Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Update on Professor Robert L. Birmingham and his suspension by the UCONN law school

Many thanks to the UCONN law student who emailed me the most recent copy of the UCONN law student publication PRO SE.  This October issue of Pro Se has three articles on the Professor Birmingham suspension that merit reading in their entirety  One article deals with an overview of the controversy often relying on students first hand reports; the second is how the Law School dealt with the suspension of the professor’s classes and how students dealt with said disruption.  The third article is by Dean Paul who comments on the suspension and its aftermath.

Of major importance to everyone concerned is that Professor Birmingham is now scheduled to return to teaching, teaching 3 classes in the Spring semester.  Also, reaffirmed is that no student complaint was ever filed against the professor.  Students who were interviewed who were in the class indicated that one student during a discussion on the racial reparations issue made inflammatory remarks and then another student attempted to leave class; Birmingham then attempted to calm the student.  Dean Paul in his column does not explain why he suspended Birmingham indicating that now is not the time to do so and indicating an explanation may be forthcoming at a later time.

Following is an excerpt from the overview article focusing on observations made by students who were in the class. 

“A prominent professor at the School of Law has taken a leave of absence after moderating a contentious discussion on slavery and pausing a film on an image of a stripper while conducting a recent class. Robert L. Birmingham, a professor at the School of Law since 1971, stepped away from the law school for the remainder of fall semester after showing a clip of an interview from a film called “Really, Really Pimpin’ in Da South” in his Remedies class on Sept. 21. According to media reports, he showed the same clip later in another class upon a student’s request. According to a composite of information gathered from a number of students in the class, Prof. Birmingham presented an interview clip from the film relevant to United States v. Pipkins, a case involving an Atlanta pimp busted under racketeering statutes for running a prostitution ring. After Birmingham showed the clip, he halted the film shortly into the next scene, freeze-framing a stripper clad in pink lingerie posing suggestively on a stripper pole. Prof. Birmingham then commenced discussion about the interview while the image remained on the screen. The incident followed a racially charged discussion earlier in the same class. In Farmer-Paellmann, et. al. v. Brown and Williamson, a group filed a class action against a series of prominent companies seeking restitution for slavery descendents. Birmingham moderated a debate on the case discussing whether slavery descendents are better off now than if they had remained in Africa, according to several students in the class.  One student attempted to walk out after another student suggested African-Americans are better off because they are in America and not disease ridden in Africa. Birmingham implored the student to stay.  School of Law Dean Jeremy Paul learned of the incident from a faculty member in the days after the class and asked Dean of Academic Affairs Paul Chill to investigate. Paul said he had no official complaints from any students.  “The fact of a complaint would not lead to a decision,” Paul said.”

October 30, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, sexual politics, Uncategorized, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

UC Bamboozled the LA Times

In the LA Times article of October 22 relating to consensual student/professor dating bans, a UC spokesperson was interviewed by the reporter as to the frequency of violations of the UC code on consensual relationships.  The LA Times reported on the UC response in the following terms-

“Since 2003, a handful of cases of possible faculty violations of the policy have been formally reviewed, according to UC spokesman Brad Hayward. No professor has been dismissed, although a few were disciplined with warning letters that are considered confidential personnel matters, he said.”

Such is simply not the case.  Maybe Brad Hayward was misinformed by the UC upper echelon or he was engaging in a terminological manipulation to avoid telling the truth.

UCLA administrator/professor Adolfo Bermeo was dismissed in 2005 for violating the UC consensual relationship policy. The case was reported in detail by the UCLA Daily Bruin on March 22, 2005.  There were student protests in support of Adolfo Bermeo. Bermeo admitted to a consensual relationship with an enrolled student and the relationship came to the attention of the UCLA administration.  Even though it was asserted that the relationship came to the attention of the UCLA administration by the invasion of Bermeo’s privacy, UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale felt that it did not matter how the relationship was discovered, disciplinary action would be taken against Bermeo.  In defending his actions, “the chancellor pointed to the age difference and “extraordinary” power gap between the director and student and said what Bermeo did doesn’t miss statutory rape by that much.”

Although it was not reported by the Daily Bruin that Bermeo was dismissed for a consensual relationship, as of April 2005 Bermeo could not be found at UCLA.  He has since resurfaced in Washington DC as a retired UCLA professor employed by a non-profit organization focusing on helping minority students obtain their educational goals.

 So Adolfo Bermeo continues with the good work he did at UCLA.  He would still be at UCLA if UCLA respected faculty members rights to privacy and association and if UCLA did not have a zero tolerance policy for consensual relationships code violators.

Of course, the UCLA and UC administrations do not admit that such cases are hidden under the informal policy of allowing the alleged offenders to resign and retire.

As for the LA Times reporter, Larry Gordon, the dankprofessor believes he naively accepted the UC’s Brad Hayward’s  statement at face value and ended up being bamboozled by the California higher education establishment.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 28, 2007 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fraternization, higher education, student professor dating, UC, UCLA | 1 Comment

Putting UC Santa Barbara professor “on notice”

In the LA Times article on Professor Abramson, Professor Gayle Binion, UC Santa Barbara professor who was the muscle behind the UC professor student dating ban, demonstrates her utter disdain for her UC faculty colleagues, and I expect she was only referring to her male colleagues, when she stated “it is only the student who is going to suffer” when a relationship ends.

What an utterly gross and demeaning stereotype of male professors.  Does she not believe that even male professors have emotions?  Is she incapable of seeing her male colleagues as full human beings who can experience the hurt associated with the ending of a relationship?  Does she not know that Roy Orbison’s “Love Hurts” was and is applicable to both men and women?

Her apparent inability to see her male faculty colleagues as being emotionally vulnerable human beings demonstrates that she has some sort of mental or emotional deficiency.  If such be the case, the cold blooded Gayle Binion may be masking her own feeling of being unloved, and wrapping herself in a feminist and sometimes bureaucratic rhetoric that  justifies her demeaning of her male colleagues.

Professor Binion continues her rant when she stated that the banning rule “…not only makes parents more secure when they send their kids to  UC, it puts the faculty on notice”.  Can the good professor believe that parents at times, even frequently, welcome their daughter’s choice of a professor as her partner or mate?  I can testify that as an eligible male professor who dated students I never encountered any parents who objected to their daughter being in a relationship with me.  With some parents I developed long lasting and valued friendships.  Never once was I ever treated rudely or with disdain by any parent of a student at any time, either during or after the time I was their daughter’s professor.  Personally, I cannot imagine real parents in the real world going thru university codes of conduct re consensual dating policies to determine their choice of a university for their son or daughter.  If such parents are existent, I think it would be fair to characterize them as controlling parents, parents who in all probability would find themselves to be quite at home with Professor Binion  being an agent for them controlling and patrolling their children while they attend UC.

In any case, the bottom line is control.  As Binion states, she wants to put faculty “on notice”  and keep the “kids” under control with herself as being a kind of surrogate authoritarian mother.  Of course, it is the same old story, the dilemma of how to protect oneself from ones protector.

My advice to the professor who has consented to the non-consensual policies advocated by Gayle Binion,  et. al., is to respect yourself and your colleagues, and to put Gayle Binion and her confreres on notice that UC faculty will join their UCLA colleague Paul Abramson in speaking out in advocacy for the basic freedoms of freedom of choice and association which are freedoms still worth preserving and fighting for in our contemporary universities.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 28, 2007 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fraternization, higher education, ivory tower romance, sexual politics, student professor dating, UC, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA | Leave a comment

Campus Fear and Loathing

Here are two letters in response to the LA Times article on Professor Abramson.

Challenges facing women on campus

Re “Professor makes a case for faculty-student romance,” Oct. 22

“UCLA professor Paul R. Abramson’s delusional “love contract” proposal to provide cover for professors preying on coeds is not only reprehensible but unethical. Every valid profession rightly prohibits such predatory behavior, whether within the context of doctor-patient, lawyer-client or military officer-subordinate. Our culture is damaged when the powerful take advantage of the weak, who may feel compelled to permit such predatory advances for fear of lower grades or employee evaluations. These relationships are certain to cause psychological damage, making it shocking that a psychologist would disregard such effects. Parents make financial sacrifices to send children to college. If they cannot trust the educators, then higher education must be completely revamped.” Rick Coston Melbourne, Fla.

The dankprofessor believes that if there is any delusional thinking going on here, it is not the thinking of Professor Abramson.  Somehow the letter writer is certain that any student-professor relationship is certain to cause damage; I assume he means damage to the student or professor and not to the observer.  What can be so mystifying is that very certainty. How can one be so sure that Abramson is advocating professorial predatory behavior which leaves the subject of such behavior incapacitated, unable to defend oneself, to ward off such monstrous behavior? Going beyond the obvious that the letter writer is objectifying the involved parties, I would speculate that this reflects a default assumption held by many believing in such views.  The default assumption occurs when one envisages a professor-student relationship one also envisages an adult-child relationship; it is an automatic unthinking visceral reaction.  It is consistent with the notion that professor student relationships are always age differentiated. I have previously discussed this imagery in prior postings. Clearly this letter writer is committed to this thinking since he sees parents like himself being betrayed by universities which fail to protect their children, which fail to protect parents’ investment in their children.  More generally such a view is indicative of a hierarchal world view.  In such a world order any crossing of borders that facilitates informal interaction between subordinates and superiors threatens the natural order of things.  This framework which the existentialist social psychologist Thomas Hanna called humanoidistic is synonymous with being in a perpetual state of fear.  This situation is exasperated when there are a number of similarly situated others, and when there is is an emergence of leaders (demagogues) who manipulate the fearful to combat some external enemy.

