My Photo
Location: United States

Friday, March 30, 2007

Paul Kelly lied to the Washington Post--

Attempts by anti-protesters to portray the Unity for Gallaudet protesters as being unreasonable radicals will fail, since reasonable and prudent people who follow Washington DC politics are surely aware of the recent trend toward reform which has been sweeping through several DC institutions. A recent article in the Washington Post compares the reform (protest) movement at Gallaudet with the reform movement at American University:


It has been a tumultuous couple of years for Washington universities, as the presidents of two major schools stepped down under pressure. At American University in 2005, the full faculty senate voiced outrage after an audit questioned hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of spending by President Benjamin Ladner. Last fall at Gallaudet University, the faculty senate passed resolutions expressing lack of confidence in both the incoming president, Jane K. Fernandes, and outgoing president I. King Jordan. The appointments of Ladner and Fernandes were terminated by their boards, and both schools now have interim presidents.


That same article explains how the President of Howard University is now under fire:


The head of the faculty senate called for the ouster of Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert, saying that the school is in a state of crisis and that it's time to end "an intolerable condition of incompetence and dysfunction at the highest level." [...]

Academic programs are in disarray, the [Howard Faculty Senate] letter states, with substandard equipment and facilities. "The president has failed in many instances to implement funded programs when such funds have been awarded . . . has failed to provide effective administration of research grants . . . has failed to identify alternative financial sources given that the federal appropriation has remained flat."
[...] some faculty members and others described the school as deeply troubled. "The place is in a state of chaos," Bremner said. "It's just managed crisis right now. So many things are not working."

He said, "Things are falling apart -- fairly rapidly."


Now yet another Washington DC institution has become the focus of concern, with the head of the Smithsonian Institution, Lawrence Small, resigning under pressure, being accused of misusing Federal funds:


The governing board of the Smithsonian Institution announced Monday that it had accepted the resignation of its top official, Lawrence M. Small, after an internal audit showing that the museum complex had paid for his routine use of lavish perks like chauffeured cars, private jets, top-rated hotels and catered meals.


Several similar allegations were raised against members of the Jordan administration at Gallaudet during the Unity for Gallaudet protest last year, with questions being raised as to whether members of Gallaudet's Physical Plant Department had been sent out off campus to tend to the lawn care and maintenance of top Gallaudet administrators' homes.

One Gallaudet administrator was accused of having a special storage room in a building at Gallaudet which was used to store equipment and goods which were being plundered from Gallaudet's inventory. That same administrator was accused of stealing a new tractor worth thousands of dollars when the Gallaudet Northwest Campus was closed down by the Jordan administration in 1995.

Paul Kelly, Gallaudet's Vice President for Administration and Finance, was involved in closing down Gallaudet's Northwest Campus and closing down the entire School of Preparatory Studies unit at Gallaudet.

The Rubella Epidemic of the early 1960's caused a spike in Gallaudet's enrollment numbers when deaf children born during the epidemic reached college age in the 1980s. To ease overcrowding and to accommodate more students, Gallaudet's School of Preparatory Studies moved from the main Gallaudet campus in 1983 over to a site at 17th Street and Kalmia Road in Northwest Washington, DC, the site of the former Marjorie Webster Junior College, which was closed in 1974.

Paul Kelly lied to the Washington Post in an interview given in March 1994 about the reasons for closing down the Northwest Campus. Kelly told the Post that there was a "shrinking demand for remedial programs" and also that moving the preparatory program back to the main campus (as the Washington Post writer quoted Kelly indirectly as saying) could "save nearly $500,000 in operating costs that could be used to improve the preparatory program." The reporter further quotes Kelly indirectly as saying that he "does not expect to lay off any of the 75 faculty and staff members who work at the Northwest campus."

In spite of assurances that the preparatory program would continue and that none of the faculty and staff would be laid off, Jordan and Kelly closed down the entire preparatory program and laid off many of those 75 people.

The School of Preparatory Studies was in existence on the Gallaudet campus before it was moved to the Northwest Campus in 1983, therefore, the decision to close the Prep School division itself should have had nothing to do with the declining enrollment due to the "rubella bulge" students having passed through the system.

The former Norwest Campus, now owned by Lowell School.

Some of the instructors at the School of Preparatory Studies who had been fired as a result of the closure of the program were outspoken critics of the Jordan administration, including Janice Becker, Dianne Falvo, Janet Gemmill, and Joanne Royce. They sued Gallaudet, charging that they were fired due to their outspokenness, and that their First Amendment rights had been infringed by Gallaudet. But in a poorly reasoned decision by the United District Court for the District of Columbia (PDF version) (Text version), their suit was dismissed.

