REFERENCE LIST OF PERSONS AND PLACES
MENTIONED IN THIS DOCUMENT
- Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR):
- Linn Sorge (Visual Coordinator)
- Nancy Kasinski (Asst. Director)
- Geography Department:
- Dr. John Harlin (chairman)
- Dr. Alan Staver (Meteorology)
- Dr. Michael Fortune (Meteorology)
- Prof. Kenneth Bowden (Geography)
- Dr. Steve Silberberg (Meteorology)
- Jim Moore (Computer Administrator)
- Academic Computing Services (ACS):
- Michael Prais (Director)......................... 753-1058
- Student Affairs:
- Dr. Gary Gresholdt (504 compliance)
- Liberal Arts & Sciences (LA&S):
- Dr. Frederick Kitterle (Dean)
- Dr. Sue Doederlein (Asst. Dean)...
- Department Of Rehabilitation Services (DORS):
- Dennis Fagerberg (counsellor)
- Department Of Mathematical Sciences:
- Dr. Joseph Stephen (Professor)
- Dr. Michael Hosea (Professor)
- University Health Services:
- Charles Bowen (Director)
- Affirmative Action:
- Marilyn Monteiro (Director)
- Jean Ehmen (Asst. Director)
- Barb Jones (Advertising Coord.)
- Human Resourse Services:
- Steve Cunningham (Director)
- Kate Romano (Asst. Director)
- Aquanette Charleston (EEO)
- Terry Kessler (insurance counselor)
- Judicial Office:
- Larry Bolles (Director)
- Physical Plant:
- Rick Deerborne (ADA)
- 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".
Return to the Inquiry Page
- 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.