the side of NU, which is run by some of the world's most odious titans of military trade, finance, and Big Pharma. Instead of honoring NU's contractual obligation to indemnify me, the Provost's office (run then by Daniel Linzer) and Office of General Counsel worked with Tillery and Monoson, Tillery's close friend. They concocted a story claiming they feared I might physically harm them.

The script for banning a tenured professor that NU followed, after hiring for its pseudo-investigation none other than the script's actual co-author, attorney Kathleen Rinehart, results in the targeted professor being fired. But of course I was not fired.  As Tillery is well-aware, the key findings of the report were ultimately discredited by other witnesses, colleagues, and truly independent professionals, as opposed to a contract attorney close to NU's own Office of General Counsel.

As facts and findings became public that derailed NU's campaign to remove me from the Department and University based on Tillery's allegation that I was a violent lunatic -- he told the Chronicle for Higher Education, "Do I think she might shoot me? . . . Absolutely.” -- Tillery and his pals, and NU's administration, jettisoned their psycho-killer claims and concocted new stories that in time also were disproven.   

In 2017, a judge threw out Tillery's first defamation complaint against me. (This guy filed a lawsuit claiming he did not yell and slam a door.) I filed a cross-complaint and Tillery filed an amended complaint. I also filed separate lawsuits against the Chair Sara Monoson and Northwestern because they had suspended me, forced me to undergo a psychological examination under threat of termination, banned me from campus, moved my office, and refused to indemnify me in response to Tillery's litigation,
all in violation of NU's policies.  

The Rinehart Executive Summary Tillery distributed on May 30 was part of my lawsuit as evidence to support my claim that Tillery, Monoson, and those operating under NU's authority, including Rinehart, were liars who had defamed me.  It is unconscionable of Tillery not to have made this clear and to imply that I in any way was crediting its claims.

At some point, Tillery must have realized he was going to lose.

Perhaps the most important fact that Tillery kept from the Faculty Senate is that for months he had been asking me to settle the litigation he initiated and in March, 2018, we did so.

One of the reasons I agreed to Tillery's request to settle is precisely because of the statements by him and his cronies now in the public record that are provably false based on Tillery's own admissions and court filings.

Usually one needs a trial and depositions to demonstrate all this.  But the absence of any disciplinary charges against me, statements and findings from third parties, and Tillery's own admissions to reporters, vindicated the sworn statement of the student witness and my own contemporaneous report without the need for wasting further time in court to prove Tillery yelled, slammed a door, and lied about it. (The court documents are here.)

I am happy to release the settlement if Tillery agrees. (Oh, and in the meantime, matters involving Monoson, NU, and me have been amicably resolved.)

This post updates the defamation litigation Tillery initiated and provides further evidence of falsehoods in Tillery's statements. The comments track the fictions in his e-mail to members of the Faculty Senate, many of which he has stated to the media as well. He also has added a new twist.  Now Tillery is attributing colleagues not believing his falsehoods to the Faculty Senate's lack of what Tillery calls "diversity."

There is no public listserv for the approximately 90 representatives to the Faculty Senate; those who received his missive have marveled at the fact Tillery appears to have entered each individual representative's name manually. I'm respecting the Faculty Senate's request to keep the proposed policy changes confidential.  However, Tillery himself did not mark his own e-mail "confidential." And even if he had, he has no prerogative to expect much less demand secrecy of those who received his unsolicited bilious screed in violation of the stated protocols. (Indeed, it appears as though he wanted people to spread his false and misleading statements.)

Here is what I hope will be the final statement of the events and narratives of March 8, 2016, when Tillery yelled, slammed a door, and lied about it.  

1. Tillery lied, lacks evidence to prove his statements
The defamation complaint Tillery filed against me in October, 2016 was tossed out in 2017.   During the hearing in which he dismissed the first complaint, Judge Gillespie castigated Tillery's attorney for filing it in the first place.  The judge also strongly advised against filing another complaint.  Tillery was seated there.  Despite hearing all this, he filed an amended complaint, anyway. I filed counter-claims. As more motions were filed, including our second motion to dismiss his amended lawsuit, which had retained most of its original errors, Tillery initiated a request to settle and in March, 2018 we did so and the case was dismissed.  

