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Not today, asshats.

Not today, asshats.

Dear Members of the Emporia Connection Alumni Chapter,

Greetings from Emporia State University.  I hope this communication finds you well, and I hope to see many of you at your upcoming reunion in Emporia.  As members of Emporia State University’s Black Alumni Chapter, I wanted to provide you with an update regarding the University’s investigation of an alleged hate crime last spring and racial discrimination within SLIM.  This investigation began on July 10, 2015 has now been concluded.

Last week, I met personally with individuals and groups most closely touched by the allegations of a hate crime and racial discrimination in our School of Library and Information Management.  I felt like each and every one of these people deserved to hear the outcome personally after the completion of the internal investigation.

At this time, I can share with you the outcome as well and ask for your collaboration as we move forward.

On July 10, 2015, I directed that an internal investigation be conducted by ESU Human Resources into an alleged hate crime and a concern over potential discrimination or harassment in the School of Library and Information Management. This investigation was conducted as outlined in the University Policy Manual [3D.0106.05(A)(2)].

An extra step was added to the process to address any concern regarding the objectivity of the internal investigation. That step included a review by two external, independent consultants. The review encompassed an analysis of the process used to conduct the investigation and an assessment of the evidence upon which the findings and conclusions are based.

Both independent reviewers, an attorney in a Kansas-based multi-partner firm and a human resources management consultant who is a former member of the Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees and the Ohio Ethics Commission, concurred that Emporia State’s internal investigation processes and findings were logical, thorough and fair.

Although the investigation materials and the independent reviewers’ reports are confidential personnel documents, I am sharing the following information to answer the three key questions that were the focus of the investigation.


Question 1: Was a hate crime committed in the School of Library and Information Management on or about April 8, 2015?


The internal investigation concluded and both independent reviewers concurred that no hate crime was committed. A police report was made July 1 to ESU Police and Safety claiming that a hate crime was committed. The alleged hate crime consisted of the writing of a racially derogatory word in a graduate student's notebook and the circumstances around which the word was written.

This report was investigated and the investigation report passed on to the Lyon County Attorney, which is the standard procedure. The Lyon County Attorney concluded that no crime had been committed as writing an offensive word is not a crime. In addition, none of the circumstances surrounding the writing of this word are criminal:

The word was written on a page within a student’s notebook
The notebook was in a non-private office to which many people have access throughout the day
No one has admitted to writing the word
The page on which the word was written was discarded by the student at the end of the semester
No evidence has been offered or discovered proving who wrote the word, and
No crime was committed in order to write the word in the notebook.

Since writing the word in question is not a crime, regardless of how offensive, and since the circumstances that existed surrounding the writing of this word are not criminal, no crime was committed. Without a crime having been committed there isnothing to which the designation “hate crime” can be attached. Thus, there has been no hate crime.

Specifically, thereis a general misconception about the definition of a hate crime. Kansas law does not contain any crime known or referred to as a “hate crime.” It is true, however, that upon conviction of a felony, the sentence imposed can be increased beyond the maximum penalty allowed by law if evidence is presented proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the motivation for the crime was race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation of the victim.

Kansas law on this issue is consistent with the Clery Act and the Uniform Crime Reporting definitions, which define a hate crime as a felony or other serious crime where the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias of race, gender, perceived gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability.


Question 2: Has racial discrimination occurred in the School of Library and Information Management during the 2014-2015 Academic Year?


Each allegation was investigated and the investigation found no evidence of racial discrimination in any instance. The internal investigation included personal interviews of 19 witnesses and resulted in approximately 350 pages of notes, documentation and other information. Specific allegations that had been claimed to be instances of racial discrimination were evaluated, as was the overall working environment within the School of Library and Information Management (SLIM). Both independent reviewers concluded that the internal investigation and its findings were thorough and appropriate.

The university has concluded that although a hostile environment based on unlawful discrimination does not exist in SLIM, certain aspects of the working environment in SLIM need to be addressed.


Question 3: Are there further observations or recommendations to be made for SLIM?


Through the investigative process, issues related to the work environment for all SLIM faculty and staff have been identified. We have identified opportunities in SLIM including, but not limited to:

The need for better and more effective collaboration,
The need for a more open environment in which differing views are valued and appreciated,
Better adherence to university protocols and processes,
The need to review particular SLIM systems and processes, and
Specific performance issues within SLIM.

It remains my conviction that the University conducted a logical, thorough and fair investigation, as corroborated by two independent reviewers. Does racial discrimination and/or marginalization occur on our campus? Some believe it does; others do not. But in this particular instance we found no substantive evidence that it occurred in SLIM during the 2014-15 academic year. That said we are committed to working with others in Hornet Nation to identify the issues related to both and to develop a plan to address them in a systemic, sustainable way.

