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Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR):
Linn Sorge (Visual Coordinator)……….753-1304
Nancy Kasinski (Asst. Director)….…....753-9734
Geography Department:
Dr. John Harlin (chairman)……………..753-6826
Dr. Alan Staver (Meteorology)……………Retired
Dr. Michael Fortune (Meteorology)…………Fired
Prof. Kenneth Bowden (Geography)…....753-6832
Dr. Steve Silberberg (Meteorology)….…753-6853
Jim Moore (Computer Administrator)…..Moved on
Academic Computing Services (ACS):
Michael Prais (Director)......................... 753-1058
Student Affairs:
Dr. Gary Gresholdt (504 compliance)…..753-6103
Liberal Arts & Sciences (LA&S):
Dr. Frederick Kitterle (Dean)……...…....753-1061
Dr. Sue Doederlein (Asst. Dean)...……...753-0253
Department Of Rehabilitation Services (DORS):
Dennis Fagerberg (counsellor)……....…...753-2471
Department Of Mathematical Sciences:
Dr. Joseph Stephen (Professor)……….…753-6739
Dr. Michael Hosea (Professor)……......…Moved on
University Health Services:
Charles Bowen (Director)…………..…....753-1314
Affirmative Action:
Marilyn Monteiro (Director)…………...…753-1118
Jean Ehmen (Asst. Director)………..….…753-1119
Barb Jones (Advertising Coord.)……….....753-0462
Human Resourse Services:
Steve Cunningham (Director)…………...…753-6021
Kate Romano (Asst. Director)……..……...753-0818
Aquanette Charleston (EEO)……………...753-1665
Terry Kessler (insurance counselor)….....…753-6037
Judicial Office:
Larry Bolles (Director)………………....…753-1571
Physical Plant:
Rick Deerborne (ADA)……………...…....753-6298
President's Office:
John La Tourette (President- NIU)..........753-9500
Anne Groves (Secretary).......................753-9500
University Attorney
George Shur........................................753-8366
June 23, 1994: I met with Dr. Staver, who introduced me to Dr. Fortune and Prof.
Bowden. We discussed the accessibility of the facilities of the Geography department,
but they couldn't answer many of my questions since they had not had any previous
experience with this type of situation. Consequently, they made no effort to resolve
the accessibility issue.
July 5, 1994: During my orientation to NIU, I met with Linn Sorge to discuss possible
obstacles involving the accessibility of the computers in Davis Hall. She advised me
to wait until after the first week of classes to see what, if any, difficulties I would
encounter with the computers.
Sept. 5-9, 1994: I informed Ms. Sorge of the fact that not a single computer at Davis Hall
was accessible to disabled persons. She called Michael Prais and asked him to look
into the matter. He called her back later that week and explained that Jim Moore had
assured him that all of the equipment necessary for accessibility did, in deed, exist
in Davis Hall.
Sept. 12-16, 1994: I looked around in all of the existing computer labs in Davis Hall and
found no such equipment. I informed Ms. Sorge of my lack of findings, so she again
called Mr. Prais, who in turn called Jim Moore, who vowed that the equipment existed.
Sept. 19-23, 1994: I looked again- NOTHING. I again called Ms. Sorge,who called
Mr. Prais, who called Jim Moore. This yielded the same result.
Sept. 26- Dec. 16: 1994: I went through the rest of that first semester without trying
to further gain the necessary equipment since that endeavor was severely distracting
me from the rest of my school work.
Jan. 17-20, 1995: I informed Ms. Sorge that there were still no accessible computers
in Davis Hall. Phone calls were made yielding the same result, "The equipment
does exist."
Jan. 23-25, 1995: I tried once again only to get the same results and, this time,
Jim Moore's phone number.
Jan. 26, 1995: I called Jim Moore, who informed me that, because he was not a
T.A., he did not deal with students at all (I was not looking for a T.A., I needed
the assistance of the Computer Administrator of Davis Hall). We did, however,
have a conversation that involved him telling me that: 1) A large screen monitor
did exist, but it was attached to a graduate research computer and 2) he would
look into enlarging the fonts on my Sun account that evening.
