A Brewing Storm at Gallaudet University

A good number of students, faculty and community members are objecting to the apparent unfairness in the process of selecting the next president of Gallaudet University, Jane Kelleher Fernandes.

I am saddened that the presidential search process was allowed to press forward despite warning signs and serious grumbling from within and outside of campus community prior to that. This has resulted in a situation that has unnecessarily hurt Jane Fernandes and her chances of governing Gallaudet in a constructive fashion for years to come.

I have met her and I like her. I do not know enough about her to pass a judgement on whether she’s the best person to lead Gallaudet. I also have tremendous respect for other candidates - Ron Stern of New Mexico, Steve Weiner of Gallaudet. I also was surprised that Dr. Glenn Anderson and a couple others did not make it in the final interview round.

The divide in the community is showing. And it hurts everyone. I sincerely hope that the leadership at Gallaudet, especially Dr. I. King Jordan, will step up to the plate and genuinely LISTEN and address the concerns in an open, honest fashion and bring this to a posititve resolution.

If there are any silver lining to be found in this, hopefully the whole experience would be painful yet leads to new and healthier — and serious — dialogue about diversity, audism and the future of Gallaudet’s role in the world’s deaf and signing community.

From DeafWeekly:

A number of other websites can help keep you filled in on the reaction to Gallaudet’s selection of Jane Fernandes as its next president:

pr.gallaudet.edu/presidentialsearch – The university’s official site, where, among other things, you can read the letters of application and resumes of the three finalists and see who is on the board of trustees.

www.deafspot.net/gallypost/index.html – GallyPost.com, an uncensored site not sanctioned by the university.

www.notwithoutus.org – "The Gallaudet community for a fair Presidential selection."

www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/654622934?ltl=1146661190 – a petition site that has attracted more than 2,000 signatures to reopen the presidential search process.

www.xanga.com/elisa_abenchuchan – Xanga blog with detailed on-the-scene reportage.

www.ridorlive.com – "Observe But Do Not Interfere," Ricky Taylor’s blog with information and comments about the protest. [Warning: Profanity]

aslcommunityjournal.com/pages/27/index.htm – a detailed account of Jane Fernandes’ April 26 Open Forum at Gallaudet University.

trimmingthefern.blog.com/ – "Trimming the Fern," an "admittedly biased" student perspective on Jane Fernandes.

www.eyethstudios.com/ – pictures from the protest.

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