While the University concluded no hate crime occurred, I want to make it clear that Emporia State is not hiding behind the legal definition of a hate crime. The University has stated publicly that the written racial slur discovered by a SLIM graduate student in her notebook is reprehensible. Again, the University is committed to working with others to determine the best means to preclude this kind of action from ever happening again on our campus.

Provost Cordle and I have met with Black Faculty and Staff and Latino Faculty and Staff representatives, who embrace the opportunity to work together to advance the common good of all associated with Emporia State University as well as the broader community. I will be calling on others to elevate the conversation of inclusivity on campus and to work together to develop an action plan to build a more inclusive campus community. I welcome your thoughts about how we can accomplish this goal.

While there still may be differing perspectives regarding this issue, it is now time for us to move forward, coming together to focus on our shared interest of building a better, stronger, more inclusive Hornet Nation, all to the aim of changing lives for the common good.

This University has stood the test of time admirably for 150+ years. As your current leader with an earned reputation for acting always with integrity and transparency, I again ask that we move forward from here to lay the foundation for the next 150, working together to build a better, stronger, more inclusive Hornet Nation in which no one is marginalized, no one is disrespected or subjected to any kind of slur, and no one’s voice is unheard. It is by listening intently to all voices, participating in hard, absolutely honest conversations, and committing to be part of the solution that we will we be able to do so. 

Thank you for engaging with me in my hard, absolutely honest conversation and for hearing my voice.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Sunday brunch during your upcoming reunion here at Emporia State University. 


Yours for ESU,

Jackie Vietti
Interim President?

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Thanks all for the lovely messages and well…

Thanks all for the lovely messages and well wishes. It was a beautiful day and evening, with a great turnout of treasured friends and loved ones. 

Miss 37, kicker of asses and taker of names?

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I was talking to some friends on another…

I was talking to some friends on another site about needing to write a letter of complaint about a restaurant employee today. In reflecting upon it all, I said:

"They're super satisfying. You know what's way MORE satisfying though? Write letters to the managers of the good ones. It makes you feel even more rad when you sit down to recount the details of awesome service you received, so it's like you're winning all over again. 

Then you realize how infrequently people write these things, let alone to express something positive, so you realize that the impact of this letter is waaaay heavy and you feel super jazzed for this person you're writing a letter about, like, "GO man, go! You're gonna kick this life in the ass, with a smile. I hope you get everything you aspire toward and work for, you awesome human!" Orrrrr maybe that's just me?"

And, you know, it's totally true. It feels great. I encourage you all to look for evidence of receiving great service from a paid or volunteer staff member somewhere in the next thirty days. It's a guarantee that it happens. 

When it does, take note of it. Try to capture the person's name, or at least a good description.* Make a note of the date and time, so management can figure out who might have been on staff. If there is a specific department the person works in, take note of that. 

Then sit down and document it all. It's important to put in writing. It's awesome when you flag the manager immediately and tell them – but it doesn't do anything lasting for the individual. Your kind words can't go into a file, can't be quoted in a future recommendation letter. (Also, as a manager, thank you thank you for sending those so I can quote them. I can't remember all this stuff!)

I am not so naive as to suggest we're going to make the world better by writing nice letters. I'm pretty sure I can guarantee that at least two people will feel better and smile brighter for a few days – and you'll be one of them. What's to lose?

*A note about describing people and "is it racist?"

It's not racist to describe someone. If you come to my work and I do something above and beyond awesome for you, but I'm not wearing my name tag, you should write to my boss and describe me. 

A reasonable description would include that I have tattoos, I am black, I was wearing a plaid flannel shirt. 

Those are totally things you can see about me. It's okay to say that I'm black, and it takes significantly less work than trying to describe that I have two moles on my left cheek…or maybe right. You think.

It would be okay to say I was African-American, although it would be reaching a bit, because you wouldn't know that for sure. It's likely, since I don't speak with an accent, etc. … but you could be traveling down a slippery slope there. Stick to describing things you can concretely observe and describe. Notice that I didn't try to describe any gender-based characteristics there. None of that should really be necessary.

And hey, in thinking about it, I totally described the person I had poor service from in a gendered way. While I suspect my descriptors were accurate, it's a good reminder to myself to stay conscientious there as well!?

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I have no further information.

I have no further information.

Science Lab Assistant II and III
Sylvania Campus

Resumes or Casual Employment Applications are being accepted for Casual Lab Tech II and a Tech III positions in the Physical Sciences Laboratories and Life Sciences Laboratories in the Science & Engineering Division at the Sylvania Campus of Portland Community College.

Location: Sylvania Campus
Hours:  Vary by position    
              Late afternoon and evening hours (and for some positions, Saturday hours) are required.  
Duration: Fall Term (with the possibility of extension if needed)

Pay: (Based on experience and expertise)
Lab Assistant II Pay Range: approx. $10.93 – $19.12 per hour  
Lab Assistant III Pay Range: approx. $13.53 – $24.95 per hour

Minimum Qualifications:
High school diploma or equivalent and two years of post-secondary education in a specific technical discipline appropriate to the instructional support. 
One or Two years of experience supporting laboratory activities in the subject area(s) are required; relevant experience may substitute for the post-secondary education requirement on a year-for-year basis. 
Must have proven communications skills adequate to assist students in understanding the work they are to perform.

