What the Hell is Happening at Ball State?

For those readers who don’t live in Indiana, Ball State University is one of the state’s public universities–and lately, the source of some disquieting events.

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I only know what I read in the media, and I do understand how easy it is to get a distorted picture from what the media chooses to highlight. Still, there are some very troubling signs coming from Muncie, Indiana.

First, there was the Professor who reportedly championed creationism in a science class.  The course itself was unobjectionable, once you got beyond the incredibly turgid description; “a seminar investigating physical reality and the boundaries of science for any hidden wisdom within this reality which may illuminate the central questions of the purpose of our existence and the meaning of life.” However, there were reports that the instructor was actively proselytizing and endorsing a Christian viewpoint rather than discussing scientific inquiries. Since Ball State is a public university, such endorsement–if verified– would violate the Establishment Clause.

The controversy made the news again when the professor was awarded tenure.

Eric Hedin, the associate professor of astronomy and physics at Ball State University who was investigated in 2014 for allegedly teaching intelligent design, has earned tenure. That’s despite claims that he was proselytizing in a science class and the university’s strong affirmation of the scientific consensus around evolution in light of the allegations.

Despite the concerns–and negative publicity– raised by the allegations, the university subsequently hired Guillermo Gonzalez,  who had written a book in support of intelligent design, to teach astronomy and physics classes.

Intelligent design is religious doctrine; it is not science. Hiring two advocates of a doctrine overwhelmingly rejected by science to teach science is, at best, worrisome.

Then in January of this year, the Muncie Star-Press announced the sudden resignation of the University’s President.

 Ball State University’s board of trustees accepted the mysterious, sudden and unexpected resignation of President Paul Ferguson during a special meeting at the university’s Indianapolis Center on Monday.

The suddenness of the resignation–and the Board’s unwillingness to offer any explanation for it–generated a number of damaging rumors, including rumors of University financial problems. To date–unless Google and I missed it–there has still been no explanation.

Now, we have news of a major grant to the University by the Koch Brothers and Papa John Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza notoriety.  In March, they donated $3.25 million to Ball State to create the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.

A student group concerned that the grant will purchase influence over curriculum and the Presidential search issued the following statement:

We have reason to believe this will lead to the appointment of a Koch-connected official, as the situation at our university is frighteningly similar to what happened at FSU (Florida State University) where there was an open (presidential) search the same time they were setting up a Koch institute in their department of economics.

The students charge that the Kochs spend millions promoting discredited anti-environmental positions under the aegis of a free-market agenda in order to protect their vast interests in fossil fuels.

George Mason University, Florida State University, Troy University, all of these have been infiltrated by the Kochs. George Mason is now the number one climate-denying institution.

I work at a university, and I know how attractive big grants can be, even when there is no fiscal crisis. Most grants come with no strings attached, and support important research–my own university, like many others, has policies against taking funds unless the accompanying documentation protects academic independence. The stories from Ball State thus far, however, do not describe any conditions that Ball State has attached to its acceptance of the grant.

One would hope that establishment of an Institute on free enterprise would not operate to distort or even affect the teaching of science, including climate science, on the same campus.

Of course, a science department willing to hire creationists may be willing to “adjust”…..

 

 

114 thoughts on “What the Hell is Happening at Ball State?

  1. Paul, we know and accept that continuing to deny climate science is important for your credibility. The fact that you can is revelation about a different problem. We can’t define “scientist”.

    I can claim to be one because I have a science degree as do many others. One of the reasons that that doesn’t reveal the scope of my climate science knowledge is that it doesn’t reflect my way more than five years of intensive self directed research on the topic.

    Other’s with the same titular claim to “scientist” that I have may not have studied any of the biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, biology, geology, climatology and meteorology that’s needed to understand that there is simply no guessing about anthropomorphic global warming.

    While the empirical and theoretical views completely coincide there is simply zero science that is contrary. Every day a mountain of instrumental data is gathered by an international fleet of satellites and ground or water based instruments and analyzed and there are no unexplainable exceptions.

    So denial has the standing of a rumor vs the trillions of dollars of instrumentation and qualified talent to analyze the terrabits of data that all coincide into the present understanding of the scope of this issue.

    At one point years ago what you wish was true could have turned out to be so. It simply didn’t.

