Sunday, December 02, 2007

Brandeis Faculty Committee Issues Report Criticizing Witch-Hunting Of Professor Donald Hinsley Over "Wetback" Remarks

The Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities at Brandeis University has issued a scathing report that criticizes a top administrator, claiming that her investigation into racist remarks allegedly made by Dr. Donald Hindley (pictured at left), a professor of political science, lacked thoroughness and impartiality. Full story published by This situation was previously blogged HERE.

Last month, Professor Hindley, who teaches courses in Latin American Studies, was the target of complaints about racism against Mexicans by several students because he allegedly used the term “wetbacks” in class. On the basis of the students' complaints alone, Hindley was charged with violating the university’s non-discrimination and harassment policy and received a harsh rebuke from Provost Marty Krauss. Hindley was also forced to undergo anti-discrimination training and submit to having his courses monitored by a university administrator.

But the independent faculty committee, consisting of five professors who teach in different departments from Hindley, says the university threatened the professor’s academic freedom to remedy a situation that it hadn’t fully investigated. In their report, released last week, charged that Krauss did not launch a thorough investigation into the alleged racist comments and urge that any punitive measures against Hindley be revoked immediately.

We find that ... [Krauss’] decision failed to take proper account of the multiple and fatal procedural flaws in the implementation of university harassment policies, a failure that itself violates Professor Hindley’s right under the faculty handbook to fair and equitable treatment under those policies,” said the report. “The discipline imposed on the basis of those policies was excessive, and should also have been suspended during the period of our review, and her actions to date pose a threat to Professor Hindley’s academic freedom and to that of other faculty and students, a matter on which we retain an active interest.”

The faculty report also charges that the decision to place Hindley’s class under strict supervision and force him to attend anti-discrimination training was based simply on allegations against Hindley made by several students in his class to a human resources investigator at the college. The committee found that there were no efforts made at resolving the complaint informally prior to Krauss’ decision, which they argue is a violation of university policy.

The committee also criticized the human resources investigator for failing to speak to Hindley numerous times to give him a chance to rebut specific charges before handing over their findings to the provost.

The committee later concluded that given the importance of academic freedom in the university setting, “it is difficult for us to imagine a case where it would be appropriate to place speech monitors in a classroom,” they wrote. “Speech monitors should virtually never be used in harassment cases, and certainly not as the first attempted remedy, nor as a means of chilling the instructor pending further measures.”

The committee also criticized Krauss for threatening Hindley with termination and not informing the committee first.

Hindley defended his discussion of the “wetbacks” term, according to students in his class, saying he had used it to describe racism of a certain historical period. Several students have expressed support for the embattled professor who has taught at Brandeis for 46 years. Several students have spoken out in defense of Hindley.

Krauss did not return several phone calls, and Hindley did not respond to repeated e-mail and phone requests seeking comment. The students who made the complaints have not publicly commented on the allegedly racist comments and could not be reached for comment.

It’s unclear whether university officials will dismiss the complaint against Hindley in light of the faculty report.

Margaret Soltan, an English professor at George Washington University, has taken up for Professor Hindley, providing some interesting observations HERE and HERE.

One of the complaining students, who identified herself as "Jane", did explain herself in an article published in Brandeis' newspaper The Hoot. She shows how deeply infected she has become with political correctness. She takes issue with the fact that the professor tried to introduce a little humanity into the class. In other words, Jane appears to be your typical dour, humourless, Hillary Clinton wannabe who wants the world to be exactly like her. Here's an excerpt of her remarks to The Hoot:

Some people think they are comforting, spice up the class, make him more approachable,” said a student who wished to be known as Jane, who submitted complaints against Hindley after meeting with her advisor and departmental chair Steven Burg (POL). “It completely backfires, because you can’t respect him as you should as a tenured professor for nearly 50 years.”

Jane explained that her complaints dealt with alleged insensitivity by Hindley to the issues in his class, including usage of the terms “mi petite negrita” and “wetbacks.”

The thing that pushed me over the edge was a story about a Brandeis student that he had who came from an elite Mexican family. He said, ‘he came here and he paid his way.... but when he came back here, his back was still wet,’” said Jane. “That was the day I came to my professor and said, ‘this is crazy.’ These flippant remarks, he doesn't see that they affect other people—it’s a joke, to him.” Hindley was unable to be reached for comment.

Jane also felt Hindley made inappropriate comments regarding drug use, and alleged that another student told her Hindley made inflammatory comments about religion last semester. “When he was talking about the rising costs in reefer, you just wonder. And his silly little anecdotes about his daughter watching MTV and listening to bad music… they’re things that have no business in a classroom — they're too personal.”

She continued, “he was telling the class about his house and how all his neighbors drive BMWs and how he should tear his house down since it isn’t worth anything and his neighbors don’t like him…it’s just a perpetuation of this inappropriate nature and these inappropriate remarks.”

You can clearly see that "Jane" has a personal axe to grind against Dr. Hindley, and simply play the "racism" card merely as a red herring. May God deliver us from these feminist bitches.

Commentary: An essay entitled "Political Correctness - The Revenge Of Marxism", posted on the Western Voices World News website, explores how political correctness overcame our college campuses and infected the greater society. It has become so obvious, heavy-handed, and pervasive that some of the academics are beginning to fight back against it.

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