Jan. 27, 1995: I informed Ms. Sorge of my conversation with Jim Moore and the fact
that he had not yet done anything regarding my account. She left an inquiry on
his answering machine while I went back to the Weather Office to check my
account once more. Later, Moore came into the office ranting and raving at me
about all of the people who were yelling at him because of my problem. After
Dr. Fortune had calmed him down a bit, Moore sat down and spent maybe three
minutes playing around with font sizes on my account. When a few bugs arose in
this alternative, he got up and said, "I have other things to do." He also
said that he would meet with me again on Jan. 30, at 11:00 AM to work out the
bugs in this solution.
Jan. 30, 1995: Jim Moore never showed up, so I asked Dr. Fortune to pursue the
matter as best he could. Dr. Fortune never followed through on this request.
Jan. 30 - Mar. 2, 1995: Under the impression that Dr. Fortune was handling the
situation (and the fact that my other class work was suffering because of this
continued distraction), I did not pursue the issue.
Mar. 3, 1995: I had finally gotten fed up with the migraine headaches and turning
lab reports in as much as a week late due to inaccessible computers. I asked
Dr. Fortune when Jim Moore was going to get around to correcting my situation.
That is when I found out that Dr. Fortune had not followed through on his
Mar. 6, 1995: I talked to Dr. Harlin about this matter. He asked me why I hadn't
come to him before then with my problem. I explained that previous
experience had shown that when I started at higher levels, I got responses
such as, "Why are you coming to me with this? You should be talking
to...". I also expressed an interest in having a meeting with everyone involved
in this matter. This was countered with the comment, "I don't see why we
need to waste everyone's time with this matter." "WASTE everyone's time"
was, for me, the final straw . I explained that, "I don't know what else
to do. If I can't resolve this matter with the cooperation of the University, I'll
have no other choice but to resort to legal action because I've already invested
nearly six thousand dollars in my education here and can not afford to go
elsewhere" It was then that Dr. Harlin reluctantly made the necessary
arrangements for the meeting I had requested.
Mar. 7, 1995: I had been informed that Ms. Kasinski was under the impression that
I had already initiated a lawsuit against the University, so I went to her office
to correct this misinformation. Upon my arrival, she had the unmitigated audacity
to inform me that any lawsuit I might bring against the University would be
unsuccessful on the grounds that I had not followed "proper procedures".
This was a major impropriety because, since she works for this University,
she has no business commenting on such intentions- especially since I
hadn't solicited any such opinion from her. The meeting took place later that
day. Options were discussed on how to remedy this situation, but I felt as
though I had been systematically removed from the discussion since I was
never asked my opinions on how to rectify the problems People were telling
each other that they would contact one another with information and ideas,
but not a single person said that they would contact me about any results.
Mr. Prais pledged a large screen monitor to be installed immediately until
enlarging software could be found to run on the computers. Mr. Prais and
Jim Moore worked on the problems with my Sun account, but it was
Dr. Fortune who came up with what was supposed to be the temporary
solution. Eleven people attended this meeting, but only ten came out of it
spreading the illusion that something had been accomplished.
April 1, 1995: The large screen monitor that Mr. Prais had pledged back on March 7
finally arrived after a great deal of pleading from me.
May 19, 1995: I received my grade report for Spring Semester. One does not need to
look too closely to see an obvious problem with this report; 4 A's and a C, hmmm.
This was at least the second grade that I'd lost due to the gross negligence and
lack of administrative cooperation that persisted.
June 6, 1995: I had a meeting with Dr. Harlin to try and make final arrangements for
resolving the accessibility issue. I gave him my recommendations, and he
said that he would take care of it. I never heard from him again.
June20, 1995: I wrote a letter to Mr. Prais, Dr. Harlin, Linn Sorge, and Sue Doederlein
requesting that I be given access to a piece of software that was required
for one of my classes for use at home since it was not available on any
accessible computers on campus. The only person I heard from was
Sue Doederlein, who did not give me any clear answers on the subject.
No one else even acknowledged the letter.
July 10, 1995: I wrote a letter to Michael Prais describing my dissatisfaction with his
handling of my case thus far.
July 12, 1995: I talked face-to-face with Michael Prais and persuaded him to let me
use the software I had requested back on June 20th, at home. I received the
software the next day- 23 days after my initial request.
Aug. 7, 1995: I wrote a letter to Steve Silberberg requesting a meeting with him to
discuss possible problems with the computer systems at Davis Hall.
