Last week I
went to the mandatory four-hour "fitness for duty" interview Dean
Adrian Randolph required out of his concern for my
"conduct, well-being [!]and [my] ability to continue to perform [my]
duties as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science"
(Letter from Randolph to Stevens, July 28, 2016).
One of the cognitive tests required me to spell "world" in reverse
order. (In a novel this couldn't happen: performing
their world backwards to prove my sanity? Really? Way too obvious.)
Below is an update on my banishment, discoveries about NU's
undercover police operations during my visit last week, and the key
documents created to banish me for my academic speech and publications,
including the blatant retalation for reporting on Alvin
outburst, as well as conduct by Chair Sara
Monoson, Jim Farr (former chair), Mary Dietz (Farr's wife),
Karen Alter. (The records I now have indicate Alter baselessly using me as a scapegoat for the poor outcomes of her
unprecedented and unprofessional actions.)
A colleague from New Zealand also recently underwent a similar
ordeal at the hands of colleagues who, like mine, imagine they belong
to a club whose membership requires conformity to autocratic norms.
Such individuals are hostile to those of us struggling to
maintain the elusive norms of a meritocracy whose self-governance
and candor. Statistician Petros Hadjicostas shares my belief
transparency and joins me in releasing the records of his absurd review
undertaken by the Pro Vice-Chancellor at Victoria
University in Wellington, New Zealand.
common theme from these reports, one that emerges from the recent
literature on "mobbing,"
is that meglomaniac control-freaks who confuse department service with
unaccountable power will target critics and then claim those calling
attention to abuses of authority are "bullies."
Brand NU World from Evanston, Illinois to Wellington, New Zealand
misconduct is tolerated as a means of cementing conformity and
critics are banished, meritocracy and faculty self-governance
It is Monday afternoon, September 19, 2016 and my students and I have no idea if
I'm teaching a course from 2 to 5 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016.
On Tuesday, September 13 from 2 to 6 pm in a Streeterville office a few floors down from NU's Office of General
Counsel I answered questions as to whether I had any intense
phobias, say in response to snakes or spiders, consorted with
criminals, owned a gun, shot a gun, and did I know the name for "this
thing" at the tip of shoe laces. (Aglets, they're called;
and no, I didn't--the query was to distract me for an appropriate
amount of time before I was asked to recall the three words stated to me earlier:
apple, table, pencil, or at least six days later that's what I recollect.)
Doing poorly on such a "risk assessment" requires having certain attributes I do
not possess -- and I was able to name the President of the United
the Vice President, and the Governor of Illinois (but not the
Lieutenant Governor, whom apparently no one knows). Thus I
am cautiously optimistic that the psychiatrist will produce
findings consistent with my returning to my department and my students.
(Once you read Kathleen Rinehart's decidely non-independent report,
you'll see why I'm cautious.)
That said, in the Brand NU D-L-R-O-W sanity and fitness are whatever
Provost Dan Linzer and J.D.s Philip Harris, Stephanie
and the hired help say they are, and
whenever they say so. Graham told my attorney NU had no
protocols for responding to the report findings and the psychiatrist
told me that unless the case goes to court, I would not be able to read
his evaluation. He also said he wasn't sure when he would be
able to submit it; and I needed to take a personality test, still being scheduled, before it
could be final. (The delay is all the responsiblity of NU's
attorneys, not the psychiatrist.)
Friday morning, September 16, Randolph sent an email stating that
because of under-enrollment he was cancelling an upper-division seminar
I was scheduled to teach. He also offered to cancel the
second course (Deportation Law and Politics) "under the circumstances."
I replied that of course I wanted to teach.
(The course with no enrollment was an upper
division "topics" pro-seminar Tillery swapped for the
course I'd been
scheduled to teach. Randolph had required me to
clear each and every email involving students and he never authorized
or even replied to my request to circulate the seminar title and
course description in
the late summer, information that students need and in the past has
elicited enrollments. Randolph's default is to ignore my queries, most
recently about Monoson removing me from the department list serve.
At present I am receiving no department email and thus for no
cause stated to me deprived of various research and teaching
opportunities as well as needed information on talks and meetings at NU
The Return to Campus
"She Didn't Stab Me Last Year..."
I had been trying to organize a visit to pick up stuff from my own office
for over a week. Finally, at
3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Weinberg College Human Resources Manager Bethany
Smith called and
asked if I was available at 5:30 pm.
Smith was a good company
woman and dutifully wrote a memorandum reinforcing the "she's crazy"
narrative: "In our second meeting, Jackie stated that the University's
civility policy rewards those who act duplicitously. She
stated it as a fact and in the midst of making another point.
She did not say it as a challenge to me or to seek my
reaction. In summary, her demeanor and statements at our two
meetings were highly unusual. In seventeen years of meeting
with employees, I cannot recall another person who reacted to the
situation in the ways that she did. She clearly believes the
statements she's making but those statements do not seem logical or
rational" (Smith to Adrian Randolph, email, May 26, 2016).
