Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Susannah Bartlow Out As Director of Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

According to the Marquette Wire:
“Susannah Bartlow is no longer an employee with Marquette University,” said University Spokesman Brian Dorrington in an email. “We will work with the Center’s advisory board to search for a new director so that we can continue to grow the important programs in the Center.”
The obvious inference is that she was fired over the posting of a mural in the office she heads honoring black militant domestic terrorist Assata Shakur.

Certainly, Marquette wants people to draw this inference.  Otherwise they would have waited a decent interval after the scandal died down and eased her out.

Interestingly, there is a petition (begun even before the firing was announced) urging Marquette to keep Bartlow.

So how do we feel about this?

Back in the old days of the USSR, there was something known as the “vertical stroke.” If a lower level bureaucrat (an Army officer, perhaps) screwed up, not only was he fired or demoted, his immediate superior got the same treatment. And so did his superior’s superior, right on up. In the army, this could be up to the corps or army level. This had some negative consequences: it created a huge incentive to conceal problems. But it did embody a sound principle: higher level people are responsible for their subordinates. The top people put the lower level people in charge, had the power to fire them, and had the responsibility to properly supervise them.

It’s a shame the “vertical stroke” won’t happen here.  Bartlow screwed up badly.  But the ultimate responsibility lies with top Marquette administrators, who created a large “diversity” and “inclusion” and “gender” and “sexuality” bureaucracy, hired the kinds of bureaucrats drawn to those offices, and now find themselves embarrassed when the predictable things happen.

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3 Comments:

Blogger frankly said...

But what about her academic freedom?

4:39 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

But what about her academic freedom?

Administrators, as administrators don't have academic freedom. They are university officials, and as such are speaking for the university.

A lot of administrators have tenure in an academic department. That is to say, they can be fired as administrators, but have the option of going to their academic department and being ordinary faculty members.

They virtually never want to do that.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

So the Center has what MU says it regards as important programs, which MU also claims are in such a remote location on campus that it can't be expected to be aware what goes on there?

9:12 PM  

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