Aug. 22, 1995: I spoke with Dr. Silberberg about my problems, and he informed me
that a large screen monitor had been installed in the Weather Office
on Aug. 20, 1995- 14 months after my initial request. It was nothing
like the one that I had recommended to Dr. Harlin back June 6th.
Aug. 28 thru Oct. 1, 1995:I attended my Meteorology and Statistics courses and
became more and more aware of just how far behind I had become
due to my lack of computer access during the past 14-15 months.
Dr. Silberberg did not live up to his pledge to help me keep up with
the course work and, in fact, was only making sarcastic comments
to me (and others) when asked questions regarding the class material.
On 9/27/95, I took the first exam for Met 421 and received the lowest grade
in the class. Despite my efforts to make the Meteorology faculty aware
of the fact that the "accessible" computer was still not completely
accessible, no action was ever taken on that issue.
Oct. 2, 1995: I spoke with Linn Sorge about the problems I was still encountering
with NIU . Since she could not provide me with any constructive suggestions
as to how to remedy this situation, there was nothing I could ask her to do for
me at that time. We did, however, speak about the events that had taken
place since the beginning of my fight for proper computer access. I asked
her if she would give me some written verification of those events for
me to use as supportive evidence as I moved through the procedures process
to rectify my situation with NIU. She directed me to give her a written
outline of the events that took place so that she could verify them for me.
Oct. 11, 1995: I wrote a letter to Asst. Dean Doederlein requesting that the Met 421
and Stat 474 courses be placed into withdrawal status since I
obviously had no chance of passing those courses given the computer
access problems of the past 15 1/2 months.
Oct. 13, 1995: I had an open letter to the editor published in the Northern Star directed
to NIU President La Tourette on Oct. 12, 1995. His secretary, Anne Groves,
answer- ed my letter via e-mail requesting information about my problems.
I sent a 2 page e-mail explanation back to her with a request to see him.
Oct. 16, 1995: I gave Linn Sorge a written outline of the events that took place, and
she said that she would take care of it when her reader came in that after-
noon. Letters were exchanged and phone conversations took place between
Linn and me until Oct. 19, 1995 when it became clear to me that Linn had
withdrawn her promise to verify the events that took place.
Oct. 18, 1995:I received withdrawal slips from Dr. Doederlein for MET 421 and STAT 474
Since I was not passing the courses at the time of withdrawal, I find
it odd that the grade of W had been assigned to them.
Oct. 23, 1995: I wrote Mr. Prais a letter explaining that I had no further use for his
software program because of falling too far behind in the first STAT
course over the summer as a result of his negligence in resolving
my situation.
Nov.14, 1995: I met with Nancy Kasinski to discuss the problems that I was having
with CAAR and NIU. At that meeting, Ms. Kasinski admitted to having
discussed my case with someone outside of the university. Click here to
hear her confession
Nov. 15, 1995: I met with both Nancy Kasinski and Linn Sorge to discuss some of
the problems of opinion we were having regarding the meeting of March 7, 1995.
Ms. Sorge again showed her true nature for not being civil in the midst of a
discussion during this meeting. It was at this meeting that I told them that I
planned to finish my degree in Math instead of Meteorology. They asked me
if there was anything they could do to help; i.e.: Ms. Kasinski offered to speak
with LA&S Dean Fred Kitterle on my behalf, and Ms. Sorge acknowledged knowing
Dr. Stephen, so I asked her to look into possible problems with note taking
for my classes.
Nov. 16,1995: I met with Charles Bowen to discuss the events of my meetings with
Kasinski and Sorge. Although the conversation was a pleasent one, I don't
believe that anything was accomplished from it.
Nov. 20, 1995: I wrote a letter to Asst. Dean Doederlein requesting that all of my
courses for the fall semester be placed in "drop" status since I could
no longer hope to finish a degree in Meteorology from NIU.
Nov. 21, 1995:I spoke with Jean Ehmen from the Affirmative Action office and explained
my computer access problems with her. She referred me to Barb Jones,
who referred me to Aquanette Charleston, who referred me to Terry Kessler
on Nov. 27, 1995.
