Disheartening Censorship

TOPICs: censorship, political correctness

Enfuriating. Political correctness run amok — watch the video below about a university student-employee's brush with his school's political-correctness police, then link over to Ed Brayton's Dispatches From The Culture Wars for stimulating comments and discussion.

We have this snippet from the minutes of the 4/1/2008 Indianapolis Faculty Council (IFC) meeting:

Agenda Item IV: Updates/Remarks from the Chancellor

Chancellor Bantz gave the following report:


Affirmative Action: The Chancellor spoke to the recent action by the Affirmative Action Office regarding staff member, Keith Sampson. He stated there was no question there was a mistake in sending the first letter. The second letter sent withdrew the first letter and made clear there was no finding in the case and therefore, nothing placed in the staff member’s file. This is not a matter of litigation. He intended this spring to begin a review of the office procedures. At the end of this month, an external reviewer will look at the office and procedures. He agrees the office needs to be more successful in a number of places. The search continues for the new Director of Equal Opportunity. When the report is received for that office, it will be reviewed by the IFC which will show the number of cases the office reviews each year.

All of which seems reasonable. Later in the same minutes, however, the circumstances are referred to as "the Keith Sampson issue," which unfortunate phrasing suggests a continued institutional mis-apprehension and mis-interpretation of the fiasco entire event.

Moreover, apparently the Affirmative Action Office at IUPUI was reconstituted as the Office of Equal Opportunity (although publicly accessible records are not necessarily clear on this — did the OEO already exist previously?) with director Kim D. Kirkland and now … Assistant Director (!) Marguerite Watkins, who says on her staff directory web page that "My passion includes educating people."

Sadly, a Google-search of the IUPUI website produces only the single page hit for "Keith Sampson" (the IFC minutes quoted above).


Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Web site at http://www.thefire.org/

Indianapolis Faculty Council (IFC) Minutes dated April 1, 2008. Accessed Sat 01/03/2008 at http://www.iupui.edu/~fcouncil/minutes/Minutes_IFC_4-1-08.htm

IUPUI: Indiana University - Purdue University, Indiana. Web site at http://www.iupui.edu/

Proposed Resolution for the Review of the Affirmative Action Office, Agenda Item X of the Indianapolis Faculty Council (IFC) Minutes dated April 1, 2008. Accessed Sat 01/03/2008 at http://www.iupui.edu/~fcouncil/documents/ProposedResolutionAAO2008.htm.

Saha, Abhishek (5/2/2008). Keith Sampson round-up. Accessed Sat 01/03/2009 at http://musefree.wordpress.com/2008/05/02/keith-sampson-round-up/

Watkins, Marguerite. IUPUI Staff Directory Webpage at http://www.iupui.edu/~oeo/directory/watkins.html