  2. Way back in the 1970’s, I represented Jay and Delaware counties (and thus BSU) in the Indiana House of Representatives and worked on the universities’ budgets as a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. I learned then that university financing involves some of the most dense and least transparent budgets in all of state and local government. I was especially frustrated my the total secrecy of the IU Foundation that covered up mismanagement and unethical or worse behavior. With soaring student debt and calls for free college tuition, we need a commission of independent experts to explain the finances of all of Indiana’s public universities and colleges. We need to analyze the influence of the sports and entertainment industry as well as wealthy donors. We need to know all sources of university income and the actual cost of an undergraduate degree. We need to know what students are actually paying for and what non-educational activities they’re subsidizing. We need to know what percentages of school employees actually provide services to students. The mess at BSU is just a tip of the iceberg.

  3. I think that Faith in religion and faith in humanity’s problem creating and solving ability boils down to ego.

    Faith teaches that we are the center of the universe. So special that the one God put us there.

    Science teaches that we are special as a result of what we evolved from and the ability it gave us to figure out and understand cognitively how everything came to be.

  4. Sheila,

    First let me say that I am always suspect of opinion writing that starts with a disclaimer such as this: “Let me begin with a disclaimer: I only know what I read in the media, and I do understand how easy it is to get a distorted picture from what the media chooses to highlight. Still, there are some very troubling signs coming from Muncie, Indiana.”

    You claim to understand how distorted things can get but then you continue the distortion through your conjecture.

    I am a full professor at Ball State, a member of our university governance, and a staunchly liberal voter in local, state and national elections. Faculty has it’s concerns about the Kochs’ involvement on campus but we have, like many universities across the country, what is known to be a very conservative business school in Miller College of Business. John Schattner, (owner of Papa John’s Pizza) is a graduate of our university. He granted money to our various entrepreneurial programs — and brought the Kochs in with him in the process — for a total of $3.25 million dollars. Tell me please, how many state universities anywhere would turn down that kind of money? How many Boards of Trustees at state universities anywhere would allow a university to turn down that kind of money. I am no fan of the Kochs but doesn’t academic freedom mean that conservatives get to participate in education as well?

    As for Dr. Ferguson leaving us, he willingly signed a non-disclosure clause in the separation agreement, so perhaps you may want to let that infer that everything is not completely black and white in what happened.

    Finally, Professor Hedin’s tenure is, at the end of the day, a matter of academic freedom. Per “Inside Higher Ed:”

    “Laats said on Wednesday that the university had no grounds to deny Hedin tenure based only on the “creation of a course that apparently inflates the scientific credentials of intelligent design theory.” He said he also disagreed with Coyne that Hedin’s was a First Amendment case, in that public college and university professors have much less authority over their students than do K-12 instructors.

    In short, Laats said, “Defending Hedin’s right to a tenure review based on his effectiveness as a teacher, scholar and collaborative colleague is not about defending the intellectual or scientific legitimacy of intelligent design theory.” Rather, he said, it’s about defending a “much more important principle,” academic freedom.”

    I am happy to discuss with you or anyone what is happening at Ball State. I would suggest that you are not serving anyone at Ball State or in higher education by writing what is basically conjecture and gossip.

    Respectfully,

    Karen Kessler

  5. Our government was set up to protect the rights of we the people from unspecified forces foreign and domestic trying to impose on us what is contrary to our interests.

    We naturally assumed that the biggest danger was from without. While our attention was thus focused and extremely successful the forces from within built up.

    They are both a larger threat and a more insidious enemy.

  6. One other point. Teaching intelligent design may well be appropriate as a religion course. After all it’s something that some have Faith in.

    It has absolutely no credentials as a science course.

  7. Pete – you wrote a wonderful example of the need to evaluate just how far academic freedom can be allowed to stray from common sense and rationality.

  8. Karen,

    “(Sheila)You claim to understand how distorted things can get but then you continue the distortion through your conjecture.”

    How else would you like for Sheila to continue? Or is it that conjecture is no longer on the table? From what you have argued, I assume we should just wait for a catastrophe.

    I don’t know what your expertise is, but I do know Sheila is an expert on FREEDOM OF SPEECH along with an unbeatable sense of integrity.

  9. From: http://www.postcarbon.org/you-cant-handle-the-truth/

    “Movie buffs will recognize this title as the most memorable line from “A Few Good Men” (1992), spoken by the character Colonel Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson (“You can’t handle the truth!” is #29 in the American Film Institute’s list of 100 top movie quotes).”

    “I hereby propose it as the subtext of the recently concluded Republican and Democratic national conventions.”