Second letter to the editor-

“This article failed to capture some of the devastating changes written into the faculty manual. The arguments put forward by political scientist Gayle Binion of UC Santa Barbara seem to have been lifted from the protocols of the Ministry of Fear in George Orwell’s “1984.” To provide just one example, perception of favoritism constitutes harassment and is grounds for censure or even dismissal. The worst of it is that women, especially in the sciences, will not be helped and advanced because male professors will be leery of anything resembling close communication. It’s a grotesque consequence of puritanical constraints.”

Jascha Kessler

Santa Monica

The writer is a professor of English and modern literature at UCLA.

Bravo to Professor Kessler.  The Ministry of Fear is not a misnomer.  I am not overstating when I state that Gayle Binion is a fear monger; I do not know if she is a professional fear monger but nevertheless a fear monger.  She suffers from fear of lawsuits, fear of professors, fear of students, fear of parents of students and she functions as a catalyst for the creation of fear based campuses where those who are involved in consensual relationships become outlaws; where professors and administrators and graduate students are continually warned about the dangers of any campus display of sexuality, any display of affection,  and where they must submit themselves periodically to “workshops” which will supposedly  help them obey the rules of the new campus Puritanism, and avoid facing secret campus tribunals. 

Enough said for now on the LA Times article.  More on the LA Times article in upcoming posts.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

 

October 27, 2007 Posted by | coercing women, consensual relationships, dating, fraternization, higher education, ivory tower romance, sexual harassment, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating | Leave a comment

From campus rape to a Laura Bush candidacy for president

One of the cardinal tenets of the feminist movement to ban student professor relationships is that differential power precludes consent.  So in this framework a charge that  a relationship that is power differentiated is a serious one since a relationship based on coercion must represent some form of sexual assault.

Such is why the dankprofessor views the campus changes that have occurred in this area over the last 20 years as  transitioning from romance on campus framework to a rape on campus framework.  Such is indicative of the Andrea Dworkin position that heterosexual intercourse is never consensual. However, few feminists completely buy into the Dworkian take while at the same time maintaining that heterosexuality and heterosexual marriage is based on a patriarchal power dynamic.  Age differentiated relationships are seen as a subset of power differentiated relationships and therefore fall into their rape/sexual assault/non-consensual framework.

The attempt to apply this framework beyond campus scenarios has not been all that successful, e.g., the idea that Clinton forced Monica to engage in “sex”  was not bought by almost all Americans.  Whatever Clinton may have been guilty of,  he was not generally seen as being guilty of rape.  Of course, age differentiated relationships are still stigmatized by many.  Often the young wife of the older powerful man is discarded as a trophy wife or in more traditional terms as a golddigger. It has been noted by some  journalists that an inordinate number of Republican candidates for president have much younger wives, and it is an open question as to how this will affect their campaigns.  For example, is such a pairing acceptable to the the traditional values wing of the Republican party?  Will campus feminists express their ire against such pairings?  Will many Republican women divorce themselves from a Fred Thompson or a Rudy Guliani because they find their wives not to be socially correct and embrace a dual Clinton presidency.

Karen Heller  has an interesting column on candidates and their wives in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Excerpts from this column follow-

“There are two ways of looking at the field of presidential contenders. On the one hand, there’s the novelty of a woman, an African American and a Latino pursuing the White House.

On the other, presumably the left with a sizable rock involved, there are so many trophy wives.

Many candidates traded in their original models for younger, leaner and leggier partners, often producing a second family of adorable tykes so ideal for photo ops.

I know, a shocking turn of events in Washington.

This does mark progress of some sort.

In the old days, pols rarely married their daughter-aged girlfriends.

That was because they were still wed to their wives, divorce being a greater political liability than adultery.

Fred Thompson’s wife, Jeri, is 40, almost a quarter century his junior. Given to plunging necklines and soaring hems, she will never be mistaken for Laura Bush. The couple have two toddlers, making him one of several AARP diaper dads seeking the White House.

Sen. Chris Dodd, 63, who engaged in a 1985 “waitress sandwich” with Ted Kennedy while their dates were in the ladies room, is another. His second wife, Jackie, is a mere 18 years younger.

As is Cindy McCain, the Arizona Republican’s second wife of 27 years. Not being one to endure a marital vacancy, McCain began courting his second wife while married to his first.

Dennis Kucinich’s third wife, Elizabeth, has late-night pundits, You Tubists and, well, most males salivating. The former “boy mayor” of Cleveland, now 61, has a babe wife less than half his age.

She is car-crackup gorgeous and – for a change from the requisite blondage – a redhead, resembling Julianne Moore, only better and taller.

Should the Ohio Congressman be elected president, Elizabeth Kucinich would become the first first lady with a pierced tongue.

Does a spouse matter in politics? Ask George Bush, whose wife’s approval ratings dwarf his. She’s taken a pivotal role in criticizing Burma’s repressive regime and is now traveling in the Middle East.

Ask Bill Clinton. Or Hillary Clinton, for that matter. Not everyone sees this as a strength when his charisma continues to overshadow. “I think no woman is electable in America, and particularly not Hillary,” novelist Mary Gordon observed, “because she is married to this guy whom everyone is libidinally attached to. I think there is unconscious sexual jealousy of her among women.

…”

Hold on here for a moment.  Given that Laura Bush is way more popular than her husband, and given that George is in the same position as Bill Clinton in being ineligible to run for president, might Laura consider doing the same thing as Hillary and throw her hat into the presidential candicacy ring?  Then voters will have a clear choice- a Bush presidency versus a Clinton presidency.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 24, 2007 Posted by | consensual relationships, feminism, higher education, Laura Bush, political correctness, trophy wives | 2 Comments

UCLA Prof advocates “abolition” of student-prof dating bans

In an LA Times article of October 22, UCLA  psychology prof, Paul Abramson strongly comes out against bans on student-professor relationships. The LA Times interview and article occurred in the context of the publication of a new book by Abramson on student-prof dating.  One of the first dankprofessor postings was on an interview with Abramson which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education. However, it is in this LA Times article that Abramson directly and forcefully takes on the higher ed establishment for “eliminating civil liberties” on campus in  the context of passing these bans.  Abramson also does not fall into the stereotype of equating student-prof relationships as composed of an older male and younger childlike female.  He recognizes that many of these relationships represent partners who are similar in age.  Of course, none of Abramson’s writings will affect the hardcore banners such as Gayle Binion who is quoted in the article and who was the prime mover of the UC ban on consensual relationships.  However, it may be that the middle mass of faculty who go in whatever direction the wind may be blowing may start to question and reconsider such policies.  However the road to change will probably be a very long one.  Only when Abramson and persons such as myself receive invitations to air our views on campus and when professors who share our abolitionist views openly embrace said abolitionism will I be more hopeful.  Personally, I became tired of listening to fellow faculty who would tell me privately that they agreed with my views, but at the same time could not air them publicly.  Academic freedom did not mean for them that they could speak out on these issues.  On the other hand, maybe they knew what I find hard to accept on a gut level- that academic freedom is an ideal that in the real world of academia is all too often not applied when it comes to a professor who is too controversial, too outspoken.

Following are excepts from the LA Times article-

In the volatile mix of academia and sex, UCLA psychology professor Paul R. Abramson says he is trying to light a torch for liberty.

Abramson is sharply criticizing his own employer and colleges nationwide that have adopted restrictions — and, in a few cases, outright bans — on romances between faculty and students.

Of course, sexual harassment should not be allowed and no one should supervise or give grades to a romantic partner, says Abramson, who has taught at UCLA for 31 years. But those concerns should not restrict the right of consenting adults to have a non-exploitative relationship, he argues in a new book.

….

Salon.com, in a blurb that set off a blistering online debate about the classroom and the bedroom, suggested that Abramson might be “a campus Casanova in his own right.”

To that, Abramson reacted wryly during an interview at his campus office. “I’m 57 and have three kids and two grandkids. If I’m the campus Casanova, then the campus has a lot of problems,” said the professor, who has longish graying hair, a goatee and an earring.

Abramson concedes that his personal life was complicated in his 20s but says he has been a staid suburban soccer dad for the last two decades. Thrice divorced, he is married to a 51-year-old neonatal nurse who has never been affiliated with UCLA.

He points out that he has not had a romance with anyone at UCLA for 20 years, although he said he had serious relationships with two former undergraduate students nearly 30 years ago. One was 13 years his senior, and the other, whom he eventually married, was five years his junior. He met them in his classes but did not date them until later, he said.

