Marquette Warrior: Marquette Faculty Senate Plots Concealing Information From the Public

Monday, February 14, 2011

Marquette Faculty Senate Plots Concealing Information From the Public

When politically correct activists at a nominally Catholic university (like Marquette) plan policies that they know will be controversial, they of course like to do it in private.

Thus when Student Affairs (with the cooperation of the entire Marquette Administration) invited lesbian activist Ronni Sanlo to campus to “consult” (read: “tell Marquette how to placate the campus gay lobby”) her visit was essentially a secret. It was nowhere mentioned on the Marquette website.

A fair number of people were invited to speak with her, but all were either liberal student organizations (the Gay/Straight Alliance, for example), or faculty who were gay, lesbian or “allies.”

We, however, got wind of the event, and outed it here.

Another project of the campus gay lobby is domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian faculty and employees. As this was being considered by a committee of the Academic Senate, we found out about it and outed this campaign too.

Of course, this didn’t make the faculty activists happy. So the issue came up before the University Academic Senate. The following occurred at a faculty council meeting:
I. Chair’s report - Dr. Christine Krueger
  1. Dr. Krueger provided the members a handout regarding Transparency and Confidentiality in Shared Governance Processes. The Chair read the statement into the record:
    UAS Chair’s Report: Transparency and Confidentiality in Shared Governance Processes

    Many sources of feedback over the past several years have identified timely consultation with faculty in decision making and transparency in UAS business as priorities for improving shared governance. To that end, this year’s UAS has built upon previous practices to enhance communication of UAS and standing committee business to faculty, students and administrators. Actions have included a new UAS website, providing access to UAS agendas, minutes, meeting materials, reports, and other documents, as well as lists of standing committee members and standing committee minutes. In addition, UAS senators and standing committee members have been encouraged to consult with their constituencies and faculty have been invited to communicate their views on upcoming UAS business. These actions have received considerable positive feedback.

    These improvements in timely consultation and transparency are surely to be preserved and enhanced. However, in the past semester, UAS business, including committee motions yet to come before the UAS and emails regarding UAS business, have found their way beyond the Marquette community. These actions have raised serious concerns among committee members and faculty generally, which have repeatedly been brought to the attention of the UAS officers. It is clear that such actions impede the work of elected and appointed members of shared governance bodies and erode faculty trust in shared governance. Shared governance bodies need opportunity to discuss, research, and consult with constituents about their business before taking public stands. At present, the UAS does not have policies in place governing the dissemination of UAS documents and communications beyond the Marquette community. I am inviting UAS advice on how to address these very legitimate concerns.

    Two considerations should be kept in mind. First, as Provost Pauly has indicated, the privacy of email communications cannot be expected. Second, implicit in the practice of limiting website access for many UAS documents to the Marquette community is the sense that they should not be shared beyond the MU community. UPP 1-28 Information Sensitivity Policy, which provides guidelines for sharing and storing physical and electronic information, states that “In general, the employees and functions responsible for creating or for obtaining information are responsible for determining into which classification the information falls, how it should be stored, and under what circumstances it should be disclosed to third parties or to the public.”

    With these considerations in mind, I have the following questions for the UAS:

    1. Should UAS formulate policy regarding email communication of UAS business?

      These might include
      • Limiting reproduction of prior email chains
      • Avoiding email as a means of disseminating UAS and committee documents in process

    2. Should UAS and standing committees employ Share Point sites limited to appropriate members for disseminating documents in progress?

    3. Should UAS provide committees with guidelines for using executive sessions for discussing sensitive topics?

    4. Should the UAS have stated policy limiting the sharing of documents and committee communications beyond the Marquette community? For example, should there be a policy regarding sharing information beyond the Marquette community which would apply to both UAS/committee members and guests at UAS/committee meetings?

    While no policy could prevent someone who had legitimately accessed UAS and committee documents and communications from disseminating them outside the Marquette community, policy would make explicit the imperative that these documents are intended exclusively for members of the Marquette community. Such policy might also include sanctions against those who violate the policy.

    Finally, I wish to emphasize that no policy should aim to impede communication with the Marquette community on which the success of shared governance depends. Nor would it restrict Marquette community access to UAS or committee meetings beyond the current option of executive sessions under appropriate circumstances. Nor would it restrict the right of any member of the Marquette community to discuss publicly posted shared governance minutes in public fora.

    In addition to discussion in the UAS, I recommend that CAPI be asked to take up these matters and bring recommendations back to the UAS.

  2. Discussion:
    1. What motivated you to produce this statement?
      Chair: Emailed information concerning on-going committee deliberations that were considered private were excerpted and posted on a public blog.
    2. Are recommendations proposed in this statement binding?

      Provost: Yes. FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] designs confidentiality that is binding. The UAS has not discussed this issue, but we do need to think about limits of accessibility to our deliberations or access to information.

      Chair: members on other committees are now worried about how they should be conducting their work and deliberations.

    3. Similar to WikiLeaks, indiscriminate release of information is not necessarily good for Marquette.
    4. The open invitation to attend UAS meetings indicates that UAS information can be shared.

      Chair: According to UPP 1-28, it is up to the UAS to decide what information needs what degree of confidentiality. We need to consider a policy that neither impedes access to information by the Marquette community nor impinges on academic freedom.
    5. This issue raises red flags for shared governance. What do we mean by “open”? We should err on the side of openness rather than secrecy.

