[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”full” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Publisher’s note: the following letter is addressed to Dr. Rebecca Chopp, chancellor at the University of Denver, who took her position there in mid-2014. Before this she was president of Swarthmore College, and is named nineteen times in a January 2014 lawsuit by John Doe alleging he was wrongly expelled three months before his senior year after being falsely accused of sexual assault.
Prior to the filing of his lawsuit John Doe appealed to President Chopp, claiming that the university did not even follow its own rules when they found him guilty. President Chopp denied him even the chance to voice these concerns via appeal.
Now the chancellor at DU, she is called upon again to address gender equity. Howard Goldman, author of the email below, has informed me she has also ignored his concerns and not responded to him in the three weeks since his email. Chopp’s history warrants further public review of her commitment toward gender equity in education. With Mr. Goldman’s permission his letter is reprinted below. – JT[/dropshadowbox]
Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D.,
How do you do Ms. Chopp? I came across your university’s webpage while browsing for colleges for my children. I have 2 daughters and a son. I noticed a few things that concern me and would certainly affect my decision of choice of school for my children. Some of these concerns result from the page on the website that is devoted to the annual women’s conference and the Robin Morgan Award.
The first thing that I noticed is that your university presents an annual award to a female staff member who goes beyond her job responsibilities. The women’s conference webpage states that this staff member should also enhance the concerns of women. There are several issues that concern me with this award.
1. Why are male staff who go beyond their job responsibilities denied the opportunity to receive an award for doing so? Isn’t that sexism where an award is presented based solely on gender? Has there ever been an equivalent conference for men?
2. Why is there no recognition for a staff member that would enhance the concerns of men? Are the concerns of men on campus ever addressed or promoted? Does DU even consider that men on campus would have any concerns? If so, why then are there no awards for staff that address them?
One concern I note is the enrollment and graduation rates based on gender. Statistics show an undergraduate 45% enrollment for men and just a 41% enrollment for men in graduate school. Graduation rates show that just about 40% of graduates are male for bachelors and masters degrees while an even lower rate for doctorates where only 1/3 are male.
With these kinds of rates, why does DU cater only to recognizing those that further the advocacy for women? Perhaps if DU would advocate for male issues and concerns, more men might feel welcomed to enroll in your school.
3. Your WAND (Women’s staff Alliance for Networking and Development) webpage is also a bit of a concern. The page states: “WAND is an organization committed to helping staff women at the University of Denver achieve their highest potential as employees by means of advocacy, education, development and leadership.”
Does this mean that male staff have no such program to help them achieve their highest potential via education, development and leadership? Are male staff sub-par to female staff due to the void of their education and development opportunities?
4. My last and biggest concern is the Robin Morgan Award. This award is named after the former Ms. Magazine editor. The award is bestowed upon female staff that are exemplary in their duties. Robin Morgan has made some statements that in my opinion are rather disturbing and I ask why your university would name this award after her. By naming this award after Robin Morgan, DU is lauding and praising this woman’s thoughts and actions. The following are statements that I find offensive, to say the least:
So I should consider sending my son to a college that honors its female staff by naming an award after someone that honors those that hate men? My son is deemed to oppress women? As am I? If women are so oppressed why are 2/3 of all doctoral graduates women?
So I guess all those white males that invented, produced, perfected and built and implemented all the medical advancements we have today to save and extend billions of lives are scum and not worth mention? I guess all the inventions that pollute the environment, like cars, airplanes, appliances, chemicals used in make-up and the like are never used by women and only men pollute?
Thus, the woman you honored by naming an award after claims I am a rapist? And I am supposed to consider sending my son to this school, who will eventually be classified as such by your university’s idol? For brevity sake, I will just quote one more:
Men are never oppressed by sexism? I won’t even begin to discuss family court or the other ways men are victims of sexism.
It’s ironic that this quote would be associated with Ms. Morgan, the same woman you name your award after. The same award that screams with sexism based on the fact that male staff are eliminated from contention to receive based solely on their gender.
Perhaps irony isn’t the right word. Perhaps hypocrisy is more correct. I wonder if you could rationalize all the above concerns and quotes. I wonder if you could think of any reason I would send my son to this school given the above issues that I addressed.
Thank you for your time,