The student witness, NU's own forensic psychiatrist, and the fact no disciplinary charges were ever filed, not to mention Monoson's own temper tantrums and bullying of me (the administration has statements attesting to these as well) meant the Rinehart document over time lost credibility.  To anyone who was paying attention it had become obvious that NU had hired an anti-faculty attorney to get rid of me and that she was using a few faculty who nursed grudges to get the job done.

Incredibly, Tillery a couple weeks ago distributed Rinehart's "Executive Summary" as though it were factually accurate
.  

2.  Tillery withholds student witness declaration
Tillery omitted from the documents he circulated to the Faculty Senate the statement filed with the court from the student who heard Tillery yelling and slamming the door. I am redacting his name because there is no need to make him further vulnerable to retaliation from Tillery and his cronies. (Note the court stamp proving the statement was indeed filed.)

The Declaration was signed on August 15, 2016, about two weeks after I received Rinehart's false claims. The affidavits Tillery circulated were signed in late August, 2017, over a year later.

3.  Tillery lies about being afraid of the student.
Although Tillery previously admitted he did NOT fear being attacked by the student who witnessed his outburst, Tillery now writes to the Faculty Senate:: "What I did worry about was the thinly-veiled threat of third party violence—by her student 'on the wrestling team'..."    And he states that he "made three requests to Dean Randolph and Vice-Provost Chase-Lansdale: (1.) temporarily relocate my office until they could ascertain the seriousness of these threats of third-party violence;..."

Poor guy. He can't keep up with his own public statements.

When reporters for the Daily Northwestern told me in 2017 that Tillery was claiming that he asked to move his office because he was allegedly concerned about the student, I was stunned and asked the reporters to go back to Tillery with a  few questions based on standard protocols for bona fide threats:  if Tillery was so nervous, then why didn't he contact campus security or the police about the student in March, 2016?  And why would an office move months later address the alleged worry? Wouldn't Tillery need to go into hiding in March, if he believed someone really were targeting him for an attack?  Colleagues who saw him in his office in the spring, as I had, later expressed shock when reading he had been requesting another office elsewhere.  (Tillery even opened a locked Scott Hall exterior door for me in the same time frame he later claimed to have fears I might kill him.)

The reporters followed up. On November 8, 2017 they reported: "Tillery said he was relieved to learn a few days after the March 8 incident that there was no evidence indicating a student wanted to physically harm him" (emphasis added).  

The article continued, "However, Tillery said he wanted to distance himself from Stevens and asked administrators to move his office from Scott Hall."
  

This admission is especially important because of the timeline Tillery shared earlier with different reporters.  An article published in September, 2016 reveals that Tillery requested the office move a month after claimed not to be worried about the student:  "Tillery requested a different workspace in an email to administrators on April 12, writing that he was afraid Stevens’ behavior might lead to violence against him by her or another person" (emphasis added).  

If Tillery realized the student posed no threat to him a few days after March 8, 2016, then of course the student could not be the basis for a requested temporary office move on April 12, 2016 to assess his threat, as Tillery just alleged to the Faculty Senate.  Operating under the desperate necessity of his various stories being knocked down one by one, Tillery has spun so many false accounts that cannot keep track of all of them.

So why did Tillery file this request on April 12, even though this was a full month after he "claimed not to be worried about the student"?   It followed shortly after April 6, the date Tillery first threatened to sue me for reporting that he yelled and slammed a door, with his email feigning fear of the student and me providing atmospherics he apparently thought might bolster a lame lawsuit.

Also, Tillery from spring 2016 through fall, 2016 had been claiming that I was the one from whom he feared a violent attack. (After all, only I was banned, not the student.) He told that to the administration, to NU's contract attorney Kathleen Rinehart, and in September, 2016 to the national media.

On September 15, 2016, the psychiatrist NU hired for my mandatory "fitness for duty" interview immediately found I posed no threat to Tillery's safety, based on our interview and also his review of my personnel file and Rinehart's Executive Summary, the document that Tillery says vindicates him and that was filed by me as evidence Tillery had defamed me.  

