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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jordan Invites Himself to be Keynote Speaker

The Davila Administration at Gallaudet has decided to allow former Gallaudet President Irving Jordan to speak as a keynote speaker at the upcoming "150 Years at Kendall Green" conference at Gallaudet on April 12, 2007.

The conference was organized during the Jordan administration last year. Jordan chose to invite himself as a speaker and make himself a keynote presenter.


Thursday, April 12
9:00-10:00 KEYNOTE #2

DPN and the Evolution of the Gallaudet Presidency- I. King Jordan, President Emeritus, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.


During an interview in 1998, Jordan expressed approval of the campus lockdown during the Deaf President Now (DPN) protest that led to his presidency. In the interview, Jordan said that everything that happened during the DPN protest was "perfect" and that he would not have changed anything about DPN.


In the 1998 interview, Jordan supported the idea that the deaf community possesses a moral veto power over the decisions of the Gallaudet board:

Jordan: "Protest is appropriate when all of the other options have failed, and people did try and work at rallies, wrote letters. They met with board members. All of those things failed. Then the wrong decision was made. It was appropriate to protest."

On Monday, October 16, 2006, three days after Jordan arrested more than 130 Gallaudet students and protesters, the Gallaudet University Faculty voted "no confidence" in Jordan and also passed a resolution in support of the students' First Amendment rights and in support of the recent campus lockdown and takeover of the Hall Memorial Building:

QUOTING University Faculty Resolution #4:

Whereas the protestors have shown respect for the property of the university, insofar as they have tried diligently to avoid property damage during the takeover of HMB and the lockdown of the campus,

Be it resolved that there be no reprisals against any member of the community, including students, staff, faculty, Clerc Center teachers and staff, Trustees and alumni for their support of or dissent from the current protests.

133 Ayes
15 Nays
0 Abstentions
Resolution Passed


The recent Unity for Gallaudet (UFG) protest movement in 2006 showed exact parallels to the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement of 1988.

QUOTING Gallaudet Professor Robert E. Johnson:

From my perspective as a cultural analyst, the similarities could not be more striking. It is true, that the Unity for Gallaudet movement is not just about having a president who is deaf, but neither was DPN, really. Both are about deaf emancipation and self-determination. In my view, the DPN movement was simply the first step. At that time it was necessary and sufficient in identifying acceptable characteristics of a President of Gallaudet University to define deaf as not being able to hear. That still is a necessary condition. The sufficiency condition has changed, and deaf people want the Presidency to reflect their voice.


The press coverage of the Unity for Gallaudet protest was overwhelmingly positive (the corrupt Washington Post pseudo-editorials notwithstanding). See:

See also:

The positive coverage in the media, and the incredible success of the the UFG march to the Capitol of Saturday, October 21, 2006, represents a complete and total moral victory for the deaf community and the Unity for Gallaudet protesters in their rightful decision to overrule the Gallaudet Board's initial decision of May 1, 2006 to hire Fernandes as the Ninth President.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very awkward! I also think it's wrong of Gallaudet University to allow it out of professional courtesy.

March 20, 2007 at 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy IKJ invited himself to give a presenation... I do not think it is not a very good time for us to have him at Gallaudet campus because we are still not healing 100% yet until we get new permament Gallaudet President.

Can IKJ think more carefully and be caring for us, as I'm sure he doesn't care about what he did to Gallaudet and Deaf community.

He has not apoloized to anyone who got arrested by his order, which was a terrible thing to do during his presidency. There were no people arrested during DPN in '88, so why do we want IKJ to return to Gallaudet?

Please tell IKJ not to come to Gallaudet and leave us alone.


March 20, 2007 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan was invited; he didn't "invite himself." He was also asked to present one of the keynote speeches BEFORE the Tent City Protests of 2006 happened. Next time get your story straight before you blather about it.

As for Jordan's presence, my understanding is he will be speaking about the 1988 DPN protest. Whether you like it or not, he is a part of Deaf history, and the DPN protest is a story he's definitely familiar with.

Rather than draw negative attention to the conference as a whole, I'd like to see you say something positive for a change; the conference will be drawing dozens of scholars, and a number of very well-known historians in Deaf history will be presenting. It'd be nice if you acknowledged that, instead of seizing upon the conference as part of your overall attacks on Jordan.


Come on, David. Jordan was President of Gallaudet University when this conference was created and scheduled. Any staff person making up the schedule was acting as a member of the Jordan Administration and that constitutes Jordan inviting himself, no matter how you look at it.

Like it or not, Jordan's nefarious actions have warranted his being put on the ash heap of deaf history. He is a proven liar (when he said there was no leadership crisis at Gallaudet) and he does not deserve a place at the podium at any respectable academic conference.

