[eDebate] Congratulations - Collateral damage at Emory

ed lee bamadebate
Thu Aug 14 12:40:29 CDT 2008

The following article was published in the AJC today. 

We are extremely lucky because we have Melissa Wade anchoring our program.  She is highly respected on the campus and was proactive in dealing with this even before the AJC article tossed us under the bus.  It scares me to think about how I would have dealt with this when I was at the University of Alabama with an administration that already felt 18k was too much to spend on policy debate and was looking for reason to trim the budget.  
Professor moons rival at Emory debates
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/14/08

YouTube video of a Kansas professor mooning a room full of students and
faculty during a debate has led to two university investigations.
video shows Fort Hays State University debate coach William Shanahan in
a profane, in-your-face argument with his counterpart from the
University of Pittsburgh, Shanara Reid-Brinkley. The exchange took
place in March at a competitive debate at Emory University in Atlanta.
The video shows Shanahan bending over and pulling down his khaki
shorts, exposing his underwear. The tape was posted on YouTube Aug. 2
and had over 88,000 views by Thursday.
Fort Hays academic officer
Larry Gould said Reid-Brinkley accused the Fort Hays team of dropping
her as a judge because she is black. Gould said the school is also
investigating the "racial element" to the episode.'Provocative professor'
According to a story in the Kansas City Star, Shanahan has not been disciplined.
an e-mail to The Hays Daily News, Shanahan wrote: "I have certainly
learned several important lessons. I only hope that the costs are not
too high. My greatest concern, however, is that the university, our
students or anybody else does not suffer too greatly for my mistakes."
at the University of Pittsburgh also are looking into the incident and
professor Reid-Brinkley's involvement, said John Fedelie, a spokesman
for the university.
Larry Gould, who is the chief academic
officer at Fort Hays, said the school in Hays, Kansas does not "condone
that behavior -- it is wrong ... it is inappropriate and too coarse."
Gould said he has not received complaints from students or faculty
about Shanahan, who has taught at Fort Hays for 13 years and in 1998
led the school's debaters to a national championship.
But, Gould added, what he saw of Shanahan in the video "is not out of character."
is a maverick, a nonconformist and a very provocative professor," Gould
said in the Star article. "He is antiestablishment; for example, he
never wears shoes. But he gets excellent marks in the classroom. He
does a great job making people think."
While Shanahan may have a
clean record on campus, this is not the first time he has been involved
in incidents that got out of control.
Assistant Chief Philip
Hartsfield of the Hays Police Department said Shanahan had been
arrested twice for disorderly conduct and battery between May 2006 and
June 2007.
The 2006 arrest involved an argument at an eye
doctor's office, and the 2007 arrest, also for battery and resisting
arrest, involved an altercation at a children's T-ball game. Shanahan
pleaded no contest to both charges and in each case received six
months' probation, court officials said.-- Material from the Kansas City Star is used in this article.

----- Original Message ----
From: Josh <jbhdb8 at gmail.com>
To: e debate <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:37:33 PM
Subject: [eDebate] Congratulations

Excellent work....The dogs have arrived....the vultures are circling....Instead of everyone just working it out amongst ourselves or even reporting/sending it to Fort Hays its now in the hands of  the Chronical of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education and CBS news to make sure someone who has given extensively to our community is destroyed.  Did you all actually want blood?  Well, you have it now....Next time someone decides to "out" our community remember real people with families and careers are on the other end of your anger over debate rounds.  
Did he deserve this?  Not the kind of press it is getting...internal review is one thing getting exorcised in the press is another.
The one thing NOBODY has addressed is my original observation that as long as "the personal" is made the focus of debate rounds "personal" reactions will be the result.  
Even if I am wrong about standards of proffessional conduct and how they should be dealt with..I am pretty sure the method used in this case at least really hurt a few really good people who had a bad moment.

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