Dean Adrian Randolph, on receipt of the psychiatrist's findings, cleared me to teach in the fall quarter and never filed disciplinary charges against me.  Further, on March 12, 2018  Randolph sent me a letter stating that on September 15 a "neutral third party determined that you did not pose a safety risk to Northwestern University students or faculty. I further acknowledge that since that date, through and including the date of this letter, the University has not changed that determination."  (Tillery has stated to reporters in late 2017 that he had refused to sign a similar statement because "it would have undermined his ability to preserve his reputation."  On Tillery's own account, such a statement by the Dean appears to further shred Tillery's credibility.)

In sum, now that Tillery's claim to have been afraid of me because I was psychotic is on the growing heap of his discredited nonsense, he is back to claiming he was afraid of the student.  

Finally, my contemporaneous complaint referenced a student's brief, spontaneous, and singular statement to reflect the intensity of Tillery's eruption, that it was so palpable that it triggered the student's reflexive and protective chivalry based on circumstances the student himself observed and not anything I said.  Tillery's conduct was alarming and I was illustrating this.  If Tillery had not yelled and slammed the door, then there is no basis for the student to have had this visceral and fleeting response.


3.  There is ONE alleged witness statement, not three. The one alleged witness statement is false, was NOT filed with any court, and further discredits Tillery.  There is no exculpatory evidence.
Tillery alleges he has "exculpatory testimony" in the form of "witness statements submitted by Professors Karen Alter, Mary Dietz, and Daniel Krcmaric to the Cook County Circuit Court as part of Case No: 16-L-10676" and he attached these to his email.  

This is a blatant lie.  The affidavits Tillery sent to the Faculty Senate are not stamped as actually filed with the Cook County Court, unlike the student witness statement linked above.  That's because they were never filed.  After I learned of Tillery's claim, my attorney requested filed, stamped copies of the affidavits from Tillery's attorney. The firm told her they could not locate these.  I personally reviewed the case docket in the Cook County Courthouse and the affidavits simply are not there.  

This falsehood on the part of Tillery is extremely important. By claiming they were filed he implies they have evidentiary value.  Since they were not filed, one is strongly invited to infer the opposite.

If these statements are so "exculpatory," then why didn't Tillery's attorney file them with his court case?  
(In a second you'll see why-- they are either irrelevant or they contradict Tillery's own statements.)  Also, why didn't the affiants sign their sworn "witness" statements contemporaneously, and not in August, 2017, well over a year after I reported that Tillery yelled and slammed his door and a student witnessed this?  (Are there other affidavits they signed earlier and when evidence disproved their statements, new ones were drafted and signed over a year later? What about earlier provably false statements about my mental fitness or threat to their safety? Is that why Tillery's attorney didn't file the affidavits, because in an actual trial the contradictions would discredit them?)

Second, Tillery misled the Faculty Senate into believing that the affiants' inflammatory statements, including references to a graduate student by name, are part of a public court record. Colleagues could infer that however uncomfortable it was to read them, they are part of a public court proceeding and therefore legitimate for Tillery and his audience to circulate to the broader public.  

Third, these three faculty members are not disinterested parties.  Alter, along with Sara Monoson, violated Department norms and procedures in the time frame when NU was trying to remove me.  Alter and Monoson took offense when questioned, and created a pretext for their retaliation.   Both have been relentless in their hostility. Monoson, the Chair, has a long and documented history of yelling at me, and, as third parties have reported, bullying me.  Independent bodies assessing these events have supported my characterizations of the Department leadership, which included Alter, and have not endorsed the account of me Tillery is circulating.  (I have a number of witness statements and offers for statements in depositions that I am not circulating out of respect for third parties.)  

Alter's rambling, self-involved, self-important, and irrelevant affidavit claims that as the Director of Graduate Studies she received student complaints about me.  However, referring to the same events, a spring 2016 email from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs for The Graduate School gets it right:  "We have no records about you at TGS that are in any way negative.  This situation seems to be a conflict between you and your department..."  (Alter has been especially public and vehement in her retaliatory and unprofessional attacks on me.)    


Third, only one of Tillery's affiants alleging to have heard no noise from Tillery's office on March 8, Mary Dietz, asserts she was in her office when Tillery met with me.  Alter provably was not in her office for the entire day: for part of it she was with me in a committee meeting on the second floor, which began within minutes of my leaving Tillery's office.  When I arrived, Alter was already in the room.  When I left Tillery's office shortly before the 2 pm meeting with Alter downstairs, the doors of the offices for Alter, Dietz, and Krcmaric were all closed.  (Alter herself told me within days of Tillery yelling at me that she was not sure where she was when this happened.)

