Comments on: Jerk du Jour: Robert Felner, bully par excellence! History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:32:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ron McGuinness Sat, 09 Jan 2010 17:25:21 +0000 This is very sad but not unique. The college scene is nothing more than a money making machine and Robert just wanted a bigger piece of the pie….what a joke.

By: victim #23 Sat, 02 Jan 2010 18:51:07 +0000 If PRESIDENT Ramsey and PROVOST Willinghanz were truly sorry, they would clean up the mess that was left behind by ROBERT and his posse. Those of us who were forced out of the university know that the PRESIDENT/PROVOST don’t really care about their faculty, students, or staff. The PROVOST condoned sexual harrassment, for goodness sake. The PRESIDENT ignored the obnoxious work environment suffered by distinguished and high-performing faculty. Why? Why would the top ranking officials at a state university of 17,000 students collude with a dean as he was lining his pockets? What was in it for them?

Let them apologize personally to the students and faculty who were harmed by ROBERT. Then we might be able to listen to the phrase “U of L” without gagging.

By: felner Wed, 17 Dec 2008 01:38:46 +0000 The family of Robert Felner is disgusted with him! We are very ashamed of him and hope justice will prevail. We all hope the judge throws the book at him.

By: Historiann Wed, 17 Sep 2008 15:13:02 +0000 Good points, Uncle Bruno. Deans represent management, although sometimes the faculty luck out and get a Dean who tries to balance that with the interests of the faculty and students. (I have a Dean like that now, thank goodness, but it hasn’t always been that way.)

Perhaps the problem with Felner is that he let the sociopathy go to his head, and he thought he could get away with anything? If he had soft-pedaled it a bit and had not become such a public embarassment, he might still be at U of L.

By: Uncle Bruno Wed, 17 Sep 2008 14:54:34 +0000 Felner was protected because he was doing his job, which is to vigorously represent the interests of management. In other words, he’s squeezing faculty to do more with less. To a certain extent, being a sociopath was his job, though certainly sexual harassment was not. Clearly, Felner is a rotten apple, but to what extent is the problem systemic?

Lots of academics are risk-takers. But leaving a tenure-track or tenured job most often isn’t a risk, it’s professional suicide. Depending on the field, many PhDs never even enter the academy and many others leave either by their choice or not. But I think most academics feel a stronger pull to the academy because their jobs are also their life’s work, in contrast to the push out of the academy because of strained labor relations, which they’re likely to find everywhere. So, we stay more for love of our current work than fear of getting a new job.

By: Historiann Sun, 14 Sep 2008 19:36:12 +0000 Hi bipolar2–thanks for stopping by to comment. Felner is stopped, for now at least. I’m surprised he was able to con another university (however briefly) into hiring him.

You write, “if academics were risk takers, there’d be no need for tenure.” Most of us aren’t risk takers, that is true. But for those of us who ARE risk takers, that’s exactly why we need tenure. There is another debate of course about the ways in which the pursuit of tenure drains the risk-taking out of people, so I acknowledge that tenure is far from all good.

By: bipolar2 Sun, 14 Sep 2008 18:48:43 +0000 ** Grab your DSM-IV under ‘personality disorders’ **

It’s so refreshing to see the values of corporate America being emulated in the academic industry sector.

Despite misgivings, upper management will accept sociopathic behavior as long as it appears to be “progress.”

Sociopaths want you to be afraid — very afraid of them. They feed on fear. Fear glorifies and magnifies its objects.

The sociopath become leader. Just picture him as President of the US. (Or, as CEO of Oracle) — sociopaths can get things done quickly — but at enormous cost. Not even the tissue paper of a constitution threatens a CEO who is “increasing shareholder value.”

Why do such people remain in positions of authority? It takes moral courage to oppose them.

If academics were risk takers, there’d be no need for tenure.


By: Rose Thu, 11 Sep 2008 20:23:37 +0000 Why am I not surprised to discover that he was Dean of a College of Education?

By: Historiann Thu, 11 Sep 2008 17:24:42 +0000 Ha-ha! I saw that story last week. It’s just amazing to see who gets promoted into administration, isn’t it?

Honestly–I bet most of his lowliest adjunct faculty would have had better judgment than that. In the age of camera phones, MySpace, and YouTube, college hijinx are 1) going to stay with youthful offenders forever in cyberspace, and 2) something that anyone in any position of authority or responsibility would do well to stay away from. So, my take is: dumb, dumb, dumb.

p.s. Did you like your birthday cake? (Scroll down to Sept. 1.)

By: Monocle Man Thu, 11 Sep 2008 17:10:27 +0000 Historiann -

I would be curious to hear your take on Iowa Central Community College President Robert Paxton getting run out of Fort Dodge. Here’s a guy who was trying to remove a miniature keg of Coors Light from a young woman’s face, trying to help fix the tap on it, trying to do the right thing, and the next thing you know he’s out of a job. Where’s the justice there?