How Should the Media Properly Judge Jane Fernandes’ Qualifications?

Much has been said in recent weeks about the report card issued to Gallaudet. Their verdict? INEFFECTIVE “Gallaudet graduates who find employment commensurate with their education declined from 90% in 2001 to 69% in 2005.” A detailed report card, with measurements, expectations and actual results, is shown here. It is interesting to note that the 95% successful job placements figures the Gallaudet Administration has been tooting it’s horn about are, in reality, much lower.

Out of curiosity, I checked the NTID results on the same site, and found that they are doing much better in their outcomes, on HALF the funding that Gallaudet receives.


GOAL: percentage of graduates placed in the workforce within one year of graduation.

NTID comes out with percentages of upper 80s to lower 90s while Gallaudet graduates are getting percentages in the neighborhood of 70%, down from 90% just a few years ago before Jane Fernandes took over as Provost. This is not a one time anomaly, either: 90% in 2001, 79% in 2003, 73% in 2004, 69% in 2005. How much lower must the results go before the board of Trustees, the media, and Jane’s supporters see through the shiny, glittering paper resume of Jane Fernandes?

GOAL: maintaining student body pool of undergraduates & graduate students

NTID has either nearly met or even exceeded their stated enrollment goals, year after year, at around 1250 students, while Gallaudet is missing it’s goals by nearly 200 student enrollments each year. in fact, NTID has only around 600 less deaf students than Gallaudet. By this measurement, NTID is only 1/3 smaller than Gallaudet, yet receives only 1/2 what Gallaudet receives from federal monies, and yet, performs much better in what really matters: getting it’s graduates ready for the real world, with real jobs that match their training. For this the blame rests squarely on Jane Fernandes, as Provost. How is appointing her to President going to solve these issues and improve Gallaudet’s success?

How is it that NTID is able to perform so much better on HALF the funding that Gallaudet receives?

I’ve concluded that the protest has long ago reached what I call a ‘critical mass’ – a force that has reached a stage where there is simply no turning back. It’s reached a point where so much attention has been forced upon Gallaudet that it’s very survival is threatened. Why? Because Congress has access to the same numbers we do above, as I have described them to you. I feel that there is no other choice but for the Board of Trustees to re-open the search process, invite close scrutiny by Congress, representatives of the various affected groups, and make the whole process more visible to the public at large. If in the unforgiving light of day [close scrutiny of the re-opened selection process] the Board comes to the same conclusion as it did the first time around, and selects Fernandes -again,- then they will have validated their earlier process and made it clear for future presidential searches that the process does in fact follow proper procedures, and this scene we are going through now will not repeat itself. On the other hand, if the second search ends in the selection of a different president than Fernandes, then the protesters will have validated -their- concerns about Fernandes’ leadership, and can rest assured that in successfully doing so, they have brought about procedural changes that will ensure that future presidential searches are conducted properly.


2 thoughts on “How Should the Media Properly Judge Jane Fernandes’ Qualifications?

  1. While the adminstration is certainly responsible in part for the abysmal graduate rates and employment rates, the faculty and students also share this responsibility. They are failing to prepare students for the real world rather than the insular world of Gallaudet.

    When I was a student, lots of students did not bother to go to classes or do the work and then whined when they did nt get good grades and blamed the teachers. They want a social life more than a degree. They do not take personal responsibily for their education. Too many use the Deaf excuse when in comes to their reading and writing or complain that some teachers expect them to be like hearing students. One student said to me, well hearing students have an advantage over Deaf because they do not have to read their books. They only have to listen to the lecture. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever been told!

    You should see some of the protest signs, poor grammar, spelling, no understanding of what the First Amendment means or how it applies to this situation.

    Paying for a college education does not mean that Profs OWE you a grade. What the OWE you is the OPPORTUNITY to learn. It is your choice if you get a good education or not. Too many choose not. Of course the Deaf world does not want to know that they have a dirty little secret and more and more students are finding this out very quickly and leaving Gallaudet. What is the point of being in a class when you are the only one reading the assignment? Whatkind of discussion can you have?

    There is plenty of blame to go around and the students and faculty at Gallaudet share the blame. The students do not want to work and the faculty do not set high standards (well some do like Biology and History and Government) and pass students that have not really worked hard and mastered the material. Get REAL and apportion the blame to all because that is the ONLY WAY you will ever fix the problem. Getting rid of Fernandes is not a fix-all solution. To solve Gallaudet’s problems everyone has to look in the mirror and see they own weaknesses.


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