Over seven billion people could sign a statement that on March 8, 2016 they did not hear Tillery yell and that would be as exculpatory for him as the testimony of Alter and Krcmaric, even more so since Alter and Krcmaric had specific ulterior motives for their gratuitous statements not shared by the rest of earth's inhabitants.  

Dietz, providing the lone account purporting to actually corroborate Tillery, had been plotting to remove me from the department for quite some time.  I'm not going to rehash the connivances of Dietz and her husband Jim Farr -- next to them the Underwoods of "House of Cards" look like June and Ward Cleever -- but I am going to review some more contradictions.

Dietz in her affidavit of August 28, 2017 states, "Over the course of the afternoon on March 8, 2016, I heard no 'yelling' or anything that might be taken for the same (e.g., 'raised voices'; 'shouting'; 'berating'; 'shrieking'; 'screaming' or otherwise.)"  Dietz emphasizes that were such a disruption to have occurred, she would have heard it: "[T]he walls are thin."


Dietz, like Tillery, truly doth protest too much.

Tillery's narrative, as told to a reporter in November, 2017 and in his own complaint, was that during our meeting I "erupted in an outburst."  

Dietz not only is claiming she heard no yelling but that any "raised voices," "berating," and so forth would have attracted her attention.  And yet Dietz goes out of her way to claim not to hear anything that might be associated with one who had "erupted in an outburst," as Tillery alleged.

Tillery has offered a few different accounts of our meeting with other contradictions.  However, to this day, he has never released his contemporaneous account, though he states one exists.  The portions I gleaned from my meeting with Rinehart in 2016 were preposterous and easily falsifiable.  I believe he has withheld it because his first version of what transpired highlights his malice toward me and further reveals his lack of credibility.

4.  Tillery lied about why he wanted to change my teaching schedule. And two years later, he changed his story and told a reporter a new lie.
This is not mentioned in the email to the Faculty Senate but it is worth pointing out that there has never been any motive given as to why a student and I would simply invent independent reports that Tillery yelled and slammed a door.  (I have documentation that after our initial conversation on March 8 in the wake of the yelling and door-slamming we both had just observed, I did not speak with the student about the incident until after he was interviewed by Rinehart.)  

Initially, Tillery, Rinehart, Monoson, et al. finessed this by claiming I was psychotic and that I would frequently have "breaks with reality," and hence had imagined Tillery yelling at me when he was not.
The findings by the NU-appointed psychiatrist and letters from colleagues and students that demolished the original rationale for my making a false claim about Tillery not only left me bereft of a motive for filing a false report.  My proven sanity also meant that what I take to be the underlying reason for his meeting became a problem for Tillery et al.

Tillery when we met on March 8, 2016 told me he was changing my teaching schedule because of "Department policy" to have assistant professors teach Introductory survey courses in the fall quarter in particular.  And he told this to Rinehart, as well:  he was moving my "Introduction to Political Theory" from the Fall to the Winter quarter.  
Rinehart wrote, "Tillery again stated that the change in the teaching schedule simply would be a rotation of courses in the fall and winter quarters..."  This is correct. This is what Tillery requested when we met.  

The problem they confronted was that I showed reporters course schedules from the Department web page.  These proved that no assistant professor ever had been asked to teach an Introductory survey course in the fall quarter for as long as the Department had records on this.  I think Tillery et al. knew this all along and initially weren't worried about the falsehood being revealed because according to their original narrative I was a kooky psycho-killer and thus it would be fine to lie to me.  

What was the real reason for the request?  
According to correspondence by Chair Monoson sent in May to the Dean of Faculty, by March 8, 2016 the plan to have me removed from the Department was well along. It is more likely Tillery moving my lecture course to the winter quarter was an attempt to reduce the number of students affected by my removal in the fall.  If their plan worked, I'd be gone and they would simply cancel the winter course.  