    “At this point most people appear to know that something is terribly, terribly wrong in the United States of America. But like the proverbial blind man describing the elephant, Americans tend to characterize the problem according to their economic status, their education and interests, and the way that the problem is impacting their peer group. So we hear that the biggest crisis facing America today is:”

    Corruption
    Immigration
    Economic inequality
    Climate change
    Lack of respect for law enforcement
    Institutionalized racism
    Islamic terrorism
    The greed and recklessness of Wall Street banks
    Those damned far-right Republicans
    Those damned liberal Democrats
    Political polarization

    “The list could easily be lengthened, but you get the drift. Pick your devil and prepare to get really, really angry at it.”

    “In reality, these are all symptoms of an entirely foreseeable systemic crisis. The basic outlines of that crisis were traced over 40 years ago in a book titled The Limits to Growth. Today we are hitting the limits of net energy, environmental pollution, and debt, and the experience is uncomfortable for just about everyone. The solution that’s being proposed by our political leaders? Find someone to blame.”

  10. There’s simply no basis to assume that Charles Koch sponsoring economic professorships had anything to do with FSU’s presidential search at the time. That’s either bad research or disingenuous writing coming my peers.

  11. It takes just as much (or more) “faith” to believe in macro-evolution than in intelligent design. Science does not prove either. If a State institution teaches one, it should teach the other. Use the science that backs up each theory, and get philosophy out of it. Everyone has faith in something. Mine is in a Creator. If yours is in Science, the be faithful to Science and admit that Science alone can not disprove Intelligent design or prove macro-evolution.

  12. Pete,

    I agree with you about net energy, environmental pollution, and debt. But you also have to face up to the “deep” socio/political systemic problems that you would like to forget about. The symptoms we’re facing do not just come from the “Limits of Growth.” If you have more than one malady, you can’t recover by just dealing with one of them. “Limits of Growth” might be our most serious problems. But, there are others and they can’t be shoved under the table.

  13. As a two-time Ball State graduate who has followed the various situations Sheila describes as closely as possible under the circumstances, I must say that many of us are asking the same question she does- “What the hell is happening at Ball State?” No legitimate answers are readily available.

    Sheila’s post is basically a series of quotes from other published articles. She editorializes minimally until nearly the end. I have to question Ms. Kessler’s strong response, which is unspecific in its criticism and doesn’t attempt to refute any of the sources she references.

    Ms. Kessler’s comments are akin to the collective response of BSU’s administration and Board of Trustees in recent months… “Nothing to see here!” I accept that the Ball State community will not get serious answers to our questions because of the convenient cover provided by claims of “academic freedom” and the terms of “non-disclosure agreements”. Nonetheless, I resent the continued assertions by representatives of the University that nothing is amiss.

  14. I took an anstronomy class with Prof. Gonzalez a few months ago. Not only was his by far the most challenging and comprehensive 100-level science course I’d ever taken, but he never once hinted at his own viewpoints in class. I can’t defend any of the other questionable decisions made by BSU in recent history, but Gonzalez was a good hire.

  15. Pete – your example of 2 + 2 = 5 is right on target. Academic freedom is not a license for academic malpractice.

  16. What is going on with the investigation of former BSU cash and investments officer Gail Prizevoits who gave away $13.2 million in two disbursements to two criminals? She left BSU with another staffer and purchased a nice retirement home in Palm Coast, FL. The write-off was taken in 2011 and the criminals have gone to jail (probably out by now). Deb Daniels was hired to straighten all of this out and in 2015 the investigation into criminal charges against Prizevoits was said to be continuing. She was apparently hired with no meaningful background check (she had a history of legal problems) and was apparently not supervised or if supervised was left alone to do what she wanted to do with millions of BSU bucks. I am a BSU alumni and I am hesitant to donate anything to an institution that is so careless with its bucks.

  17. Christopher,

    Do you believe that conservatives should not be allowed access to the academy? That a university should not allow its conservative minded graduates from making a contribution to the education of students? Is there to be “ideology” test before someone is allowed to have a job at a university? How can that argument be made?

    I do not need to agree with someone to know that, in a free society, everyone must have the right to speak their minds. Radical politics on both sides generally mean calling on the other side not to be allowed to have their say. You would not stand for it were it being done to you. You don’t get to say “Everyone who disagrees with me doesn’t get to speak.” That is not a how a free society is made. It is also not how we teach people to be critical, independent thinkers.

