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More On Ramsey’s Comments About Robert Felner

July 17th, 2008 · 118 Comments

Sure, you thought what Nancy Rodriguez published in the Courier-Journal yesterday about UofL President Jim Ramsey’s comments was a big deal. But what will you think when you discover the C-J didn’t report everything Ramsey said about former education Dean Robert Felner?

Let’s find out. Mark Hebert caught up with Ramsey at the same press conference Rodriguez did and had a few questions for the President.

Check out these clips from last evening’s newscast:

Nice body language, eh?

Totally dismisses 33 grievances, calling them “anonymous crap.” (Not all were anonymous) Said it’s “cheap” if people don’t have the courage to put their name on a complaint, never mind the fears of faculty, staff and students over possible reprisal. He said having 33 grievances filed against Felner meant he was “bringing about change that needed to be made.” We can only assume “sexual harassment” and “intimidation” mean the same thing as “change.”

Oh– and he said he hadn’t seen the internal Felner investigation.

Yeah, wow. Our favorite part is when Ramsey suggests that “getting a little weak” and “violating the law now and then” is a-okay.

We’ll let you know when we find out how much UofL is paying for public relations and crisis management. If it’s anything more than $0.00, it’s a total waste of taxpayer money.

And on a related note, Rodriguez has a new story in today’s C-J where she again leads readers to believe the Felner investigation is only about a $694,000 grant. Which is not remotely true. We have spoken with individuals interviewed by federal investigators at the University of Louisville, University of Rhode Island, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois and other schools and within minutes of speaking with them were aware that the investigation is massive. The $694K grant is, like we said, the tip of an iceberg.

Nancy finally brings up the number of grievances and complaints filed against Felner (there are 33, not 31) and focuses on an email Felner sent to grants management officials at the University of Louisville. In the message, Felner stated that, “We really need to show good faith for the feds.” Boy, did he ever.

Tags: Education · Embarrassing · Investigation · Mainstream Mistake · Robert Felner · UofL

118 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Always Amazed // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:02 am

    You know the old sayings “Eventually people will reveal themselves” and “Pictures speak louder than words.” As a citizen who occasionally got to interact with Ramsey on statewide education committees, I thought Ramsey was one of the good guys. This video is heartbreaking.
    Nancy reported “Ramsey said the federal investigation resulted from a complaint initially received by Provost Willihnganz, who turned it over to campus police. ” Did I miss it or has the complaint that the provost received that was turned over to the campus police every made public? What in the world would someone complain about that would cause the provost to turn it over to the campus police who would then turn it over to federal secret service? That is a bizarre chain of events in itself. Why did the provost not go directly to the feds? Why involve campus police?

  • 2 PWK // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I thought this site was taken down -

    Guess URI still likes to be associated with Felner.

  • 3 Tirnstile // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

    He makes Dubya sound articulate.

  • 4 jake // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:34 am

    PWK – Looks like they changed the main page of the site, but left Felner’s name on all the other pages.

  • 5 beerme // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I would like to know what Ramsey’s bosses think of this. There hasn’t been a single peep out of the Board of Trustees. I doubt anyone wants to be the new Dean, their are possible accreditation issues, no grants from certain foundations, others will think twice before giving a grant, upset faculty and staff, and I’m unhappy alumni. He (the President)treats this nationally known issue as if it is nothing. If I were one of the individuals that filed a grievance and the Provost and President didn’t take it seriously; the next thing I would file is a lawsuit.

  • 6 jake // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:56 am

    You know, there’s something I think we’re all missing about the Provost through all of this.

    She hasn’t mentioned a word to the press– which is the right thing to do in this situation. She’s letting her boss make an ass of himself.

    And while I’m not taking sides here, I haven’t seen any evidence that the Provost acted without direct involvement from the President throughout all of this. I.E., isn’t there a possibility she didn’t do anything because her hands were tied?

    Just thinking out loud….

  • 7 Always Amazed // Jul 17, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Boy that was fast. An hour ago the online CJ had the Felner story listed as one of the top three rotating stories, and now it’s gone, replaced by “TV”. Its not even listed under “Latest headlines”. You have to really want to find the story to see it.

  • 8 ed // Jul 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Again, I need to say I don’t know the players here (other than Felner), but I have seen Ramsey on a couple of videos throughout all this. He looks like a guy who, up until this all broke, has been more of a figurehead than anything else. In front of a camera….asked to react in a substantive way to a very real and ugly situation…he’s in way over his head. What person in a position like his says the sort of inane crap he’s said more than once on camera? It all has a Barney Fyfe feel to it. If this isn’t political (and career, and professional) suicide, I don’t know what is.

    If his head isn’t one that rolls when all this is over, I honestly wouldn’t know what to think about the Board of Trustees.

  • 9 Tirnstile // Jul 17, 2008 at 11:56 am

    ed – I don’t know how I feel about you referencing one of my heros, Bernard P. Fife, in this manner. But I’ll let it slide. :)


  • 10 ed // Jul 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    HAHAHA Too funny!! But, after watching that piece of classic TV, all I can say is….I rest my case!!!! (No offense meant, Barney or Tirnstile)

  • 11 UIUC alumni // Jul 17, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    The acting director (or co-director) of NCPE is Anne Seitsinger. According to her vita, she finished her Ph.D. from URI in January 2000 but has been a faculty member of Education at URI since 1999. Any thoughts?

  • 12 James R. // Jul 17, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Seems like University of Louisville President James Ramsey sees nothing wrong with shading the truth according the the interview with Whas Mark Hebert. The said that much to Hebert.

    I really believe that this story is bigger than we even know right now. This story is bigger than Bobby Felner. Seems like alot of people above him basically condoned what he was doing as long as it brought money to UL. How classless can they be?

  • 13 UL Faculty Member // Jul 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Can you say, public relations meltdown?

  • 14 Shockedagain // Jul 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    JamesR. It is a much bigger story. Thanks Jake for spending time on this.

    Regarding President Ramsey, what do you expect from a Budget Director and an economist? He is not a scholar. The same about the Provost. Just look over their c.v.s. However, it is not just the President and the Provost, and Felber. There are many more involoved. There is always a cover up.
    We still do not know, what happened about the embezzlement in the medical school? Who did? What happened?

  • 15 Not Shocked // Jul 17, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I am not shocked about anything that happens at UofL anymore. At least the people over at the School of Education got to file a grievance. I was told numerous times I could not. I had to file a lawsuit because my school dean and Affirmative Action gave me no other choice. The lifers in Affirmative Action need to go as well as Harvey Johnson’s Mercedes/Volvo whichever it is, because from what most of us see he doesn’t earn it.

  • 16 beerme // Jul 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    The students, faculty and staff deserve better than daytime soap. UofL screwed up and I for once would like to see someone man-up and admit the mistakes and how the propose to solve this never-ending story. President needs to get a university communications director, spend more time fixing the problem then spending time in front of the camera with total bs. Hey Board of Trustees, take the money you were going to give Ramsey and hire some people who know what they are doing.

  • 17 WC // Jul 17, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Jake, the problem is the provost, not the president. I doubt he really knew about all this. SHE knew, all along.

    Jake, you and WHAS are truly doing a public service. This is not just gossip. The story is full of evidence.

    Thank you again.

  • 18 Interesting // Jul 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    What about his master’s voice(Bob, Karen, Cheryl, Thadeaous, and Sam)? They are almost as guilty as was Felner.

  • 19 Fedup // Jul 17, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    They really need to close the shop and start all over.

  • 20 Billie Whitted // Jul 17, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    James R is right! Robert Felner’s scandal at U Of L is the tip of the iceburg! I hope the federal investigation spills over into Indiana. The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC) just built a $34 million Central Middle School based upon Robert D. Felner’s bogus middle school research on teaming and the 13 Best Middle School Practices. The real nutty thing is our community is still reeling from 1700 homes destroyed by the flood and is getting ready to spend another$123 million to renovate Columbus East and Columbus North high schools based upon Felner’s research with the Carnegie Foundation on middle school teaming and smaller learning communities.

    State and federal education officials could cut out a lot of the grant grubbing shenanigans if they would require a public final hearing and reporting on all education grants received prior to the issuance of future education grants. Columbus schools keep doing the same stupid grant programs over and over again that don’t work and now ll of our 15 schools are are no longer fully accredited! The upshot is education research involving public schools has to be made public, with the identities of the schools made known to the school boards of those schools, teachers, parents, and others making inquiries. Otherwise it isn’t scientific research. It is science fiction. I served on the BCSC school board for 2002-2006, and I never once saw a final report on the dozen grant programs BCSC was doing. Don’t even think of asking Dr. Cassandra Cole ( Director of IU’s Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and Indiana Institute on Disability and Community) for the identity of the elementary schools where she conducts her special education research. She isn’t telling! Columbus is paying the price for Dr. Cole’s fraudulent research. BCSC’s special ed ISTEP scores are below state average in every grade and in every subject! Robert Felner must have been a mentor to Dr. Cassandra Cole!

  • 21 James Ramsey // Jul 17, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Guys. :) Heh heh. I sure don’t know what yer all up in a heavel ’bout. Uh, Bob Felner, he did some gooood stuff for the college of edgercation. Golly, he gots us up in there in them rankings with that famous magazine. It was a miracle! god bless. No matter that he fudged all them numbers to do it. ‘Tis okay if he harrassed the girls and berated the guys. ‘Tis ok if he stole some of that money, too. S’long as he makes the JCPS folks happy and hires a guy with a $20 million dollar grant. Ain’t that right, Shirl, my girl?

  • 22 PWK // Jul 17, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    UIUC Alumni – go to this page:

    That will tell you about Anne Seitsinger – she signed the sub-contract for NCPE in Providence.

  • 23 wc // Jul 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    To Interesting: Yes, Bob, Karp, and Cheryl were right there egging RF on, no doubt. They need to go away, quietly.

    Thaddeus? Did he actually ever DO anything?

  • 24 SC // Jul 17, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Who are the experts in school reform who can shed some light on this bunk. I have read the grant proposal and some of the Rhode Island crews articles — and it just “words, words, words, pretty words” — but they say virtually nothing — completely theoretical. Who is reviewing these grants. This may turn out to the one of the greatest scams in the history of federal grant programs — this guy manages to be awarded millions of dollars and does nothing. Should have hired him to paint the bridge too.

  • 25 Jeff // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    That video from WHAS is reporting done by Adam Walser, not Mark Hebert. Otherwise, Jim Ramsey, bit by bit, is showing his hand. Felner was recruited to make rain & generate publicity. This is a big deal in university circles. Ramsey is now appearing to be just another CEO in the line that started with Shoemaker. I can’t remember now what exactly happened to him after he moved to Knoxville…

  • 26 jake // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Hebert was the dude interviewing Ramsey.

