WKU says it will spy on students and ...

WKU says it will spy on students and blacklist them after graduation


Louisville, KY

#1 Mar 14, 2012
March 2nd, the day after Sheriff Joe Arapaio’s investigation into President Obama’s identity documents is released; I spend several minutes digging the sheet metal screws out of my car tires someone placed there overnight. At least there’s not a gasoline/motor oil cocktail fastened to my exhaust pipe with duct tape this time around.
That same week the story surrounding WKU’s “monitoring” of student’s speech on social media sites becomes a national news story. Having been a target of an exhaustive and illegal investigation and several incidents of criminal spying while employed at WKU myself, none of this is news to me. The public admission by Pres. Ransdell that his administration’s policy is one of blatant surveillance and even the blackballing and threatening of students as retaliation for “unapproved” speech is however, a new low for WKU. The fact that he remains in office after such admission is both disturbing, and instructive as to the current state of affairs in our society in regards to civil rights and the rule of law.
WKU operates with the full protection of both the state and the local economic/political power structure. Self-interest ensures that even when the institution blatantly violates standing regulations: such as minimum-wage laws or equal pay for equal work standards, that the dissenting voices will be silenced, and the status quo will be maintained. In the event of public discovery, as when a WKU basketball coach is found committing an act of public lewdness in the arms of an eighteen-year-old female center, while in the back seat of his car in the campus parking structure, nothing is done and the administration suffers no consequences.
We have an administration that has hired the wives of two of its chief administrators—complete with a public admonition that absolutely no nepotism was involved—despite this act being a direct violation of WKU’s hiring practices that the rest of WKU’s faculty and staff are forced to comply with. Quite frankly, in the midst of a national economic recession, we have to ask why a taxpayer-funded, state institution is paying any civil servant a salary in excess of 100K a year. Since instructors and other workers are routinely fed the line that the economy allows WKU to cut wages to the bone—I suggest the taxpayers of Kentucky could easily hire three out-of-work, highly experienced MBAs for 85K each, rather than continue to pay three times that much for our current university leadership. If these administrators feel their expertise is worth more, than let the free market pay them, not taxpayers. I think we would see quite quickly how much these guys are really worth.

Louisville, KY

#2 Mar 14, 2012
---posted by Tim Adams at BG DailyNews--

Once I heard of WKU’s stated policies towards free speech and privacy, I contacted President Ransdell on March 4th asking that he remove my academic work from WKU’s website and library:

President Ransdell,

Please discontinue offering my work through your WKU Library system. I find your institution's conduct reprehensible and want no affiliation with criminals like yourself. If you wish to promote your cesspit, please do so without misleading folks in the idea that I or anyone else of moral character supports it.

Tim Adams

I initially received the following reply via email:

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:
[email protected]

The e-mail address you entered couldn't be found. Please check the recipient's e-mail address and try to resend the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.

Undeterred by this strange event, I sent a follow-up message to President Ransdell, again requesting my work be removed and why:

RE: WKU speech policy and publication of academic works
Adams, Timothy, L
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 2:09 PM

To: Ransdell, Gary ‎[[email protected] edu]‎

President Ransdell,

Considering WKU's current policies I must request that WKU remove my thesis from your library offerings available on the Web. Having been the consistently most-requested and published academic work in WKU's history, I cannot allow WKU to publish a work that promotes free speech and public inquiry when the school's policies are exactly opposed to these ideals.

Potential students and supporters will be left with the belief that WKU endorses the positions taken in my work in regards to the exercise of civil rights, when in fact you do not.

As for threatening faculty and students, well, why would I have ever paid your school if my employment would be sabotaged by your administrative employees for saying something your people disagree with?

WKU should not be allowed to promote the idea that I support your administration, and by promoting my work, WKU gives out the false perception that your administration supports free speech and public impeachment of wrongdoing. You do not.

Thank you,

Tim Adams

While this message was actually accepted, I have to date received no reply, and so I have brought what should have been a private matter on conscience into the public forum.

I have a question to ask of our community, how long will the failings of WKU’s current administration go without a meaningful response by the people of Kentucky? How long will the abuse of workers and faculty, and now of students and their paying families continue without a meaningful response?

How long before those authorities, who are supposed to keep tabs on our university’s leadership at the state and federal levels, going to turn a blind eye to the actions and events that continue to occur on the WKU campus season after season?

When will Kentucky families and taxpayers demand accountability for WKU?

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