Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Zimmerman Quick Response

Dean Zimmerman asserts that it was all in good spirits and can not understand how the conversation could have been interpreted in the way that it was. This makes much more sense than the accusations flung in the earlier letter, especially since no one has gone on to suggest ANY repercussions from any of these claims that have been made:


Typically, I'm not excited about engaging in the sort of discussion that . . . has initiated. However, his charges are so outrageous that I feel obligated to respond. Simply put, the conversation he reports below never took place. What did take place was a conversation, with a third party present, about the faculty member's research. We talked for a bit about his past research, which I praised. I learned how that research was being used by the DNR to help create better policy in the state. We talked for a bit about the fact that the current submission to the Faculty Development Board was on a slightly different topic, more on agricultural issues than on forestry. I wished the faculty member luck with his submission. The only comment on tree killing was a reference to the fact that the counter upon which the faculty member placed his submission was already stacked with hundreds of pages from other submissions, all submitted in hard copy.

I said absolutely nothing derogatory about the faculty member's research. I have checked my recollection of the very pleasant exchange with the third party who was present and my views have been fully confirmed.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has procedures in place to raise issues of discrimination. If anyone feels that I have acted in a discriminatory fashion, I urge her/him to follow those procedures. Attempting character assassination on the the COLS Bulletin Board does not seem a productive way to proceed.

. . . . ends his missive by writing, "I'm sick and tired of Dean Zimmerman using his authority as Dean to push his own narrow policy agenda, to reward his pets, and to punish anyone that fails to kowtow to him. It's time for it to stop." Frankly, I have no idea how he has come to such a conclusion. All I can do is to repeat what I said above: If people feel that they've been treated unfairly, they should pursue a solution as outlined in our Faculty and Staff Handbook.

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