  • 27 factsman // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    I can’t believe I just heard Ramsey call the faculty of the CEHD cowards. This is the lowest day in my long history at U of L. This is the same mentality that blamed rape victims for not prosecuting immediately (or fighting back at the time). This is the same mentality that chastises abused spouses for not leaving their imprisonment. This is the same mentality that tells the bullied child to fight it out for himself. This reveals no understanding of the psychology of the abused. It is a Wild West idea of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” that fails in the face of structural imbalance. U of L lives firmly rooted in the middle of the 20th century. This is unbelievable.

    When he calls the complaints an act of cowardice, why didn’t the interviewer say there were the vote of no confidence and the Just Solutions feed back? Also, if one reports a sex affair with a grad student that results in a huge U of L salary, the fact that it is reported anonymously does not alter the fact.

    Ramsey states he investigated all the complaints. This means he agrees with Felner’s actions. This is worse than being ignorant of the abuses, it sanctions them.

  • 28 Sam Stringfield // Jul 17, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    To “Interesting,” “WC,” “Jane Doe,” “Sallymae443,” “SheWho,” “BBC,” and “Tirnstile,”

    It is, at best, tiresome, to read where you use fake names and yet feel no guilt in criticizing others by name. Quoting Mark Twain, “Some day you are going to drive me to the verge of irritation.”

    Rather than go through the dozens of bloviations and misrepresentations you so regularly forward (while the rest of us are, for example, working), I will use a case study of one of the people you have most often criticized by name, while providing no data to back up your criticisms, as an illustration of hard data. So that I don’t under-state the accomplishments of someone else, I’ll use me.

    I, Sam Stringfield, came to the University of Louisville 3.8 years ago. I brought with me almost $2 million in grants. Immediately upon arriving, I worked—often against the wishes of the former dean—to bring the $20.2 million National Research Center for Career and Technical Education to the University of Louisville. Kentucky needs more jobs for the 70% of our citizens who won’t graduate from college. This is a task for our public schools’ Career and Technical Education programs, and today one university in the country has THE national center that had previously been at Ohio State, Berkeley, and the University of Minnesota. The NRCCTE is now at UofL. This grant, the second largest in the history of the university, supports the work of over a half-dozen of our faculty and will, over time, engage increasing numbers of our students.

    I brought the Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk to U of L. It is the only refereed journal edited in the college. If you don’t subscribe, you can always just fly up to Harvard and read the latest issue in their library.

    One of the teams I lead is working with 17 schools across the country, including four in Kentucky, in efforts to create teacher-engaged whole school improvement. Another team is publishing a study of a reform we developed for English and Welsh secondary schools. Those schools and districts got the largest long-term gains on national secondary school assessments in the history of the United Kingdom.

    My classes have consistently gotten above average student ratings. For example, in my spring 2008 class targeted at students in danger of dropping out of the college’s doctoral programs, students gave me a mean 4.71 rating of a maximum of 5.0. This was far above the university average. This summer alone I’m co-chairing three doctoral dissertations, and anticipate five more in the next year.

    Since coming to Louisville I have published in the most prestigious journal in education, the American Educational Research Journal, and in several other journals and international handbooks. My eleventh book has been published by Oxford University Press, and my ninth was re-released in Chinese.

    Dr. Kirsten Sundell and I raised the national visibility of the Grawemeyer Award in Education to levels never before accomplished.

    I didn’t want to become a chair, and declined the post three times before agreeing to do it “for 10 months.” However, I did agree, and in my just-completed 2.8 years as the university’s most reluctant chair, the Educational and Counseling Psychology Department had the following accomplishments:
    1. Student ratings of classes rose from dead last in the college to a statistical dead heat for first (with the department Karen Karp chairs as the other high ranking department). We rose on 51 of 51 items responded to by students.
    2. ECPY graduated more Ph.D.’s than in any other 3 year period in the history of the department, with 2008 on track to break our previous records.
    3. We have had more applications for masters and doctoral programs than at any time in ECPY’s history. ECPY has admitted more highly qualified students than at any time in our history. (Expressive Therapies alone is up 400%.) This fall we will have more graduate students having their way fully paid through university fellowships and graduate assistantships than at any time in our history. (Karen Karp’s department is growing even more rapidly.)
    4. We increased faculty publication rates several hundred percent.
    5. We increased student involvement in research by a similar amount, and will have more publications authored or co-authored by students in the next two years than in our entire previous history.
    6. Through months of hard work by Drs. Estes and Sundell and Ms. Orton, we earned re-accreditation for our Expressive Therapies program.
    7. After equally hard work from an entire team of faculty and doctoral students, we completed our application for reaccreditation with the American Psychological Association. (The phrase most often used by APA’s visiting team was “greatly improved.” The course the APA team most-praised was the Advanced Issues in Research Design course I initiated and co-teach with Drs. Joe Petrosko and Bob Ronau.)
    8. For the first time in 30 years, the ECPY department is moving toward seeking CACREP accreditation for its school counseling and mental health counseling programs.
    9. Because the faculty is the core of any department, we have worked continuously to recruit superb new faculty. We have brought nearly a dozen remarkable new faculty members, including:
    a. Eileen Estes
    b. Natalie Kosine
    c. Marybeth Orton
    d. Patrick Possel
    e. Bridgette Pregliasco
    f. Kathy Rudasill
    g. Linda Shapiro
    h. Kirsten Sundell, and
    i. Jeff Valentine

    (The other department in the college with a similarly remarkable number and quality of new faculty is Teaching and Learning, chaired by Karen Karp.)

    Maybe “Interesting,” “WC,” “Jane Doe,” “Sallymae443,” “SheWho,” “BBC,” and “Tirnstile,” have done more themselves or together with colleagues for their departments or colleges. If they have, I look forward to hearing about their accomplishments. Hopefully, they will even use their real names.

    But if not, I suggest they damp down their criticisms of their hard working peers, and re-direct their energies to raising their personal teaching ratings, scholarly productivity, grant writing, work with their communities, and support for their departments, colleges, and universities.

    Freud famously observed that what a healthy adult does is, “Love and work.” The large majority of the often-superb faculty and wonderful students of the College of Education and Human Development will do tomorrow that they have done for years: get up, hug those near to us, and go to work. Please feel free to join us.

    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

  • 29 Tirnstile // Jul 18, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Dr. Stringfield:

    For the record, I have not referenced you by name, or otherwise, in any of my entries. I do not know you, and you do not know me. My comments have referred primarily to Felner and Ramsey, both individuals with whom I have interacted to eye-rolling results.

    For the record, I am an alumnus of the CEHD who received his master’s degree with departmental distinction. (Under normal conditions, I’d suggest that a few faculty members could identify me, but those who were most dear to me are no longer at the college….another reason for my interest in this situation.) I have also contributed financially to the college since graduating, albeit modestly considering the astronomical monetary figures that are being bantered about on this site. For these reasons, I consider myself a stakeholder entitled to share his opinion.

    My early opinion after leaving the CEHD was favorable – in part due to your arrival, Dr. Stringfield. Your research center and grant totals are impressive for any university, and I was happy to see the CEHD receive such an infusion. The success of the CEHD raises the “value of my degree,” does it not? However, I am stunned to learn at what cost some of the college’s “success” may have been (allegedly) garnered under Felner’s tenure.

    Currently, I am a PhD candidate at a Big Ten university. Publication records to which your department has aspired are fairly commonplace as one looks around the halls. And I think that Felner’s bully tactics (and other tactics) would have resulted in him promptly being shown the door. He certainly would not have breezed through a “no convidence” vote. I want U of L to be successful, but my opionion (admittedly from a distance) is that new leadership is a crucial step.

    As for the use of psuedonyms, they allow for honesty. It’s too bad that some of this honesty reflects negatively on the CEHD and the university. It is also unfortunate that the crafting of many of these posts brings back memories of abusive experiences directed toward the authors.

    Best wishes for a bright future,

    T. Stile

  • 30 Mike Jones // Jul 18, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Well, La De Da. You also make $177,000.00 a year and should be doing that type of work to justify your salary. Give us hard working average Kentuckians a break and earn your outrageous paycheck! Can you say Machiavellian complex

  • 31 Sam Stringfield // Jul 18, 2008 at 8:57 am

    You listed the web pages of four (4!) honest, hard working ECPY faculty on this blog in a way that completely incorrectly implied that they had obtained their positions dishonourably. They did not. They are among the hardest working people in the college and they contributed directly to the progress I noted. You should be deeply ashamed of your behavior.

    The proof that “Big Ten” universities would not have shown Felner the door is that the University of Illinois did not. Give U of L some credit. The process may be ugly, but we are putting a stop to this man’s academic trajectory. It is at U of L, not Yale, not Auburn, not the Big Ten’s Illinois, not Rhode Island, that his work was turned over to the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Postal Service. He may or may not be guilty of crimes–and I have no idea–but it is at the University of Louisville that his processes are being formally investigated by a range of law enforcement officials.

    The reason I used my real name, by the way, is to facilitate transparency. You might want to try it sometime.

    Mike Jones,
    You are correct that is my salary, and thanks for implying that I justify it. If you’d like to know how to make that much, just get a Ph.D., work 12-15 hours per day, 6-7 days/week for 25 years, be willing to uproot your family to take better jobs, and when four institutions make identical offers to you, take the one in beautiful Kentucky. A fella can be happy and productive here.

    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

  • 32 Give us a break... // Jul 18, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Editorial in this morning’s CJ. Thanks, Jake, that’s your doing.

    Outcomes are not all, Sam. Think of process. Some think that HOW things are accomplished is as or more important than outcomes. You were the Dean’s man (blindly) until he turned against you. Your ego exceeds your accomplishments.

  • 33 Always Amazed // Jul 18, 2008 at 9:26 am

    You appear to have the creditials of what should be a pretty smart guy, yet you are more concerned about shouting down people for calling out your name than expressing a sense of outrage that your former boss, some one you have known well for over 10 years, is a fraud who cheated all children, citizens of Louisville and the United States, out of at a minumum $700K (but probably more like $47M) worth of research to improve education. Not to mention your outrage over the way your collegues were treated by Felner. Or maybe you, along with Ramsey, condone this behavior as an acceptable means for “improvement”? And get over the anonymity of the bloggers. When all of us share your luxury of free speech without retaliation, we too shall state our real names…and I don’t even work for the University! It’s just the way things work in this town. Or I should say “worked” because where the CJ would never print a letter submitted to the editor about Felner, anyone can let their voice be heard via this blog. Times are a changin’. If Jake would have been blogging and heard from a few of these folks in 2005, maybe this whole thing would have been nipped in the bud since he has shown a sense of moral outrage about this whole thing from day one. It took the CJ editors a month to finally come around to saying that maybe the University isn’t doing the right thing here. If Jake hadn’t dug into this and driven this story, the CJ editors would have let this slide under the rug. Oh, and I dedicate today’s Dilbert cartoon to you and your collegues. What happened to your collective moral compass?

