- Rationale


"We expect our professors to criticize each other, to debate, to question authority...the actions themselves fall under the realm of educational employment in a university setting...the actions themselves, the actions of criticizing, debating, and questioning authority do serve a legitimate purpose...". [Zeke Wiedenfeld, Court Commissioner, Walworth County Circuit Court]

My name is Chris Henige. I have taught art history at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater since 2001.

The purpose of this site is to provide all of the documentation associated with my experiences at the university starting in 2012 and carrying through to the present day. I will be starting with the current and moving backward through time, and more materials will continue to appear on this site over time.

The documents, audio and commentary contained in this site are all a matter of public record.

- Complaint 3

Exhibit 21 - Mar 21, 2014 - Background

Memo attached to submittal of curricular proposal

The proposal attached to this memo was considered at the May 19, 2014 department meeting, 59 days after it was sent, providing both Janovec and Chair Messer ample time to consider it. Janovec distributed it to the Curriculum Committee on March 30, 2014, 50 days before it would be considered by the faculty. That committee included the other tenured art historian, Dr. Wilk, who did not contact me at any time between when she received it and when it was considered at that May 19 meeting.

Exhibit 22 - Mar 21, 2014 - Background

Curricular Proposal

This was the standard format for such proposals. Its contents speak for themselves.

Exhibit 65 - Mar 24, 2014 - Background

Request to present to Curriculum Committee

Janovec was later specifically instructed by Chair Messer to exclude me from any discussion of the proposal with the Curriculum Committee. The Committee met without my knowledge. This represents a violation of Wis. Stat. 19.89, Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, which states that "...unless the rules of a governmental body provide to the contrary, no member of the body may be excluded from any meeting of a subunit of that governmental body." Because Janovec was subordinate to the directive of Messer, the violation is Messer's and not Janovec's. This is the first of many violations of Open Meetings Law on the part of the administration.

Exhibit 84 - Mar 19, 2015 - Background

Request regarding reason for my exclusion

From Janovec's statements it is clear that Messer violated Open Meetings Law (Wis. Stat. 19.89) by specifically instructing Janovec to exclude me from the meeting of the subunit (curriculum committee). The reasoning presented is spurious at best. Ongoing tensions, (if two people disagree then we can't put them together to come to a solution) and concern that Wilk had not been apprised of the proposal (while having 50 days to discuss it with me before it was considered by the faculty) seem disingenuous at best. The third excuse is just nonsense, because the department knew it did not, would not, could not, and still hasn't met those requirements, in a program that serves fewer than ten students.

Exhibit 20 - May 19, 2014 - Background

Evaluating the Art History Major

I read this document verbatim, excepting the section outlining NASAD requirements, at the department meeting on this date in support of my curricular proposal to eliminate the art history major from the curriculum. I did not digress from a verbatim reading at any time. This document was not distributed to the rest of the faculty because it served as my personal notes regarding my rationale. Immediately before I presented this rationale, another faculty member, Max White, also read a prepared statement from written notes in defense of her curricular proposal.

Exhibit 66 - May 20, 2014 - Fallout

"Required" Meeting with the Dean

The email at the end of this pdf is the Dean's demand that I meet with him following my presentation. I responded. Further up the pdf, the Dean has come to the realization that I was right on all counts, and now "invites" me to meet and "requests" the documentation. Eventually he just gives up, and threatens to file a formal complaint. This exchange is absolutely typical of my dealings with McPhail. Shoot first, check your position later. The only way to put a stop to these people is to know your rights, because they will step all over them if you don't.

Exhibit 67 - May 20, 2014 - Fallout

"Required" Meeting with the Chair

Like the Dean, Chair Messer attempts to compel me to engage in disciplinary action while out-of-contract. She also tries to include Renee Melton, who was not chair, and was not a full professor, and therefore had no standing whatsoever to participate in any conversation regarding potential discipline.

Exhibit 68 - May 22, 2014 - Fallout

More on the "Required" meetings

In a separate thread, now Chair Messer, like the Dean, "invites" me to a meeting. A time and date was set. I made it clear that if I agreed to meet, I would not discuss anything of a disciplinary nature. The Dean expressed his "disappointment" that I would decline to submit myself to disciplinary proceedings while off-contract, and again threatened me with a formal complaint. At the appointed day and time, I showed up, no one else did. I reported this to the Dean's Assistant and to a colleague I met in the halls. Yet another demonstration that if you know your rights, and you exercise them, the administration will attempt to penalize you for it.

Exhibit 23 - Sep 5, 2014 - Complaint

Complaint 3 by McPhail

Original text of the complaint.

Exhibit 69 - Sep 5, 2014 - Complaint Annotated

Annotated version of McPhail's complaint

This contains my comments about the complaint interspersed with the text.

Exhibit 24 - Sep 5, 2014 - Complaint

Attachments to Complaint 3 by McPhail

Attachments to the complaint

Exhibit 25 - Sep 15, 2014 - Complaint

Complaint 3 by Messer

Original text of the complaint and its attachments.

Exhibit 70 - Sep 15, 2014 - Complaint Annotated

Annotated version of Messer's complaint

This version includes my comments interspersed within the original text.

Exhibit 26 - Sep 19, 2014 - Complaint

Memo informing me of Complaint 3 by McPhail

Standard boilerplate notification from the Chancellor. The phrase "you have certain rights and protections as more fully described under UWW Chapter VI" implies that these rules actually matter, and will be followed. See documentation for First Kangaroo Court to see how that turned out.

Exhibit 27 - Sep 29, 2014 - Complaint

Memo informing of Complaint 3 by Messer


Exhibit 28 - Dec 22, 2014 - Complaint

Investigator's Report

Original text of Frank Goza's report. Goza is Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences.

Exhibit 100 - Dec 22, 2014 - Complaint

Investigator's Report Annotated

My commentary interspersed with the original text of the report.

Exhibit 101 - Dec 29, 2014 - Charge

Chancellor Telfer's Charge

Original text of the initial charge

- Contents


As You Read
Things to consider...

The Long Summary
A 28-page document summarizing the events of the last several years

All My Communications
(Those attached to complaints)

Initial "Complaint"
Filed May 8, 2013

Second Complaint
Filed December 30, 2013

Third Complaints
Filed September 5 and 15, 2014

First Kangaroo Court
December 29, 2014 to June 12, 2015

Temporary Restraining Order
January 17, 2015

Fourth Complaint
Filed January 26, 2015

Second Kangaroo Court
October 2, 2015 to January 4, 2016

More to come in between...

Appeal to the Regents
Filed July 29, 2016

Sixth Complaint
Filed September 4, 2016

Seventh Complaint (Seeking Dismissal for Cause)
Filed February 21, 2017

Third Kangaroo Court (Seeking Dismissal for Cause)
February 21, 2017 to present

Dismissal Hearing Video
September 8, 2017

Hearing Aftermath
After September 8, 2017

Proceedings with the Regents
October 27, 2017 to present

Positions Taken by the UWW
From the beginning to the present

Exhibits relevant to the Hearings