Too many people have an unrealistic stereotype of campus love, he said. “The picture of it is the older professor and Suzie Coed. I’m sure such things happen, but the greater likelihood are people of similar ages, with similar interests, going for the same music and movies,” like a 27-year-old assistant professor and a 24-year-old graduate student who later get married, he said.

Abramson’s book began as a reaction to regulations adopted by the UC regents in 2003; they didn’t ban such hookups but declared that professors should avoid romantic or sexual relationships with students for whom they have “or should reasonably expect” to have teaching or supervisory responsibility. That includes students interested in a subject within the professor’s expertise — a definition that Abramson finds overly broad. Sanctions range from written censure to dismissal.

The rules were adopted, amid some debate, partly in reaction to a sexual harassment allegation at UC Berkeley. Its law school dean, John P. Dwyer, resigned in 2002 after a student charged that he fondled her when she passed out from heavy drinking. The dean said the encounter was consensual.

The fact that the Dwyer case was cited to support the rules shows that campus leaders were more concerned about lawsuits than anything else, Abramson alleges.

“Eliminating civil liberties to punish a small number of transgressors is hardly the answer,” he writes.

To allay legal fears, he suggests an alternative: All faculty and students would read and sign a release (a “love contract”) that would warn about the power differences and favoritism that can arise from faculty-student dating. They then would promise, as in a medical release, not to hold the school responsible if the romance goes sour.

UC Santa Barbara political science professor Gayle Binion, who helped draft the 2003 UC policy when she headed the systemwide Academic Senate, said it was partly intended to shield UC from liability.

But more important, she said, most of the faculty thought it was “good policy” since students may consent to an affair but not grasp the potential consequences even if they sign a release. “If the relationship goes awry, it is the student who is going to suffer,” Binion said, citing instances of graduate students who then drop out.

Such relationships are “not terribly uncommon at the graduate student level,” but probably less frequent and more “under the radar” now than during the free-wheeling ’70s and early ’80s, she said. Still, the rule “not only makes parents more secure when they send their kids to UC, it puts the faculty on notice,” Binion said.

Abramson overstates his case about restrictions on freedom, according to Binion. Limits on dating are common in many workplaces, she said, and academia “is kind of late coming to it.”

Since 2003, a handful of cases of possible faculty violations of the policy have been formally reviewed, according to UC spokesman Brad Hayward. No professor has been dismissed, although a few were disciplined with warning letters that are considered confidential personnel matters, he said.

So what do students think? Reaction is mixed.

Dianne Tanjuaquio, a vice president of UCLA’s undergraduate students association, said she agrees with Abramson that the rules are too harsh in keeping entire departments off-limits. “We are adults at an elite university. Something as broad as that is very restrictive on our personal freedoms,” she said.

But Oiyan Poon, president of UC’s systemwide student association, supports the regulations, explaining that a teacher in the same department could harm a student’s career even if they never shared a class. Without the rules, “those issues could get extremely sticky when a student is trying to earn a degree in a timely fashion,” she said.

In 1995, the American Assn. of University Professors adopted a statement that calls sexual relations between students and faculty who supervise them “fraught with the potential for exploitation.” Anita Levy, its associate secretary for academic freedom and tenure issues, said Abramson’s arguments might find some support on campuses, but she doubted any rule changes nationwide would occur.

Abramson said he is often asked how he would react if his middle daughter, who is preparing for college, dated a professor in the future. “It’s within the realm of possibility, but it’s much more likely she would meet a 22-year-old teaching assistant,” he said. “If that’s who she wants to be involved with, that’s who she gets involved with.”

larry.gordon@latimes.com

October 24, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, ivory tower romance, student professor dating, UCLA | 7 Comments

Dankprofessor unplugged

It’s been just about two months since the dankprofessor emerged from the netherworld, from the dank bogs and cellars of American universities trekking thru myriad sites of the internet and settling into the world of blogdom. 

Some have asked for what purpose has the dankprofessor taken this flite into the blog world? Such has occurred in part to replace the Bank of America with a Dank of America where people can go and feel safe to socialize and romanticize, to think about and contemplate whatever without fear of penalty, without fear of a thought police or sexual patrols, without meddlers and various and sundry intruders creating patriarchal and matriarchal structures for protecting the multitudes from themselves.   However, the dankprofessor must choose and the dankprofessor has chosen for attention universities in North America which have descended into a black hole of political and sexual correctness; a correctness where developing a sense of inclusive welcomeness trumps academic freedom, where everyone has  a right not to be offended and where the creation of personal liaisons must be bureaucratically blessed.

In this anemic academic world, academics watch as their confreres are barred from classrooms and brought before tribunals for violating speech and sexual codes.  This is the world that the dankprofessor wishes to deal with, a world which, of course, goes beyond university campuses, a world where a hug might be considered unprofessional.

I do not see my efforts to be heroic although I gratefully acknowledge the status of internet hero which has just been bestowed upon me.  The fact of the matter is that I need help, help in getting more blog exposure, help in navigating thru a blog technology maze in the context of not being all that technologically sophisticated; I have yet to master the widgetry world and am still stumbling when it comes to getting hooked into stumbleupon.  And yes, I am reaching out to a person to guide me in mastering blog technology.  And I need more persons to give me leads to  articles, other blogs, breaking stories, etc.

My first two months in blogdom has been great.  In part it has been made great by the support of Professor John Bonnell.  Thank you, John.

Yours in blogdom,

the dankprofessor

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 23, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, blogs, higher education | Leave a comment

To hug or not to hug in the workplace

I think we all know the obstacles to dating and romance in both the workplace and the university place. Employers with their legal consultants draw up fraternization rules that make it damn dangerous  for employees to even engage in furtive flirting.  Consensual romance all too often is conflated with sexual harassment.  Whether romantic overtures may be wanted or unwanted by him or her, such may not matter to the employer who has zero tolerance for overtures of any sort in his workplace.  All too often such employers have been love deprived for their entire lives so recreating such a deprived environment for those for whom they  now have control over becomes for them par for the course.  Some times it is a case of the employer protecting oneself from lawsuits; other times it is the employer who engages in a lawsuit rhetoric using such rhetoric as a smokescreen to squelch any form of affection and appreciation in his workplace.  Often such just boils down to the boss doing to others what in the past was done to him or her over and over again.  In other words, work time ends up being revenge time. In some of the most cynical scenarios it is the Chief/Boss/CEO diligently expunging consensual romance while behind sealed doors engaging in flagrant sexually harassing behavior.

In work environments that are deprived of affection and ruled by a tyrannical patriarch or matriarch, even small human gestures of affection can make a difference, such as a hug now and then.  But for many of the workplace ruling class, hugging may be viewed as way out of line.  Hugging is not always welcomed, and to make sure it is welcome, the hugee may be asked to sign a form waiving ones right not to be hugged.  This following quote on workplace hugging sort of sums it all up.

“Sometimes people get comfortable with each other, and over time they become more comfortable and that may include a big hug,” said T. Ray Bennett, with American Bureau of Shipping.

But Bennett says: “Hugging is typically not necessary to get the job done, so it’s not something we feel is necessary. We suggest that’s its usually best to stay professional and stay away from that.”

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 21, 2007 Posted by | corporate dating bans, dating, ethics, fraternization, sexual politics | 2 Comments

Until proven innocent

Duke again.

October 17, 2007 Posted by | Duke University, ethics, higher education, political correctness | Leave a comment

Hooking-up and spitting game

In terms of the UCONN  thong controversy, the UCONN administration found nothing casual about a nanosecond film clip exposure of a thonged woman in Professor Birmingham’s class.  Dean Paul justified his decision to get the prof out of the classroom for the rest of the semester by indicating it was so that all students at UCONN experience a welcoming environment.  However, it may be that the good dean is out of touch with the UCONN student body at least such is probably the case as indicated in the Duke University student newspaper which reported the following-

“Casual sex is increasingly described as the normative form of romantic relationships on campuses, said Suzanne Shanahan, associate director of the Kenan Institute of Ethics and assistant professor of sociology. Shanahan led the presentation “Love on the Quad: Romantic Relationships,” Saturday to an audience of Duke’s Half-Century Club members, who attended the event as a part of Homecoming Weekend activities. In a cross-disciplinary research study, Shanahan examined the changing relationships among students at Duke and other college campuses, along with the concept of a “hook-up” and its effects on student interaction.“Popular press has become obsessed with the hook-up culture of young people,” she said. According to a report produced for the Independent Women’s Forum in 2001, 91 percent of college women surveyed on campuses nationwide described their school as having a “salient hook-up culture,” Shanahan added. Other surveys found that approximately 70 to 80 percent of college students engaged in intercourse with a casual sex partner during the previous year…
 
Nastassja Marshall, a junior, has witnessed her peers move each year from hooking up to entering into relationships.“Freshman year makes you want to go out and explore,” she said. “By junior year, people have realized what they want in a relationship.”Jonathan Schwartz, a senior, said he has also noticed the changing ideas of relationships on campus. “I know a lot of people who got in a relationship after their freshman year,” he said. “They have been together since and are just hoping for that long-term commitment.”Another cause of “relationship avoidance” is students’ sense that long-term, committed relationships get in the way of other activities in which they want to engage during college, Shanahan said. University students are often over-committed, and they instead anticipate getting into a relationship shortly after graduation.“Relationships may be too time-consuming and distracting for some people,” Schwartz said, explaining his peers’ preference for non-commitment.Mark, commenting on her opinion of the campus “hook-up” scene, agreed.