  • 34 Mike Jones // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Check out all their salaries thanks to the open records law and the Courier Journal:

    Just type in their name and the information is yours……..Inquiring minds want to know!

  • 35 Tirnstile // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I had second thoughts about that particular post, but must have been caught up in the topic de jour – that being Felner’s playboy ways. Even though my suggestions were admittedly speculative, and intended as such, a subsequent post or two implied that the idea was not so far fetched. Anyhow, if Jake had included an edit function on this site, I probably would have deleted it.

    Thank you to U of L for doing what Yale, Auburn, Illinois, and Rhode Island could not (including extending him enough rope to….).

  • 36 James R. // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I wonder if Sam Stringfield agrees with the assessment of Univeristy President James Ramsey in the interview with WHAS Mark Hebert that it is OK to shade the truth since some people in business, politics and the media do it?
    I heard Dr James Ramsey pretty much condone this in the interview, since everyone does it as he says.
    For full disclosure, I have no ties to UL. The reason this story bothers me so much is that we are talking about tax money- that is what grant money is. I am a college graduate and a full supporter of tax money used for colleges and research. I do expect College Presidents and Deans to be held to a high ethical standard.
    Seeing Dr James Ramsey see no probkems with Bobby Felner when he had recorded votes of no confidence and numerous other charges raises questions about more than Felner to me.
    I eagerly await Sam Stringfields response to the James Ramsey interview and Ramseys condoning of people who “get weak” and “violate the law every now and then”. Is this how you believe also Sam?
    Please use your real name Sam.

  • 37 jake // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:13 am

    For the record: Not all grant money comes from tax dollars. Huge amounts of grants are provided by non-profit foundations, corporate entities and private citizens.

    Now, back to the arguing and information dumping! It’s enjoyable.

  • 38 Anita M . Moorman, J.D. // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I have naturally followed this blog for a while now, and in the spirit of Dr. Stringfield’s transparency, I too use my real name.

    Sam, your posting is actually an excellent example of the problem the CEHD faces in the coming months/years. You surely realize that there are four departments and close to 100 faculty in our college. Yet the inclusion of accolades for only ECPY and Teaching and Learning reveals much about what is wrong with our college, not what is right. The accomplishments you note are extraordinary, but you also acknowledge that “the faculty is the core of any department, we have worked continuously to recruit superb new faculty”; and that Teaching and Learning also has “similarly remarkable number and quality of new faculty”. This statement ignores the sacrifices and reallocation from other departments (who also believe the faculty are the core of any department) which made your new hires and T & L’s new hires possible. This is the exact “divisiveness” that Dean Felner created and inspired; and you are perpetuating in your posted comment.

    While I appreciate your transparency and willingness to finally talk openly about these issues, we all have to recognize that despite the fact that our former Dean has left, been implicated in a federal criminal investigation, replaced with an Interim Dean, and the whole college become the object of many, many conversations both on and off campus – we have yet to have an open, transparent conversation among the faculty as a group to discuss these issues. Who knows what could be accomplished if everyone just had a chance to express their point of view (without threat of reprisals) in order to establish some common ground upon which to rebuild trust and confidence in each other. I have no idea if at the other institutions where you worked, faculty talked openly on issues; and had frank discussions and even disagreements on policy and strategy – but that has NEVER – taken place in this college under Dean Felner; and certainly not since you joined the faculty. If you think the discourse in this college is “normal” or “acceptable” – then unfortunately you have not had an opportunity to work in an environment where EVERYONE’s (not just the faculty who have $2 million grants) opinion is valued and is EVERYONE is permitted to voice support and opposition to ideas, plans, and processes.

    But so long as you continue to divide yourself and the new faculty; from the other faculty in this college who preceded you, you not only make it impossible for us to resolve these problems and truly come together as a college; but you also continue to flame the fire started by Dean Felner to marginalize and demonize faculty who have committed “6-7 days/week for 25 years” for far less that $177,000 because they care deeply about and work tirelessly with their programs, students, research, and community – simply because they don’t produce grants or probably more likely simply because they were here before Dean Felner and were lumped together as “dead wood” that had to go. That is not the case – many faculty in this college were doing outstanding work well before either Dean Felner; or you joined the faculty; and we will continue to do so.

    And while I admire and respect the accomplishments of the remarkable new faculty you reference as well as those in other departments (and truly believe they absolutely make our college “better”); I only wish that respect was mutual. And in my mind such mutual respect can best be demonstrated through aggressively (1) rejecting any efforts to establish personnel polices that intentionally disadvantage one group from another; (2) rejecting any efforts by any person to stifle open discourse on all matters of unit policy, goals, strategies; (3) ensuring that no member of the faculty or staff is ever treated with disrespect, personally or professionally ridiculed, or intimidated; and (4) prohibiting any former of interference with faculty self-governance.

    That would be a good start. I hope you are at least interested in moving that direction.

    Anita M. Moorman
    College of Education and Human Development

  • 39 Mike Jones // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Thanks Dr. Moorman for representing the REAL faculty at the CEHD! The majority of faculty are UNDERPAID but doing the job they need to do with STUDENTS (let’s remember why you are there and what your priority is). As an alumni, I can think of many faculty who have left (Dr. Ken Duckworth for one) and others who touched my educational life by being who they are (e.g. Dr. Steve Miller) and not acting like Dr. Stringfield and his holier than thou attitude. Get back to the basics and leave your attitude at the door please.

  • 40 Sam Stringfield // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Note to (pseudonym) “Give us a break”:
    It is a lie to say that I was the dean’s man, blindly or otherwise. I was, and am, my own man, Sam Stringfield. You are welcome to your opinions, but at least you are talking about a person who has the integrity to forward his real name.

    Always Amazed,
    Felner did not bring $47 million into UofL. The entire faculty of the college did. If, as is being discussed here and in other media, (and importantly, Jake is streets ahead of others), he mishandled/stole/however it comes out, the parts he controlled, then I have every confidence that the FBI, Secret Service, and the Postal Service will prosecute him to the full extent of the law. All of us would expect no less. They have been interviewing dozens of people around the campus, and no doubt will be thorough. If you know anything that can help them, for goodness sakes, give them a call.

    Tirnstile: You might want to appologize directly to the four ladies in question. They will remember your pseudonym. Since you used their names, you might have the decency to send ‘em emails with your real name.

    James R.: It is not OK to shade the truth or bend the law. Every day I remember that somewhere out there a plumber and a secretary who are probably at least as smart as me and who are working hard and paying their taxes.
    Some of those dollars support universities and, indirectly, me. I’m grateful to those people and view taxpayers money as a sacred trust.
    In the case of a college of education, we need to help every student we can get the best education we can provide. We need to prepare them to be solid, competent teachers, principals, and school counselors and to be solid citizens. We need to work directly with schools, we need to figure out how to do great scholarship and then distribute it as widely as possible…and we need to be grateful.

    If it is proven, in the courts, that Felner did broke the law, then I fully expect he will be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law, and justice will have been served.

    But part of providing the best we can for our students is educating them today and in the Future. Our dean today is Dr. Blake Haselton, and I believe him to be an honest, hard working fellow. He, and all of us, have a very hard job in front of us. We have a college whose reputation is going to require repairing. For the good of our current and former students and faculty, we need to get at that hard work.

    You’re doing fine work digging through all this stuff. My hat’s off to you. Deep Throat said, “follow the money.” That’s what got this thing started, and my guess is that’s where it will end.
    I say that taking nothing away from the real hurt and real need to heal among CEHD faculty, staff, and students. More than some seem to acknowledge, I am personally aware of how that feels.
    Keep it up.
    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

  • 41 SC // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Transparency is a shield, not a sword.

    Everyone should be focusing on what is being said; not the fact that we don’t know who is saying it.

  • 42 Tirnstile // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:35 am


    I think you are making much more out of that post than intended – a post that, in the hundreds of Felner-related entries, received only one other rebuttal. I have already explained my position above and will leave it at that.

    But because I care about your blood pressure… JAKE, will you please remove my post from 6/26 at 5:09? (I’ve tried to email you about this but the verification code keeps getting rejected.)


  • 43 Agreed // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I was hurt by that post -and similar ones- and was deeply sadden some wonderful faculty got their names (and their looks) brought into this matter. In turn, whether intentional or not, their credibility, intergity and knowledge was questioned simply because they were hired by Felner.

  • 44 Sam Stringfield // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:56 am

    We’re now into the type of give and take that we both agree defines a community of scholars. I’m sorry it is on a blog, but so be it.

    Thanks for agreeing that ECPY’s accomplishments “are extraordinary.”

    I disagree that ECPY’s accomplishments take anything away from other departments. Strength builds to strength, and when any department becomes stronger, so does the college. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the year that I came to U of L, the Health and Sports Sciences department hired several—four?—new faculty. My recollection was that the entire college celebrated your successes.

    More than anything else, what made the ECPY hires possible was the phased retirement of four tenured faculty members. Next was the offer of a prestigious named chair position to one of our full professors. Naturally, he took it, and more power to him. The former director of Expressive Therapies left before I got here. Six departures, five of them senior faculty, opens a lot of space.

    As for transparency and conversation, they are no small part of the core if academic freedom. I can’t speak for others, but if you want to sit and talk sometime, let’s do. Bring friends and colleagues. I’ll buy the first round.

    There is one thing that is probably just semantics that I want to modify from how you stated it. It is very rare for a faculty member to simply “have” $2 million in grants. That is typically the result of decades of scholarship, building of credibility, and trying to figure out how the grants business works. Somebody a few blogs back stated that I “fell backwards into money.” Oh, do I wish they were right! It’s decades. You have more of your career in front of you than do I, and I wish you well in that arena.

    I am at a loss to understand why you say that I, “continue to divide yourself and the new faculty; from the other faculty in this college.” We are all one river. In the previous entry I could hardly claim credit for bringing in people who have been at UofL for 10-35 years, but together with our more senior faculty, we’ve worked to improve the department.

    When other people work as hard as do I, I try to celebrate them. For better or worse, my observation and experience was that I had to both work hard and be willing to move in order to “move up.” Perhaps yours will be different, and if so, again, congratulations. Obviously, I haven’t characterized you, or anyone else, as “dead wood.” Quite clearly in your case, if someone else did, they were mistaken.

    In my now-blessedly-former years as the acting chair of ECPY, I tried my best to ensure that anyone who wanted to say something had full opportunity. No more than would you, I didn’t always agree with everyone. As a current example here, I’m not sure that I would agree with your definition of “faculty self-governance.” Perhaps I would, but I’m not sure. Maybe we can talk.