    This matter was brought forth after several discussions in committees appeared in public forums. Such a situation negatively impacts the good work conducted by committee members. Dr. Krueger asked the Senators to consider this issue as a deliberative body.
  1. Any information can be manipulated by taking it out of context and publically shared.
  2. Suggestion: Committee members cannot forward an email without the sender’s permission. Or, do not use email.
  3. The Board of Graduate Studies circulates it’s [sic] agenda, implying that meetings are open to faculty. But are the meetings really open?

    Vice-Chair: Meetings are open to faculty and administrators, but rarely do visitors attend.
  4. In its deliberations of this charge, CAPI needs to consider how to protect privacy and transparency.
  5. Leaks can stifle robust discussion, including oral comments. This is a significant issue particularly for untenured faculty.

The motion was made that:
CAPI take up the matter of confidentiality regarding UAS materials and its subsequent committees.
The motion was seconded.
Vote: 26 - Yes 0 - No 0 - Abstentions The motion carried
This would be laughable, if it did not reflect so badly on Marquette faculty.

What we have here is a lot of rhetoric about “transparency,” while the faculty political activists are plotting to keep what they do secret!

George Orwell, call Dr. Christine Krueger.

Worse than that, they can’t keep secret the fact that they are plotting to keep their machinations secret. You, after all, are reading about them right now.

So what we have here is a combination of bad faith and ineptness. Being worried about leaks of their secret, sensitive discussions, they suggest that e-mail be eliminated, perhaps in favor of the Sharepoint server. Or maybe they mean that material should be distributed in the old way, with printed pages being sent around via campus mail.

But of course, anybody who would forward an e-mail to us would happily download and send a document on Sharepoint. Or indeed, xerox it and send it via campus mail.

Most of the arguments are odd too. For example (quoting the document above):
Shared governance bodies need opportunity to discuss, research, and consult with constituents about their business before taking public stands.
But admittedly, most of their “constituents” aren’t going to know what their representatives are doing unless somebody makes these secret deliberations public. And why should they be taking private stands that will, if revealed prove embarrassing if they are so attentive to the people they supposedly represent?

And does transparency “impede the work of elected and appointed members of shared governance bodies and erode faculty trust in shared governance?” Only if “the work” somehow needs to be conducted in secret, behind closed doors. But these folks aren’t planning a military operation. And somehow they interpret “shared governance” as requiring that information not be shared!

And if transparency will “erode trust,” what does that say about the people who claim to deserve the “trust” of other faculty?

It’s also interesting that the politically correct faculty who are always urging gays to “come out” about their homosexuality are so loath to come out of the closet about their own schemes.

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Anonymous Concerned said...

Apparently Judy Shepard is lecturing in March. Westboro Baptist Church will be there to protest explaining on their site:

"WBC will picket the fag pimp Judy Shepard as she lectures the youth of this nation -- teaching them that God lied when He said "thou shalt not lie with mankind as with woman kind, it is abomination" (Lev. 18:22). Fat-faced Judy thinks she can fill the air with a lot of words to cover her violence against her son who she raised for the Devil. Matt was appointed for destruction for Judy's sins! Matt's in hell -- for 12+ years now, with eternity to go -- and JUDY KILLED HIM!

She was not content to refuse to do her duty to your own child who God entrusted to her and demanded from her that she teach him what is required of him by his God. No, she has spent the last 12+ years picking the skin off his carcase -- making big bucks lying to the masses and encouraging them to live and die the same way Matt did. She should have warned her son and she should be warning you. But, she won't because she hates God and she hates her neighbor. God hates Judy Shepard, and will require all of your blood at her hand.

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezk. 33:8-9.)

How blessed are you to have the servants of the Most High here today to do the job your parents failed to do and warn you to flee God's wrath? Very blessed indeed! Now, are you going to heed or not? No matter, you know we told you the truth.

And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. (Ezk. 2:5.)"

I understand frustration and anger among faculty and students paranoid about LGBT on Marquette's campus. But at some point the points being made about "catholic teachings," -- which I personally think that our priests here are MU know a little something about, to give them more credit than you seem to-- begin to mirror the arguments being made by the folks over at the WBC.

7:13 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

you seem to-- begin to mirror the arguments being made by the folks over at the WBC.

I'm afraid that's a very bigoted comment on your part, since I've never said anything even faintly resembling the WBC position.

And yes, priests at Marquette know the church's position, but some (probably quite a few) reject it, and even try to undermine it.

10:07 PM  
Blogger david said...

This post was the smile of the week!!!!!!!!!!!

And, oh!, the language of that excerpt, priceless! I would love to hear the actual conversations behind the scenes in their right vernacular, "Goddammit we've gotta keep McAdams in the dark about this shit! He's making us look like idiots! AND WHO THE HELL IS THE LEAK!?!?!!?!?!

Please, please make sure that leak stays low-profile and incredibly well-protected so that this gold can keep on coming for years! And if you can step up the level of leaked material, please do!!!!

Oh my god, the language, I can't get over it--as pedantic as is it surreptitious. This post makes me wish that I knew more people that cared about this, so that I could further out the UAS. Maybe I'll spam this on the "Marquette University" facebook page so that all affiliated students and alumni get to see it in their News Feed! How delicious that would be!

Keep it coming!

6:49 AM  

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