“People are trying to have fun without the complications of a relationship,” she said.  

The dankprofessor’s take on this is that I cannot help but wonder if the deans of academia are committed to creating a welcoming environment for students immersed in the hook-up culture.  Does multiculturalism and cultural sensitivity embrace  those who just want to hook-up?  Or is the embrace given to campus purity feminists who want to get rid of all hooking-up behavior, behavior which is often seen  as representing patriarchal oppression.  In any case, it would be interesting to have some good comparative data to determine in more exact terms how pervasive is the campus hooking-up culture.   Might it equally encompass universities such as  Duke and the University of Virginia and the University of Connecticut?  Might students who are into hooking-up even be found in law schools?  As for the University of Virginia, a recent article in their campus newspaper indicated that hooking-up at Virginia is often viewed in game playing terms-

“”The Game” refers to the general concept of guys trying to get girls to hook up, as opposed to a particular person’s “game,” or strategy for getting ahead in the Game. Thus, the expression “spitting game” refers to one person’s attempt to succeed in the casual hookup, the object being maximization of play and minimization of drama. That is to say, spitting game is hooking up as often as is desired, while keeping the level of emotional attachment, commitment and social consequences at a minimum. Think: What do I have to do to get this girl to hook up with me without the repercussions of emotional attachment? Now you’re getting into the mind of a player. Real players are natural flirters. For a player, the rewards of the game are enticing, but I get the impression they’d play it for free. Like noble baseball players of old, real players play for love of the game. There are two basic methods of spitting game, traditional and contemporary. Though any experienced player will be familiar with both styles, some definitely prefer one or the other. The key is to be able to judge a girl well enough to be able to know which style is more likely to be successful. Straightforward, down-to-earth girls are more likely to be attracted to the traditional style, while wilder girls are susceptible to the contemporary mode of play. This said, the traditional style of play tends to work on a larger proportion of the female population. The traditional style of spitting game is characterized by flattery, forthrightness and complimenting. Don’t beat around the bush; let her know that you’re interested. Guys with musical or artistic talent can show this off to impress a girl through the traditional method. Of the two, this is the more honest approach; however, treating a girl with this level of attention early on will lead her to expect it from you in the future. If you intend to hook up with this girl on a regular basis, keeping up this facade of genuine interest in her may become tiresome. If she shows signs of attachment, be wary: She may end up wanting to be your girlfriend.” (The writer promises that an article to follow will focus on the female perspective)

My point is not to endorse or condemn hooking-up and spitting game but rather I bemoan how split off from student culture are all too many of the ruling class in academia.  They are all too often blinded by a politically correct feminist ideology that cuts them off from understanding what is happening on the ground; such is reminiscent of American political leaders who are blinded by their ideological zealotry.

What to do?  No magic bullet, but maybe I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS should be required reading for all university administrators.

October 17, 2007 Posted by | dating, hooking-up, political correctness, sexual politics | Leave a comment

Dating in the workplace and the university place

The NY Times has reported that office dating is becoming more acceptable, that is, more acceptable in the office.  Not that workplace dating ever decreased in the context of sexual harassment indoctrination which demanded one adhere to the line that office dating was a no-no since it could end up in an office imbroglio or some co-worker might become offended or upset or envious that he or she was not the chosen and such could end up representing a hostile work environment.  No matter that most or almost all of the office mates might feel great that true love was blooming in their midst; always lurking in the background could be the unloved waiting to take weighty action against the loved ones and their employers.  No wonder that office romance had become closeted romance.  But now the Times report there is change and these changes in the workplace and the accompanying concerns and issues also have relevance to dating in the university place. Excerpts from the Times article follows.

“An online survey this year by CareerBuilder.com found a significant drop in the number of workers who are keeping an office romance a secret, down from 46 percent in 2005 to 34 percent in 2007. About half of workers say they have dated a co-worker, according to CareerBuilder.com surveys conducted annually for the last three years.

The taboo of the affaire de cubicle has lost some potency, but exactly how much is difficult to gauge as statistics vary from survey to survey. Still, “you see quite a bit of emphasis on work-life balance,” said Jennifer Sullivan, who oversaw the CareerBuilder.com survey, conducted by Harris Interactive. Companies, she said, are allowing more flexibility versus having a handbook dictate how employees need to behave and what those relationships should look like in the office.

As a result, she added, “people are much more open about their relationships.”

Every workplace culture is different, with some less tolerant of office dating. A survey last year by the Society for Human Resource Management and CareerJournal.com found that, over all, there was fading concern about potential sexual harassment allegations (77 percent were concerned about it in 2005, down from 95 percent in 2001) but increasing concern that office dating could cause conflict among jilted lovers.

To that end there are now magazine articles and Web sites that not only condone going to work and picking up more than a paycheck, but that also offer advice on how to successfully do so. A book coming out next month, a kind of “The Rules” for the office, would have been difficult to publish in 1991.

In “Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding – and Managing – Romance on the Job” (Adams Media, November 2007), the writers Stephanie Losee and Helaine Olen (who both married colleagues) say the workplace is the new village – and therefore an ideal place to find love.

Ms. Losee said the growing acceptance of office dating (not to be confused with a hookup) is something of a backlash against dating Web sites. “I’m not surprised that the Internet has not proven to be the locus of community we thought it would be,” she said, citing the notion in Robert D. Putnam’s book, “Bowling Alone,” that “we need to be physically near each other to feel happier and better in our everyday lives.”

“Where do we still have that physical proximity of neighborhoodliness?” she said. “It’s at the office.”

Well, the dankprofessor must agree that physical proximity or neighborhoodliness should be ideal for the blooming of romance.  In the social science literature this was called the principle of propinquity.  Of course, internet dating did away with the necessity of any physical proximity. But the girl next store or the guy in the next seat still had its pull and its convenience.  Get a whole bunch of people together who are eminently eligible and one will find dating and mating.

Such, of course, is the situation in regards to university life, thousands exuding eligibility in a community setting of a university. The fact that most of the university citizenry are students and a minority faculty members does not represent any “natural” boundary to romance.  Such should not be shocking to anyone that it has never been infrequent that men who are older and of higher status are found to be attractive by females, including female students attracted to professors.

Some puritanical feminists such as  Billy Dziech simply discard the professor who is sexually responsive to a female student as being lecherous.  Others discard the professor as being hung up on young women; as being on a power trip; as someone who should grow up and date women their own age.  Others go further and view such professors as dangerous predators who victimize young girls who are unable to provide consent and who merit excommunication from the university.

Myself, I take a very pedestrian view based on the principle of propinquity.  Eligible men will wish to date eligible women who are physically proximate and who they find attractive.  Such also applies to women.  Such also applies to female students and male professors.  No big deal. No rule, no ideologues no matter how motivated, will prevent such dating and mating. Driving student/professors into the closet yes; stopping such romances absolutely no. Can one seriously entertain the notion that such sexual repression could be effective knowing that a millenium of vicious anti-homosexuality did not prevent men and women from engaging in same sex affections?  Of course, effective repression was driving homosexually attracted men and women into the closet.  In essence the dominant society wanted qay people to be out of sight and therefore out of mind.  The “good” homosexuals were the homosexuals who did not flaunt, the good homosexuals were not seen as part of a homosexual couple but rather as good friends.

However, in today’s academic world all too many campuses are characterized by a hypersensitivity toward any male professor/female student interaction which in some subtle manner might indicate a sexual component.  Some people will impute a sexual component if the two persons stand close to each other; if there is a hug that is reciprocated; if the professor and student are simply talking and walking across campus, etc.  The campus presentations of a professor and student involved with each other are often no different than everyday interactions between a non romantically involved student and professor.  Consequently, almost anyone could become suspect.  Such may be in part the  reason for the increasing impersonality of American  universities.

In addition, university environments without bureaucratically imposed fraternization bans could very well be safer settings for dating and mating.  After all, if people study together, teach and learn together on a frequent basis, it is more likely that those who become romantically involved know each other pretty well prior to the romance blooming.  No need for blind dating.  As stated in the Times article- 

“People who work together have time to get to know one another, Ms. Losee and Ms. Olen said in interviews, to see how potential paramours behave under stress or how they treat the secretary. Unlike online daters, singles in the workplace are less likely to dismiss a good catch based on snap judgments. Take Ms. Losee’s husband, who is shorter than her and who liked to wear an oversize linen jacket, she said, that leaves something to be desired. “If I met him at a bar I would not have given him a chance,” she said. So perhaps, the authors suggest, a gal need not kiss as many frogs if she is allowed to kiss Kenneth from payroll. But does that mean she should?”