    We are in a trying time for political thought and speech. But the attempt to exclude the opposite point of view does not solve any problem. People will disagree with you. How are you going to handle that? You can brush off what I have said as being talking points issued through the university, you can have a conversation with me, or you can look at something from all sides and develop your own critical thinking. I am guessing, however, you will choose to stay behind the hard wall of your reactionary progressive stances and assume you and those who agree with you are the only ones who know the truth.

    Karen

  18. Marv, cause and effect are always challanging to unravel.

    I think one perspective which is different between you and Richard Heinberg (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Heinberg)
    is scope. Yours tends to be the US and his is global.

    He believes as do I that humanity has reached the limits of both our resources and our institutions. We are truly maladapted to our total situation. Everything else is caused by our struggle to survive while denying what we are struggling against.

    We of course hope not to go extinct but the question is what level of trauma will it take before we can realistically address our situation and create new institutions appropriate for what is a reality never before seen by mankind.

  19. Karen, somebody earlier used the term “academic malpractice”. It seems that’s the fear here. We discuss politics extensively here but that’s not this topic.

    Science is unique in that once a theory has been accepted academically through peer review it’s an agreement that this is what has been proven to be true and can therefore be realistically assumed by others as the state of scientific knowledge.

    To equate that to faith is dysfunctional. It truly is academic malpractice which is indefensible.

  20. Lisa, the difference between evolution and intelligent design is not faith at all, it’s evidence. The evidence of evolution is monumental the evidence of intelligent design is zero.

  21. Pete,

    Marv, cause and effect are always challenging to unravel.

    I think one perspective which is different between you and Richard Heinberg (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Heinberg)
    is scope. Yours tends to be the US and his is global.

    I agree. That’s a good way to look at our difference in perspective. It involves a different set of facts. I see the world with a “sociological imagination.” I look to C. Wright Mills for my sociological perspective.

  22. Oh the joys of reading intellectual giants whacking away at each other, with good points all. Since the conversations are events past and current up to the point where I just hit the next QWERTY key, let’s move this to where this country is headed, and I doubt if anyone in the FUTURE STATE will have the courage to write this. “There were reports that the instructor was actively proselytizing and endorsing a Islamic viewpoint rather than discussing scientific inquiries. Since Ball State is a public university, such endorsement–if verified– would violate the Establishment Clause.” That kind of thinking ladies and gentleman in the future could get you flogged, crucified (and I don’t mean metaphorically) or stoned-to-death. Enjoy this time, while you can, cause your great great-grandchildren not-yet-born will grow up in a country, that we would not recognize today. Kind of their own hell-on-earth, no thanks to US.

  23. Erik. Separation of church and state requires them to be separate. The opposite of that is the Middle East Sharia Law.

    I’m sticking with separation.

  24. Marv, let’s assume Heinberg is correct and we will at some point have more human mouths to feed on the planet than can be fed. People will have to be voted off of the island. We will have arrived there because our institutions failed us in adapting to a perfectly predictable condition.

    To me sociology at that point will be the least of our problems.

  25. Pete,

    “Marv, let’s assume Heinberg is correct and we will at some point have more human mouths to feed on the planet than can be fed. People will have to be voted off of the island. We will have arrived there because our institutions failed us in adapting to a perfectly predictable condition.

    “To me sociology at that point will be the least of our problems.

    You’re absolutely right. But, this is where we have a big difference. I’m worried about the NOW, not at the point where we have more human mouths to feed on the planet that can be fed. That’s because I look at things from a socio/political perspective. You don’t. I’m much more worried about Donald Trump and the Tea Party than Heinberg’s predictions as important as they are. If we don’t get through this miserable political mess we are now in, I feel we might not have to worry at all about Heinberg’s theory concerning the planet’s future.

  26. Marv well put.

    What we don’t know is exactly when the tipping point is. No alarms will go off. Some say that we’ve already used up the cushion on climate change and it is now impossible to slow and stop making it worse in time to avoid the dominoes that will lead to the intersection of population growth and fertile land loss and energy availability for farming and logistics.

    Despite that I completely agree that stopping Trump is the most urgent requirement.

    The rest of the story is what’s possible government wise after that. That depends on Congressional elections.