(In the ruling, the court dodged the question of whether or not the Gallaudet Board of Trustees really does exercise ultimate control over university policy, or whether the Board follows the desires and decisions of Congress, as made known in meetings and Congressional committee meetings. Now with the Board's attempted presidential appointments of 1988 (Elisabeth Zinser) and 2006 (Jane Fernandes) being overturned by the deaf community exercising its moral veto power, another precedent has been established in the direction of Gallaudet being viewed as a governmental entity, i.e., a type of public school system, with a constituency that has the ultimate say over its functioning. As it is, Gallaudet itself in 1999, as the defendant in the case, acknowledged that Gallaudet is at least quasi-governmental. As Judge Hogan stated in his opinion: "Defendants do not dispute that Gallaudet is a congressionally created corporation that serves governmental objectives." Congressman John Phillips, who was a member of the Gallaudet Board of Trustees, clearly stated in a Congressional committee meeting in 1954 (p. 20): "It [Gallaudet] has always been considered either a Government or a quasi-Government institution." It is dishonest then, and a part of the culture of lying at Gallaudet and at the US Dept. of Education, for Gallaudet to be continued to be labeled as "private," as it is falsely claimed in Section 1.4 of the Bylaws of the Gallaudet Board of Trustees, and as it is falsely claimed on a Web page of the US Dept. of Education.)

Irving Jordan and Paul Kelly's decision to close down the Northwest Campus in May of 1995 and also to completely close down the School of Preparatory Studies led to a problem of diminution of standards at Gallaudet, since the students who normally would have spent a year of preparatory studies were thereafter accepted into the university directly as freshmen and when they were not yet more fully prepared for university-level work.

Paul Kelly continues to work as Vice President at Gallaudet and inside sources say he has no plans to resign. No investigation has been conducted to-date of Kelly's role in sending a bulldozer/front loader to plow through protesters tents near the MSSD/Brentwood gate at Gallaudet on October 25, 2006 without first even checking to see whether students were inside the tents. One prominent deaf blogger/protester, along with two highly credible witnesses, even witnessed Paul Kelly smiling while the students were being assaulted.

Paul Kelly was co-chair of the crisis management team at Gallaudet from June 2006 onwards, and, Becker v. Gallaudet notwithstanding, was responsible for violating Unity for Gallaudet protesters constitutional rights. He also violated the constitutional rights of media personnel who were denied entrance to the Gallaudet campus on the morning of the takeover of the Hall Memorial Building on October 6, 2006 and were also denied entrance at other times.

At least two protesters (including this commentator) are still barred from entering the campus, under persona non-grata orders issued by Paul Kelly, even though the orders are completely baseless. No evidence whatsoever has ever been presented, and actually no allegations were made specific, but were only raised abstractly, in vague terms.

Continuing the enforcement of these persona-non-grata orders also violates the constitutional rights of the readers of these press releases who, as joint participants in the reform movement at Gallaudet, are being blocked from being fully informed on issues related to current events, since the press-release authors are prohibited from entering the campus in order to view archival documents and microfilmed information pertinent to ongoing events--documents and microfilmed information which exist in no other library outside of the Gallaudet campus.

Currently, Gallaudet is experiencing a decrease in student enrollment applications. We do not see how it will be possible to attract these potential students to attend Gallaudet while Paul Kelly is allowed to continue working at Gallaudet.

Not only has Kelly violated people's constitutional rights, but he has done nothing to solve the longstanding problem of mold in the university's central air system.

Student leaders have noted before that their efforts to solve problems at Gallaudet have been consistently blocked by Paul Kelly.

CLICK HERE to read the archives of the Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Different story. Was told that four teachers downsized by Jordan won a $10 million lawsuit and received a gag order.But one of them died of cancer at 43 of age (no health insurance). Before closing the school, black teachers and staff were transferred to main campus in 1994 & then downsized all whites by Jordan.

March 30, 2007 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Gallaudet Protest Legal Issues said...

Just to be perfectly clear, the commenter above should have said, "Here is some possible additional information," instead of saying "Different story."

It really is true that the four teachers *lost* their court case in the US District Court in 1999. There can be no doubt about that. Anyone can walk into any law library in the country and read how they lost the case. CLICK HERE to see the actual case as printed in law books.

It's possible that the four teachers had some *other* case going on, maybe with the EEOC or something, and maybe they received a settlement that way and are under a gag order. If someone knows, then please let us know:

April 23, 2007 at 2:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home