In light of how difficult it had been to procure even that offer, I
dropped everything, grabbed a small black suitcase, jumped on the CTA
train to Evanston and headed over to Smith's office in the Weinberg
College Dean's building.
A colleague was meeting me and as I waited outside a student,
beaming, approached to say hello. I didn't want to alarm him,
but under the terms of the banishment, I was prohibited from any
conversation. "I'm so sorry, but I can't talk to you," I
I'm standing there. He's standing there. It's a lovely late
afternoon in Evanston as students are reorienting themselves and the
enthusiasm over a fresh start among old friends is in the air.
really wanted to talk and catch up. But the people he was
paying for my
salary were telling us we couldn't. I was nervously looking
for my colleague so we could go inside. The student said, "I just
wanted to see how things were going. Good luck, I hope it all works
out," as though he needed to apologize for violating Randolph's ban.
I felt awful.
Right after that, Smith herself emerged from inside the building, just
as my colleague also was approaching. The three of
us walked over to my office in Scott Hall. Inside my office
he told me that at least it was just Smith, and no armed guard, as had
been stationed during Rinehart's interview with me. But then, while waiting for
me in the hall my colleague confirmed that there was indeed an
undercover cop on the 3d floor
lounge, just down the hall. (The janitor referenced her friend walking
by, "la policia," and my colleague heard the cop telling the janitor
not to talk to her.)
The best part was when I was saying goodbye to my guardian colleague,
about to board the campus shuttle -- I know, right, I'm such a
menace but they'll let me on the NU bus?-- a second student
ran toward me, her arms open to give me a hug. I
backed away and my colleague and I were telling the student that
prevented me from any contact. She got it and said to my
colleague, "You mean I can't even give her a hug? She didn't
stab me last year. Why would she stab me this year?" She
left telling my colleague, "Tell her I just wanted to give her a hug
and that I hope she's safe."
The student's comfort with me, based on my not stabbing her last year,
in a nutshell is what NU's paying the psychiatrist to tell them.
Seems like Alvin-"[Office shootings]
happens-all-over-the-country" Tillery and his deluded consorts might
want to sign up for a statistics course taught by this sophomore.
1) Stevens letter to Adrian Randolph, May 13, 2016
(protesting Monoson's revocation of Farrell Funds, hiding student applications, telling staff to lie).
letter from Adrian Randolph to Jacqueline Stevens,
(sent by pdf on July 29, 2016).
Randolph composed this the day after my attorney Rima Kapitan left a
voice mail message for NU attorney Stephanie Graham, to follow up on
Randolph's restrictions on my research funds.
The letter came in the midst of my ongoing collaborations with
students, of which Randolph was well aware and long after the events of
March; Tillery's alleged office change in April; and Rinehart's
interview of me in May, with the armed guard nearby.
3) E-mail from Hank
Seifert to Jacqueline Stevens May 3, 2016
indicating The Graduate School had "no records of you at [The Graduate
School] that are in any way negative." (One detail I
can reveal without violating any privacy records laws is that
a student research assistant encountered a
scratch grade sheet in my office after classes ended and shared her
impression of this with other students enrolled in the course.)
indemnification report, written by Kathleen
Rinehart June 22, 2016
, sent to me under a cover of a letter by NU attorney Stephanie Graham on July 29, 2016.
5) Sworn statement by undergraduate who heard Tillery
yelling and slamming the door and who reported
this to Rinehart
Rinehart disregards this. And she mischaracterizes the
conversation in my office. The undergraduate already clearly had
indicated by his response in the hall--getting up, walking toward me,
initiating the conversation by asking if I was okay and what
happened--that he heard Tillery yelling. I later asked him to
memorialize what he saw (nothing, it turns out) and heard (enough to
show Tillery lied) because Monoson had lied about her yelling last year
and I was trying to avoid a repeat performance by her good friend
Tillery, who was well-aware of what had transpired then. (The
grad student not hearing Tillery does not prove anything. My
office is not immediately adjacent Tillery's and the door was barely
ajar; it also is consistent with the fact I need to do something about
the ridiculously loud air vent running above the tiled celing.)
a) There are no specific claims informing allegations that individuals "feel unsafe." The underlying events include
perfectly normal actions and frictions typical of any
department; it was only my persistent and effective criticisms of NU,
and the promise of more to come (NU was receiving copies of FOIA
requests for their government contracts), that led administrators to
take an unprecedented interest in grievances normally found laughable .
b) There is no specific number provided for faculty interviewed.
"A number"--Rinehart's phrase -- could be two. I
was not given an opportunity to advise Rinehart on interviewing people
who would reveal a very different perspective on claims by Monoson and
Tillery, as well as Alter, Dietz, and Farr.
c) Faculty on the hall were not sure if they were in their
offices when Tillery was yelling at me.
d) Tillery's order for me to change my teaching was not requested by the third party; his
rationale was illogical; and thus, this alleged benefit has
never been sought nor conferred in the history of the department,
including next year, with the exception of this one course change.
