In one of my most recent blog four days ago, The Power of Positive Leadership, I forgot to add “administration” before system. I applaud President Cordano of Gallaudet University made a decision to place the position, Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement, on hold. However, I am still questioned by president’s motivation to make a statement below.
Why did President Cordano of Gallaudet University signed in a town hall front of sold-out with countless onlookers standing at Foster Auditorium, ‘Dwight Benedict is a victim of administration system’?
What does it mean to you, “…..victim of administration system….”? Do you agree or not agree that Dwight is a “victim of administration system“? Do you think it was fair for Cordano to make this statement? Have you seen “victim of administration system” ever showed up anywhere until now? I never seen this statement before.
How is bias seen, written and expressed this time? Bias is part of physical, written acts of oppression, insensitivity, lack of awareness, intimidation, the use of vulgarity, making comments, restricting of free movement of an individual and the list goes on.
Using “victim of administration system”–does that mean it was also part of white silence? Have we forgot about Deaf people of color who were oppressed? Have we forgot about Deaf LGBTQA who were oppressed? Have we forgot about Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Deaf-Disabled people who were oppressed? Have we forgot about Deaf returning citizens who were oppressed? Have we forgot about marginalized groups?
Is white silence also a white consent? What’s up with that by making a statement to silence the Foster auditorium filled with faculty, staff, students, alumni and alumnus in a white consent when it is named after Andrew Jackson Foster?
How can they suffer oppression at the same time while Dwight Benedict is a “victim of administration system”? We need to increase opportunities for restorative justice for students, staff, and faculty and collect all the data how all of them to share their experience on campus climate. How can we improve the campus climate in regards to bias when it is in Dwight’s leadership?
Privileges? Victim of administration system? Does it mean all Deaf of Deaf families who run Gallaudet University “old school” victim? How? It cannot be. We are the victims of Dwight Benedict’s power. Not the administration system. His power. Did he ever support students’ rights, welfare, and the laundry list goes on?
So, Dwight is the victim of administration system? Does it mean the whole system of all administration system bad news? No! Dwight is the bad apple–not the administration. He is the one and only Dwight Benedict. Finish. Not the administration. No, he is the one. President Cordano should not sign to students, faculty, and staff: You are all in pain. No. Dwight Benedict’s power is the pain because he is not allowed anyone to be above him–just like above the law. This is his pain. Not ours. Negligence, abuse of power, and again, the laundry list goes on. The growing pain continues.
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
David Musa King
October 3, 2017
Ms. Roberta J. Cordano
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
Dear President Cordano,
Open Letter to President Roberta J. Cordano: You are an Embarrassment to Gallaudet University.
I am writing you this open letter on ground of being Gallaudet University Alumni and a regular donor. I am so embarrassed that I have to call you an embarrassment to the university. When you were selected as the first DEAF female President of Gallaudet University – I was never impressed with your leadership and your recent actions as the President of Gallaudet justified my stance. While I am fully aware that your position as the University’s president accorded you prerogatives but that do not mean you have to harbor double standard in your leadership.
Your recent decision to appoint Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict as the first Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement without national search or community input is an testament of your clear double standard and ole boys network. I do not have to remind you that you have conducted two important national search, the positions of Chief of Staff and the Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer, so one would be wondering why is the appointment of Mr. Benedict unique this time?
As a woman, lesbian and a member of oppressed groups, one would have hoped that you are going to be a beacon of hope for oppressed groups especially the people of color at Gallaudet University. However it is an embarrassment that you subscribed to oppressor group of ole boys network.
In your appointment of Mr. Benedict as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement, you emphasized on the importance of students’ experience while spitting out in the face of Students and Staff of Color who have sent you strong wondered letter their disapproved of Mr. Benedict’s leadership.
If it is important to serve you as reminder, the staff of color sent you letter on August 18, 2016 as a follow up to your meeting on March 8, 2016. Students of color also wrote you to express their rejection of Mr. Benedict’s leadership. Both the Staff and Students of Color expressed the existing race disparity on campus with proven statistics.
As an alumnus, I have nothing to say but to inform you how embarrassment you are to Gallaudet University. My current goal is to ask like-minded donor to stop donating to Gallaudet University till the college make change and address the diversity on campus.
David M. King
Alumnus and Alumni of Gallaudet University has right to receive live streaming about town hall in regarding to Dwight Benedict. No one should exclude from freedom of information.
Today, November 19, 2014—there was a final live-stream about Presidential Search Advisory Committee with three questions: 1) what do you see as the challenges facing the next president? 2) What previous experience would best prepare someone for this role? 3) What do we want to do as a community to help ensure that the next president will be successful in leading Gallaudet University? The current president will be remembered as incumbent president how he handles crisis at GU. For example, budget, lack of accountability: stakeholders, “over-privileged” public figures. I remember meeting him for the first time in Portland, Oregon back in June 2010 at Deaf People of Color Conference. He set his foot in Portland, the home of rich heritage of radical social dissent “radicalism”—big mistake. My home.