    Note to Mike Jones:
    Part of what defines a “REAL faculty” is an openness to conversation and debate. I don’t know Dr. Duckworth but I agree that Dr. Miller is a fine fellow. We’ve known each other and worked in overlapping areas for a quarter century.

    Now back to work. Take care.
    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

  • 45 Sam Stringfield Fake // Jul 18, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Hey Sam and Everyone. Sam Stringfield was “Looking Forward” in earlier posts. What a fake to pretend all your posts are “transparent”! (Ha! Felner loved to use that word too.) You revealed yoruself because no one is as self-promoting, self-righteous, condescending, and critical of others as you are.

    And Sam, no one reads that journal of yours. No one had heard of it before you arrived. It is not on the citation list. It seems most articles are written by your friends.

    You were on soft money at Hopkins and never have known what it is like to be a real professor with a full teaching load. Many of us do not think you deserve the salary you get which is more than twice what so many others get. And what a cushy job you have with all those assistants and a very light teaching load. Some of us are sick to death of your pompous attitude, dislpayed on this blog and in person.

    I am well aware that blogs bring out meaness in people. Cruelty, actually. People are by nature mean. And Sam, you are no exception.

  • 46 jake // Jul 18, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I’ll happily edit or add addition comments from you on any comment posted. But will need more information.

    We don’t make a habit of deleting comments unless you’re questioning an elected official’s sexual orientation without any evidence to back your claims up. (This happens all the time)

    That said– my direct email address is posted on the contact form. You may email me at that address.

  • 47 Very Disappointed // Jul 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm


    Grant, grant, grant! That makes a lot of us sick. What your two millions have done for us? We were hired to teach, serve, and do research. We were never hired as grant writers and have no interest and no training.

  • 48 seen it before // Jul 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Those who say, “why wasn’t Felner fired a long time ago?” probably have never worked in higher ed. I have for most of the past 20 years. I heard a former higher-ed person say the only way to get fired in higher ed is to get caught with a live boy or a dead girl. The other way is to be caught having sex on your desk with someone other than your spouse covered in the money you’ve embezzled. Well, this one obviously qualifies as the latter.

    And to the idea that higher level U of L administration is reading this blog: I’m sure they are, but they’re seeing it as a small group of crazies. They don’t understand how many people are reading and not commenting. They don’t understand that a cancer like this should have been cut out a long time ago before it spread to others.

  • 49 jake // Jul 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    The administration realizes the reach this site has. Otherwise it wouldn’t be spending money trying to manage the PR nightmare it has on its hands.

  • 50 Sam Stringfield // Jul 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Late lunch.
    I just realized that you re-insulted four professors. There were five names on that list that you shamefully put up there, and four of them are fine faculty in the ECPY department. The acting dean was sufficiently shagrinned by your actions that he went by each office to make sure each of the ladies was OK. Now you owe them a second apology.

    Sam Stringfield Fake,
    Well, it is true that you are a fake.
    It is also true that the entire Center for the Social Organization of Schools ran on “soft” (grant) funding. You should try it sometime. I had a staff that grew up to 16 people, and we had to bring in enough money each year to pay our salaries and Johns Hopkins’ overhead rate. You can’t average it out over 5 years, you have to have money in the University’s accounts to pay the salaries of every person this week. It is more like how the great majority of businesses work.

    It would not appear to be true that no one reads the Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk. It turns a tidy profit, that we turn over to the university. If you wish to declare that you and your friends don’t read it, hey, it’s a big country. If you start a journal, spend 15 years editing it, and garner a wider readership, my hat will be off to you.

    I would disagree with your statement that, “People are by nature mean.” I think most people strive to be decent and kind. We are all imperfect, but I believe that the majority of us strive.

    Very Disappointed,
    University life is not just about “grant, grant, grant.” It is about teaching as best we can, about service when we’d rather not. Part of it is about research, and yes, it does help to have grant money when one wishes to do large studies, but cleverness in design helps, too.
    As for what we were hired to do, go to any hospital, any dentist’s office, any part of the Ford assembly lines, or anywhere in between. Almost none of us are doing what we were originally hired to do. I’m old enough that I learned to “key punch” before being allowed near a mainframe computer. A blessedly lost skill. We have to adapt and grow. It would be boring if it were otherwise.
    I too had no training in grant writing, but you keep working, and after a while you get better at it.
    Best of luck to you.

    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

  • 51 Why // Jul 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Why are people spending so much time on this blog? People are on the blog because there is no where else for them to speak. CEHD has no faculty or staff governance. The grievance system, the linchpin of the university’s justice system, is dysfunctional, as the university’s own faculty grievance officer reported more than two and a half years ago.

    When will they stop blogging? When they feel safe. When there is a better arena for them to speak and be heard. When the university’s essential systems of human and financial integrity and justice are sound once again. In the meantime, people will use the resources available to them to create makeshift alternatives for these crucial lifelines in one of the city’s and state’s key institutions. Thanks, Jake, for making that possible.

  • 52 PWK // Jul 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    It will be interesting to see how many from Illinois and RI either filed grievances or filed lawsuits against Felner. “Seen it before” is so right. All of this discussion brings back to mind that old rhyme – “Oh, what a tangled web we weave” – you know the rest. The people who became part of Felner’s inner sanctum became part of the weave, and some will pay dearly for their entanglement.

  • 53 factsman // Jul 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    In addition, many lawsuits and grievances are not reported because they are settled out of court. Felner once bragged to me that he never lost a grievance. This was right after I knew about the complaints of a former dean, former chair, and Kelly, one of the first in the line of sexually harassed females. All these resulted in favorable outcomes for the complainant that included a decree of silence.

    There is a local attorney who counseled faculty going through the grievance procedures. (Fox D) He could tell you an ear full of what’s wrong with our system.

  • 54 PWK // Jul 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Dear Factsman – So much is wrong, that I doubt we will see much justice in our lifetime. I have spent my whole career working for one scoundrel after another – Felner being the worst – and they are always protected in one way or another.

    To you – Sam Stringfield – I will borrow a quote – “Me thinks you doth protest too much”

  • 55 Tirnstile // Jul 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    S.S., Ph.D. (the real one)

    Huh? I’m not sure I follow. But thanks tallying up how many apologies I owe….

    To bring this particular matter to a close – I’ve stated my position on that post, and have also had it removed by the webmaster. It was done in poor taste, following a less-than-flattering string of revelations about your ex-Dean. I apologize to the individuals who were offended by that post, especially the faculty/staff themselves. I am a nice person, but just got swept up in a wave of Felnerisms. And, since I guess I own another apology….I’ m truly sorry.

    I am not going to reveal my identity to you or anyone else by sending a personal apology. (Nice try.) I used to laugh about the notion of Fear in higher education. But I now realize that the last thing I need is some axe-grinder showing up at my AERA presentation or job talk to make life fun for me.

    So, enough with the reprimands from the bully pulpit. I may be a graduate student, but I’m not YOUR graduate student. I’ve learned my lesson. Leave me alone.

    p.s. I hope you had a nice lunch. The fish sandwiches at The Irish Rover were always a Friday favorite of mine.

  • 56 sallymae443 // Jul 18, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    To *Sam* – just an FYI- my real name is Sally Mae and I believe it is called free speech and the purpose of a blog is to share thoughts, comments, express oneself, and that is what I did! I’ll let you know of my accomplishments when I graduate- of course being a woman- I’d never make as much as you!

  • 57 wc // Jul 18, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Higher ed is full of egos, but I have never seen one as big or bad as Sam Stringfield’s. I left his name off my gripe lists because he has never done anything to me. Until now. He has offended me and many other faculty. Among so many other offenses, he implied HE brought in the $21 million center! Every point in his long, long list of accomplishments seems either exaggerated, padded, or his opinion. (And who does that, writes a public list of accompishments? Gag.) Lots of faculty have published in top tier journals, including AERJ. With his salary, he ought to be doing that every year. But I looked at Sam’s vitae, and while it is long, the quality of the publications beyond a few are not impressive.

    Yes, there are some nasty words on this blog from a few. But as I read them, I think Sam is one of the most cruel on this blog–always implying he works harder than others, doing more important work than others, is more thoughtful than others, is transparent (yet used a psuedonym for several posts himself), tht he can write well while Pedro cannot, and so on. It seems Sam has no idea what is going on around him. But we have noticed him and all his many assistants telling him where to turn left or right. I hope the new dean actually makes that guy work as hard as everyone else in the college.

    Give us a break, Sam and “Looking Forward” and stop posting so we can eat dinner.

  • 58 Fedup // Jul 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    People are fed up with you, Sam. Why do not you understand? You produced a list of things that is phony, exaggerated to say the least. You did not bring 20 million someone else did. Yes, there are violations of procedures through which you were hired and the people you hired in ECPY. Where are there publications and research?
    You behave like the whole world runs, because of you. It does not. You always say, you have a lot to do. What about others. You are Felner’s shadow, not your own man as you claim.

  • 59 Robert Felner-The Realone // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Guys,

    I have listened enough. You all are behaving like kids on the back seat of the car. I say, “just shut up.” Let me drive. Where are you going, Bobby? Do not ask, sweetie, I am the driver, may be to the jail now.
    Hey y’all. Do not talk about my girlfriends and wives. Remeber, I am the Man. One more things, do not you ever call me Bob or Bobby. I am Robert, the Great. Under my regime, you will see social justice, transparency, and above all the civility. Be civil. Hey Sam, Bob, Karen, keep everything under control, until I return from the honeymoon with the Feds.

  • 60 Whocares // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Hey guys,

    That is enough. I have a lot of work to do. If you are like me, spend the same to write grants and bring 20 millions. take gentle care folks. Sam

  • 61 Looking Forward // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I am gone.

  • 62 Sam Stringfield // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Pardon my ignorance, but what were the violations in procedures under which I was hired? Obviously I wasn’t both on the faculty and an applicant, but I wonder why do you say that when Joe Petrosko, chair of ELFH then and now, says it was correct?

    Which of the ECPY faculty were not hired using normal college/university procedures? I am willing to investigate any proven irregularity and, if necessary, suggest to the current acting chair a re-voting the person. My guess is that every one of our last three years’ hires would be re-voted yes by a large majority, but I suppose that’s a testable hypothesis.

    Good night, folks.
    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

  • 63 HowardWCampbelljr // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    You are all being much too hard on Sam and the rest. We have what we have. We need move on. The problem right now is the denial of the president and need to move forward. However that will not happen until everyone acknowledges what has happened and takes their rightful responsibility. Sam you were an enabler along with others. I understand that you have learned from your experience. I appreciate that. However, no one else is acknowledging that even though they all are reading this. Of course some were more enablers than others and consequently bear more responsibility. The problem is that most of those people that tacitly or actively enabled Felner should rethink what they have done. As I think I have mentioned before, Vonnegut indicated in one of his books (and I paraphrase) be careful what you pretend to be for you become what you pretend. It is going to take a great deal of healing from those that were harmed to get over those that enabled. I am not certain that that will ever happen.

