Fact Checking

I wrote a letter of fact-checks with regard to some of Western Illinois University’s administrative rebuttal to the faculty senate petition for a vote of confidence.  Judging by the higher-than-average voter turnout for the referendum, it looks like a generous majority of faculty who participated (the 64% who voted no confidence) understand the facts clearly.

Dear Editor,
I read last week´s article in which the WIU administration rebuts a faculty petition for an administration confidence vote. Since two of the president’s rebuttals concern me directly, I decided to “fact check” some of the rebuttal.
The administration attempted to rebut the faculty statement that the administration has laid off tenured faculty. I am a tenured professor. I am laid off. The administration is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees in an attempt to keep me laid off, and the AAUP of Illinois has publicly defended me and the violation of my tenure. My layoff is expensive as well as damaging to WIU’s reputation. The faculty petition is correct.
The faculty petition states the administration has marginalized women in the curriculum. In rebuttal, the president claims he values Women´s Studies. If he valued Women’s Studies, he’d honor his commitment of tenure with WIU´s only faculty who has earned a graduate degree in Women´s Studies. That’s me. WIU now has no faculty member with a completed graduate degree in Women’s Studies.
The WIU administration practices sexist tokenism. I found the web page of WIU’s top administrators (http://www.wiu.edu/table_of_contents/administration.php and took a screen shot) and only 1 of the 6 administrators on the list is a woman, and she’s an interim—not permanent like the men on the list. A 1 in 6 representation in the official top administration is called tokenism. Tokenism is a form of sex discrimination because those in power can say, “We’re not sexist. We’ve got a woman on board.” Women are 51 percent of the population, so why should we be only 16.7 percent of the top administration’s webpage?
The administration’s rebuttals concerning me and women at WIU don’t withstand the checking of facts. We should be skeptical of the rest of the rebuttal, as well.

Holly A. Stovall
Macomb