Thursday, March 11, 2010

Butler is at it Again

Many of you have noticed that I haven’t been writing much for this blog lately. Some of you have commented on that and have asked for more posts. I definitely do appreciate your interest.

My lack of posts, however, were a conscious choi
ce I made, a choice to try and put this sordid affair behind me, to move on, to see if I could forget the incredibly defamatory statements so many in the Butler administration made about me. Although I still had a great deal to say, you’ll notice that since the middle of December I’ve only posted seven times.

Unfortunately, Butler won’t let the issue die. Just this week, a “Forum on Civic Discourse
” was announced for later this month. So far so good. But Butler decided to frame the event within the context of public safety. I don’t see that as an accident. From the beginning, the president has justified his actions (when he’s bothered to say that he was aware of them rather than claiming that others acted without his knowledge) as necessary to protect the safety of various administrators and the campus in general. He raised the specter of the shootings at Virginia Tech to provide cover for his actions. In an act of unbridled paternalism and amazing hubris he claimed that the provost “was afraid, for her own safety, for her husband, for her house and property.”

In essence, he attempted to do what the Bush administration did to great effect: scare people into accepting actions that they would otherwise find completely abhorrent. There were no threats against any person or property
made by anyone except by Butler’s high-priced attorney. I made a promise that I would not forget the actions of the provost. Butler’s administration opted to pretend that that was a threat and now they’re holding a forum so we can hear why campus safety is important.

The forum announcement also notes that discussion might include situations where “messages of hate” are prevalent. I doubt that this is an accident either. After all, in his first tirade to the faculty about The True BU situation, the president proclaimed “Butler does not tolerate racial and sexual epithets in the name of free exchange of ideas.” On this blog, on October 15
th 2009, the day the president made that comment, I wrote the following: “Of course I agree with this statement, as I hope all of you do. The thing is, there is no hint of any such despicable language in anything I have ever written. I think that this is yet another attempt to unfairly and falsely attribute to me things that I did not say.” Since that day, I have repeatedly asked the president to point to one example in my writings of a racial or sexual epithet. He hasn’t done so because he can’t: there are NO such examples. But those facts haven’t kept him from repeating this mantra and, by doing so, continuing to defame me.

I wanted to move on but But
ler apparently wants to live in the past – a past they are apparently proud of. So many of you have expressed outrage about Butler’s actions and have called for an apology, to me and to the Butler community. Butler and its president, however, don’t apologize. Instead they attack, they defame, they sue, they intimidate and they besmirch the good name of a once-proud institution.

I wanted to move on but to do so now would mean that my reputation isn’t worth anything. That’s why I’ve written this post.


  1. Oh Jess. I am so sorry that Butler continues to treat you this way. It is far past time for something to be done about this. This sort of attack on you must stop.

  2. Jess...Once again, I must say certain administrators at Butler can never be wrong. I am sorry that they can not leave you alone.

  3. OMG Butler's president will do anything to justify himself and persecute anyone who stands up to him. No wonder the faculty 1. stays quiet or 2. toadies up, calling him "our esteemed leader" or 3. uses irony (always lost on a narcissist), calling him "our esteemed leader."

  4. Move on. Take what you can get from the University, and don't let this define you. Go on to law school and don't worry about this stuff. You are not part of a "Butler" community. There is no such thing. You are a student who, hopefully, learned a lot from good professors, met some good lifelong friends, and can go forward with more than you had before you came to Butler. These new statements only matter if you identify with Butler and make it a part of your identity. The further you get from Butler the less the rest of this will matter. Trust me.

  5. Hey Jess - I completely disagree with the last comment. Yeah, move on, get out of butler, remember the good stuff but don't forget - don't let the bastards get away with it. When good people look the other way in the face of evil, evil triumphs. As long as you're not obsessing over this, and it doesn't appear that you are, pointing out the crap these people are throwing is worth it. Maybe, someday, your actions will spark the faculty and students to action. It's clear they're upset but they're too scared and beaten down to do anything about it. What you're doing is providing leadership on a campus that is completely without it. Lots of us appreciate what you're doing.

  6. Hello Jess,

    This is Vinay Chaganti from India.
    I have one question for you. Has there ever been a situation in this case where you considered suing Butler for intruding your right to privacy.
    On one hand, while I understand they may have sued you on some charges overestimating the magnitudes (pushing the line of right to free speech) and to save their faces, I want to know if after all this, breaking the right to privacy would also be treated as a violation of law.

    I would like to have your email id in case you do not consider this as intruding your privacy. I am trying to understand your case completely, and would go through the documentation available here. But in case I need more assistance, I would like to get in touch with you.

    You could mail me at

    Vinay Chaganti

  7. Hey Jess,

    Is your contact info anywhere on this page so I can send you an email? Not comfortable posting and would prefer to email you.