However, once they had to dump the psycho-killer narrative, and the pretext was shown to be just that, then Tillery abandoned the story about new assistant professors needing to teach in the fall quarters and told a reporter this past spring, 2018 that he had offered me a course plan in which I would not be teaching the Introduction to Political Theory for 2016-17 at all and instead  teach "Deportation Law and Politics."  An article in the student magazine North by Northwestern that published Tillery's lies (and that later had to include more than 10 corrections online), states, "Tillery says he called Stevens into his office and offered a deal he thought she would love: trade an introductory political theory course ... for her seminar on deportation." 

Again, Tillery's own statement to Rinehart shows that he never proposed that I teach a seminar instead of the lecture class but only that the same courses be taught in different quarters and for a reason that was pretextual.  

5.  Dr. Tillery and Mr. Livid
It is true that Tillery often comes off as affable.  I myself noted this in my own report of his outburst. The generalization not only is irrelevant to his conduct on a specific afternoon, but it was wrong.  When in the summer of 2016 I  described my email to a colleague, he interrupted when I mentioned my statement about Tillery's outburst as "out of character." He said, "It's not out of character," and described a specific recent interaction that tracked the one I'd had. If the case had gone to trial, this colleague would have been deposed and his statement would be part of the record.  I am withholding this and other statements because those making them to me requested confidentiality unless the case continued and they were deposed.  There are a number of people at NU and elsewhere familiar with the players in this who would come forth and speak the truth, i.e., discredit Tillery and his pals. But the litigation has settled and I see no reason to foment more hostilities just because Tillery is a sore settler.  

6.  Tillery falsely claims I withheld objections to Rinehart until after I received the report on June 22, 2016

Tillery writes, "
Since Professor Stevens had agreed to the investigation, and even signed off on the third-party investigator that was hired by the university, Kathleen Rinehart, she was given a full copy of the report (which is attached as Appendix 2)."

Wrong again. During the interview with Rinehart I quickly realized she was not the person Stephanie Graham, NU's Deputy General Counsel, represented to me when I agreed to the investigation for purposes of obtaining indemnification against Tillery's ridiculous lawsuit.  On May 5, 2016, the very day Rinehart met with me, I wrote:
Dear Stephanie,

I want to share some concerns about my meeting this morning with Kathleen Rinehart.

I was quite surprised by the confrontational tone, and also by the fact that she met Al first. I also did not realize that she frequently works with your office. I am struggling to understand the idea of an "independent" investigation if the person has regularly employment by NU. I am not familiar with the protocols for such investigations. Perhaps this is normal. I do appreciate the fact she shared this with me but it does raise concerns for me and I wish you had let me know this when we first were making these arrangements.

I followed university policies for reporting unprofessional conduct and the email I sent to Sara and Edward do not fit the charges in letter threatening to sue me, and yet for the entire meeting she was pushing his agenda, that is, challenging that he had an outburst and that he slammed the door. My email is pretty good evidence of my state of mind and attitude about the event: I clearly said Al's outburst was out of character and that I hoped we could work it out.
By ignoring my email, Monson and Gibson violated University policy for
handling such events and, I believe, contributed to Al's anxiety that produced this demand letter, as I explained to Ms. Rinehart.

Second, I had prepared a binder with numerous documents indicating earlier
outbursts by Sara Monoson and her own effective retraction of her complaint
against me last year, after she charged at me and slammed the door in my face and then concocted for the Chair a story about feeling threatened by me, which was false and defamatory and that she herself walked away from with me personally. I did not have an opportunity to review these documents. Even though we met for almost two and a half hours, I felt that a large chunk of that was Ms. Rinehart lecturing me on defamation law and trying to persuade me to back off from my honest account of what happened. Based on this, I am very concerned about her taking this approach with the student who witnessed the event, [REDACTED}. Is it possible to record this interview? I would ask that you not share this email with Ms. Rinehart as I am concerned this might prejudice her against me.

Thank you.

Jackie
Rinehart did not record the interview with the student. And NU administrators, including Sara Monoson, repeatedly refused to allow me to record our meetings.  Anyone who is telling the truth and has the law on their side should welcome evidence of their innocence. Why are NU administrators so allergic to objective documentation?

Second, Tillery correctly points out that I agreed to the investigation on the condition that I receive a copy of the full report when it was concluded.  However, NU has refused to release to me a  "full copy of the report."  The document Tillery distributed and that I attached to my cross-complaint is an "Executive Summary," and not the full report.

