[eDebate] Bad News For Everyone

Josh jbhdb8
Fri Aug 22 10:03:07 CDT 2008

Remember when I said attention/fame is conservatizing....and everyone poo
pooed the whole University administrators arguments.....Hope you read Dr.
Hammonds' statements carefully.  Great to hear a University is taking a
stand AGAINST college debate because of low academic worth, decorum, and

Good work,


On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Harris, Scott L <sharris at ku.edu> wrote:

> Bill has been fired and Ed Hammond (who has been instrumental in developing
> the debate programs at both Fort Hays and Louisville) made it an indictment
> of college debate in general.
> Fort Hays Debate Coach Dismissed
> HAYS, Kan. -- Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State
> University, announced today that the university had dismissed Dr. Bill
> Shanahan, assistant professor of communication studies and coach of the
> school's debate program, for violating the university's faculty code of
> ethics.
> Shanahan became notorious over the past two weeks after a video was posted
> on the popular YouTube Internet site that showed him in a wild confrontation
> with the debate coach from the University of Pittsburgh during a Cross
> Examination Debate Association event that was held during the spring 2008
> semester at Wichita State University.
> FHSU just learned of Shanahan's actions when the video was posted the first
> week of August. "No one from the tournament staff notified us about the
> incident last spring, which is a surprise given the scope of what happened,"
> President Hammond said. "Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but
> these actions are not acceptable for someone who is representing our
> university."
> The president continued: "Professor Shanahan's conduct falls below the
> standard established to protect our university, its faculty, students and
> alumni. As a representative of FHSU, he had a duty of care that was
> seriously breached by his behavior."
> "If the coach of one of our athletic teams became angry and 'mooned'
> officials, student athletes and fans during a sports event, he or she would
> no longer be a coach at Fort Hays State University," President Hammond said.
> "Standards for our debate program are certainly just as high."
> The YouTube video showed Shanahan in an angry, prolonged, obscenity-laced
> shouting match with University of Pittsburgh debate coach Shanara
> Reid-Brinkley following a debate between FHSU and Towson State of Maryland.
> The FHSU team had exercised its prerogative under the debate rules to
> dismiss Reid-Brinkley as a judge of the FHSU-Towson State debate. Both the
> Towson State debate team and Reid-Brinkley said the decision to remove a
> black female judge was an act of white hegemony, which is to say an exercise
> of the power whites enjoy over people of color. At one point early in the
> post-debate argument, Shanahan turned his back to Reid-Brinkley, pulled down
> his shorts and bent over to expose his underwear-clad backside.
> The president also stated that the FHSU debate program was suspended,
> effective immediately, until problems were addressed at the national level.
> He said steps were being taken so as not to disadvantage the FHSU debate
> students in the coming year.
> The president said it was equally important for FHSU to take a stand
> against the declining standards of college debate. "We are an institute of
> higher learning, and this incident provides a valuable 'teaching moment,' "
> he said. "Our society has become increasingly confrontational and uncivil.
> Our investigation revealed that those ills have also infected college
> debate. We have a responsibility not only to deal with the specific incident
> but to stand up against this decline in the standards of college debate."
> "I was a college debater," Dr. Hammond said. "I place high value on college
> debate as an exceptional learning opportunity. However, I had no idea that
> college debate had degenerated into the kind of displays that we witnessed
> when we watched CEDA events on the Internet. College debate has changed
> greatly. The lack of decorum and the lack of civility are not compatible
> with the educational standards at FHSU, and I doubt they are compatible with
> the educational standards at most universities."
> He added, "If anyone doubts my conclusion, that person should view the
> entire debate, which was laced with four-letter words, a lack of personal
> respect and a lack of civil discourse."
> Shanahan and a debate coach from the University of Pittsburgh are seen on
> the clip screaming obscenities at each other in front of a room filled with
> students. At one point, Shanahan lowers his shorts and shows his underwear
> to the students.
> ?  The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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