  • 64 SheWho // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:42 pm


    I am not in a position to evaluate your achievements but they do appear impressive. I have no idea why I am on your list –perhaps because I am appalled by the administration of this university–with whom I am well acquainted.

    Nevertheless, I feel that (33 grievances!) and what appears to be very unhappy faculty who have been treated unfairly or even traumatized should be allowed to express themselves without a parental hand quashing their ire.

    Once their voice is heard, I suspect they will get back to work. If not, the new dean will likely take action–he has excellent administrative skills and a keen insight into human nature.

    Relax. I am certain you are valued. Perhaps people should tell you that more often–we all need to be affirmed especially those who go above and beyond.

  • 65 Give us a break... // Jul 19, 2008 at 12:13 am

    I hear you, but it’s hard not to respond to Sam when so much of what he says is so far off the mark.

    Sam, do you really believe that faculty hiring under Felner was any kind of a democratic process that allowed real faculty input? He brought in some faculty (such as yourself) with no search and handed them tenure. In other cases he completely controlled the search process -writing the job descriptions, assigning bogus search committees, allowing interviewing of only those candidates who met his approval, turning away individuals that faculty wanted to hire without adequate explanation, and throwing tantrums if faculty objected to his choices.

    He also brought in many term faculty who were hired without faculty approval – a group who can be hired and fired at his whim (note that the CJ understood this when they indicated in the editorial this AM that an independent campus group should be appoointed to look at the goings-on in CEHD that includes “tenured faculty who can’t be easily dismissed or marginalized”). How many of those faculty on your list of hirings are term faculty who were brought in without searches? You can probably say that your faculty voted on them, but who was going to stand up and ask for input when voicing almost any kind of objection under the Felner regime meant punishment, not democratic dialogue?

    This kind of hiring stacked the deck in favor of the bad guys because term faculty and young not-yet-tenured faculty are not in a position, in an authoritarian regime, to vote their own minds.

    As several of the comments note, you enabled this process and more. The sad thing is you don’t get it. You don’t really listen to what is being said to you here. You are so full of yourself that you can’t really look at the world through the eyes of someone who might think or feel differently than you do. Suffering was going on all around you – not just your fellow CEHD faculty, but support staff and students as well. Did you see it? Did you feel it?

    You just stay in your head listing your accomplishments and telling others, in your self-righteous way, how they don’t measure up. I’d feel sorry for you, but you’ve done too much damage. “Take gentle care”? You don’t know what that means.

  • 66 wc // Jul 19, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Give Us A break:

    Nice writing. The great thing about blogging is all voices are heard. But the other thing is that you read some great writing and some clever thinking.

  • 67 PWK // Jul 19, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Jake -

    Do you have any way of proving that the post from “Robert Felner – the real one” was actually written by him – or is this a spoof?

  • 68 Another perspective // Jul 19, 2008 at 10:04 am

    As an outsider, I want those of you who have Felner-like behavior, or enabled this type of behavior, to understand that you spill out into the rest of education all the way down to the little kindergartners. You are training young adult minds who will be teachers in our classrooms, and then promoted to district and state jobs, that this type of behavior is okay. That this type of behavior is what gets you to the top of your field. You are conditioning them to keep silent when people above them (principals, asst. principals, district staff, deputy superintendents, superintendents) behave like Felner. You are training them that if they learn to become enablers, they will be rewarded. And believe me, our district alone is full of Felner clones and his enabler-types. And what are the consequences that these people never see because they are too busy presenting/reviewing/writing journal articles about at-risk children based on their “data”? AT RISK CHILDREN! In Jefferson County alone there are thousands of children every year who drop out or graduate with a skill set that qualifies them only to work at McDonalds. Why? Because they had teachers who gave them what amounts to the rigor of coloring books because the principal allows that teacher to coast if he/she is a “team player”(read “enabler”). These teacher-enablers are allowed to tell their high school student’s parents that their child is getting a “D” and passing! Yipee! We should all feel so proud! WAKE UP people. This isn’t about you. Take a walk through Beecher Terrace, Iroquois Homes, or Sheppard Square and meet the people that this is about. When’s the last time any of you “education leaders” have done that? As you justify ignoring all those faculty complaints Mr. Ramsey, can you reflect on when was the last time you have talked to those children and heard their complaints? Who are the real cowards here? Hint: it’s not the faculty who complained anonymously.

  • 69 ed // Jul 19, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Sam, Sam, Sam,

    Are you really “Looking Forward”? It’s me….Ed….from last week. Or is it? Maybe I’m a different Ed. Maybe I’m Mister Ed. Wilburrrrrr.

    But, seriously, LF….what have you gone and done here? My, God, Man, I thought we had all this settled and you were “blessed with much work to do and were done with blogging.”

    You really should have left well enough alone. Though you and I are impressed with your accomplishments (your hand and back must be sore), still it seems LF that you have forgotten so very much of last week’s lesson. For a guy with so many notches in his belt, you sure don’t retain well, do you?

    Let’s review……and please pay attention this time…there WILL be a test……

    1. You have never been a victim of Felner or (according to many of the posts I’m seeing) none if his clan. You’re on some equal footing with the guy. So, LF, as I said, you lack a very essential perspective here. And, your repeated inability or unwillingness to even TRY to recognize that has become not only tiresome, but a big part of your undoing here. Again, LF, you weren’t listening in class last week.

    2. You aren’t doing a very good job of “looking forward,” are you? Tsk tsk tsk. Again, this is old ground. With each post, you widen the abyss between you and so many folks at the school. I warned you about this. If you really expect to be a leader, and really want to help U of L move forward in the “Post-Felner” era, you simply can’t continue to lack any empathy, be the embodiment of condescention and try to preach from a mile high pulpit. But did you listen? Nooooooooooo.

    (I mean…really LF….do you think working 6-7 hours a day, 12-15 hours a day entitles you to anything? Are you SO out of touch in your tower that you don’t know there are zillions of people with 2 and 3 jobs doing EXACTLY that…and more…to feed their families??? You really should be totally ashamed of yourself for THAT one!)

    Silly, silly boy. You’ve just gone and done it now, haven’t you? Each post was like a self driven nail in your professional coffin….at least as far as your future effectiveness at U of L is concerned.

    I don’t know if your head is in the clouds or up your butt…but…either way…good thing you had 4 offers, each for 177K. May want to call and see if the other 3 are still good. Seems to me you’re toast there.

    Of your long list of accomplishments, it must sadden you that none are the “human” kind.

    Silly, silly boy. You were right…you are NO Atticus.

    Take gentle care.

  • 70 jake // Jul 19, 2008 at 11:21 am

    PWK: Definitely was not written by Robert Felner.

  • 71 RI // Jul 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    PWK: RF is not in the position to say “Do not talk about my girlfriends and wives. I am the Man.” He betrayed and lied to them. He double- (sometimes triple-) dated. Shame on you, Dr. Felner!

  • 72 ed // Jul 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Hmmmm…..Bobby at a ball game with a beer? Aside from the comic alliteration and that fact that it resembles a CLUE guess…..what’s up with that? It doesn’t quite feel like behavior consistent with his predicament. I would have figured him holed up, sweating off 3 or 4 pounds a day in fear. (aka…”the feds are after you” diet). Think his lawyers said…go out…smile….act innocent? Or, is it just more of that puffy chested arrogance he is so famous….er….infamous….for?

  • 73 Outofcuriosity // Jul 19, 2008 at 1:13 pm


    Out of curiosity, were you hired through national research and who were your other competing candidates? Who were the people on search committee? Who attended your presentations? How were you voted on ? Were you not hired when most of the faculty were gone the during summer?

    You are Felner’s enabler. Were you not standing behind Pedro to intimidate him and others during the non -confidence voting process? Did you not speak in favor of Felner on the stage to discourage faculty from vote of no-confidence against Felner.

    You are so power and money hungry man. CEHD faculty wanted you resign from College of Education Personnel Committee, but you refused it with an excuse that you had to check with your wife.

    Your accomplishments look great, but they are empty as you have no professional integrity, no ethics, and no love for humanity. Your grants all are a symbol of your love for money.

    Now to your hiring practices. As noted earlier, how did you hire Estes? Was she hired through national research? How was she promoted from Assistant Prof. to Associate Professor (and assistant chair) over night to get more than $66,000 without any publications? An other associate professor with tons of publications and more than 20 years experience is paid at least 10,000 less than Estes, Why?

    Do not speak with both sides of the mouth on this blog. You are not respected.

  • 74 Becareful // Jul 19, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Ditto to ” Giveusabreak” number 65. An excellent response.

  • 75 HowardWCampbelljr // Jul 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Again I say, I understand all of your complaints. Sam still has some learning to do about his colleagues especially his support for Karp and Ronau. I do agree that there were under handed tactics in hiring and Sam needs to hear this. As the guy on Dragnet used to say, “Just the facts.” I believe that Sam has had a limited perspective on things. I do not believe he needs to be chastised for lack of integrity or cast aspersions on his intentions. I do not believe as another post has indicated somewhere that folks are basically mean. The attacks are getting us no where. Sam has accomplished a lot. So have all of the other faculty that are at the CEHD. He may have a restricted view of things but so do we all. Many of us have been severely hurt both personally and professionally. I do think we need to look at ourselves in this matter too. While I understand that we all felt intimidated but there were some that stood up and challenged RF and his leadership team. Pedro was one along with some other people. I for one think we should celebrate those people and try to figure out what we need to do in the future.

  • 76 SC // Jul 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I totally understand those who want/need to vent about the enablers; and passivists who stood by while Felner manipulated and mistreated literally dozens. And while many posts have been about faculty mistreatment, we must not forgot the number of staff and students who experienced Felner’s abuse and irrational behavior on a daily basis for five years. The healing process will take a long, long time — but thanks to this blog I do think that it has begun finally.

    I also hope that we don’t lose sight of one larger issue beyond the enablers within the college — but those enablers from above. Dr. Ramsey’s comments last week were nothing short of a ringing endorsement for tyrannical leadership. The fact that more than 30 official (even if anonymous) complaints were tracked with many resulting in formal grievances or formal investigations of sexual harassment — but none ending with any positive resolution of the underlying problems — should be clear that U of L’s policies do not adequately protect against the kinds of abuses Felner perpetrated on faculty, staff, and students. The Faculty Senate, Staff Senate; and Student Government Association should be outraged and demanding answers from this administration.

    The CEHD suffered in silence for too long; and now that that silence has been broken — the entire university community must get involved.

  • 77 SC // Jul 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    p.s. why not go for 100 comments on this topic — would that be a record Jake?

  • 78 jake // Jul 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    SC: Not sure if it’s a record, but it’d probably be quite close for this particular website.

