Indiana Daily Student Does the Right Thing (Hat Tip theFIRE.org)
The IU Bloomington newspaper has published an editorial all but calling for the IUPUI to compensate a student falsely persecuted, mistreated, and slandered in the national press corps by the IUPUI administration. The administration refused to obey its own rules, or the rules of common decency until forced to by the Indiana ACLU, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the media including several blogs.
From the Indiana Daily Student:
The case isn’t closed
WE SAY: IUPUI’s treatment of Keith Sampson merits more than a letter to make things right.
IDS | July 30, 2008
In less than 10 seconds, with the aid of Google, you can find a full description of the controversy surrounding Keith Sampson. If you are Sampson, this will prove to be exceedingly detrimental to your job prospects in a world where 77 percent of employers now run Internet searches on prospective employees. Of course, these online sources are in addition to the publicity that resulted from the accusations and countless newsprint stories regarding the incident that circulated for months, tarnishing Sampson’s name and reputation.
You may recall that Sampson was the IUPUI student and employee who, according to Affirmative Action Officer Lillian Charleston, “demonstrated disdain and insensitivity” for reading Todd Tucker’s “Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan,” in a break room at IUPUI in front of black co-workers.
IUPUI needs to do more than apologize in their attempt to correct the problem they caused. In a nation built on the ideology of “innocent until proven guilty,” their wrongful yet enduring accusations must be remedied by much more than a simple letter. For Sampson and for affirmative action, the behavior of IUPUI with respect to this controversy will have long-term repercussions.
What [IUPUI Chancellor] Bantz has seemingly failed to understand is that his closure of Sampson’s case has a truly negligible impact in the areas where his university’s actions have been the most damaging. Further antidotal undertakings are necessary. While Charleston’s replacement is a start, the Office of Affirmative Action must make significant changes and reevaluate their procedures for addressing complaints and problems. Additionally, IUPUI should offer more aid to Sampson, who remains confused and uncertain in how to proceed with his education and how to go about finding a new job.
I would like to address one statement made by the Indiana Daily Student. While the Affirmative Action Office should reevaluate its own procedures, in this case, as in the Robert Francis case, no reasonable attempt to follow the IU Code of Conduct, federal law, or IU due process procedures was even made by the administration. To make issues worse, court documents show that the new director appointed by Chancellor Bantz has a history of brazenly violating her last employers due process rules.
Chancellor Bantz, I have come to learn something about Keith Sampson. He is a humble, courageous and honorable man that I have come to admire. The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) is correct in its assertion that Sampson should be compensated.
For a moment Chancellor Bantz, think of yourself, and your legacy. The IDS was correct that your letter only contained a trace amount of remorse. When future Chancellors, students, faculty, and even your grandchildren and great grandchildren type your name into a search engine, the information on this web site and others will pop up as it has been cached in search engines forever. Your legacy will now be dominated and headlined with how a group of people led by you, wielding the power of the state and six figure incomes, attacked and violated a student who worked as a janitor.
Chancellor Bantz, I am not just pleading for Keith Sampson’s legacy, I am pleading for yours.
FIRE has great coverage of this story here – http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/9567.html?PHPSESSID=0b880e7a9f7aa88c743f12f992e2221d
By the way, Sampson could really use a decent attorney who isn’t afraid to take on a university. He is a student and a janitor and can’t afford a big fee. Someone needs to step up. You can contact me using the contact page and I can get you in touch with Mr. Sampson. Of course if IUPUI would just do the right thing and give a more sincere apology and compensate him it would not need to go that far.