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At UW-Whitewater, Beverly Kopper’s Tenure Was about More than Beverly Kopper

Former UW-Whitewater chancellor Beverly Kopper was on leave – apparently for part of that time under federal or state medical leave act provisions – before her resignation from UW-Whitewater.

I’ll not speculate about the circumstances under which she claimed leave under the law.

There’s another matter that requires attention.

There’s talk at UW-Whitewater these days about speaking one’s truth. In that spirit, a bit of truth – not mine alone, but an objective truth: Kopper’s time as chancellor involved more than Kopper, herself – it involved an entire campus, and particularly and notably those who were injured in repeated instances of sexual harassment or assault.

See a collection posts on Kopper’s time at UW-Whitewater

6 comments for “At UW-Whitewater, Beverly Kopper’s Tenure Was about More than Beverly Kopper

  1. Cathy
    02/05/2020 at 12:00 PM

    THis is a totally necessary reminder. News isn’t all about her. Thanks.

  2. sh
    02/05/2020 at 1:04 PM

    objective truth. so old school it’s new school. i like it.

  3. J
    02/05/2020 at 1:38 PM

    Missed this when I saw the school administrator search. The newspaper story talks about harassment but the Whitewater Banner doesn’t mention that context. Maybe they think it’s obvious but multiple harassments should not be left out. I have to say a smiling photo of Beverly isn’t the first thing someone should be seeing. Totally agree with your re-direction of the topic.

    • JOHN ADAMS
      02/05/2020 at 1:54 PM

      There is a difference between aggregation and curation. That smiling photo is an editorial choice, and a notably poor one. Others are free to write as they wish; some of those choices merit a response.

  4. Stephanie Vander Pas
    02/05/2020 at 1:39 PM

    Speaking the truth was not met with kindness by UW-Whitewater when I did it. Still nobody has acknowledged me or any of the other women, but when I was winning piles of awards as an undergraduate, they were happy to acknowledge me in fundraising emails and alumni magazines. Even now, I am afraid of campus because my legacy is my sexual assault. Last semester, they hung her portrait in the same building where my name is engraved on a wall for all the work I did as an undergraduate and it felt like they were pouring salt into my wounds.

    It’s always about Bev, though. It always will be about Bev. The school would do well to offer an apology for these last several years. They would do well to offer up their counseling services because it is expensive to get the treatment one needs after what Alan Hill and Beverly Kopper do your life.

    I’m back in town now and there isn’t a day that goes by somebody doesn’t ask me about them. I will pay for telling the truth for a very long time. And nobody needs to pity me, but they sure as hell could admit what Beverly Kopper left in her wake.

    • JOHN ADAMS
      02/05/2020 at 2:22 PM

      Good afternoon, Stephanie. Welcome back to town. There are some portraits that should not be displayed; honoring anyone diminishes honor. An environment without apology – but with selective truth – isn’t a well-ordered one. An honest admission, a genuine acknowledgement, is the least – not everything, of course, but merely the very least – that a well-ordered society should expect of its leaders.

      As for legacies, I’ll answer from my own perspective. Having written of Whitewater these many years, and being familiar with public life in this city, it seems to me that any discerning person would see in you, first and foremost, both powerful intellect and formidable character.

      My best to you, as always,

      Adams