It appears the change was to effect a plan Monoson herself
states was underway "since early this year [2015-16]." which was to
remove me from campus by the fall, 2016. A large lecture
course would be more difficult to cancel than the seminars to which
Tillery moved me.
e) Rinehart has represented Northwestern University in
litigation and is not a "third-party" consultant, as her
report's self-description misleadingly indicates. She was a hired
hand who was clearly
on a mission.
does not reference any of the copious documents I shared with her that
documented Tillery and Monoson lying to me, including about why Monoson
cancelled the Faculty Senate election. (In fact the one-sided
nature of both hers and Randolph's letter--though both possessed the
May 13 letter above as well as numerous favorable comments from
students about their classroom and research experiences with me--proves
theirs were pseudo-inquiries and the results foreordained by the OGC
and their bosses.)
f) The letter banning me was not preceded by any of the procedural protections the Faculty Handbook guarantees.
g) Tillery and Monoson are accusing me of being a conspiracy
theorist and so forth. But of course they are not denying the facts
they themselves put in the record indicating: they
were secretly plotting my ouster long before March 8,
2016; Monoson cancelled the Faculty Senate election once she
was challenging Tillery for the position of
representative; Monoson told staff to lie to me about
student Farrell applications; Monoson herself lied to me about
communications with Weinberg and the basis for cutting off support to
undergraduate research assistants; Monoson et al. have provided no
specific complaints about specific behaviors (save the laughable one
about my alleged "break from reality"); and Monoson did indeed
coordinate closely with Linzer in their failed effort to save the Eikenberry
Especially insofar as Monoson is claiming
she cared little about the Eikenberry appointment, Monoson's
April dedication to Linzer's cause reveals her unprincipled
please her boss, who cared a great deal about Eikenberry and pleasing
the Board of Trustees. In banning me she and Linzer found a
objective in the elimination of someone uncomfortable by decisions
based on patronage, including that of military contractors.
The report claims I was single-handedly responsible for
department business to a halt. That's new to me and to my department
colleagues with whom I've discussed this allegation. If
anyone single-handedly did this it was Monoson, who couldn't focus on
her own work and instead with Linzer and NU's OGC perpetrated
mega-aggressions against my students and me.
B. [UPDATE 11/2/2016 - Related narrative posted 9/19/2016 by
request of colleague in similar situation at another university;
removed by his request today.]
On occasion I hear about
the speculations from that guy in the University of Chicago
Philosophy Department. If he bothered to
fact-check my views on Title IX, he'd discover that his gleeful crowing
the ironies of my being banished after my role in having Peter Ludlow
fired is way
I played no active role in advocating for the student until after I sat
with her for a two-hour interview by a Chicago police officer, who was
appalled that Northwestern itself did not report the allegations a year
earlier. It was obvious that the officer found the student
credible and Northwestern remiss for not insuring a criminal
investigation of her allegations against Peter Ludlow when NU first
interviewed the student one year earlier.
Since then I learned of
several other incidents involving faculty assaulting students (one was
a social scientist and he did this to more than one student) and
that NU's administration hid these episodes.
Kipnis and my wonderful colleagues in the 2015 Title IX
Sexuality Studies Workshop can attest, my main criticism of NU is not
it does a poor job enforcing Title IX, but rather that
to report each and every time a faculty member is accused
of threatening or assaulting a student--I do not
"sexual" from other aggressive activity-- NU fraudulently
lulls students into
trusting guys like, for instance, Peter Ludlow, in a way they would
never trust any other
old man they might encounter, say on the bar stool next to them.
Skeezy Dude on Bar Stool would not have gotten
anywhere with these young women, whereas the "Northwestern Professor" (especially with NU hiding what these folks are really up to) at
least has a shot.
When a student staggering home after a party has his I-Phone
swiped we all get campus alerts -- not when the alleged perpetrator is
convicted, but in real-time, without identities being revealed.
If NU did likewise for professor and student alleged
perpetrators the NU community would have the information we need to be
appropriately cautious, including around faculty, without
having to turn to NU's incompetent
and sadistic administrators.
now NU does the opposite.
Instead of classifying complaints to NU's police as crimes,
they are reported as "Personal Encounters," not reported per the Cleary
Act, and referred for follow up to administrators and not police
investigators. (I can see from NU's police blotter that a
of the campus community who was being stalked last year, a violation of
IL criminal code, had his report entered into the police log as "Personal
Encounter," not Stalking, and the investigation referred to a dean, not a police officer.
Turns out it was the alleged perpetrator's second Stalking
referral to that same dean.)
the Brand NU World, allegations consistent with stalking go
uninvestigated, while scholars who point this out must be banished.