    I’ll have to dig a little further when I’m home later in order to see if this is the largest discussion thread on P1.

  • 79 Sam Stringfield // Jul 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for all your feedback.

    Thanks to “Tirnstile” for getting the female faculty members’ names taken off the blog and apologizing to them. I’m sure they appreciate it. Best of luck in your studies and beyond.

    Thanks especially to A.J., for the serious, open engagement. I meant it about meeting and talking sometime. I’m not at all sure we agree about everything, but I’m very sure that isn’t the purpose of universities, so I’d probably learn and grow.

    Something that “Sam Stringfield Fake” was correct about was that I was “Looking Forward” earlier in this sequence. I’d never seen a blog before, and wasn’t at all sure how they worked. I tried it out and mostly was frustrated by the nature of the discussion. Upon reflection, I thought perhaps using my real name would help break through some of the problems that seemed inherent before, and in some areas it did. (Thanks again to A.J.)

    But in other ways, I found this more recent series just as frustrating. Hence, I discussed “blogs” with two colleagues from outside of Kentucky who have experience setting them up and participating on them (on topics ranging from neighborhood associations to telescopes). My two current conclusions follow:
    1. A blog is a great place for Jake to keep folks up to date on what is going on in Kentucky, and we’re all indebted to him and for that. Similarly focused blogs can provide similarly valuable information on a gloriously bewildering range of topics.
    2. A blog is not a place in which groups—even groups with shared goals, as I believe to be the case with the great majority of College of Education faculty—are likely to have increasingly calm, reflective discussions on topics that are important to us. People have differences of opinion as to how to achieve even shared goals. A blog, like email, is devoid of social clues, body language, etc. that can say, “Hey, look. You and I are both trying to be good people. We are both trying to solve one or more problems. You think X and I think Y and maybe the best solution is somewhere in between so let’s talk.” In stead, it seems to turn into an escalating discussion of our various individual and collective, real and imagined character flaws. We all have flaws, we all know it, and we’re all defensive about ‘em. Almost all of us want to grow. But reading about our real or imagined flaws “out there on the web” seems an unlikely path to open discussion and eventual reflection. I think these things are better done face to face in what James Comer calls, “no fault problem solving.” Maybe I’m wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    So anyway, I’m “re-retiring” from blogging. If anybody wants to talk, you know where my office is.

    Thanks everybody, you’ve taught me a lot.

    Sam Stringfield, Ph.D.

    A couple of P.S.s related to things that came over the blog as I was writing:

    Ed! I was wondering where you’d gone. I said I wasn’t Atticus at the start. If you’d care to continue the conversation, you can find my phone and address on the college’s web page.

    May you get over Felner. He’s just a man, and thanks to U of L, he’s being investigated. If he is tried and found guilty, then I imagine you’ll get your “Christmas in July.” If he isn’t—and yet again, I have no idea—then so be it. Either way, both your and my lives will go on. Best of luck in yours, Ed.

    Three factual notes to “Outofcuriosity”: Distinguished University Scholars are typically not hired through national searches. Someone learns that a person whom the university believes might be worthy becomes available, and they are recruited. You’d have to ask Joe about the vote. He has previously stated in public that it was as it should have been.

    Re: Dr. Estes: She is a non-tenure-track Assistant Professor, not Associate. (did the college’s web have this wrong at some point?) Term appointments typically don’t involve a national search. She is 12 months, and while I have no idea with whom you are comparing her, my guess is that they are on a 10 month salary. In addition, she has two levels of administrative responsibility: She has done a wonderful job rejuvenating the Expressive Therapy program, increasing the number of applications by over 400% in three years, and decreasing the number of student complaints from a level that had apparently been essentially continuous to virtually none. When I was acting chair I received regular compliments from students as to her teaching and student guidance. She has greatly increased student placements, both pre- and post-graduation. In addition, as you noted, she was asked to be the assistant chair. The position is appointed at the discretion of the department chair.

    While I have tried very hard to speak straight in this blogging, if I’ve missed a point, please come by my office and let’s talk about it.

    Take gentle care, folks.

  • 80 I love Ed // Jul 19, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Really, Ed.

    Do people fall in love on blogs?

  • 81 ed // Jul 19, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    This is my first experience with a blog…so you got me on that one. Stranger things have happened……I guess. Though I’m not sure I can come up with any right now. I’m flattered. Turning red, in fact. Maybe we should see if Jake is like a ship’s captain…empowered to perform weddings. We’ll invite everyone from the site. Yes….even you, Sam.

    Hmmmmm, Ed marries I love Ed. Give me some time, I’ll get used to it.

  • 82 sam makes me throw up a little in my mouth // Jul 20, 2008 at 12:31 am

    I want to comment the vomitous spewings of stringfield. I know you will come back and read all that follows your long winded and self righteous posts. what an ego? to list every accomplishment you have ever made here on this blog is such a sad little move. Why do you want to be the center of attention here? A place where clearly your unfeeling and unsympathetic view is seen as disgusting? You know what I always learned in writing class? Know your audience.
    You are so oblivious. Or are trying to act like you are cause you think that ignorance of the way a blog works makes you above it all. I think you just thought it would be such a cool move to state your real name. oh that’s so brave. “that’s got to earn me some respect.” That’s so delusional and simpleminded its no wonder the dean found you to be a good puppet. I love how you think you are going to come here and convince people of something. YOU ARE MORE GUILTY THAN FELNER. You know why? Because anyone who stood by and watched what he did is the absolute lowest form. Didn’t you see how people in your department and around the college were treated? Weren’t you supposed to stand up for them and be their voice? You come on here asking a lot of people who have been tortured for years to “look forward?” what did you do to help those who were being tortured, harassed, and driven away? You are a joke. As is your stating of every so called accomplishment on your resume. The true accomplishment you could have made would have been, when given the position of department chair, to have stood up for them and been the person you keep trying to act like you are in these posts. The truth of who and what you are lies not in what your vitaesays but in what you really do when what you can do will make a difference. You did nothing but you stood by a dean who everyone knew is a sadist and we now know is a criminal. If I were you I would shut my mouth and pray for forgiveness.
    Your salary is also revolting.
    And I noticed you didn’t address the comments “give us a break” made toward you. Nothing to say on that hiring process stuff, huh?
    And the comment about the expressive therapies department? You know that department was gonna be given the boot by felner until he saw the majority of students in that program were young, attractive females.

  • 83 ed // Jul 20, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Again I say, Sam, Sam, Sam,

    You’re reading this, aren’t you? Come onnnnn….I know you are. I can see you there. Like the arsonist who has to watch the fire, you’re here….reading the reactions to your “heartfelt” “let’s have a group hug” “it’s been a jolly good time conversing with the commoners” re-retirement manifesto. It’s like you were the cat, we were the balls of yarn…and you’d had enough.

    You’re consistent, my Man, I’ll give ya that. I feel like my project for 08 is to ground you in reality. I’ve been a miserable failure so far. You’re good-bye again post is proof of that. It was the verbal equivalent of the Pope riding by in his glass car, waving to the masses. And your invitations to call you had a “His Majesty will see you now” feel. Geez, Sam, please don’t tell me that when you’re out and around you talk about yourself in the third person.

    I’m really not trying to dump on you here. (OK…OK….maybe a little). But mainly I’m just trying to get you to take your right hand, and pass it real real fast across your face. Real fast. Can you do that? It’s called a reality slap. You need one….or twelve.

    Do you know….in all your posts….you’ve never really (not really) acknowledged the reality of what Felner did to the people posting here. Why is that? Oh, you may have paid some lip service to it along the way…but never anything very real. Again…why is that? Not your “thing” to feel for folks? Recognizing the true ugliness of the man a little below someone with alphabet soup after his name?

    Your “Get over Felner” advice to me would be a pretty good example of that. Sadly, Sam, I suspect you meant that in some helpful way. You have no clue (hmmm…I could end the sentence there) about my history with the man. Just….get over it. “Come on, soldier, suck it up…it’s just a bullet hole and I hear you don’t really need your spleen anyway.” Sam, Sam, Sam…..thus my project for the year.

    Your posts, though troubling themselves, concern me more because they clearly reveal the mindset with which you go through life. Not good, Sam, my Man. Not good. You have to know that, don’t you? I was in education for almost 30 years, and saw many people who got Phd’s….maybe published somehing….perhaps even ran a department (sounding familiar at all?)…and slowly buy surely simply lost touch. I’m sorry, Sam, the tests are back from the lab, and it seems you’re seriously infected.

    These are all good people here, Sam. I can feel it in their posts. They’re (we’re) suffering from Post Traumatic Felner Syndrome, and you want to talk about “discussing blogs with colleagues”???

    Come on, Sam…..right hand….real fast…right across that face…..a few times. See? Don’t you feel better already? Suck it up, soldier, I hear you don’t need your cheek for much anyway.

    Now…come on….one more post….you can do it!!! Tell these folks you’re sorry….and MEAN it!! Take your tie off and get in the mud for a few minutes…’ll be great. Empathize, Sam. Relate. Feel. Understand. And do it all without any third person pronouns, condescension, preaching or patronizing.

    Sam….my project for 08.

  • 84 Give us a break... // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:12 am

    ed, aren’t you waiting for “hell to freeze over”?

    Sam writes, “please come by my office and let’s talk about it.” Many of us who have posted here have already tried. We always have the same reaction afterward: “I must have been talking to myself.”

    That’s post 84. 16 more to reach 100. We can either focus on SS or on which of us gets to marry ed.

  • 85 Blowin' in the Wind // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I am not defending the Provost, but I doubt that many know the problems she had trying to do something about Felner. A little song on the wind says that when she tried todo something, former Superintendent Daeschner and his three merry men went directly to President Ramsey to defend him…

    You might also want to check on what actually was accomplished by Felner in this supposed closeness withe JCPS??????? Other than making the barbershop quartet a quintet ???

  • 86 SC // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:39 am


    That has certainly been a question I have about whether JCPS really loved Felner’s influence in the CEHD. Since it is one (of the total of three) accomplishments Ramsey feels justify the treatment CEHD had to endure from Felner — I wish you could elaborate.

    I haven’t spoken to any teachers who responded positively to Felner — so who were Felner’s supporters in JCPS.

    I also agree — I think the Provost was ready to cut Felner loose two years ago, but was over-ruled — blame clearly goes all the way to the top on this one.

  • 87 Truth and Reconciliation // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Dear U of L colleagues,

    I and many others at a former Felner academic home suffered the chaos and pain that he brought to us that is similar to that so well described on this Blog (Jake, terrific work!). My name and the academic setting where I suffered Felner are really not important to mention here. The U of L interpersonal experience of Felner has been the same at all of his academic stopping points (Yale, Auburn, Illinois, Rhode Island, Louisville, and even his brief acquaintance with UW-Parkside).

