Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Administrative Moments

Butler University recently released a fund-raising video titled “Butler’s Proudest Moments of 2009.” Not surprisingly, given the quality of students and faculty at Butler, there were a large number of things to celebrate. I join with my friends and mentors in congratulating those at Butler who accomplished so much this last year.

In the spirit of this video, I offer my “Butler’s Less-Than Proudest Administrative Moments of 2009.” As with everything associated with The True BU situation, Butler has far deeper pockets than I do so I won’t be able to produce a flashy video like they did. Instead, I’m going to have to provide you with a written list of those moments that the Butler administration would likely hope you all forgot. So, please imagine some music as well as administrators and their attorneys ranting and raving, as you read the following.

January 2, 2009: The vice president for student affairs demands a meeting with me on a day the university is officially closed. He brings along a witness and when I say I want one as well, he refuses to allow me that courtesy. He says he is not asking me who was responsible for The True BU but I am later accused of lying to him about this issue.

January 4, 2009: The university attorney Emails the Soodo Nym account to threaten both a civil and a criminal case over The True BU. This threat frightened me into removing The True BU from the internet.

January 8, 2009: The university, over the signature of three attorney’s, files the country’s first ever lawsuit by a university against on-line speech. This occurred four days AFTER I was successfully intimidated into removing The True BU from the web.

January 9 – June 15, 2009: All quiet on the Butler front.

June 16, 2009: In response to a letter from my father asking for a retraction, a clarification or an apology from the provost about outrageously untrue statements she made about him, Butler informs me about the “John Doe” lawsuit and threatens to substitute “John Doe’s” name with my name unless both my father and I sign confidentiality agreements and unless I agree to submit to any punishment Butler deems appropriate for speaking my mind.

June 17 – September 26, 2009: Butler repeatedly threatens to substitute my name for “John Doe’s” name in the lawsuit and continues to demand that my father and I sign confidentiality agreements and that I submit to any punishment they deem appropriate for speaking my mind.

September 27, 2009: Butler stops threatening to replace my name for “John Doe’s” name in the lawsuit, instead promises to do so by the end of the week. They also say they will instigate internal disciplinary procedures immediately.

October 12, 2009: A local Indianapolis television station ran a news story reporting on Butler’s lawsuit against “John Doe.” Because the only people quoted were associated with the Butler administration, it appears obvious that the Butler administration leaked the story to the press.

October 13, 2009: The president tells the faculty senate about the lawsuit indicating that he was compelled to file suit because of the possibility of a Virginia Tech style event taking place. The president sends out a memo to the entire faculty about the lawsuit that was riddled with inaccuracies and that made absurd claims about The True BU.

October 19, 2009: The president sends out a second memo to the entire faculty about me and The True BU that was also riddled with inaccuracies and that made absurd claims about The True BU. Additionally, the president accuses me of bullying the administration and the campus by writing The True BU. The president says he never intended to sue a student and he would not sue a student.

October 20, 2009: At an open forum discussing free speech issues, the provost said that although she was frightened for her safety, Butler was compelled to file a lawsuit against “John Doe” rather than contacting the police for protection, claiming that the police could only be contacted if they could be told who was threatening her.

October 26, 2009: Butler withdraws its lawsuit against “John Doe,” a full seven days after the president said it would be dropped. The president’s wife writes to faculty about The True BU situation enclosing e-mail and documents personally addressed to the president’s office at Butler Univeristy.

October 27, 2009: The president sends out a third memo to the entire faculty about me and The True BU that was riddled with inaccuracies and that made absurd claims about The True BU. He again states that I am guilty of various transgressions and says that I will be punished through Butler’s internal disciplinary process. The president tells a student reporter that he had nothing to do with the promise made by Butler’s attorney on September 27th to replace “John Doe’s” name with my name.

October 29, 2009: The president refuses to act on a letter privately delivered to him by Father Charles Allen from more than 10 faculty members in the School of Music. These faculty members, fearful of administrative retaliation, opted to speak out only if they were guaranteed anonymity and confirmed that what was written in The True BU was the truth and that it accurately reflected the information they provided to Soodo Nym aka John Doe.

October 30, 2009: The chair of Butler’s Board of Trustees sends a statement to the media about The True BU case. In that statement, he opts to “reaffirm Butler’s pledge to provide for the safety and welfare of its students, administration, faculty and staff,” implying that campus safety was somehow at risk.

October – November: The president and his public relations staff regularly reply to concerns raised about my situation with a defamatory letter claiming that I threatened the campus community.

November 12, 2009: The chair of Butler’s Board of Trustees writes to acknowledge receiving a letter from my attorney discussing the internal disciplinary process. The chair ignores the issues of bias raised saying, instead, that he trusts the process and that the president was made aware of my concerns.

November 12, 2009 – the present: I’m sorry to say that I cannot, at this time, discuss this part of the ordeal. I hope to fill you in on it, as much as I can, soon.

There you have it: my list of “Butler’s Less-Than Proudest Administrative Moments of 2009.” The crazy thing is, all of these items involve only my case. I know, and I suspect that many of you know, many other administrative actions taken this past year that are just as reprehensible as these. It is a shame that no one is able or willing to hold Butler administrators accountable for their actions. I hope that my blog sheds some light where none has been and that it encourages others to speak out when they see injustices being committed.


  1. WOW! I hope you are in the process of building a defamation suit against the college and its president.

  2. Someone brave needs to step up to the plate and insist on truth and accountability by these rogue leaders.