Stop the bullying at the University of Memphis!

Thank you so much for signing and your comments of support against unnecessary mobbing and bullying to prevent women from getting the education they deserve in 2010.

Thanks to author Kelly Valen for your heartwarming email.

Thank you to East Coast Asian Students Union for your advocacy work on this issue.

Thank you to Audrey Magazine in California for running something about this petition- and online too!

We have confirmation that a story about this is being run in UCLA's Fem Magazine's Fall Quarter Issue.

Thank you for Bullied Academics Blog from The United Kingdom for running an entry about this petition.

Thank you to Ellen Nedrow in Senator Lautenberg's office (NJ) and Edith Prague of Connecticut for your advice and support. What will Tennessee do about issues like this?

LA area SFV American Civil Liberties Union President Ken Ronney has signed.
Professor Emeritus William Sedlacek at The University of Maryland has signed.
Edie Love has signed.  They are among many, kind concerned people. We thank you.

How this university treats gay people: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/edie-love

How this university treats minority employees/faculty: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/sep/06/u-of-m-professor-alleges-biases/

Sandra J. Sarkela's reviews for the last few years (2005-2010) on www.RateMyProfessors.com: "plays favorites like crazy", "makes me want to drop out of college", "grades based on whether she likes you or not", "poor quality", "not a positive experience" and worse. Is discrimination going on here with this interim chair of The University of Memphis Rhetoric & Communication Studies Department?  Other students have had their say. Yet a university allows someone like this to chair a department.

I want to bring your attention to bullying of women by other women happening at the college level at The University of Memphis in 2010. They say they want diversity, but their actions have shown us otherwise. Anyone who would like proof of the below (emails from university officials) can have it.

I've become a victim to this and I know it's not just me as another young woman in my program got bullied by our department's administration. The interim chair of The Department of Rhetoric & Communication Studies, Sandra Sarkela, told this woman's adviser that she wanted the woman "out of the program". The woman's graduate assistantship supervisor, Katherine Hendrix, assigned the woman last minute "work" on a Saturday. The young woman dropped out of her assistantship credits and Sarkela's class.

Another young woman in the program was barred from taking certain classes when younger, Caucasian students were allowed. She was also treated differently than these others in terms of grading. When she brought this up to Sandra Sarkela, she felt she was discriminated against and retaliated against.  This young woman was denied proper advisement for Spring 2011.

I, too, have been treated in this manner by Sandra Sarkela and our department administration and even by the university administration and Shirley Raine's office. I was just denied advisement for Spring 2011 registration too and then terminated for the second time within a couple days of registration.

I have a medical condition put into writing by my doctor that was ignored by the Affirmative Action Officer, Michelle Banks. I was put in a work condition (noisy public computer lab, no air conditioning (confirmed by U of M emails that it had to be fixed), no water, being put under surveillance by an attendant to deter me participating in protected activities) that caused my anxiety problems to worsen.

Michelle Banks' office receives ARRA money to run "diversity" initiatives. Despite months of having evidence, such as a wrongful termination, Banks has yielded no investigation results...

I complained about discrimination to Sandra Sarkela, who then had me terminated the day before classes started and informed me via email by Amanda Young if I wanted to stay, I had to pay out of state tuition (20K ) , hence attempting to destroy my academic and work credibility when I have an unblemished record. After figuring out that it could be a federal crime, the university reinstated me, but since then has retaliated against me at every turn to try to make me leave "voluntarily" like the first young woman. I was also told a certain class was "full" for me.

Gray Matthews intimidated me into withdrawing  by asking why I would want to be somewhere I was so uncomfortable and by saying the department was too small for me. Sheri Lipman confirmed his statements in an email and tried to pass them off as "concern".

When I turned in my work, they ignored my sources and called me a plagiarist in an email, again attempting to undermine my academic and work future.  They also refused to fill out an incident report for weeks for a work injury I had and threatened via email with an "If/Then" statement to stop paying me. This was by university counsel Sheryl Lipman. 

I am a minority female who moved from California to get a PhD and become part of this community. Now, the university has put a condition on my assistantship that I sign over a full psychiatric examination (fitness for duty) for just working by myself with books- over to them. This is not right.  This is a tactic used by Emory on 5 of their professors who stood up to their administration.

Dean Richard R. Ranta said in an email he "heard a very different side of the story". He conducted no investigation. Assistant Dean Moira Logan refused to ever respond.  Vice Provost Karen Weddle West knew about the wrongful termination and then emailed taunts to me.

Again- anyone who wants these emails sent by these University of Memphis officials can have them.

On 11/3/10, Sheryl Lipman writes an email to re-terminate the above student again. This email states knowledge of anxiety, and other medical conditions affirmed by the university's own provider- Baptist Medical.  Again, they say the student must pay out of state tuition in order to keep going to classes.

I would like to share with you and our community the atrocities that are going on in higher education at The University of Memphis.  Our federal tax dollars are paying in part for these people.

Google:  Textbook mobbing and retaliation actions against whistleblowers.

Other resources:

http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/014/bullies.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/business/10women.html

http://workinprogress.blogs.time.com/2008/03/26/do_women_bully_women_at_work/

http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/erbe/2009/05/12/why-do-women-bully-women-in-the-workplace-theyre-easier-targets

http://www.diversityinc.com/article/4155/Workplace-Bullying-Why-Women-Are-Affected-More/

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/coping-with-bullies

 http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=6943347&page=1

Dear Sirs and Madams:

There is something terribly wrong going on at your institution. Hiding it and throwing more mud on it will not end the problem.

Success breeds success. What you're doing benefits no one. It is harmful, sad, and pathetic.

The truth will come out.
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