March 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. King Jordan is no longer popular among Gallaudetians. He has done enough damage towards students that horrible memories are embedded within their minds forever.

What is Dr. Davila is thinking? Jordan has done enough damage and now he is on campus . How can the healing process start while his face is around?


March 20, 2007 at 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing: I noticed you still aren't willing to say anything positive, or acknowledge that this conference will benefit the community overall, regardless of one individual's presence. Even if Jordan deviates from the topic (which I sincerely hope he doesn't! We don't need any more vitriol), the majority of presenters and attendees will be examining/discussing some very interesting topics/subjects.

But perhaps you aren't capable of saying something positive that isn't ultimately weighed down by attacks and screeds...?

March 20, 2007 at 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assigning places in Deaf history does not mean cherry-picking what you like and don't like; the same is true of history in general. You have to take it as a whole. Like it or not, I. King Jordan is a part of Deaf history. So your argument is disingenuous at best. You can view him as being on the "ash-heap" of Deaf history, and that's ok-- that's your personal opinion. But he's a part of that history, whether he's a shining paragon or part of the "ash-heap." To pretend otherwise is to make a mockery of history and the lessons we can learn from it.

As for the invitation-- he would have been invited to ATTEND the conference as president, but that doesn't necessarily translate into being asked to do a keynote speech. I'd love to see what evidence you have that he "invited himself." I'm betting you can't come up with concrete proof. Or perhaps you'll ask me to take this to a private level yet again, out of sight of the public, so I can know the "true story." You'd have far more credibility if you backed up your public statements with readily available evidence.


Come on, David. You are person who is doing the cherry picking and trying to dance around the issue. You are living in a fantasy land if you think that Dr. Davila would think it's a good idea to invite Jordan to be a keynote speaker at the conference.

It's time for you to get real and get out of the denial stage. YOU are the person who is being counterproductive and negative. We are simply being realists.

Jordan has to exit the stage of Gallaudet's history. His time has expired. He *is* on the ash heap. That's a simple fact that has nothing to do with anyone's personal opinion.

March 20, 2007 at 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am concerned about your obsession with Jordan and how your anger feeding your obsession. Take a break and learn to forgive and move on to betterment live for Deaf community.

It is ok for people to support Jordan. It is ok for some people want to move on but do not support Jordan. It is ok for people to forgive Jordan but not to forget what happened.

It is ok for people disagreeing with your approach but dont assume them that they support Jordan.

Do you realize that Deaf people work at National institutes of health, US ARMY Research Laboratory, other organizations that you mention. What are you trying to imply?



Hi Aidan,

We already said some really conciliatory things about Jordan in the early stages of the protest and gave him a chance to redeem himself, but Jordan went to the extreme and took actions which put the future well being of Gallaudet in jeopardy. He deserves to have his emeritus status removed and he should be banned from returning to Gallaudet. Hopefully, that will happen in the future. That's what would be in the best interest of Gallaudet.

Jordan has never apologized or admitted that he committed wrong actions regarding the recent protest. He is pretending that he never did anything wrong, so the issue of forgiveness shouldn't even be on the table at this point.

March 20, 2007 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan Invites Himself to be Keynote Speaker

Oh my GOD. Now, there's a recipe for brilliant serenity and success.

What a knob that guy can be.

I really dread this -- I imagine that Davila is trying to reach out and act as a uniter, but it's gonna backfire. Jordan is going to be his typical deliberately inflammatory and despotic self, and Davila is going to stain himself by trying to find amiddle ground and ending up having to sort of defend him.

God, why can't Jordan just retire, wear ugly shorts, and go play golf like every other retired bureaucrat on the planet? Why does he have to keep poking the anthill like this? WTF is his problem?

March 20, 2007 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really aren't very good at logical arguments, or admitting that perhaps your vendetta against Jordan has made you so emotional that your mind is clouded, hm?

The conference has nothing to do with Davila OR Jordan; you are pretending with this post and your subsequent comments/responses that it IS all about Jordan, which I find dishonest and disingenuous.

You are tarring a legitimate conference with negative remarks about ONE individual without having anything positive to say about the conference itself. If there's anything "counterproductive" here, it's your post and your statements thus far.

Davila had NOTHING to do with who was invited, or why, or the organization of the conference itself. Davila, like most sane people, would not micromanage to that level. You're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

I find it disturbing that you're willing to attack a speaker and a topic at an event that hasn't even happened yet. If Jordan was slated to speak about the recent protest, I'd probably agree with you. If Jordan deviates from the topic and uses his time at the podium to present his views along the same lines as his Op-Ed earlier this year, I will be extremely disgusted and disappointed with Jordan.