    I admit having been confounded and disturbed by Felner’s ability to escape the charred ruins he created over the years, including abused and disillusioned students (I was one), faculty friends whom he turned on, and administrators who were charmed by him, only to be left picking up the pieces and trying to put them back together again. I also admit rejoicing at this dramatic downturn and possible end of his career. And yes, I also feel some guilt in taking delight at the public exposure of his evil – there is no better word for it.

    Why write now? To encourage the U of L community to continue the healing that, unfortunately, will take some years to accomplish. For other academic community sufferers, as it seems at U of L, Felner created and thrived by causing rifts between and among students, faculty, and administrators. Our community suffered, I believe, because we did not fully expose and discuss his fetid behavior that, unfortunately, would have likely included finger pointing, false (and true) accusations aimed at accomplices or perceived accomplices, and pure, unadulterated expressions of anger. Bringing the unspoken out into full view is powerful and healing. This is the process used in “Truth and Reconciliation” hearings in South Africa, Cambodia, and other places where great interpersonal wrongs have occurred. As a former Felner trauma victim, I believe this process is appropriate, and can be helpful to a community so harmed by his poison.

    It will not come without scars.

    Keep talking and keep blogging. I would particularly like to encourage Sam Stringfield, a person who I do not know personally, to please stick it out and stay in the dialogue. People will anonymously write nasty things, but you have shown the doggedness to challenge and push back. This is also important in reaching the truth and prevent the dialogue from turning into fury-inflamed rants. I also perceive a glint of humility (no doubt someone will scoff at this) in your comments about acknowledging personal weaknesses that we all have. I believe that this dialogue has the potential to be a learning and healing opportunity for all.

    Best wishes.

  • 88 ed // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Without me combing back through his posts, can someome tell me what Sam’s current position is? For the mind numbing 4th time, I need to say I’m thousands of miles away and not very familiar with the players (though I AM learning). I guess I’m wondering (hoping) he’s someone you can avoid….or isn’t that possible? I’m sorry that, on top of Felner (now THERE’S an image I didn’t need in my mind’s eye)…you have someone like Sam to have to deal with.

    Oh…and if I get a vote about the last (now only) 13 posts…I’m going with the who marries ed plan. Duh.

    Do you like pina coladas, getting cauuuuught in the rain…..

    Hey…sure beats the hell out of beating that dead Sam horse, doesn’t it??

  • 89 Blowin' in the Wind // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:55 am

    The only appreciation of Felner was on the part of Daeschner and his male trio–think the top of the totem pole. By the way, all three are still there at the top.

    I have no idea what Dr. Ramsey was referring to as Felner’s accomplishments with JCPS. Someone might want to ask him

  • 90 Blowin' in the Wind // Jul 20, 2008 at 10:59 am

    By the way, has anyone been able to verify these “offers” that Felner brought to the Provost and President to get raises? If they were real offers, what institutions did they come from? Seems that they need to look at their search procedures.

  • 91 jake // Jul 20, 2008 at 11:00 am

    No one commenting here wants to believe me me, but I believe it’s possible that Shirley’s hands were tied to a great extent.

    Just as I believe it’s absolute bunk that Ramsey hasn’t seen any information related to Robert Felner.

  • 92 Blowin' in the Wind // Jul 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I think you are dead on about Shirley. And I would be willing to bet that the all boy quartet at JCPS were major players. You might want to explore that a bit, Jake.

  • 93 Give us a break... // Jul 20, 2008 at 11:33 am

    What “Truth and Reconciliation” suggests requires moral courage. I have not seen such courage demonstrated at any level of administration at the University. It was demonstrated by faculty in their vote of “no confidence” more than two years ago, particularly by those who spoke up at the no confidence faculty meeting, the meeting with the Provost that followed, and numerous not-so-visible opportunities since. Those who did have been punished since and many of us have left UofL rather than deal with ongoing attacks and the daily horror of going to work.

    The Provost’s hands are not tied. She lacks moral courage. Now, unless some of those who wielded power in this whole scenario (department chairs, “leadership” team, higher University administration) are willing to take some responsibility for what went on, apologize, and show a sincere desire for change by changing the way buisness is done (distribute power democratically, treat every individual with respect, etc.), Felner’s world will stay in place even without him.

    I guess, with all these posts to Sam (who put himself out there as a target), we are hoping that he, as a representative of the group, will show some remorse for his role and perhaps apologize to those he has hurt either directly or indirectly through his previous position on “the leadership team.” It might be a start.

  • 94 SC // Jul 20, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Dr. Willihnganz and Dr. Haselton,

    I hope you are reading this. It is not too late to salvage an excellent community of academics and scholars — but you must act soon. Whether it be based upon moral courage (e.g. Truth and Reconcilation); or common sense; or just good ol’ HR management. Stop reading; and start acting. Stop being an extra in Felner’s horror movie and step up to Director/Producer.

  • 95 Tirnstile // Jul 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Just a few posts left until the century mark. Jake….record?

    And if the line for ed gets too long, I’m also single. :)

  • 96 sam makes me throw up a little in my mouth // Jul 20, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    for the record, i am a former student, and graduate assistant. what i can tell you about jcps…well many of their teachers come from the teaching and learning program at UofL…and do you know how teachers gossip? anyone you run into that’s had contact with that program has a story. its ALWAYS a bad experience. and those stories are spread all over. i have no doubt jcps is well aware of a lot of the goings on under felner.

    i also want to add that i attended graduation this past spring and that felner’s behavior was absolutely disgusting! it was unbelievable. he couldnt pronounce simple names. when he got a name wrong he would bluster and stumble around…acting like it didnt matter. and he flirted with a good number of females when they walked behind his podium. he also encouaged mass chaos. you couldnt hear names, and the students left until the end were graduating with the lights on and no audience. i had to mention that because its one of the most bizarre things i have ever witnessed.

    oh, and sam…..REPENT!

  • 97 Another perspective // Jul 20, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Now we are getting somewhere, Blowin’ In the Wind! The value that Felner brought to the JCPS table is that he fit right in. As I said before, Felner damaged more than just his faculty. He perpetuated the culture with each new class of teachers.

    Daeschner and his boys (and some girl wannabes) rule by fear and intimidation in exchange for power, money, and yes, sex. Sound familiar? There are so many bones in the JCPS closets that it is going to be declared an archeological dig when one of those folks finally gets caught.

    Berman has been here for a year and everyone is still at their posts. Why? Does he need those guys to sustain the fine balance between Ramsey, Abramson, Hawpe, and business controlled GLI?

    I’m not trying implicate these other groups, but there is a lot of looking away and “shucks, all people in power screw up every now an a’gin” mentality they think is needed to protect what they see as “the greater good”. The end justifies the means. Period. Ramsey’s video is a glimpse into their mindset.

    But this time the screw up caught the attention of a local blogger, stoppable by no one, who for some reason decided to commit a crazy amount of time to the story. And the rules of the game have now changed. I’m hoping that Jake has the desire to keep unraveling this thing. If Blowin’ has access to share this blog with teachers (and I don’t mean JCTA), this thing could get really interesting.

  • 98 Justshutup // Jul 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Sam, don’t have you enough. If you are smart, pack up your stuff and go to other three jobs you mentioned earlier. Better still, go find your buddy Felner. He might still get you a job at Ohio State or you may even become a chancellor at Parkside. They may even recruit u as a Distinguished Scholar of fabrications. We
    are hurt Sam, our hearts are bleeding and our souls are weepin and here u are preaching and giving us a long laundry list of your accomplishments!!!!!! Give us a break, Sam.

  • 99 LarryLurker // Jul 20, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Who are the Daeschner boys being referred to? The supposed barbershop quartet? I assume that MB and RR in that group, but who is the other? BE?

  • 100 Leadershipteam // Jul 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    This message for the leadership team.
    You have hurt a lot of people at CEHD under Felner ‘ regime with his blessings, out of fear, or out of greed (getting glowing evaluations and plent of money.” Please stand on high moral grounds now, repent, and ask for forgiveness. More importantly, please all of you resign, including you Sam. Sam you need to leave with Felner.

  • 101 Blowin' in the Wind // Jul 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    A key question to ask is what did the kids of Louisville get out of Felner’s tenure at U of L.

  • 102 ed // Jul 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Well, Blowin’,

    Let’s see….I’m guessing they didn’t get the numbers to his off shore or Cayman Island accounts. I’m guessing they didn’t get fat stipends for simply knowing Little Bobby Felner. Probably not any out of state travel expenses, either. Likely no big ass house, or sleek car. And, I would think they didn’t get any blondes along the way.

    So…seems the kids of Louisville probably got the same thing kids got everywhere he was.


  • 103 Another perspective // Jul 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    And if the kids of Louisville didn’t get so much, why were Daeschner and the boys so willing to protect him? There are several former JCPS administrators that were hired by Felner. Maybe they can tell us?

  • 104 ed // Jul 20, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Felner….miscreant though he is…was the golden goose. I said it before, but it bears repeating…I think a lot of heads can turn pretty far in the other direction, and a lot of eyes suddenly become blind….just to protect his eggs.

  • 105 ed // Jul 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Speaking of blondes…..

    Note to self: If convicted, send Bobby’s cellmate, Bubba, a blonde wig. Toss in some candles and a Lionel Ritchie CD.

  • 106 Kygirl // Jul 20, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I, like Sam, am new to this whole blogging thing but have been feverishly reading once I stumbled upon this news story thanks to Page One. Incredibly and somewhat sadly there doesn’t seem to be much mention of any of the details in the traditional mainstream media. With each new comment I have grown more upset with the though that people with the education of which they so repetitively boast have very little common sense or courtesy.

    I will first say that I do not work for U of L, have never been a student there and am not in the education field. I do know some very intelligent, kind folks that work there and have graduated from the department. My only experience with the university is partaking in a few fraternity parties in my younger years.

    Having disclosed all that, my contribution to the conversation is simply to convey some good advice my parents preached to me many years ago. I do believe that those in power could, perhaps, benefit if in the future they would live by a few good rules.

    1. No matter your level of education, you can learn something from every person you meet. This is proven to me day in and day out.
    2. Remember, there will always be someone in the room that is more intelligent, more beautiful, more (fill in the blank with your favorite adjective) than you and those who are not. Treat everyone well, for often it is hard to discern which are above or below you in wisdom, beauty or______ (again, fill in your favorite adjective).

    …and finally…(This is advice they gave me during my middle and high school years.)

    3. Be kind to everyone! In twenty years, no one will remember or care who wore the best Guess/Jordache jeans, carried the most expensive purse, drove the nicest car,
    had the most jelly bracelets, largest loop earrings, or coolest Madonna/Cyndi Lauper/Duran Duran hair (ops, I’m dating myself now) or in this case, brought in the most grant money. What they will remember is how well you treated them.