Of course, the dankprofessor does not advocate that she should, what I do advocate is that it is her and his decision to make.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submiited for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 16, 2007 Posted by | attractive students, consensual relationships, corporate dating bans, dating, ethics, fraternization, higher education, student professor dating, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Thong protection for UCONN law students

So the Hartford Courant has editorialized in support of the UCONN Law School’s coerced leave for Professor Robert L. Birmingham.  According to the Courant,  Birmingham had crossed a line when he exposed unprepared studentsto a film clip of a woman dancing in a thong. I guess that the Courant holds that a public exposed thong represents a clear and present danger.  After all, if Bill Clinton, a Yale law school graduate, was driven to the edge by Monica’s exposed thong then it becomes obvious that protecting vulnerable UCONN law students from thong exposurebecomes mandatory.  Academic freedom be damned! 

To get some additional input on the UCONN fiasco, check out the Volokh Conspiracy blog; the associated forum merits our attention.  The following commentary from the forum particularly merits our attention-

(link)

UCONN 3L (mail):

Perhaps some context would be useful. I’m a 3L at UCONN and former student of Prof. Birmingham. I was not in Remedies or Nuremberg but I do have a good sense of the feelings on campus about the issue. I’ll attempt to fill in some gaps and am happy to answer any other questions if I’m able:
-Birmingham’s Remedies course is taught immediately before and in the same classroom as Nuremberg. That may explain how it became of interest to the Nuremberg class.
-Many students take multiple Birmingham classes. There were no doubt students from Remedies still discussing the film when Nuremberg began.
-Birmingham’s classes are non-traditional to say the least and he’s generally either loved or hated. He’s not going to teach anything out of a casebook. He’d much rather use (often contemporary) cases, provocative questions, and media aids (movies but more frequently oral arguments) to make his point. And it’s not clear what his point is until late in the semester. It can also be a bit of a culture shock to be in a Birm class for the first time with other students familiar with his methods. It’s a lot like being on the outside of an inside joke for a few weeks until you catch up with the schtick.
-UCONN you may remember is still “recovering” from the negative publicity surrounding the “bullets and bubbly” party last January in which black students on campus were offended by conduct at an off campus party (google uconn law bullets and bubbly). At that time the school was close to making everyone take sensitivity training and profs were encouraged to consider race issues in the classroom to promote diversity. Dead Paul is still wet behind the ears (on the job less than a year) and is eager to be seen as a strong leader. The perception among most students is that he acted as harshly as he did in this case because he wanted to show that the school was “tough on racism” in light of the negative publicity last year.
-The consensus from people in the class and Prof. B’s story is that the interview concluded while the scene faded into the scantily clad woman. The choice was either to show that for a couple seconds or cut off the interview before it concluded.
-Prof. B is notorious for easy grades in classes small enough to permit grading off a curve. Remedies does not count but his other courses (and he teaches 4/semester) do. An interesting undercurrent in the debate on campus is that most students think what the admin did was wrong, but they have a hard time feeling bad for students whose schedules are messed up because many of them are not in the classes to learn about nuremberg or energy or admiralty, but rather for an easy A.

10.11.2007 8:16am

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submiited for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

October 14, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, Uncategorized, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

Prostituting and pimping at the UCONN law school

Last week publicdefender.com had a discussion on the UCONN Professor Robert L. Birmingham case and some of the discussants were or had been law students at UCONN.  The dankprofessor was particularly taken by the following comment-

  1. Rastaman said:
    October 4th, 2007 at 11:01 am | Quote Not strange, frightening! The First Amendment, or free speech, is being systematically reduced to a slogan. A law professor, especially, should not have to be politically correct. Of all places to punish someone for their speech law school is the worst. The chilling effect of this decision on other professors will make the mass of boring, lecture note reading, intellectually stagnant professors the norm instead of the burden.UCONN law is a “wannabe” high end school, plagued by political insiders and government hacks. They can’t even get the library to stop leaking, perhaps the magnanimous wimp Dean can pick up a caulk gun and work on the building. He sure doesn’t have the moral courage to run the law school.

Chilling effect, absolutely.  Unfortunately, the Dean has the courage to systematically destroy academic freedom at the UCONN law school and at the University of Connecticut in general.  If the UCONN law school cannot even give lip service to academic freedom, it is not to be expected that the other colleges and professional schools of UCONN will be any different.  

The only professors who benefit from a university’s adherence to academic freedom are obviously the controversial ones.  Take away controversial professors and there is no need for academic freedom.  Obviously the UCONN administration is making some headway in creating a faculty of conforming dullards given the apparent faculty law school support of the actions taken against Professor Birmingham.  Many alumni, many current students have spoken out against these actions but to my knowledge not one single faculty member has done so.  Silence may indicate faculty support or faculty indifference; whether it is indifference or support the non-action of the UCONN faculty in the dankprofessor’s opinion is damning.

Also, let us not forget that Dean Paul and his fellow administrators felt that Birmingham’s “violations” were so serious that he had to be taken out of the classroom immediately; no time for any formal complaint and even a preliminary investigation.  Immediate actions were felt to be necessary.  Usually, in these sorts of “personnel matters” administrators do not go for a public airing of the problem; obviously such did not happen in this case.  The administration even called for a public forum on their so-called case against the professor.

Why such radical and precipitous behavior?  For a video malfunction that caused a microsecond view of a partially clad woman?  For the discussion of a legal case regarding prostitutes and pimps?  For the professor discussing the case for reparations for African-Americans for slavery in a legal remedies case?  Some may feel that it was the reparations issue and the professor putting it forward in the context of asking challenging questions.  Might some academics and administrators have a hypersensitivity to this issue since it was David Horowitz who argued a few years ago against reparations and put his argument forward in campus newspapers throughout the United States?  Some campuses responded to Horowitz’s essay not with a critique but with an attempt to block publication.  Horowitz argued that said response demonstrated how too many US campuses did not value academic freedom, and how too many campuses had become too politically correct. Maybe it is now the case at the UCONN law school that the Dean and the faculty have come to believe that Professor Birmingham and David Horowitz are in essence the same.  Whatever the case may be, certainly the situation under consideration provides support for the Horowitz belief that all too often universities have become a home for the inane.

As for the dankprofessor’s word on this, the word of the day is prostituting- professors and professor/administrators at the UCONN law school prostituting academic freedom. Or maybe I should add another “p” word, pimping.  Professors pimping for administrators in their goal of prostituting academic freedom.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submiited for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007
 

October 13, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

Worshipping the PC God at the UCONN School of Law

The leave imposed on UCONN law school Professor Birmingham was not based on any formal student complaints, but rather Dean Paul imposed his leave based on students comments he overheard.  Such was reported in the October 15 issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune.  Excerpts from that article follow

“Paul, acting on overheard complaints from students about a racy movie clip shown in Birmingham’s Remedies lecture and in another seminar on Sept. 21, persuaded the professor to take a leave of absence for the rest of the semester.

Students on both sides of the debate have posted comments on various web sites. To some, Birmingham is a “creep,” to others he’s a teacher who “makes you think.” Some said Paul did the right thing by giving a “dirty old man a public wrist-slapping.” Others said Paul disgracefully bowed to “the gods of PC” with the forced leave of absence.

Some students have expressed dismay that no law school professors had spoken up in defense of Birmingham or academic freedom. Tom Baker, director of the school’s Insurance Law Institute, said he was not familiar with the details of the controversy, but said: “There are not two schools of thought among the faculty. The law school faculty supports Dean Paul and the administration on this.”

Many alumni are apparently less enthusiastic. Kyle Odin, who graduated in 2003 and is now a lawyer for IBM Financial in Armonk, N.Y., e-mailed Paul to after reading news reports.

“If the discussion about the issue of reparations for slavery can’t be discussed in a law school Remedies class, where can it be discussed?” he told the Law Tribune.

Michael Murshak, who also graduated in ’03, is a patent lawyer in Lansing, Mich. He and many others received copies of Odin’s e-mail to Paul, who arranged a conference call to address the alumni concerns. Murshak said he hoped the call would put to rest some of his “anger and frustration … . But I left the conference call more upset than I was before.”

Paul, who could not be reached for this story, has acknowledged he did not view the video before asking Birmingham to take the leave of absence. He said no formal complaint was made by anyone, but he and Associate Dean Paul Chill took action to demonstrate the college’s dedication to providing a welcoming, diverse and tolerant environment for students.

All three alumni interviewed said that, during the conference call, Paul dodged key questions and didn’t clarify what prompted Birmingham’s punishment.

“There were really two issues that went on here,” said Patrick, the D.C. lawyer. “The issue of the movie, and the issue of the discussion that accompanied it.”

She asked Paul whether he was upset with the movie, the discussion, or both. “The dean refused to answer that question,” said Patrick. “He started off the conference call saying we all knew what had happened and the circumstances around it, but he didn’t actually lay out that, ‘I got complaints about the movie’ or anything specific.”