He did not really involved much in that conference. I applaud those people who shared their concerns on the stage—but there are few concerns that I would like to share my own opinion. Civil disobedience is an important part to get their attention. The question, how can concerned people convince them that it can be done without a lot of money since GU is “secretly” slashing the budget right and left and student-centered are having difficult time getting their answers from the administration. The current president is becoming richer each day. I am very strong supporter of student-centered philosophy to promote the success of students prior to and at GU. The third question above, the next president should be involved with supporting students academically, students organizations, developing better relationships with students for retention, articulating-facilitating course proposals through curriculum committees (there are hypocrites who are in Senate Faculty), supporting an academic degree program, and participating in faculty and staff meetings.
Promote more breath in teaching by keeping up in professional development and it is part of new blood. The current president does not have professional experiences makes the prospective students realize the paramount importance of supporting academically with diverse difficulties, whether Deaf, minority, learning disabled and other issues has been ignored at times. It is important to have the next president represent the cultural differences and diversity faced by the students at GU that needs to be highly conscious of how it operates by comparing and appreciating their differences.
In my opinion, diversity in higher education enhances economic competitiveness, promotes a healthy society, and strengthens the community of higher learning and teaching. It is also important to expand the educational leadership in reaching out and make a conscious effort to build healthy and diverse learning environments appropriate for GU’s mission. The strength of students’ democracy depends on it. GU is a well-known reference to the attitude of honest acceptance for which student-centered philosophy has been neglected. It is a place where the “high-ranking” administration officials refers to a powerful way to resolve any problem, accomplish any goal, and to achieve any state of mind or body that affects all the Deaf students. Not only with the search for the next president, but there is a large need for the new blood: President’s Cabinet.
Many people had expressed their frustrations about the current President’s Cabinet also known as the administration. It is high time for Paul Kelly; the invisible moneyman on the campus has to go. Dwight Benedict must go as well, too. The President’s Cabinet does not have leadership power for attaining true health, happiness, prosperity, and success at Gallaudet. They have destroyed many Deaf people in the past to benefit not only themselves, but also the biggest moneymakers: Hurwitz and Kelly. GU is for students, their own academy. Since the educational process there is essentially social—particularly in its early stages when it involves at least a president and a student—it is clear that the student, especially if he or she is to cope with college education, must have minimal mastery of the social skills necessary for engaging in future higher learning.
Willard Wilson wrote in 1932: “Schools have a culture that is definitely their own. There are, in school, complex ritual of personal relationships, a set of folkways, mores, and irrational sanctions, a moral code based upon them.” GU is not a world of its own. It is not even a world, but because GU is in the world, because it is affected by situations, and because it orients itself comprehensively in those situations, GU has something—counseling, tutoring, academic advising, and the like—to serve and help students to change and grow socially as well as academically. Kelly manages the financial affairs of GU. It is important to know that business services need to provide for accurate and timely information to both their future population (regarding student accounts) and to GU’s financial matters.
I believe that GU’s new president cabinet and the next president should provide support to auxiliary areas of the university, including, but not limited to, the Board of Trustees, the Budget Committee, and the University Educational Programs. The students, with the first question above, should be all served that receive professional and competent student service and will feel confident that they have done everything possible to address their needs. They will preserve the assets of GU in order to ensure change and growth to happen for future generations. With second question, “what previous experience would best prepare someone for this role?” The current president never became instrumental in shaping students’ wits that permeate the “culture” of GU, for example, Gallaudet’s first name; University is the last name. Whether students are taught with basic sense of self-efficacy, they need to be motivated about higher education.
Also, they have a capacity for producing a desired effect are generally more psychologically prepared than are students who are limited to “sitting at desks studying mostly useless textbooks” Again, the current president and its cabinet never recognize that the diversity of higher learning and teaching styles among students and faculty, and I believe in providing a variety of strategies—evaluations, trainings, workshops, in-services and so forth—for GU to create a “culture” that changes the student and help them grow. Finally, the next president should provide his or her leadership to find ways to utilize the difference in a democratic atmosphere that foster cooperation than the competition and to compliment and collaborate with students. The next president should welcome the opportunity to interview his or her thoughts and ideas as stepwise arguments for students’ contemplation at length, at leisure, and at liberty.
All in all, I believe that the next president candidate for this position, a leader, who inspires, applauds, steers, and stands on the side. Yes, sometimes, they will stand in front, too, to focus on diversity, to encourage university-“ibity” and to help create a setting in which each student can change and everyone can grow. Students can all that they can to ensure that GU is a university-community where higher learning happens for change and higher teaching promotes growth with the next Deaf president. I prefer the next Deaf president should be Black Woman. Radicalism is good for a change! The new blood starts with next president and the entire President’s Cabinet.
Who wants to scuffle cards?
Copyright © Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
CC: Board of Trustees: Duane Halliburton, Chair, PSAC, Claire Bugen, Vice Chair, PSAC, Nancy Kelly-Jones, Dick Kinney, Jorge Diaz-Herrera, Tiffany Williams Student Body Government: Andrew Morrill Graduate Student Association: Michael Awbrey Faculty: Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Dennis Galvan, Christina Yuknis, Kubby Rashid Staff: Glenn Lockhart, representing Clerc Center, Nicholas Gould, Elvis Guillermo Alumni Association: Deborah DeStefano