Nov. 28, 1995: I had a meeting with Fred Kitterle and Sue
Doederlein requesting that an investigation be initiated by
Dean Kitterle into my situation. We talked about my case for
45 minutes, and he said that he would look into it. He also said
that he did not feel confident that he would be able to find out the
truth behind why Prais and Moore continually lied about the access-
ibility issue in Davis Hall. I also had a meeting with Dr. Joseph Stephen
from the Mathematical Sciences department. We discussed my
opportunities for finishing my undergraduate degree in General Mathe-
matics. He reviewed my records and waived the credit for Math 240 and
Math 336. He said that the only courses I needed for this degree were
Math 360, 420, 421, 430, and 431.
Nov. 30, 1995: I spoke with Terry Kessler about my case, and she said that she
would speak with her supervisor about what strategy to use to
formally investigate this situation.
Dec. 6, 1995: I again spoke with Barb Jones about my case, and she said that she
would look into possible avenues of investigation for me. I
received withdrawal slips for the rest of the courses I had been
enrolled for during Fall '95. Again, I find it odd that grades of W
were assigned to these classes when it is clear that I was NOT
passing them at the time. I can't help but see these actions as
a cover-up for the truth of NIU's inability to resolve my problems.
Dec. 12, 1995: I called Barb Jones on the phone and asked her if she had any
recommendations. She had two: 1) the student judicial office,
and 2) Rick Deerborn. She also said that she had talked to Marilyn
Monteiro about my case and that, after reviewing it, Ms. Monteiro
would call me to give me her conclusions and possible avenues of
action. I also called Terry Kessler and asked her about the status
of her investigation. She said that her supervisor, Steve Cunningham,
was setting up an ad hoc committee to address my concerns, but that
committee would likely not convene until after the holidays. I asked her
if I'd be allowed to attend this meeting, but she didn't seem hopeful of it.
Dec. 13, 1995: I called the Judicial office and talked with Larry Bolles. He informed me
that his office did not handle such cases. I talked to Michael Hosea
and Joseph Stephen (Math dept.) about possible accommodation problems.
They did not foresee any problems- some computer software may be needed
in Math 360, but I was told that I could purchase student versions that should
work. I also gave a letter to Dr. Stephen asking him to write a letter
to Dennis Fagerberg outlining the final course work I would need for a
degree in Math. I also asked him to look into notetaking options for me-
possible senior/grad math students.
Dec. 14, 1995: I spoke with Kate Romano about my concerns regarding the proposed
committee meeting to resolve my issues with NIU. I had intended to speak
with Steve Cunningham, but he was unavailable. Ms. Romano said that she
would give Mr. Cunningham my reservations about this meeting and that he
would likely contact me then. She also confirmed my assertion that I had now
fully exhausted my internal options for remedying my situation.
Dec. 15, 1995: Linn Sorge called me and asked me if there was anything she was
supposed to do regarding my math classes. As it had been exactly
a month since we spoke about her contacting Dr. Stephen regarding
note taking and she had, as yet, not done anything, I had already taken
it upon myself to make such inquiries to Dr. Stephen. Therefore, in
response to her questions, I replied, "I've already taken care of it"
That was the end of the conversation. I also ran into Dr. Fortune at the
Holmes Student Center. We talked about the problems I was still
encountering with the Geography department. He said he did recall our
initial conversation back on June 23, 1994, but he didn't recall much of
the content of that conversation.
Dec. 18, 1995: I again called Human Resource services to inquire about why I'd not
heard from Steve Cunningham or Terry Kessler. The secretary, Rose,
told me that she would again give him the message that I wanted to
speak with him about my concerns regarding the proposed committee
meeting. Kate Romano called me back later that day to tell me that
Mr. Cunningham was not the one who was in charge of organizing the
meeting- it was Terry Kessler.
Dec. 19, 1995: I spoke with Fred Kitterle about the progress of his inquiry into my
situation. He said that he had been busier than expected and that he
could not conclude the inquiry until after the break.

Dec. 21, 1995 - Jan.1, 1996: The University was closed.

Jan. 2, 1996: I called Dennis Fagerberg and asked him if he had received the letter that I
asked Dr. Stephen to write regarding final coursework
for a degree in Math . He said he hadn't, but would contact me when he
did receive such a letter.
