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United States Department of Education Discrimination Complaint  

Faculty Members who took part in discriminatory actions:

Betsy Schneider, Adriene Jenik, Mark Klett, Binh Dahl, Julie Annad, Liz Allen, William Jenkins, Stephen Marc    

 

Claim:

I am seeking a resolution for the discriminatory practices and hostile work environment I faced during my first year of my MFA degree at Arizona State University. Due to the multiple health problems I encountered during my studies, I was treated differently from my graduate peers,  Although I went through the required academic channels and  received confidential medical accommodations from the school’s  Disability Resource Center, the faculty insisted on repeatedly  discussing my health issues during presentations of my work and discussed my enrollment status in the middle of teaching class. The inappropriate manner in which the photo faculty handled my medical issues created a learning environment with no boundaries. The faculty suggested multiple times that I discuss in a public forum of my peers – traumatic medical experiences as they were occurring. When I asked  the administration for assistance dealing with the matter I was ignored and meet with retaliation from faculty. In order to avoid the hostilities that arose, I had to remove myself from participating in a seminar class and a required department wide academic work review presentations. The photography faculty’s bias toward my PTSD, transgender status, age, experience and concurrent medical issues lead to me being treated as a second class graduate student.  The faculty withheld academic support in the following ways :

  1. Changing my graduate advisor after I complained about a lack of response  from the faculty to my email communication.
  2. Denying my request for networking opportunities with curators in my field,
  3. Excluded me from organizing & participating in a local professional conference
  4. Rejected my request to circumvent the hostile academic environment at ASU by spending the Fall 2016 semester off site in Rochester, NY. I had a previously arranged an independent practicum with Professor Gregory Sales from the intermedia department that I wanted to pursue online. I wanted also to explore the possibility of pursuing a PHD in Visual and Cultural Studies and audit classes at the University of Rochester.
  5. Rescinding my scholarship and paid teaching assistantship under fraudulent pretenses and notifying me on the start date of the my assistantship.
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Supplementary Materials for Fraud & Abuse Complaint:

 

  1. The discrimination complaint submitted on my behalf to the Department of Education by U.S. Senator Merkley on February 25, 2017.
  2. Evidence to counter the School of Art’s official narrative that I was in “poor academic standing” and “ not progressing academically” during my first year of graduate school.
  3. My academic transcript (which has been recently changed to falsely omit any reference to two of the four classes that I withdrew from in the Spring 2016 semester).
  4. Two professional development and research awards grants that I was awarded by the Arizona State University’s Graduate School.
  5. My school’s chair’s letter of recommendation and subsequent acceptance to a highly competitive class offered campus wide to graduate school students to prepare them for a future career as academic faculty members .
  6. My CV to illustrate my professional background and a context for my academic retaliation.
  7. Email correspondence to supplement timeline of events.
Posted in Academic Gaslighting, Anti-Queer Practices in Education, Higher Education, Higher Education in the Age of Trump & Devos, Uncategorized

A Letter to the Association in Charge of Accrediting ASU as an Educational Institution

Dear Higher Learning Commission,

          I am writing to file a fraud and abuse complaint against Arizona State University and request a focused evaluation be setup to review the multiple instances of the school disregarding basic Assumed Practices at an accredited university. The administration neglected to require faculty to abide by any ethical policies regarding privacy of personal student information, nepotism, and conflict of interest as it pertains to their role as educators and artists. I started the grievance process on March 17, 2016 to resolve a FERPA violation which quickly escalated to a hostile academic environment. On May 19, 2016, the Office of Equity and Inclusion started to investigate my complaint. In response the Photography Department academically retaliated against me. On July 8, 2016, the Photography faculty decided to rescind my teaching assistantship based on fraudulent claims of “disrupting the academic environment” and “not being in good academic standing, nor academically progressing” after encountering medical issues and withdrawing from full time enrolment. The administration went to such considerable length to discredit my reputation and discrimination claims that days after I posted a series of hostile emails sent from my graduate school peers and evidence of  faculty FERPA violations on Facebook, the administration falsely accused me of threatening a faculty member, suspended and banned me from campus as a safety threat. Five months after I initiated the grievance procedure to gain assistance navigating a culturally insensitive department, the School of Art created a public safety spectacle in lieu of any actual administrative remedy. When first alerting the Arizona State Police, the administration failed to provide the photograph and the subject title of the email which clearly marked it as a work of art not a threat. Additionally, the School of Art concealed other innocuous emails I sent the same faculty member just a day after. This incident was the culmination of their pattern to discredit my complaints by slandering my mental health in the midst of recovering from a traumatic medical operation and losing my housing as a result of domestic abuse. This falls into the category of  fraud and mental abuse. The School of Art did not have sufficient nor properly trained support staff to deal with the needs of students and unprofessional faculty. Aside from defending faculty actions and assaulting my reputation with a false narrative to account from my absence from school and delegitimize my complaints, they have not provided any remedy. My suspension camouflaged their inability to follow basic assumed practices, to properly resolve student grievances. This failure has not only prevented me from continuing with my education, but has damaged my professional reputation as an educator.