Third, Tillery inaccurately claims that I failed to bring up my attacks tying my predicament in the Department to NU's military board until after the investigation.  He writes, "
Once it became clear to her that the report did not substantiate her false allegations, she began to manufacture narratives in campus and national media outlets that suggested that she was the victim of retaliation for her role in derailing the appointment of General Karl Eikenberry."  

The truth is that among the documents I brought with me to the May 5 meeting was documentation of retaliation because of my published reporting on trustees. I told Rinehart that Monoson in early fall, 2015 prevented me from running for the Faculty Senate, and that a rationale for this included telling me that my recently published article's unflattering portrait of NU would cause problems.

Of note is that the same day Monoson failed to hold the planned election for the Faculty Senate at the Department's first faculty meeting of the fall, 2015, I 
attended the Faculty Senate's first meeting of the year as an observer. The conversation on governance prompted me to raise my hand and at the very first meeting I indicated my concern about the plan by to hire Karl Eikenberry to run the Buffett Institute. The Provost's office and the Office of General Counsel send assistants to monitor these meetings and would have been on notice about my participation.

I have email from October, 2015 of Monoson informing the Secretary to the Faculty Senate that she was planning to hold an election.  Tillery later told me he and Monoson originally planned for him to take this position. The Faculty Senate requires an election and they thought it would be by acclamation.  I learned this after I expressed my interest in running and frustration that Monoson cancelled the election.  I asked Tillery in his capacity as Associate Chair to bring this matter to the attention of the Department Advisory Committee.  He refused and explained that he was close personal friends with Monoson and that he had been planning to run against me.

Monoson reneged on the proposed election and instead prevailed on an assistant professor on leave in France to continue as the Department representative, thus forcing her to attend electronically at midnight and completely isolating the Department from any discussion of matters before the Faculty Senate, including the hiring of Eikenberry. Monoson, who has never had any affiliation with the Buffett Institute, leaned into then Provost Dan Linzer's last-ditch effort to save the Eikenberry appointment and circulated a letter she drafted and was read out loud in the Faculty Senate in support of Eikenberry. Tillery and Alter were among the small number of political science faculty who signed it.  

7.  Tillery was my supervisor!
Tillery writes, "In other words, what is the incentive for victims—particularly those at lower ranks than their abusers—to take part in your investigations, when there are no guarantees from the university that they will be protected and that abusers will be punished?"  I read this and my jaw dropped.  What abuse?  And second, far from being my subordinate, Tillery was the Associate Chair and, as he stated in his lawsuit against me my supervisor: "From September 2015 to present, Dr. Tillery supervised the Defendant within the Department" (26).  He was the one determining my teaching schedule, not vice-versa.  He participated in having me banned from campus and then sued me!  My lawsuit against him was over a year later and in the form of counter-claims.

Tillery last year became the founding director of the Center on Diversity and Democracy housed within the Political Science Department. (Anyone who wants evidence on the corrosive effects of corporate branding on the agendas for race scholarship should check out the website.)  The Center's seed funding was from Weinberg College.  I assume Tillery controls the budget and thus has attracted more resources to his cause than most of our colleagues in the Department. 

In short, Tillery imputes I have power over him because I am a Full Professor and he is an Associate Professor.  The truth is that I never have had any supervisory authority over Tillery or any other faculty.  Tillery, however, not only supervised me, he also prevailed on an Assistant Professor to sign an affidavit testifying to Tillery's "integrity."  If you are having a junior faculty member sign an affidavit in a messy public dispute and it has so little probative value that your attorney does not actually file it, but you circulate it anyway, the adjective that come to mind is not "integrity." 

8.  Tillery embodies thoughtless, anti-critical "diversity" corporate branding

Tillery appears to take umbrage at the difference between Tillery's race and that of the President of the Faculty Senate, who was one member of several independent bodies that reviewed these events and the dynamics of the Political Science Department.  Relatedly, Tillery's email asks, "Finally, how will you make sure that your investigative committees will have the appropriate diversity to guarantee that persons who occupy marginalized positions within our community are not quickly misjudged, dismissed or simply ignored by your fact-finding committees. [sic]"  

First, what exactly is Tillery's "marginalized position within our community"? Tillery is a tenured faculty member who directs a research center in a large department and was part of the department's leadership.  Here's how he introduces himself on the Center's web page: "Associate Professor Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. travels throughout the United States, talking to universities and companies on issues of diversity. He is a frequent commentator on diversity issues in the national media."  

