Yesterday, I posted on The Marketing of Misinformation: UW-Whitewater’s Use of a Counterfeit ‘Campus Safety’ Study. Today, here is a look at some of the university administration’s talking points in response to long-standing acts of sexual harassment and assault on campus. (They’re from the new university chancellor’s recorded interview with a local newspaper.)
From the video at 3:02:
So, I said when it comes to that situation [former chancellor Beverly Kopper’s failures as chancellor] it was situational it was not systemic. What happened in the past is a private and personal situation.
This is fundamentally mistaken. Kopper’s administrative failures of oversight and care for her own campus community were not private matters, they were public ones. Pete Hill [Kopper’s husband] was no ordinary, unconnected spouse: he was 1) appointed publicly 2) by this chancellor, Beverly Kopper 3) to attend public events 4) present often in chancellor’s office and 5) about whom the chancellor kept investigations secret for months despite knowing of harassment and assault allegations against Hill. See No Ordinary, Unconnected Spouse: Public officials’ use of family appointees.
See also Journal Sentinel: UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband banned from campus after sexual harassment investigation, Questions Concerning a Ban on the UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Husband After a Sexual Harassment Investigation, Chancellor Kopper Should Resign, A fifth woman publicly accuses UW-Whitewater chancellor’s husband of sexual harassment, The UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Lack of Individual Regard, No Ordinary, Unconnected Spouse: Public officials’ use of family appointees, An Example of Old Whitewater’s Deficient Reasoning, The Principle of Diversity Rests on Individual Rights, Another ‘Advisory Council’ Isn’t What Whitewater Needs, A Defense That’s Worse Than Nothing, and 0, 448, 476, 84.
Regrettably, there’s an entire category at FREE WHITEWATER addressing assault awareness and prevention that establishes these failures have been systemic, and that chronicles even earlier acts of misconduct & obstruction.
From the video at 3:16:
It has been dealt with.
It’s only been dealt with if one defines the past tense dealt as encompassing possibilities that include doing nothing whatever for many people who have been injured on campus.
From the video at 3:19:
When it comes to the [former] chancellor working here at the institution, she has tenure within the psychology department, it’s a part of her contracted right to teach within her tenured department, and I’m glad she’s on board.
To have said in August that one was glad that Kopper would be on board is at best misguided, and at worst…something much worse.
And yet, one now reads (as one very well knew would prove true) that Kopper will not be teaching this fall, but is on paid leave. However disagreeable it is that she’s still being paid, it’s better (as both an ethical and a legal matter) that she’s not on campus in any capacity.
As for a contractual right of teaching implicitly superseding the ethical and moral obligations toward students and employees who have been injured: if that were true – as either a moral or legal matter – then anti-harassment laws would be unenforceable against anyone with a contract.
For the administrative officials at Hyer Hall, thin talking points cannot be – and so will not be – enough.