The dankprofessor’s take on this is that given the political realities in American higher education, I know that I should not be shocked by the actions of the UCONN Law School.  But I am shocked that any law school dean would trump academic freedom and freedom of speech in the name of a welcoming environment to students.  Fortunately, there are some law students who understand the dynamic of what is going on, that Dean Paul and his supporters have “bowed to the gods of PC”.  For a dean who has become a born again PCer, who has joined the PC cult, imposing his will on Professor Birmingham demonstrates that he can walk the walk rather than simply talking the talk.   On the other hand the good dean may just be another anemic academic careerist and believes that walking the walk might very well lead the good dean on a pilgrimage to other sacred places of higher education;  I would think that Duke would provide him with a most welcoming environment.

October 12, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

More Detailed Article on UCONN case

Following is the unedited article that appeared on the National Law Journal Online which was originally publishedin The Connecticut Law Tribune.  Although this article is somewhat dated, October 3, it is the most detailed report on this case that has appeared in print.  Although it is indicated in the article that Birmingham’s classes would be covered by other instructors, later reports indicated that the courses would be dropped. Dean Paul and Dean Chill appear to be the administrators who are calling the shots in this case. It will be interesting to see if the upper echelon UCONN administration continues to support actions that I think are fair to characterize as precipitous.  One student noted that it was ironic that this situation occurred in the law school’s legal remedies class. Surreal would also be an accurate term to use.

National Law Journal

©2007 National Law Journal Online
Page printed from: http://www.nlj.com

Academic freedom questioned at UConn Law School

Thomas B. Scheffey/The Connecticut Law Tribune
October 3, 2007
The University of Connecticut School of Law has placed veteran professor Robert L. Birmingham on a sudden leave of absence after the quirky but popular scholar showed a film clip in class from “Really Really Pimpin’ in Da South” a training film for prostitution.

UConn Law Dean Jeremy Paul confirmed today that he and Birmingham had a “discussion following an incident in one of his classes,” and decided it was “in the best interests of the school” for Birmingham to leave for the rest of the semester.

Paul called it “a difficult situation” and said he and his administration are concerned with fostering academic freedom, while preserving “a welcoming, diverse and tolerant environment for students.”

According to three students who were either present in Birmingham’s Remedies class on Friday, Sept. 28, or spoke with students who were, the sometimes provocative professor asked students to make a case for slavery reparations in light of the fact that much of Africa is beset by war, famine and AIDS. Some students were so upset and offended by the topic — and images of barely-clad exotic dancers in the “Pimps” film — that they stood up and walked out of the class.

The legal case under discussion was the 2004 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit case of U.S. v. Charles Floyd Pipkins, a.k.a. Sir Charles, and Andrew Moore Jr., a.k.a. Batman. Pipkins and Moore were appealing their convictions on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges as Atlanta pimps of juvenile girls as young as 12 years old. Pipkins speaks in the “Pimps” film.

The 11th Circuit opinion explains that prostitutes are free to choose a different pimp. Birmingham asked the 50 students in his Remedies lecture class whether that means they were not held in involuntary servitude — one of the counts in Pipkins’ and Moore’s RICO indictment.

Part of the problem with Birmingham’s film demonstration, according to witnesses, was due to the video equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction. “He’s not very good at operating the video equipment, and it didn’t stop when he wanted it to,” said one student. “It continued to show these dancers in tassels and a G-string, and stopped with a close-up of the G-string.”

A law school administration source familiar with the situation said that Birmingham stopped the film at the objectionable G-string segment a second time that day, when he used the film in his class on the Nuremberg trials. “It wasn’t just a one-time `wardrobe malfunction,'” the official said.Birmingham could not be reached for comment for this article. But in a formal apology to students, he wrote, “I regret that I did not cut off the film at the end of the interview of Mr. Pipkins in time to prevent the adjacent material from appearing on the screens. I apologize to those of you whom I offended. I apologize as well that I did not emphasize the presupposition of our discussion: the extreme enduring suffering that slavery entailed.”

Students React

On Oct. 1, Associate Dean Paul Chill met with students, in this semester’s first “Query The Dean” session, to discuss Birmingham’s actions and the administration’s reaction.

“It’s ironic that this was all about a remedies class,” said one female law student. “People were upset with some of the images in the film, and what Professor Birmingham said. But I think they were even more upset by what the administration did to him.”

One minority student added, “Two wrongs don’t make a right here. Lots of other professors have said provocative things without any reaction from the administration like this. I think Dean Chill and Dean Paul are punishing a professor they don’t like in the name of protecting minority students’ feelings.”

The students spoke to the Law Tribune on the condition that they would remain anonymous.

Two recent graduates appeared at the Oct. 1 session and spoke up in Birmingham’s defense. “A lot of people are really mad,” said a female law student.

Students praised Birmingham’s efforts to spark critical thinking and his provocative use of the Socratic method. “He’s one of very few professors who don’t teach like it’s purely a vocational school,” one said.

A female student, however, noted that she had a female African-American classmate who “was very angry and offended” by Birmingham’s class, because “the wounds haven’t healed” from discrimination that student suffered in her youth.

Looking For A Replacement

Birmingham has an unfortunate backdrop to contend with. Earlier this year, SmokingGun.com posted photos from an off-campus party themed “Bullets and Bubbly.” The photos depict white UConn law students sporting tiger claw tattoos, “do-rags,” 40 oz. beer bottles and T-shirts emblazoned with “THUG LIFE” and “SNAP, SNAP, SNAP.”

In the soul-searching that followed that incident, students debated whether Student Bar Association officers in the photos should step down.

“I think the administration was trying to apologize for the stereotyping [at the] Bullets and Bubbly party,” said a student who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

Paul said no student formally complained about Birmingham. He said students were divided over whether Birmingham’s behavior deserved a sanction or whether he should be protected under principles of academic freedom. Black and white students, Paul added, were on both sides of the divisive issue.

Paul said Dean Chill is working diligently to find a new lecturer for the 50-person remedies lecture class and to find alternative instruction for three 18-person seminars Birmingham was teaching.

“A friend of mine was taking 10 credits from Birmingham — he was teaching more than any other law professor at the school,” one third-year law student maintained.

October 10, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

Political correctness run amok

The NY Times editorialized today on radio station WBAI pulling the plug on a broadcast of the recording of late poet Allen Ginsburg reading his poem, “Howl”. Such represented a retreat by WBAI as being in the forefront in innovative radio programming.  According to the Times, this retreat came about as a “result of fear that the Federal Communications Commission would levy large obscenity fines that might bankrupt the small-budget station.”  Such did not represent an irrational paranoia by WBAI since a few offended listeners could very well be enough to bring down the wrath of the FCC on WBAI.  As the Times noted, the FCC had already fined CBS $500,000 for a nanosecond telecast of Janet Jackson’s nipple.

Now joining this censorship fray is the law school of the University of Connecticut which not only pressured one of their professors, Robert L. Birmingham, to not teach all of his classes for this Fall semester, but the law school dean went on to cancel all of his scheduled classes for the semester leaving his enrolled students in an academic never never land. 

Why the excommunication of the good professor and the canceling of all his classes?  The Hartford Courant reported that Professor Birmingham showed a film clip of an interview with a pimp convicted in a court case called U.S. vs. Pipkins.  However, it was not the interview itself that the UCONN law school found to be problematic, but it was what appeared  immediately after the interview- a scene of a scantily clad woman; Birmingham then immediately pressed the button to freeze the film.  It was the instant view of the scantily clad woman that was enough to upset a couple of students and end Professor Birmingham’s teaching for the foreseeable future.

“We believe it is in the best interest of the university not to escalate the situation and would like only to say that Professor Birmingham showed a relevant interview in class,” said Heather Kaufmann, Birmingham’s attorney. “He stopped the film at the completion of the interview. Period. The suggestion that the questionable material was shown intentionally is both troubling and dishonest.”

But whatever the intentions of the professor may have been, such did did not matter to the UCONN law school administration.  What only mattered was an instant second of offense that supposedly was experienced by a couple of students.  There was no FCC pressuring UCONN to take this action; no authoritarian organization threatening the university.  The impetus for UCONN to take actions that undermine the principles freedom of speech and academic freedom was political correctness run amok.  The dankprofessor believes it is outrageous that a law school can make such short shrift of these principles, principles which some Americans, both inside and outside of academia, still believe are worth preserving.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.
© Copyright 2007

October 8, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, ethics, higher education, political correctness, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

Response to “Right to Romance” article

There was only one published letter to the editor in response to Paul Abramson’s Boston Globe “Right to Romance” article; the letter was by Harvey A. Silvergate.  And it is an excellent letter that merits our attention.

October 7, 2007 Posted by | consensual relationships, higher education, ivory tower romance, sexual politics, student professor dating | Leave a comment

No younger male profs and older female students in Inside Higher Education

 Somehow I missed the September 27  Inside Higher Education article,  “Do I Dare Eat a Peach?” and the accompanying reader forum.  My only excuse is that on the 26th I was changing time zones from EST to PST and consequently for the next few days I was in a state of malaise.  Fortunately not all the Dankprofessor blog readers missed it and I thank them for bringing it to my attention.

