As expected, I won few friends within the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) administrations by exposing the communist indoctrination that occurred in their respective classrooms.
In response to a threatening letter I received from UMSL demanding that I meet with them for questioning, I submitted a Sunshine Law records request to the University of Missouri system. The emails below constitute UMSL’s reply.
Large portions were redacted under the questionable pretense that they contained privileged communications between UMSL and its attorney.
What I learned from the visible portions was quite disturbing: numerous high-level university officials conspired in an attempt to punish me.
When this strategy proved unsuccessful, they engaged in a smear campaign against me, partly relying on inaccurate liberal blogs as “evidence.” Because senior UMSL administrators refused to take responsibility for their blatant failure of oversight in their labor studies classes, they resorted to maligning the student who spoke out about the unprofessional behavior of his professors.
For example, after learning that their professors were accused of encouraging criminal behavior and recruiting for the Communist Party during class, the first concern of Provost Glen Cope (UMSL) and Vice Provost Mary Lou Hines Fritts (UMKC) was to find who leaked the tapes and to punish them.
Admitting that she had not even watched the complete tapes herself, Cope asked Hines Fritts: “Also, do you know the name of the student who assisted in ripping the videos? If he/she is a student registered at UMSL, then we would like to proceed with student conduct actions relative to the rules that have been broken…Since the semester is nearly over, we need to act quickly.”
Cope went on to ask in another email: “Do you have enough that we could make a student conduct inquiry relative to the appropriate usage policy? ”
Hines-Fritts responded: “The issue is whether it can be proven that HE actually did it…IF in fact he invited or facilitated the camera person on Saturday, that alone I would think would be a violation.”
It should be noted that I did not invite anyone to my class. The “camera person” to whom they referred was Adam Sharp, a blogger who my professor, Don Giljum (who is still welcome to teach at UMSL), attacked in the hallway during class. UMSL subsequently confiscated Sharp’s footage.
An employee of UMKC searched my name online and discovered that I am, in fact, a conservative. After learning that apparently incriminating information, Provost Cope proclaimed: “This appears to be the student who was involved in the Labor Studies video ‘ripping.’…If so, is there anything we can do of a student conduct nature? It may be that it’s not worth doing but we should at least check.”
The University officials did their damnedest to contrive a way to punish me, all the while bending over backwards to protect their faculty members. They did not determine that I violated a policy, and then subsequently decide that I should be punished. Rather, they first decided that I needed to be punished, and then floundered back and forth trying to invent a reason.
On the basis of my political affiliations alone, they clearly had convicted me before I even set had a chance to offer a defense. I showed up to UMSL’s “investigation” with an attorney. They decided at that point they did not want to talk to me anymore, and all conduct investigations were dropped. As soon as they discovered they couldn’t bully a powerless student, their bravado vanished.
Another chain of emails was prompted by an inquiry by David Russell, Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Russell read my account of the labor studies class on BigGovernment.com and wisely asked for an explanation. UMSL responded by continuing its cover up and engaging in a smear campaign against me.
Margaret Brommelsiek, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor at UMKC, had no qualms about spreading baseless rumorsabout me. She wrote in one email: “He has a long history at Washington University of doing this type of thing and it appears only enrolled in this course at UMSL for this purpose.” She also referred to hyper-partisan blogs written by Media Matters and Crooks and Liars, both of which later ran fanciful, albeit creative, confabulations about my life, connections, and motives.
What Brommelsiek said was a outright lie. I do not have a “long history of doing this type of thing,” nor do I have any history at all. Brommelsiek simply endorsed politically motivated lies about me in order to protect her organization.
Contrary to what Brommelsiek and other administrators claimed, I do not have the time, money, or desire to take classes in order to tape and embarrass professors. To be perfectly honest, I took the class because I needed three credits and the course only required me to show up seven times. I’m simply not as nefarious and crafty as a lot of liberal bloggers would like to believe.
While I was unsurprised by these attacks when they appeared on left-wing blogs, I was saddened that I also had to defend myself from the supposed adult professionals at the University of Missouri who felt it necessary to spread rumors about me.
Next, UMSL Chancellor Tom George wrote: “Our people are very familiar with this student and what has occurred, and we can provide more details as necessary.” It would appear that the Chancellor was lying. Neither he nor Cope knew anything about me until Hines Fritts provided them with information from the Internet. UMSL Provost Glen Cope chimed in by saying, “The student who wrote this blog is the same student who apparently enrolled in the Labor Studies class at UMSL/UMKC for this express purpose.” She then claimed that she had seen nothing inappropriate in whatever course videos she had watched.
I guess that means that Provost Glen Cope believes it is appropriate for public university professors to encourage their students to destroy the capital of their employers as a means of gaining a stronger bargaining position. She must also believe that it is appropriate to encourage students to stalk and terrorize their bosses. For more examples, view my previous post on BigGovernment.com; it suffices to say that there were countless inappropriate occurrences in this class. If Provost Cope does not endorse such extremism, the only other possible explanation is that she had not actually watched the whole class as she had claimed, and was trying to cover up her own negligence and dishonesty–maligning me, a student, in the process.
UMSL’s own Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Gossen admitted in one email that “Provost Cope, regardless of the accuracy of the student’s blog, is firmly behind the appropriateness of the course.” Thank you, Mr. Gossen, for confirming that no matter how correct I was, Cope had bound herself to protecting her professors and attacking me.
These attacks by University officials on a student are outrageously unacceptable. These people are government employees with Ph.D’s, paid by your tax dollars, and their idea of a fair investigation into serious charges of academic integrity is to consult Media Matters and subsequently attempt to punish and attack a student who spoke out about what he saw in class.
As a student, I’ve been told countless times that Internet blogs are not an academically acceptable source of information. It was on the basis of blogs and Internet links alone, however, that these officials falsely concluded I was a part of some vast conspiracy to embarrass them.
The university should recognize that its attempt at cover-up and character assassination has consequences. Following the break of the UMSL story, I received an anonymous disturbing email which threatened violence against me and included my address. Yesterday, I found that someone had come into my backyard and busted up all my clay herb pots. I have since filed a police report which estimated $60 in damage to my property.
UMSL’s failure to investigate its professors’ disturbing conduct honestly has given credence to the false story that I was somehow “planted” in order to frame these poor, innocent scholars. Now, I’m left to deal with the violent political radicals who feel a need to punish me.
The state legislature and Governor Nixon must act to clean up Missouri’s university system before any more students are indoctrinated and abused in this manner. I urge readers in Missouri to call your elected officials and encourage them to read my two posts on BigGovernment.com.
In the meantime, I ask that all Missourians and alumni withhold any donations to the institution. Parents who are considering sending their kids to University of Missouri schools should definitely think twice. Any dissent from the liberal university status-quo could make your child their next victim.