Brand NU D-L-R-O-W

Updates and Official Banishment Documents

September 19, 2016

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 Tillery's outburst, as well as conduct by Chair Sara Monoson, Jim Farr (former chair), Mary Dietz (Farr's wife), and 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 demands integrity and candor.  Statistician Petros Hadjicostas shares my belief in 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.  

A 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."  In the Brand NU World from Evanston, Illinois to Wellington, New Zealand misconduct is tolerated as a means of cementing conformity and patronage, and critics are banished, meritocracy and faculty self-governance be damned.

Current Status

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 States, 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 Graham 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 and beyond.)

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 said.  

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. We both 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 the ban 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.

The Documents

A.  Stevens

1) Stevens letter to Adrian Randolph, May 13, 2016 (protesting Monoson's revocation of Farrell Funds, hiding student applications, telling staff to lie).

2)  Ban letter from Adrian Randolph to Jacqueline Stevens, July 28, 2016 (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.)

4)  Partial 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.)

Please note:
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.  She 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 learned I 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 her 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 appointment.  

Especially insofar as Monoson is claiming she cared little about the Eikenberry appointment, Monoson's April dedication to Linzer's cause reveals her unprincipled inclinations to please her boss, who cared a great deal about Eikenberry and pleasing the Board of Trustees.  In banning me she and Linzer found a mutual objective in the elimination of someone uncomfortable by decisions based on patronage, including that of military contractors.

h)  The report claims I was single-handedly responsible for bringing 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 about the ironies of my being banished after my role in having Peter Ludlow fired is way off.  

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.

As Laura Kipnis and my wonderful colleagues in the 2015 Title IX Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop can attest, my main criticism of NU is not that it does a poor job enforcing Title IX, but rather that by failing to report each and every time a faculty member is accused of threatening or assaulting a student--I do not carve out "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 strange 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 more appropriately cautious, including around faculty, without having to turn to NU's incompetent and sadistic administrators.
Right 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 member 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.)

In the Brand NU World, allegations consistent with stalking go uninvestigated, while scholars who point this out must be banished.