  27. I am a former instructor at Ball State. I was vocal in my dissatisfaction with the Ferguson resignation, the Koch gift, AND Pence’s appointees that had STRONG Koch and/or political ties. The Muncie Star-Press printed my letter FINALLY after Pence was picked as V-P. The Indy Star chose not to run the same letter:

    Pence: The King of Cronyism

    Mike Pence’s TV ads accusing John Gregg of being corrupt are so hypocritical. Pence has been the King of Cronyism when it comes to appointing and reappointing members to the Ball State Board of Trustees.
    Pence’s recent appointee of Jean Harcourt to the BSU Board overtly reeks of political back scratching, as Harcourt was the host of last year’s GOP fundraiser “Picnic with Pence.”
    Pence’s history of trading political favors is nothing new. Pence is the largest single beneficiary of campaign funds of the infamous environmental polluter and multi-billionaire David H Koch of Koch Industries (Source: followthemoney.org). Pence’s appointment two years ago of trustee Renae Conley reeks of cronyism as Conley was once CEO of Entergy-Koch, a Louisiana public utility.
    Pence also has reappointed the chairman of BSU’s Board of Trustees, Richard J Hall. Hall’s day job is at Barnes & Thornburg, the law firm and lobbying organization that represents Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.
    It is so ironic that Donald Trump is considering our crooked governor as a running mate, yet Trump thinks Hillary is crooked?

    Paul Tuke
    Muncie (Now of Aberdeen, SD)

  28. Given that both John S. and the Koch Brothers represent extemely fundamental, conservative and Libertarian views, I wonder why it is that an Institution such as an Indiana State Public University would so willingly sell it’s seeming objectivity for 3.5 million dollars.

    So far as my rather considerable educational research has shown me, one does not get a Koch Brothers philanthropic “gift” without several significant (i.e. curricula, instructor choices, just to name the top two) requirements. Your mileage may vary.

  29. Mary,

    Per:

    *** “Karen,

    “(Sheila)You claim to understand how distorted things can get but then you continue the distortion through your conjecture.”

    How else would you like for Sheila to continue? Or is it that conjecture is no longer on the table? From what you have argued, I assume we should just wait for a catastrophe.

    I don’t know what your expertise is, but I do know Sheila is an expert on FREEDOM OF SPEECH along with an unbeatable sense of integrity.” ***

    I don’t know, Mary. How about getting some facts before you make the decision that you know what’s going on someplace because you’ve strung a bunch of innuendo together? Could that work for you? Conjecture is not truth. Innuendo is not truth. Feelings are not truth. They are just conjecture, innuendo and feelings. They are, ultimately, a semi-fun parlour game but worth very little in knowing anything that is actually happening.

    Sheila is free is to say anything she wants to say, short perhaps the screaming of “fire” in a crowded theater, as am I. And I say that I find conjecture, innuendo and feelings to be essentially highbrow gossip. That said, I again state that I am willing to have an actual conversation with any of you as long as it is actually a conversation and not a declaration on why anyone who has the temerity to disagree with the hive is decidedly wrong.

    Finally, Mary, I don’t know what passes for intellectual discourse where you are, but engaging an argument with the flaunting of credentials is relatively reductive, wouldn’t you say? I’m sure Sheila’s credentials are just grand. However, it is not her credentials with which I am arguing, it is her less than fact base blog entry.

    Karen

  30. Hey, at least the site honestly says it’s a jaundiced look. You can’t expect honesty and integrity from that!

  31. Karen,

    “Finally, Mary, I don’t know what passes for intellectual discourse where you are, but engaging an argument with the flaunting of credentials is relatively reductive, wouldn’t you say? I’m sure Sheila’s credentials are just grand. However, it is not her credentials with which I am arguing, it is her less than fact base blog entry.”

    Sorry, but I put a lot of wait on credentials, which you are lacking in this conversation. An Associate Professor of Theater just doesn’t cut it with me. Sheila isn’t “flaunting her credentials,” you’re just on the defensive because you’re not in the same league as she is.

  32. Karen (and anyone else),

    Please Google the bench trial of Kitzmiller v. the Dover Area School District (Pennsylvania) to read Judge John Jones’ finding of fact and ruling on intelligent design. It is a masterpiece of reasoning that makes the distinction between science and religious faith very clear. Then, if you want a discussion about this topic, let me know and I’ll be glad to have one. I am at IUPUI and you can find me via Google.

  33. Karen,this is a hive and there is certainly a hive mentality. The Queen Bee posts her missives and you’re expected to fall in line! Credentialism is very important here. As is circuitous contrarian mental-masturbation and virtue signaling. It’s a place where the milquetoast can pontificate in a pompous manner. I don’t mind differing views, even when I think they’re wrong.