As it is, you're attacking a scholarly conference merely because Jordan will be speaking there. Is it your plan to attack ALL forums in which Jordan participates? If so, that's not only an attack on his right to free speech, but lowers you to the level you claim Jordan and his associates are at now.

You still haven't addressed my questions. Let's go over them again, and since you don't seem to be able to follow me very well, I'll number them for you, and make it very simple.

1) Why not focus on the positive aspects of this conference, and what it means to to the community at large? Why drag your vendetta against Jordan into this? Are you incapable of saying anything positive?

2)What concrete evidence do you have that Jordan "invited himself"? If you can't back this up, why even make such a statement in the first place?

3) Jordan is giving a keynote speech at an ACADEMIC conference on a historical event in which he had a major role. Why is it wrong for him to do so?

He is a part of Deaf history, whether anyone likes it or not. Regardless of his term as President and his subsequent actions during 2006, you cannot pretend that Jordan isn't part of our history, or pretend that nothing happened between 1988 and 2006. So what is there about that that I would be "cherry-picking"?

Personally, I agree with Aidan. It's time for you to realize the protest is OVER. If you have concrete evidence of wrongdoing by Jordan, or a LOGICAL argument against his statements/actions, then by all means share that. But for you to go around spouting the things you have been, then refusing to back them up, is a waste of your time, energies, and abilities, and does nothing to bolster your credibility.

March 20, 2007 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues said...


We're not going to let you take over this blog by trying to change the subject and shoot the messenger. We never attacked the conference itself. With the exception of Jordan's participation, it seems to be a very fine idea. We hope it goes well.

If you look at Bob's vlog you will see him say:

"Scheduled to attend the conference are two important individuals: Pulitzer Prize-winning author James M. McPherson and famous deaf historian Dr. Paddy Ladd."

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Davila disapproved of the idea of Jordan speaking at the conference and that we should not interpret Jordan's presence at the conference as reflecting the desire of the Davila Administration.

Obviously, the Davila Administration let Jordan's name remain on the list of speakers for the conference because it was the most politically expedient thing to do.

By including this language and this statement in his Vlog, Davila is indicating to us that Jordan invited himself or that Jordan maneuvered himself onto the program, most likely while he was President--the equivalent of inviting himself.

David, get real! The MSA letter of January 13, 2007 proves that Jordan is a total failure. Stop trying to defend what cannot be defended.

The topic of Jordan's speech wasn't even announced until recently. Obviously, this is all being carefully choregraphed as an effort for Jordan to try to rehabilitate himself. He can claim that it's an academic conference and that he was a participant in history, etc.

Nice try! But, it's not working. Jordan first needs to apologize to all of us before we can even consider forgiving him. We're not ruling it out, but then again, we're not seeing Jordan taking even one single step in the direction of apology and reconciliation.

Instead of wasting your time attacking us with spurious arguments, you should be trying to convince Jordan to apologize to us all.

March 21, 2007 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues said...

For those people skimming this blog, we encourage you to read the last part of the previous post carefully. We are offering Jordan the chance to apologize and begin a process of reconciliation.

Will he do so? We doubt it. But, there it is in black and white.

We are not the unreasonable people in this situation. Most everyone knows that Jordan crossed the line of reasonable behavior a long time ago.

Until he apologizes and begins a process of reconcilation, he does not deserve a place of honor (which is what a keynote speech is) at any event at Gallaudet, and he does not deserve any honorific title, such as "President Emeritus."

March 21, 2007 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues said...

This is from the new Gallaudet University Press newsletter:


The Gallaudet University Press Institute’s sixth international conference, 150 Years on Kendall Green: Celebrating Deaf History and Gallaudet, will be held on April 11–13, 2007, at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. Along with keynote presenters James M. McPherson, Paddy Ladd, and I. King Jordan, the conference will feature many other respected scholars who, together, promise to offer an insightful foray into the remarkable history of the founding of Kendall Green and its growth into the most important university for Deaf people worldwide. Haven’t registered yet? Go online to for more information.


Sorry, GU Press. This is fluff.

Who considers Jordan to be a "respected scholar"?

We won't be seeing this kind of false propaganda when the Tenth President takes over.

March 21, 2007 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that Jordan will present soon. I am curious what he has to say. I can't image how he will win our respect back. I despise him so much that I may have to ignore his speech. He is a smooth talker, so be careful when you hear him. Or we all boycott him...

March 21, 2007 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't allow him to speak. He has done enough to us here. He invited himself to apeak. He should be told no. I have no good speach to tell why he is not welcome. I do not welcome him forever.


Actually, he already gave his self-invited lecture and did a horrible, horrible job.

CLICK HERE to read what happened during the question and answer period.

April 19, 2007 at 1:25 AM  

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