Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UNCG Clean House: Why The Long Silence?

Sophie continues her narrative:

"Allen Johnson noted yesterday that the Board of Trustees continues to uphold the claim that we will all be shocked and horrified once the truth comes out as to the full extent of the ‘egregious’ crimes committed by the UNCG3.

When exactly do they have that scheduled?

The promised shocking truth didn’t come out when it went to the DA. The only truth that emerged from that was that all 22 charges were dropped. 

This horrifying truth didn’t come out when the three went through their first round of the grievance process and the independent arbiters recommended that the firings be rescinded. The truth there was that the university couldn’t stand up for its decision to fire them.

The mind-blowing truth was not revealed when the latest panel to review the case was unable to come up with anything more damning than that Carpen used a laptop for work outside of UNCG and that the incorrect time sheets she approved did not constitute an ‘egregious’ violation. Are we to believe that the members of that panel were so obtuse that given all of the information, they were still unable to pass a judgment on activities as truly heinous as the administration has promised occurred?"

Please continue reading Why the Long Silence by Sophie Scholl.

Also, a letter from Andrea, Betsi and Debbie who wrote the original letter in support of Chris, David and Lyda sent to me earlier today:

"Greetings to you and we hope you are all doing well. It was so wonderful to see many of you at the reception last Friday at Tate Street Coffee for 'Due Process.' If you didn't make it Friday, please take time to see the exhibition as it’s a first step in sharing a greater narrative and taking back identity and place for Chris, David and Lyda.  

We write to you regarding the panel’s decision following the second stage of Lyda's grievance process, which was held December 4. If you haven't read it online, here is a link from the News & Record, who remains dedicated to sharing the greater narrative as well.

We have several concerns not only with the decision but with some of the language. If we highlight our top four, they include:

1)The very actions that brought the criminal charges and the arrest warrant against Lyda, i.e. the time sheet errors, are simply being dismissed without any further discussion. It's being swept under the rug and this should not and cannot be allowed. One arm of the university -- the university police -- took these allegations to the DA and asked for an arrest warrant. Now that Lyda has finally been interviewed about this issue, something the university police never did, it is determined that there is nothing there and the matter should not be considered for termination (let alone felony charges). It is not acceptable for the university to have it both ways nor suffer any type of consequences for this egregious behavior.

2)The justifications for upholding the termination are precisely the type of concerns brought forward by staff and faculty at the campus forums -- confusion and lack of consistent communication around equipment for personal use on personal time, secondary employment and the forms used to document it, and conflict of interest. Lyda was terminated for exactly these types of technicalities that staff have been told to manage with “common sense” and by “having a conversation with their supervisor.” It’s important to note here - Lyda was denied both.

3)No discussion was allowed at the hearing regarding the hostile work environment that Paul has created. As you all know, this context is critical and the foundation for which we believe these charges came about, with Chris, David and Lyda being early targets. The chair of the panel stated that no discussion was allowed regarding the hostile work environment and the panel members were to instructed to disregard anything Lyda said on this matter. Yet, they included a statement in their recommendation that they do not think that Paul targeted Lyda and acted "morally and ethically." How have they determined this conclusion?

4)At this juncture, we believe the course of action the chancellor may take is to offer Lyda's position back, with a demotion. She will be denied the trial where the truth can finally be aired before an objective judge and there will be no further discussions on settlement. This simply cannot happen.

How can you help?  

May we ask for your assistance in raising questions, voicing concerns and (literally) dismantling the statements put forth by the panel? This includes commenting on the actual News & Record article and asking your colleagues to do the same, writing letters to the editor, the BOT and your designated groups on campus. If you have additional ideas, we are open. We are at a critical juncture and need to gather the team and ignite the spirit that we know is still present at UNCG.

We do realize we are asking for help during break and during time with family. If we can get a buzz going before moving into next week, we would be ever so grateful. And we remain grateful for each of you and your beautiful tenacity.

Andrea, Betsi and Debbie"

Editor's Note: It has come to my attention that since the firing of Lyda, Chris and  David, no less than 2 more long time employees have been forced to leave the UNCG University Relations Department by the hand of Paul Mason.