    Having said that, 2+2=5 is being taught. It’s called neoliberalism. It’s an economic system advocated by the Kochs,Hillary Clinton and Obama.Sure,I’m aware there is a thing called climate change and it’s real. It has been denied by those on the payroll of big oil. The very same big oil lobby that has given multimillions of monies to the forum’s favored candidate via her foundation. Ain’t That ‘Merica!

    As long as you’re a member of the DNC tribe,all is ok!

  34. Pete,

    I am in favor of conversation based in fact, not opinion based on conjecture. I thought that all seemed pretty clear.

    There are real concerns on campus about the Koch money but there is also the understanding that most universities take large grants when offered. Dr. Ferguson’s exit was not a firing. What Dr. Hedin taught and is teaching is hardly as cut and dried as is being presented here.

    None of those points are nearly as black and white as Ms. Kennedy would like to present. That is all I’m am saying, not arguing. Blogs like this do damage, either intentionally or unintentionally. There are many people working hard every day to make our university a fair, just place where free speech and academic freedom are the basis of all we pursue. That is a process not a one time outcome.

    Karen

  35. Marv,

    Try to follow the jist of what is being said. I was not insulting Sheila’s credentials, I was insulting your need to flout them to make your argument.

    As for your desire to sneer at my credentials, when we think back to past civilizations we don’t remember the lawyers and the bureaucrats and the “wannabe” politicians. We remember the artists and the philosophers and the architects. I’m fine with my degree. I stand by the work I do and belief that the value added in teaching the arts and creating theatre is probably at least equal to Gretsky and Sun Tzu (not that that’s trite or anything) quotes on your charming little blog.

    And finally, to answer the rest of your sneering. The type on my browser at the resolution it was set at made your v look like a y. But, when you can’t argue the big points, by all means, sneer at the little things. I am not livid. I do not know you so there is no reason to be livid. I keep coming back here to post because many of my students are following the discussion here about Ball State. I am in the middle of a big push to encourage my students to have conversations instead of arguments and this blog is a perfect object lesson. It has provided a wonderful example of how it doesn’t always work because there are people who refuse to have a conversation. Thank you for your help.

    Karen

  36. Karen,

    “I keep coming back here to post because many of my students are following the discussion here about Ball State”

    I think that’s great. But are you “flouting” your students? Have you explained to them about the Koch family and its involvement with the John Birch Society and its terrible hatred for President Kennedy? There’s much literature out on the John Birch Society and also the Koch Brothers. How about distributing a reading list to your students. I’ll be glad to furnish you one.

  37. “None of those points are nearly as black and white as Ms. Kennedy would like to present.”

    To me this is untrue about teaching intelligent design as a science course. That in my book is fraudulent.

    I have no stake in Ball State but if I was looking for schools to hire technically educated graduates from the fact that intelligent design was taught as science would be a disqualifier.

    I also don’t know anything about the tenure process but how can someone who teaches something known to be not just bad science but no science at all be rewarded for teaching it and claiming it to be science?

    The money thing maybe explainable but if so it should be explained. Transparancy is an expectation in all things governmental and from what’s being said here it has been decidedly lacking from your school.

    It seems clear that some major fixing is in order.

  38. Pete

    “The money thing maybe explainable but if so it should be explained. Transparency is an expectation in all things governmental and from what’s being said here it has been decidedly lacking from your school.”

    “It seems clear that some major fixing is in order.”

    It seems to me that Ball State wants it’s cake and eat it too. They knew the controversy surrounding the Koch Brothers and their “$$$$ 4 influence” machinations. The university, both the administration and the faculty, must have been under an “illusion” that the 3.25 million didn’t come with a very big price to pay.

    As Professor Kessler must have observed, her credibility with this blog is about nil. And as you pointed out as a scientist: “I have no stake in Ball State but if I was looking for schools to hire technically educated graduates from the fact that intelligent design was taught as science would be a disqualifier.”

  39. When I made the statement that Professor Kessler’s credibility with this blog is about nil, it was solely on the issue of her ADVOCACY in defense of Ball State’s decision to accept money from the Koch Brothers. If I’m not mistaken, she is the Vice President of the Faculty Senate at Ball State.

    Professor Kessler has extremely strong credentials in her field and nothing she has said has reduced my respect for her on a professional or personal basis. She is a very accomplished person and I would suspect she is a terrific teacher. Unfortunately, these are “politically hard times” for all of us, including Ball State, and they are not about to become easier.

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