What "diversity" does Tillery believe "appropriate" for investigating a dispute over whether someone yelled and slammed a door? Does Tillery mean that the committee should have included physicists? Psychics? Past Presidents of the Society for Creative Anachronism?  Seems doubtful. What Tillery calls "appropriate diversity" appears to mean, "Hey, where are the African-American, straight, male faculty like me?" i.e., people who share his (reductionist understanding of ) identity, a concept at the core of his Center's research mission, one seemingly unaffected by decades of critical theory, including critical race theory.

Also, what do we make of the fact that the individuals he has singled out by name as supporting him are all White?: Alter (White); Chase-Lansdale (White); Dietz (White); Krcmaric (White); Randolph (White); Rinehart, the lead administrative investigator (White); and the graduate student (White).  Meanwhile, Tillery seems also to be criticizing the Office of General Counsel, headed by Philip Harris (African-American).   Harris is spectacularly unqualified to run this office, not because of his race but because of profound conflicts between what's good for the Crown family, General Dynamics, and Jenner and Block (the law firm where Harris was a partner and that has a revolving door with the Crown family's General Dynamics) and the interests of higher education.  

Tillery produces zero evidence of racism in the handling of his case.  What sort of social scientist plays the "diversity" card when he dislikes the findings of some White colleagues while trotting out the views of other equally if not especially White colleagues to claim he is a victim?  And of course what about the many other "diverse" colleagues who do not believe Tillery and find his profile advertising his expertise on "diversity" to corporations an embarrassment?     
Questioning Tillery for dressing up old-fashioned identity politics through the paradigm of "diversity" does not mean one believes we inhabit a post-racial society.  Especially if one cares about race and racism, and the obscene concentration of unearned wealth among Chicago's plutocrats and kleptocrats who use patronage and non-profits to thwart meaningful redistribution of their ill-begotten assets and have eviscerated Chicago's public sector, then the "diversity" euphemism for distributive/patronage identity politics requires a rebuke and has received it from many quarters, not just this one.  

Tillery's own "diversity" branding might earn him a research budget and promotions.  It will not deter NU trustee J.B. Pritzker from selecting the so-called "least offensive African-American," as occurred when Pritzker urged
then Governor Rod Blagojevich to pick Jesse Owens for Obama's then vacant Senate seat.  Those of you who followed the Illinois primary know that Pritzker, an important boss at the University that employs Tillery, advised that the appointment "covers you on the African-American thing" and would open up to a White person the position of Secretary of State ("the key spot...that controls jobs, etc.," Pritzker said).

Some campaign workers and politicians were aghast and resigned in anger from Pritzker's gubernatorial campaign when the recording was released.  Others stayed on, including those tied to Chicago's, and thus NU's, power elite.  Again, Pritzker is an NU trustee and therefore among a small group of people hiring the leadership of this university in particular. Pritzker's comments motivate important albeit awkward questions about administrative hires at all levels in the institution he helps run and the "diversity" implemented under Pritzker's leadership.

I am not saying that Pritzker's minions hiring sexual minorities, people of color, or Goths to positions of leadership at NU are less likely to offend Pritzker than anyone else.  I have enormous respect and appreciation for colleagues of all sorts of backgrounds and expertise who through their service administer policies and run programs at NU and do my best to insure these colleagues are aware of this.  

I am saying that appointments based only on crude demographics will not produce meaningful diversity and the flourishing of an independent and confident faculty necessary to cultivate the love of knowledge and collective intelligence our world needs to locate and unsnarl knots of  injustice the Pritzkers, Crowns, and other leaders of NU create.  As long as those motivated by avarice, especially the profits of war, are controlling the faculty and devoting enormous resources to centers of commerce, engineering, and propaganda, and as long as those in other parts of the university stay in our safe silos where we may accrue professional accolades independent of producing genuine knowledge, we will continue to reproduce the idiocracy that is not just manifest in the Tillery debacle at NU -- on which I blame the trustees and Philip Harris -- but events far more reaching and of much greater magnitude, for which these same parties are responsible.