My Photo
Location: United States

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Wash Post graph proves IKJ, JK and PK failed

The following graph which was published in the Washington Post proves that former Gallaudet President Irving K. Jordan, former Provost Jane K. Fernandes, and Vice President Paul Kelly totally failed in their administration of the university.

The graph shows that the enrollment of Gallaudet in 1994 was 1,602 students. Fernandes was hired as Vice President of Pre-College programs (later re-named the "Clerc Center") exactly at this time, in August before the beginning of the 1995-96 academic school year. The graph shows how enrollment at Gallaudet plummeted downwards from 1,602 to 1,206 in the time period that coincided with Fernandes' presence on campus.

All throughout his 18 years as President, Jordan was ignoring the institutional health of the residential schools, which have traditionally acted as feeder schools for Gallaudet.

The Deaf President Now campaign in 1988 was a result of the Deaf Renaissance occurring as the result of William Stokoe convincing the world of academia that ASL was a bona fide language. Deaf people all over the country affirmed their strong connection to Deaf culture, and the validity of Deaf culture and ASL became universally recognized.

Jordan saw that the whole country, including the academic world, granted recognition to ASL and Deaf culture, so he had no choice and had to at least pay lip service in fake support. Actually however, Jordan began acting passive aggressively against both the concept of Deaf culture and the concept of ASL as a birthright of Deaf children.

Finally, by the time Jordan published his anti-Deaf culture and anti-ASL propaganda piece in the Washington Post in January 2007, he revealed his true self. He attempted to use the term "absolutist" in a distorted and devious way, as a loaded term, to create a false political frame that would destroy the entire Deaf culture movement and put the future success of Gallaudet University in jeopardy.

Irving King Jordan is no friend of Gallaudet. He spent the entire 18 years of his administration attempting to steer Gallaudet away from its historic mission of serving ASL deaf students. He spent the entire 18 years of his administration in a state of passive-aggressive opposition to the existence of the residential schools for the deaf.

If he had succeeded in placing Fernandes as his successor, Fernandes would have continued Jordan's plan to reverse Gallaudet's historic mission. She herself revealed her intentions openly when she declared that she wanted to create a "new order of deaf people," which is just the same kind of loaded language and false political framing that Jordan used.

Fernandes' term "new order" implies that Deaf culture is invalid and undesirable. This is completely false. The truth is that Deaf culture itself has been the social mechanism over the last two hundred-plus years whereby deaf people have joined together in productive and creative efforts to enhance their lives. This includes fostering and encouraging the use of ASL.

The desirability and the validity of ASL represents the collective wisdom of generations of deaf people. It is the social means that allows deaf people to unite and fight for self-determination and positive change.

Academics is the core of Deaf culture and it is dishonest in the extreme for Jordan and Fernandes attempt to make a false separation between the two. There is no such thing as focusing on education "instead" of Deaf culture. That's impossible. For deaf people who use ASL, the two cannot be separated.

When we focus on Deaf culture at Gallaudet, we are focusing on education, too. When we focus on education at Gallaudet, we are focusing on Deaf culture. The two concepts are joined together.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have my own hypothesis leading to a theory that by closing the School of Preparatory Studies is attributal to the downhill decline at Gallaudet.

In the past only those who were successfully transferred from SPS to Freshman at Gallaudet were counted to measure university success. Today everyone who comes to Gallaudet is counted as a Freshman, and MSA is having a hard time to assess success rates in every aspect of programs ranging from academic advising to the number of graduates.

April 22, 2007 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

carl has a good point there.

der sankt


Yes, the closure of the School of Preparatory Studies was a disaster for Gallaudet. It was part of Jordan's overall policy of oppressing faculty who supported ASL. He and Paul Kelly were able to fire four people who were strongly supportive of ASL when they (Jordan and Kelly) closed the Prep School (the Northwest Campus).

The longer Jordan remained as President, the more oppressive his policies became. Fernandes was his "yes man" to carry out more and more steering of Gallaudet away from its historic mission of serving ASL students.

It's all part of the same pattern of Jordan and Fernandes paying lip service to ASL and Deaf culture, while at the same time attempting to move deaf ed toward a pathological direction. That's why the enrollment declined.

The graph captures the decline in a vivid way.

April 22, 2007 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

) I agree 100% that Jordan did not do the job he promised he would do, that he behaves like a tinpot despot, and that he is far better out than in.

2) But is it possible that the decline in enrollment is also affected by the fact that the 80s included the "rubella bulge" kids?

Frankly, I think that the decline in educational standards and the fact that the university is on a sort of "academic probation" at the moment is a far more significant indictment of Jordan's tenure than declining enrollment numbers.

For what it's worth, I am also entirely, completely, utterly, 110% in support of Gallaudet becoming an ASL campus. For all students who arrive who are not yet proficient, there should be a campus program in place beginnnig in June of the previous academic year, to get them up to speed.

But yes, the campus would be best served, and the academic standards as well, by Gallaudet becoming an ASL campus. Teaching and learning are already difficult enough without the students and faculty having to support dozens of communication methods. Even for students who are not perfectly fluent in ASL, having a fixed target to aim at would help greatly.


The Rubella Bulge population had largely passed through the system already by 1994. That's one of the excuses Jordan and Kelly used to close the Prep School in 1995.

Sure, the problems with accreditation are also strong evidence showing Jordan and Fernandes failed. The graph and the issue of declining enrollment is just one aspect of the overall picture.

There are many ways to show how the Jordan/Fernandes/Kelly administration failed in big ways.

April 22, 2007 at 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really I doubt it - with more and more public universities now providing assistance for deaf individuals it made sense that more would have ended up staying close to home and going to local schools. I don't see how due to the decline of enrollment equals the failure of IKJ or JF - technology has cause the demise of Gallaudet - there are more students now entering public colleges than ever before.


We still have not solved the problem of raising test scores. The way to do that is to have deaf babies exposed to ASL as soon as possible and promote bilingual-bicultural education for deaf students.

That's the main reason why Jordan and Fernandes failed. Jordan adamantly REFUSED to promote ASL and bilingual education. He refused to promote the residential schools, which was part of his responsibility because it is part of Gallaudet's historic mission, in the federal-state partnership with the residential schools.

The graph shows Jordan's failure. He should have promoted the idea of technology helping the cause of bilingual-bicultural education and deaf babies learning ASL. If he had done that, Gallaudet would have prospered. The graph shows the opposite.

April 22, 2007 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Billy Koch. :-D


Darren, Jordan still failed, regardless of whether or not technology caused more deaf students to attend local universities. Jordan should have done what was necessary to make Gallaudet an attracive option for those students. He did not do that.

The numbers don't lie. Jordan failed. Fernandes failed. Paul Kelly failed.

Any Member of Congress who saw that would probably make the same conclusion and make the decision that Jordan must retire. Maybe that's what happened--a forced retirement.

April 23, 2007 at 4:10 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home