Reading over the article and the responses I found that the overwhelming concern was age differentiated relationships and that student/professor relationships were seen as a subset of said relationships.  In the university world it is still axiomatic that the older prof is always male and the younger student is always female.  No exceptions.  Such was only one of of numerous stereotypes promulgated in the accompanying forum.  No matter how many times I read about how it is ALWAYS the male professor who is older, I still know that my wife to be who I dated while she was a student in my class still remains two years older than myself.  As for the campus banning ideologues, we did not exist then and we never existed.  I do not deny that on some abstract intellectual level they could entertain the idea that such an exception could exist. But in the real world personal face to face situation they denied that we were a real student/prof couple, and therefore should not be subject to their wrath.  We just didn’t count as the real thing and consequently were simply discounted. Also, I do not discount the possibility that some of our committed CSULB feminist ideologues believed I was playing a game to see if they would actually go after a mature female student who was more mature then them and did not suffer from any ideological disability.

In any case, not all the commentators were escapees from the real world of exceptional people.  Following is the comment of Jan Arnold. It deserves to be savored; so few academics are willing to write the truth as he writes it.

 “What a refreshing (and unfortunately a probably soon to be trashed by many who will willfully miss the point) discussion on sexuality and our American obsession with Pauline-Augustinian notions of “sin” (though you didn’t bring that term in) when broaching life’s most exciting gift. The myth of the negotiability of a feeling state underlies the misbegotten notions of human autonomy that pervades our culture from Plato to W. Nietzsche summed it up in Twilight of the Idols when he collapsed the problems of Western culture to 2,000 years of sexual repression. The very feeling of sexual excitement itself has been demonized and the repressions of vocal zealous fews have put us all into a world of circumspect “quotation marks.” Is power predation acceptable? Of course not. Does this mean sex is a burden of unspeakable sin, that like the pathetic Augustine we must despise ourselves and despair of ever being “innocent” and “pure”? What bosh. We might as well blaim the knife for the murder. Terry, you said it all. Why the delusion that passion and desire is something that can, and must, be controlled, not in its acting out, but in its very phenomenal emergence? Augustine saw his inability to prevent this emergence as proof positive of his fundamental, innate depravity, rather than the actuality that his ego demanded to be supernatural, godlike. You speak of the codes telling us, and assuming, that sexual feelings are negotiable, rational behaviors. This has been something I have argued against to others only to the return of askance blank incomprehensive stares. I take those required “ethics” courses online several times a year for every school that employs me as an adjunct, and normally ace them. Yet I once erred in an answer when I had missed the important point that any time an (adult) person has occupational superiority over another (adult) person, despite interest on the side of both persons, dating is strictly verboten. These were the stated conditions of the case: Ms. Lolly Gagge shows interest in supervisor, Jack Goff, a nice, kind, decidedly unabusive type guy, who after a few months asks her to dinner. Is this “ethical”? Sure, why not.? Oh no, says the tube god — he is her supervisor. Go back and answer it right. Case closed. “I’m depraved,” I reasoned. The vast majority of sex is not predation, and there is no sin in having natural hypothalamic processes. Sexual attraction to adolescents is not the same as sexual activity with them, and it is not pedophilia, either (check the DSM for what that actually is — for now, it is sufficient that one must have not reached puberty to qualify as the “ped” with which the “phile” is enamored). ” The power of sex? It must be equal, and take place only between- — or among — equals. Never mind that to much of the rest of the world such notions about sex are fatuous.” This is a courageous (ironically framed) statement in the present American puritan revival, in which we attempt to ignore the slaughter we have directly and indirectly wrought on Iraq while we piously swath ourselves in deeming “moral” such things as demanding abstinence only sex education, federal laws preventing brain-dead patients from being allowed to die (Terry Schiavala) and refering to blastulae as “Boys and girls” when disallowing potentially lifesaving stem-cell research. The dilemmas you wrote of and particularly heartening, to stand up for the right to have sexual passion and feelings, gave a good start to my day.” Jan Arnold

Jan Arnold, at 12:35 pm EDT on September 27, 2007

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.
© Copyright 2007

October 7, 2007 Posted by | ethics, higher education, sexual politics, student professor dating | 1 Comment

Professor John Bonnell on the sanctity of grading

I am pleased to post this guest commentary by Professor John Bonnell on the grading issue.

“One of the more significant hypocrisies in academe is this notion of the sanctity of grades.  In the humanities, to be sure, subjectivity reigns supreme—and that is exactly how it must be.  Any idea of introducing and enforcing standards of judgment, unanimity of value, and reliably measured “outcomes” is fanciful in the extreme.  Perhaps this can be accomplished in the teaching of mathematics and the natural sciences.  (I doubt it, of course.)  Perhaps a “C” in a Gary, Indiana high school means the same thing as a “C” in an Ivy League college.  More likely, that is a pious wish leading to equally sanctimonious lies. 

About thirty-five years ago, I and three dozen of my colleagues engaged in “grading” the same “student” essay.  These English teachers produced a nice bell curve, with results ranging from A to F, with a preponderance of C’s.  The rationales, the “standards,” the arguments were all over the range of possibility.  My department discreetly shelved this embarrassing experiment, never to try it again.  And since the “student” whose work was being graded remained anonymous, all the numerous other factors besides grammar, spelling, coherence, unity, and rhetorical emphases—factors such as gender, looks, race, age, ethnicity, et cetera, et cetera—did not enter into the grading “outcome.”  Yet, these factors always introduce, or threaten to introduce, strains and biases into the psyches of even the most objective professionals.  And this is exactly what one must expect from highly variegated human beings whose only certifiably common denominators are their titles and the letters scripted after their names.  If anything, there is significant danger that a professor who finds a student attractive, or even has a romantic relationship with him, will be inclined to be more harsh in her assessments, her grades, to prove to herself that her objectivity remains intact.  Sort of like the coach who is more demanding of her daughter playing on the team than she is of other athletes, lest anyone accuse her of bias, of favoritism.  This, of course, is “unfair”—an unfairness only exceeded by barring the daughter from the team.

I have never assumed that the grades I have assigned are comparable to any other teacher’s.  They are an act of communication between me and any given student, an act of communication that has varying degrees of impact and appreciation.  That others in academe or industry believe, or pretend to believe, that a grade assigned by me has implications they can base their own presumptions upon is a fiction that most of us prefer to live by.  And the fiction is harmless enough, except when, as in the present issue of romantic alliances, it is used to infantilize adults in a milieu where it should be most unwelcome.”


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October 6, 2007 Posted by | ethics, grading, higher education, John Bonnell, sexual politics | Leave a comment

Confronting prejudicial grading

Anna Moore is one of a very few academics who has directly confronted the prejudical grading issue, and she confronts it directly in personal terms in her article which I now present to you.  Anna also understands that prejudicial grade issues often relate to liking or not liking specific students, and that this phenomenon is systematically not studied or written about by professors.   Thank you, Anna for writing this article.

 

October 6, 2007 Posted by | grading, higher education | Leave a comment

Duke University and prejudicial faculty

Michael Nelson in the October 5 issue of The Chronicle Review has an excellent essay on the Duke U lacrosse fiasco entitled STEREOTYPE, THEN AND NOW.  And one of the constituencies that on the whole embraced stereotypes and groups labels in determining guilt or innocence was the Duke faculty.

As Nelson notes-

“As for Duke’s faculty members, they either rushed to condemn the students (speaking as the so-called Group of 88) or stood by silently for months while their colleagues did. On April 6, 2006, shortly after some protesters banged pots and hoisted banners (the largest read “CASTRATE!!”) outside the lacrosse captains’ house and others hung “Wanted!” posters around the campus with photos of team members, the Group of 88 ran a full-page ad in the student newspaper. The ad thanked “the protesters making collective noise … for not waiting and making yourselves heard.” So much for critical thinking based on weighing evidence.

A week after the Group of 88’s ad appeared, one of its authors, the literature professor Wahneema Lubiano, wrote an essay describing the students on the lacrosse team as “almost perfect offenders” because they are “the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy, the politically dominant race and ethnicity, the dominant gender, the dominant sexuality, and the dominant social group on campus.” Her colleague Houston Baker had already weighed in on March 29 with an open letter to Duke’s provost, Peter Lange. Baker demanded that Duke order the “immediate dismissal” of the students and coaches of the lacrosse team because they embodied “abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken, white male privilege loosed amongst us.”

Of course, Duke professors routinely evaluate students in terms of course grading.  So theoretically they are experienced professionals when it comes to evaluating students, evaluating students in an objective and dispassionate manner.  If such be the case, when it comes to evaluating students and others concerning more weighty matters, matters than can lead to freedom or imprisonment, one could expect/hope that said professors would be even more objective and dispassionate in their evaluation of the accused students.  But we know such was not the case at least in general terms.  We also know that the President of Duke remained in office after functioning as a cheerleader for faculty and others in his condemnation of the accused students and the lacrosse team.  President Brodhead did not resign just as none of the faculty who engaged in muckraking behavior resigned, and to my knowledge none of these faculty have recanted or have recused themselves from grading members of groups they have openly condemned.