Job Duties: (Includes some or all of the following)
Work in consultation with faculty and lab staff to design, construct, modify or rebuild equipment, modules, experiments that will be used in the classrooms/laboratories. Work with students individually or in groups to enhance their learning; provide direct assistance in the use of equipment and materials needed for instruction. Provide general assistance to students, faculty and staff to ensure initial orientation to safety protocols and proper use of laboratory and personal protective equipment. May assist in the setting up of established laboratory experience for students as required by course outline or faculty direction; may assist the instructor in the classroom/laboratory; may actually perform more dangerous and/or complex procedures for students.
Maintain and inventory equipment, materials, supplies, live specimens and written materials required for student instructional needs; performs repairs on equipment; checks out tools, equipment, supplies, materials to students; maintains contact with appropriate vendors.
Over the telephone or in person provide students, staff, instructors and public with information relating to specific programs; may take messages for students or instructors who are working in the area; may copy materials for distribution for students.
Maintain records of activities undertaken in support of the laboratory which may include typing forms, inputting data or otherwise retaining information regarding the acquisition, maintenance and distribution of tools, equipment, materials, supplies, and/or written materials.
Provide for the general cleanliness and security of the laboratory or work area; disposes of hazardous materials according to specific instructions relating to their disposal; assists in providing for a safe environment for the conduct of the laboratory. Reports maintenance problems as they occur.
May be required to handle, store and dispose of hazardous materials following Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) protocols. Maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
Performs other related duties as assigned.

Deadline: Apply Immediately! Please send a letter of interest and a resume or Casual Employment Application to Dieterich Steinmetz (email to: by September 9, 2015 at 4:00pm?

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PCC Board set to drop $4.7 mil for computer…

PCC Board set to drop $4.7 mil for computer contractors at Thursday’s Meeting

Three contract extensions, for a total of $4,726,000 will be voted on by the PCC Board of Directors at their next meeting, Thursday evening. All of the contracts have to do with the Network Redesig…

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Why are there no copies of the real Blue…

Why are there no copies of the real Blue Crush, the documentary by Bill Ballard??

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The State of Oregon Law Library has purchased…

The State of Oregon Law Library has purchased EBSCO's Legal Information Reference Center. This resource is accessible from any browser, any location, within the borders of the state of Oregon. People do not need to come to a library for access.
This service contains a large number of NOLO legal reference books and various legal forms. NOLO publications are books on common legal topics aimed at non-lawyers. The NOLO books are a good resource for people looking to get a handle on common legal problems.
Oregonians simply go to the link, enter their county of residence for their “patron id” and “oregon" as the password. Neither is case sensitive.?

EBSCOhost Login

Sign in with your credentials to access the EBSCOhost premium information resources provided by your subscribing institution.

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Anyone found a way to make website evaluation…

Anyone found a way to make website evaluation less ridiculous than super-simplified checklists? No, okay then I'll take your snazzed-up checklist, if you're sharing.

Reworking some of our learning objects and finding that website evaluation is just… not looking amazing right now. How are you conquering this??

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Phew. Presentation made, now I can share…

Phew. Presentation made, now I can share things with the world.

Wonder what I spent the last long while working on? Here it is!

Not done, will never be done (permanent beta ftw), but I made my sabbatical presentation to the college today… and have subsequently been asked to turn this work into a series of 30 minute lightweight workshops, tentatively thinking of calling it a Tinkerer's Workshop and inviting people to come tinker with how they teach.

Also? It was delightful to give a talk about how things change…to specifically highlight my proposal and how none of it came true as predicted, and about how much more value I got out of just "going with it."?

Overview – Curiosity Project – LibGuides at Portland Community College

Summary I have a theory. It’s that supporting curiosity leads to greater academic persistence and improved student success. There are many theoretical approaches to supporting student curiosity and inquiry; this proposal is about taking time to explore teaching and learning by using …

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You may be interested in the following two…

You may be interested in the following two bills, sponsored by AFT-Oregon, that deal specifically with adjunct faculty issues. 

The first one is SB 702, which will allow adjuncts who work at more than one college to qualify for healthcare. SB 702 increases adjunct faculty access to healthcare by allowing adjuncts who teach at multiple colleges and universities to combine their FTE to qualify for employer paid healthcare. The public hearing is scheduled for Thursday 4/16 at 1pm in Salem.

The second one is HB 3508, which would provide access to unemployment insurance to community college instructors during summer if they would normally teach a class during that term. Recently passed in Washington state and supported by the employment department, this bill creates fairness for faculty that have contingent teaching assignments. The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday 4/15 at 8am in Salem.?

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