Jan. 8, 1996: I wrote an e-mail message to Dr. Stephen asking him about his progress
with the letter I had written him back on Dec. 13, 1995. I also wrote
an e-mail message to Dr. Kitterle asking about his progress with the
inquiry. He emailed me back saying that a letter on the issue was in
the mail to me. I called Terry Kessler, and she told me that the meeting
I had asked her to initiate would take place on Wednesday Jan. 10, 1996.
The people scheduled to be involved in this meeting were:
Steve Cunningham- Director HFR
Terry Kessler- Insurance office
JoAnn Bergren- Manager, Insurance office
George Shur- University General Counsel
Gary Gresholdt- Student Affairs
Nancy Kasinski- CAAR director
George Nenonen- Manager, operating staff services
Dale Parkhouse- Employment Supervisor, OSS
Deborah Schlarb- Asst. to Director-Physical Plant
??? - Provost appointee
Marylin Montiero- Affirmative Action appointee
Jan. 9, 1996: I wrote a letter to be addressed at this committee meeting, and delivered
it to Terry Kessler. I also asked Ms. Kessler to have this letter read
at that meeting.
Jan. 10, 1996: I received a letter from Dr. Kitterle addressing the issues I had raised at
the Nov. 28, 1995 meeting. As I found much of his letter inaccurate,
I composed a letter refuting such inaccurate conclusions that he
drew based on not understanding the facts at hand.
Jan. 11, 1996: I called Terry Kessler to ask if my letter had been read at the meeting.
She said that she decided to "pass out" copies of my letter to the people
present instead of reading it to the committee. She confirmed that
Dr. Kitterle's letter had been addressed at the meeting. She also said
that a letter from Steve Cunningham had been written and would be sent
out on the 12th. I delivered my "rebuttal" letter to Dr. Kitterle and everyone
to whom he had carbon-copied his letter. I spoke with Barb Jones about
what her office was currently doing about this matter. She said that she
had not spoken to Ms. Monteiro since Ms. Jones first involved her and
didn't know that Ms. Monteiro had not yet contacted me. I asked Ms. Jones
to follow up on Ms. Monteiro's progress. She also seemed interested in my
concerns about the commitee meeting. I expressed my opinion of Dr. Kitterle's
letter and how the committee seemed to focus more on it than on my letter-
which was never read to the committee. I had a lengthy conversation with
Nancy Kasinski, and I expressed my concerns about the fact that Dr. Stephen
had not yet acted on my request to recommend note takers. She said that she
would look into the matter, and I told her that I would ask some friends of mine
to take notes on the first day and/or until other note takers could be found.
Jan. 12, 1996: I walked up to the Human Resources Services building to pick up a letter
written by Steve Cunningham. After having read the letter, I have no choice
but to conclude that, like Dr. Kitterle, this committee chose to take a narrow
and one-sided approach to this issue and to ignore the evidence I supplied to
them. I had e-mail correspondences with Nancy Kasinski, and I informed her
that a friend of mine would take notes for me on the first day. I also spoke
to Dr. Stephen (finally), and he said that he would be speaking with my
professors on Tuesday Jan. 16, 1996. He also said that he would call me
after having done this. (He never did)
Jan. 31, 1996: For the fifth straight semester, I encountered a problem with NIU's
computer facilities, as Dr. Hosea has attested. Click here to see his response.
Feb. 1 thru Mar. 20, 1996: More and more lies came out of the administration (specifically,
George Shur and Fred Kitterle ) about my case. It was clear that their direct intention
was to cover up this matter, and solely blame me for this mess.
Mar. 21, 1996: I made the NIU community aware of the extreme measures to which NIU
was covering this situation. Click here to see how I specifically made the NIU faculty
and staff aware of my problems with NIU. Probably the most notable thing that came
out of this avenue, was a professor of Sociology coining a phrase that should be the
NIU slogan, "Students are interlopers, please ignore them".
May 4, 1996: I left NIU and DeKalb after finally abandoning any hope of justice from such a
corrupted system. I wouldn't wish what I went through at NIU on anyone- that is with
the obvious exception of those NIU employees who created this whole mess and let
it persist for nearly 2 years. Ironically, I received a notice two weeks later telling me
that NIU had placed me on "Academic Dismissal" due to the fact that I was not
living up to their standards of academic progress. It is rather difficult to perform
to a minimum standard when a University won't perform to a minimum standard.

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