Of course, professorial voluntary recusal is unheard of in the academic world.  If faculty, such as the Duke faculty, were ordered to recuse themselves, they would be up in arms and undoubtedly would have great support throughout the academic world.  Forced recusal in the academic world is not politically correct except for the exceptions, eg, professor dating a student in ones class.  Then recusal is OK because prejudicial grading cannot be tolerated.  What utter hypocrisy!  Prejudicial grading is widely tolerated in the academic world and faculty hardly ever recuse themselves because given the hierarchy of professorial values, grading is not in the upper echelon. 

I wish to make it clear that I believe recusal should be a viable option for the ethical professor but recusal from above, forced recusal does not represent engaging in an option.  I wish that more professors would seriously confront the possibility that they are at risk of prejudicial grading.  On the other hand, it has been argued that “The only way to ensure impartial grading is never to learn yours students names.”  I doubt that any of us academics would want to embrace the impersonality of nameless students which in such a highly impersonal environment would also probably mean that the faculty remain nameless as well. Nameless faculty evaluated by other nameless faculty who were hired to educate and grade nameless students.  No romance here.  No love.  Anonymity would be the norm although some of the nameless might embrace such an environment in their search for anonymous  sex.

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If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.
© Copyright 2007

October 5, 2007 Posted by | Duke University, ethics, grading, higher education, recusal, sexual politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

On Larry Craig

Hendrik Hertzberg in his Talk of the Town New Yorker column, “Offenses” cogently summarizes the key aspects of the Craig case in the following terms-

“The story, combining as it does the libidinal and the scatological, has been a comic bonanza. Craig and his associates have proved coöperative in that department. Their contributions include the Senator’s explanation for playing footsie with the cop in the neighboring stall (“I have a wide stance”), his greeting to reporters at the press conference after the news broke (“Thank you all very much for coming out”), his spokesman’s dismissal of the whole business (“a he said/he said misunderstanding”), and the nickname of the Idaho governor, who will appoint a politically if not affectively identical Republican to take Craig’s place if he does get around to quitting (C. L. “Butch” Otter).

Besides snark, the overriding theme of public discussion of the Craig case has been hypocrisy. “I’m not gay,” the Senator insists, and if gayness is an identity as well as an innate predilection he may be right. He is, however, evidently homosexual. Yet he supports permitting job discrimination against homosexuals, opposes letting them serve in the military, favors a constitutional amendment forbidding them to marry, and voted for an Idaho ballot measure that proscribes gay civil unions. He is like the many politicians who have smoked marijuana themselves but oppose legalizing it even for medical use. Hypocritical? Yes. But, in both cases, the fundamental moral problem is not the inconsistency between private actions and professed beliefs. The problem is the professed beliefs.

If Craig has been (as he once described Bill Clinton) “a nasty, bad, naughty boy,” there is little evidence of it in the police report of his arrest. The report, written in a style somewhere between “The Naked Gun” and “Guy Noir, Private Eye” (“At about 1200 hours, I was working a plain-clothes detail involving lewd conduct in the main men’s public restroom of the Northstar Crossing”), describes a profoundly unshocking sequence of events. After exchanging stares with the seated officer through the crack of the stall door, Craig entered an adjoining stall, sat down, and tapped his foot. In response, the cop wrote, “I moved my foot up and down slowly.” Craig touched the side of his foot to the side of the cop’s. Then he swiped his fingertips three times along the bottom of the stall divider. Then he got arrested.”

October 5, 2007 Posted by | Larry Craig, sexual politics | Leave a comment

More on UCONN Professor “Suspension”

The Hartford Courant has published numerous comments by students and others regarding the “suspension” of Professor Birmingham.  Meriting special attention is the comment from a student enrolled in the class in question, see UCONN law student, Wallingford, CT.  His comment should be regarded as weighty since he was there, and he reports that law students have been left out in the cold with no class to go to.  If such be the case, then once again students are being screwed by administrators who consider themselves as acting as agents of students in the goal of protecting their right not to be offended.

October 4, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, higher education, sexual politics, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

University of Connecticut law prof pressured to leave

A University of Connecticut law professor who is described in this Hartford Courant article as being colorful has apparently been found to be too off color for the UCONN administration and is being pressured to take a leave of absence.  More on this story as it becomes known to the dankprofessor.

October 4, 2007 Posted by | academic freedom, higher education, sexual politics, University of Connecticut | Leave a comment

Dismantling the grading smokescreen

Continuing on the grading issue which I have in part addressed in two recent posts.

More needs to be said about grading since grading is held by student-professors romantic ban advocates to be sacrosanct. Sacrosanct in that it is held at such a sacred level that it trumps other values that are held in high regard by almost all persons who take the following values seriously-freedom of association, privacy, and the autonomy of the individual in regards to decision making, such as choice of romantic partners, choice of husband/wife etc.  What I mean by trumps is that if a student is enrolled in professor Y’s class and dates professor Y while in class, such dating must be immediately stopped since non-prejudicial grading is held to be impaired. And it must be stopped at all costs, at the cost of the privacy of the student and the right of the student to remain in class.

Caroline Forell, a University of Oregon law professor, who played a major role in creating the University ofOregon Law School policy on this issue, puts it in the following stark terms-“If such a relationship occurs, the faculty member must disclose it to a supervisor and relinquish authority over the student.
Violating the policy could result in sanctions, ranging from a written reprimand to reassignment or dismissal.
Universities need such clear-cut policies to prevent abusive relationships.”

For Forell, abusive relationships include consensual relationships which she holds cannot really occur since the student is incapacitated by the power differential.  So for Forell, a professor informing on a student about a student’s personal and private relationship without the student’s consent is not only good but is mandated by the university and if the professor does not inform, he or she may be sanctioned, may be terminated.  Of course, it should be apparent to any fair minded person that it is the student who is being abused by persons such as Professor Forell and administrators who implement such policies  However, and here we get to the nub of the matter, Professor Forell is not opposed to all student-professor relationships, only relationships in which the relationship and the class are occurring at the same time.  It is the supreme value of grading that the good professor professes to be protecting; without such protection prejudicial grading will occur and the student in her terms becomes at risk of abuse.

Of course, I am opposed to prejudicial grading; students should be graded on the merits of their work, nothing else matters in terms of fairness.  I was a university teacher/professor for some thirty plus years and I always adhered to this principle. However, I also wish to make it clear that I did not regard my grading component as the supreme component in my professorial role; the supreme component was that of being a teacher.  And clearly, because one is a good teacher one is not necessarily a good grader, a good exam writer, etc.   In terms of being a grader, I never met a colleague who entered the professoriate because of the desire to write exams and grade students and held education to simply be a byproduct of exams and grading. And now we get to the core of my argument which is that throughout academia professors almost always do not psychologically invest themselves in exams and grading, and spend little or no time dealing with matters relating to prejudicial grading. In fact, many of the best teachers delegate much of the grading responsibilities to their teaching assistants.  Student assistants are held to be competent and fair-minded graders; persons with the least professional educational experience are assigned to do this sacred work.  Of course, if it was sacred, if it was of supreme value, professors would never delegate this responsibility to others. Such delegation would represent a lack of concern about prejudicial grading.  And such is my argument that professors on the whole give lip service to the importance of non-prejudicial grading except when it becomes a part of political cant, except when in today’s academic world it becomes a part of a political or sexual correctness.

What I find to be ironic is that it has been feminist professors, particularly women’s studies professors, who have been atthe forefront of the movement to ban student-professor intimate relationships.  This movement came into being in full force in the 1990s.  What is ironic is that in the prior decade of the 1980s the feminist academic cant was that women faculty should bond with their students, such was particularly strongly advocated by women’s studies faculty. However, few persons (one notable exception being Daphne Patai)  within or outside of women’s studies raised questions as to how such bonding may impact on impartial grading, how such bonding may impact on impartial grading of those students who did not bond with their professors, and how such bonding which was always put in a female to female framework could impact on the impartial grading of male students.  The risk of prejudicial grading simply was considered to be irrelevant.  And do note that in the situation under discussion such bonding became central in the educational experience, became a central dynamic in the classroom while those such as myself who speak out against banning student-prof relationships hold that student-prof relationships should never impact on the classroom dynamic, they should never be of any relevance to what is happening in the classroom.  Of course, women’s studies faculty in the context of the bonding process engage in joint student professor political activism, literally marching to the same tune, the same flag, the same slogan.  It may be that the people who march together are more likely to stay together, become one with each other.  And, of course, one may ask the question, what has non-prejudicial grading have to do with it?  Absolutely nothing.  To invoke any kind of academic intervention strategy to deal with the effects of classroom bonding would be an abuse, would be in violation of the rights of students and professors.  Except, of course, when the intervention is seen to be in support or defense of a feminist cause.

I hope that I have been able to effectively communicate my point that impartial grading in academia is very low in the academic value totem pole. It is all too often used as a smokescreen to attack student/professor relationships; it is used as smoke screen to excommunicate professors and students who have violated academic sexual taboos.  Of course, now the purview of grading has widened to include students grading professors.  And many professors arguing that such evaluations are all too often based on how the professors have graded their students and how such leads to grade inflation.  Such is the nature of contemporary academic degradation.

If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor.

© Copyright 2007

October 3, 2007 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fraternization, grading, higher education, recusal, sexual politics, student professor dating | 1 Comment

   

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