    In this blog I can see that my parents were right… again. In most of the posted comments, especially those acquainted with RF in the past, there is no mention of his or his buddies’ financial accomplishments but everyone does remember and writes about the harsh treatment given to them undeservingly.

    A few last thoughts about Sam’s posting of all his worthy achievements. Just because you publish articles, bring in money to the university, have power and a large paycheck does not give you or anyone else the right to be disrespectful to others. All the big money does not wash away the humiliation and cruelty inflicted on the faculty. I do commend you for all your hard work and many hours put in through the years. I suspect your colleagues have done the same. While the compliment is sincere, I would remind you that you picked this profession understanding that the hours and hard work comes with the territory.

    Thank you for allowing me to participate in the discussion. I do realize my comments are somewhat simple ideas but I hope considered pertinent to the conversation. The staff of the university will remain in my thoughts and I wish you all well.

  • 107 Ihope // Jul 20, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I hope, Boaard of Trutees, President, and the Provost are reading this blog.

  • 108 wc // Jul 20, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you KyGirl for your kind post. I am always impressed with people who understand the pain of those who have suffered in the way we have under RF. Not everyone can do that. Maybe one has had to be a victim in order to understand other victims.

    A long ago post by factsman keeps spinning in my head. It was in reference to Ramsey’s stupid response that was like blaming rape victims or abused spouses forwhat they got. That has helped me understand why I was so angry about Ramsey’s response.

    Still, I blame the provost for being the true coward. Why didn’t she act? She knew each grievance in depth, knew the people, knew our pain, knew all of it! And still did nothing. I have heard many people come out and say she is incapable of making a decision. I used to think if she had just stepped up right away and apologized for not having taken steps to remove him, she could be forgiven. But I no longer think that now. She is the one who needs to resign.

    And include me on the FAN OF ED list. You really have helped the healing by being insightful and hilarious.

  • 109 jake // Jul 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I still haven’t seen evidence that the Provost had any control over the situation. No one– including the folks filing grievances– has been able to prove to me that Shirley didn’t have her hands tied.

    I’m not suggesting she’s not responsible for anything, just saying there’s no evidence to suggest that she acted (or didn’t act) on her own accord.

    After watching Jim Ramsey’s performance the past couple weeks, one has to wonder if he didn’t call ALL the shots.

    We’ve all seen Shirley act on behalf of students and faculty– often in the public eye– so it does not, in my opinion, seem like a character trait of hers to blow off 33 grievances solely because she wanted to. If that happened, I’m apt to assume it was because she was forced to.

  • 110 jake // Jul 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    P.S. The Provost’s responses to some of those grievances and complaints were super-vague.

    And that leads me to believe it wasn’t her response, but the response of others who control her job.

    (Come on– when has she EVER been vague? Check everything she’s ever said.)

  • 111 wc // Jul 20, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    I ask you, when has she every made a significant, timely decison?

    When has she shown courage to speak what needed to be said in the face of adversity? Lots of many less powerful faculty spoke truth in difficult times, why didn’t seh?

  • 112 jake // Jul 20, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Hold your horses. I’m not taking her side. I’m just asking everyone to examine the facts.

    We have no evidence to suggest that the Provost did not act behind closed doors. None. Nor do we have evidence that she wasn’t controlled by Jim Ramsey– her boss.

    I mean, you’ll note that Shirley has never said Robert Felner did a great job. That should count for something.

    When has she shown courage to speak to what need to be said in the face of adversity? When standing up to bigots like David Edmunds. When standing up to racists who assaulted students. (Instances you can search/read about on this very website).

    It’s important that we all remember that the Provost is not the top dog at the University of Louisville. The top dog is President James Ramsey. And Ramsey has been praising Robert Felner left and right. He’s belittled those who have filed grievances and he’s said on-camera that it’s okay to break the law. This is the man who controls the Provost. We cannot forget that while we’re throwing around blame.

  • 113 ed // Jul 20, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    We’re all in this together, wc. Jake’s blog is the new group therapy. Thanks for giving us a place, Jake. I’m guessing you didn’t know that reporting on an investigation would morph into this. None of us did….how could we? It’s like it’s taken on a life of its own….if that makes any sense.

    For me…and probably many of you, too…it started off as a “ding dong the witch is dead” sort of thing. And even though it still is for me, once it got going it became exponentially more. The depth of the pain and anger became clear, the commonality of our experiences was shocking, and the result was….is….a group of people who, probably for the first time, are able to share the horror with others that know the same horror. I don’t know about you…but that’s been pretty huge for me. Thank you for that.

    I don’t know any of you, and you don’t know me. As I’ve said, I’m far away. Yet, when I open pageone and read the latest posts I feel sorta like I’m visiting old friends. Does that sound crazy? My “real” friends and family are ecstatic about the situation, but they haven’t faced the ugly monster. So, really, there’s a whole level of it they don’t…can’t….understand. It’s what I tried to say to Sam (when he was Looking Forward). Of course he didn’t get it and remains my project for 08.

    The fact that Ramsey is a complete idiot doesn’t help the situation at U of L. At all. Jim…I do hope you’re reading this. My God, Man, how did you ever rise to ANY position…let alone president. What was it….old money?….political connections? …some pictures you blackmailed someone with? Certainly it had not a whit to do with intelligence. People close to you must be mortified. I’m sure your family probably can’t show their faces anywhere. Have you thought at all about them???? Simply put….you are a disgrace. To condone anything Felner did….to negate the validity of anonymous grievences…so say it’s ok to break the law….is just plain idiocy. In retrospect, I apologize to Barny Fyfe for comparing the two of you. He may have been a bit of a buffoon, but his heart was always pure, and his intentions always good. If you have kids, know in your heart that regardless of what they say to you, you have forever….forever….changed who you are in their eyes. They’ll just never be able to look at you the same way. Honestly, the things you said on camera should make everyone seriously question your sanity. My money is on you being history soon after Felner’s history.

    Anyway, Folks, I know the site is working for me. I hope it’s working for you, too.

  • 114 Flag // Jul 21, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Check the Redbook: The Provost is the top academic officer at the University. She is the final authority as to what becomes of faculty grievances.

    Have you ever been in a meeting with both the Provost and the President? If so, you’ll know that she has a lot of say in the decisions.

    If Shirley is not responsible for much of this, then let her take a stand and publicly state what she thinks is right and wrong here at U of L. Why not? The rest of us do and we are willing to pay with our appointments. If she cannot do that, then she needs to be replaced because either she is part of the problem or she lacks the integrity to stand up when standing up is needed. Yes, even if that means Ramsey fires her.

    The Provost should lead with integrity and insist on the same in the Deans. If she mandates that improper behaviors will be cause for dismissal, and actually backed it up, this thing with Felner would have terminated a long time ago. Of course, we might be short a few deans, but if that is what it takes to get integrity into the administration, so be it. If Ramsey can’t handle that approach, she could always say that she doesn’t want the job anymore.

    As to grievances not bringing any substantial demerits to Felner, I challenge the Provost to release the “slience” clause in all of the settled grievances. Make them public (with consent of the grievants), then see if the rest of us agree with Ramsey’s statement.

    And where the heck is the Board of Trustees?

  • 115 marie // Jul 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    The problems are very serious and don’t begin and end with Felner. Unfortunately at U of L, they are systemic. My experience was an increasingly hostile work environment that led to a PTSD diagnosis after years of dedicated work that drew accolades from other institutions. I loved my job. But my boss withheld information and wouldn’t talk to me.
    There’s no one to help you and no one will ever believe you. It was the strangest and most damaging time I’ve ever lived through. It’s almost as if you reach the point where people break you down to where they say you are not who you say you are.
    My previous job experience was called into question. Where do they get this stuff?! I wasn’t able to file an affirmative action suit because I’d never been written up; then I got a completely bogus (very bad) review and was out of there!

  • 116 sadly... // Jul 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    The provost promised that she would do something after there was a no confidence vote. The only thing CEHD ever got was an email that she supported Felner and his leadership team. So evidently has no feelings for faculty and staff at CEHD.

  • 117 Postman // Apr 20, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Jake and others;

    Believe it or not, I am reading this for the first time since I posted mine above a while back and never looked back.
    First I want to say, Jake you are wrong, Shirley knew, I have evidence. Sure she was under pressure by Jim R and the Board but she is very skilled. She is also the top officer as noted by Flag. She could have and should have resigned.
    Some of us did.
    Too many of us were hurt, trauma is the correct word and we suffer it, particularly after Ramsey’s comment and half-hearted apology. In fact, I think we could deal with a sick mean dean being a catastrophe/bully but when we found out that what we had endured was by design, that is when it really hit me! The arrogance and lack of remorse has and is still affecting me more than taking on Bobby and his crew.
    In fact, Truth and Reconciliation had it right, but they did not allow the process. Instead, they covered it up and had Just Solutions come in and they never heard us or asked us about the problems. No exit interviews..

    Once Ramsey came out with this weak attempt to apologize without meaning it, it started to eat away at what had begun to heal.
    It proves wrongdoing but hardly in a sincere way.
    To think he and Shirley would now get away with faking concern, and not be held accountable for what they did, fooling the board and public it was ok, that is where one gets literally sick. The injustice of it all, the lost time, productivity or…possibly promotions that could have ocurred, the less qualified getting them, the stresses of having to adapt anew, on family …all that is hard to forgive and forget and it affects many of us still.
    This is why the hubris of Ramsey and hypocrisy of Shirley and Sam need resolution, it has not gone far enough. They are not evil but justice has to be served so healing can begin finally.
    The 1st step is resign or be fired from undeserved positions. The University owes a real apology and should compensate those most affected. Lifes were ruined or hurt more than those who are still under the rewards program care to admit. As long as the Truth is not dealt with, resolution can’t begin and as long as these university officials remain so rewarded, the institution is guilty of the trauma perpetrated and in the case of those unjustly treated, this outrage continues.
    What better evidence of the outrage caused and the trauma exacerbated by Ramsey than this long blog of 117 posts! It speaks volumes. I think you should send it to the Governor so new appointments can be expedited.
    UofL deserves better, we still love it, it can dare and be allowed to be great with a new change in leadership.
    As Ky Girl notes, her parents are right, this is not about money and power but doing the right thing and dealing with injustice and those who allowed people to be hurt and traumatized.
    Surely those in power are comfortable and can’t relate or understand us; they wish for us to go away. But why don’t we? As some of those writing above notice from afar, something happened here and it has not been resolved. It has very little to do with Felner going to prison now and a lot with wrongdoers going unpunished.

  • 118 jake // Apr 20, 2009 at 8:31 am

    You’re posting on a story from July 2008. Before saying I’m wrong, you need to read about, oh, 200 other Felner-specific stories I’ve written since this one. Make sure you understand the whole story and see how everything played out.