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[outline of letter contained in this .pdf file] 284k file size
Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Linguistics
October 25, 2006
I have been advised by several colleagues to provide this roadmap to the following open
letter. I invite you to forward it to other interested parties who may not be on my list.
• Complex Truths and Simple Lies. I argue that the image of the protest and of Gallaudet is being constructed through a pattern of simple lies put forth by the PR Office.
• A Crisis of Leadership. I argue that the crisis results from a refusal by the Board, the President and the President Elect to take a role of leadership.
• The Board of Trustees. I argue that the Board has neglected its fiduciary responsibility and that it has been disinformed, misinformed, and managed by Dr. Jordan’s administration.
• Dr. Jordan. I address examples of the ways in which Dr. Jordan has refused to take a leadership role and the ways in which he has constructed the protest as the violent acts of a rowdy minority. This includes the following topics, in which I identify the ways in which information is being manipulated to spin the administration as victims:
o Identity Politics. I address the ways in which the issues surrounding the crisis have been trivialized by the PR office and the press.
o DPN and Dr. Jordan. I address Dr. Jordan’s claim that the 1988 DPN protest has nothing to do with the current protest.
o DPN and Unity for Gallaudet. I draw parallels between the two movements, concluding that they are similarly motivated.
o Scheduled Maintenance. I address the administration’s act of spreading manure around the students’ tents in Tent City.
o The War of Words. I address the manipulation of words to make the administration appear to be noble victims and the protestors to be hooligans.
o Keeping Classes Running and Access Open. I address the fact that Dr. Jordan and Dr. Fernandes continue to portray the campus as being held hostage when classes and most normal business has resumed.
o Students as Victims of the Faculty. I address the notion that the faculty is inciting the student protestors.
o The Use of Fear. I address the ways in which the administration is using fear of loss of revenue and fear of loss of Gallaudet in their attempts to quiet the disagreement.
o The Status Quo. I address the ways in which the PR office construes the acts of the administration as non-political and the acts of the protestors as political.
o I argue that all these things accumulate to illustrate a failure of Dr. Jordan to lead the University out of this crisis.
• Dr. Fernandes. I address the idea that Dr. Fernandes is a scholar, a successful administrator and a leader, finding fault with each notion. I argue that if she were a leader she would already have been leading.
• I conclude with a call to the administration to stop spinning images and to begin to lead us out of the crisis.