- Rationale

Introduction

"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.

- Kangaroo Court 1

Exhibit 220 - Dec 29, 2014 - Things to Consider

Do the Rules Matter?
Commentary:

What follows is a copy of the Faculty Personnel Rules governing the proceedings, documentation of repeated violations of those rules and my objections, and the findings of the hearing panel. They document complete disregard for the rules, rules that were presented to me in the original memo as my "rights and protections".

Exhibit 218 - Dec 29, 2014 - Faculty Personnel Rules

Chapter VI Governing Complaints Against Faculty
Commentary:

Original pdf of the rules attached to one of the memos. It's a bit messy.

Exhibit 219 - Dec 29, 2014 - Faculty Personnel Rules

Chapter VI Governing Complaints Against Faculty
Commentary:

This is a cleaned up copy of the original.

Exhibit 344 - Hearing Panel

Composition of the Hearing Panel
Commentary:

Penny Portman (Chair), Anne Stinson, Greg Valde (withdrew), Robert Horton, William Skelly

Exhibit 171 - Dec 29, 2014 - Original Charge

Chancellor Telfer's Original Charge
Commentary:

For reference, as its contents do not comply with the rules, as you will see.

Exhibit 172 - Dec 29, 2014 - Original Charge

Memo Accompanying the Charge

Exhibit 174 - Jan 5, 2015 - Original Charge

Response to the Charge

Exhibit 173 - Jan 5, 2015 - Original Charge

Response to the Charge

Exhibit 175 - Jan 14, 2015 - Appeal

Chancellor's Response
Commentary:

Starts with "when I returned to my office on January 12, I received your letter dated January 5, 2015...". This is an obvious admission that Telfer knew he had not responded in time relative to the rules. He received it when I sent it.

Exhibit 176 - Jan 15, 2015 - Appeal

Objection to Late Response
Commentary:

My objection to Telfer's late response, citing the rule in question.

- Strike one.

Exhibit 177 - Jan 16, 2015 - Procedural Review

Objection to Late Response
Commentary:

My transmittal to the Hearing Panel regarding the untimely response.

Exhibit 178 - Jan 16, 2015 - Procedural Review

Objection to Late Response
Commentary:

Request that my letter of objection be included in the record for consideration at the procedural review.

Exhibit 179 - Jan 29, 2015 - Hearings

Composition of Hearing Panel
Commentary:

The rules clearly state that the "Chair of the Faculty Senate shall (1) request of the Secretary of the Faculty Senate the names of five potential panel members and two alternates from the Faculty Appeals, Grievance, and Disciplinary Hearing Committee..." I see five names plus one alternate. Ghavamshahidi apparently dropped out, and Portman became chair of the committee. Now we have a panel of five with no alternates.

- Strike two.

Exhibit 180 - Feb 11, 2015 - Hearings

Organizational Meeting

Exhibit 181 - Feb 17, 2015 - Procedural Review

Procedural Review
Commentary:

All transmittals in this thread are copied to five panelists. There is no hint of any alternates. The University would later claim that they had no obligation to provide me with the names of the alternates, as if there were any.

- Strike three.

Exhibit 182 - Feb 24, 2015 - Procedural Review

Statement Read at the Procedural Review
Commentary:

This is the statement I read verbatim at the Procedural Review. At that time only the Chancellor's lack of timeliness was noted.

Exhibit 183 - Feb 26, 2015 - Procedural Review

Report of the Hearing Panel
Commentary:

I don't see any language in the rules relating to the Chancellor being "legitimately unavailable". It would have been a simple thing to add "substantial" to the rule in question, but the drafters did not.

- Strike four.

Exhibit 184 - Feb 26, 2015 - Procedural Review

Memo Accompanying Report of the Hearing Panel

Exhibit 185 - Mar 5, 2015 - Hearings

Objection to Legal Counsel
Commentary:

At this point it became clear that the Kangaroo Court was in session. The argument made by Portman is ludicrous. Apparently, I can bring a live Bengal tiger to the hearings because there's "nothing that prohibits" that either. No reasonable person would argue that the language found in the rules allows for the hearing panel to have counsel if I do not.

- Strike five.

Exhibit 188 - Mar 16, 2015 - Hearings

Time Limits
Commentary:

Here we have the first introduction to the "time frame".

Exhibit 187 - Mar 16, 2015 - Hearings

Flow of the Hearings
Commentary:

This is important because Portman will later claim that I agreed to extend the dates for the hearings, but here says that "once the hearing panel agrees on some dates", so I obviously did not agree to any later date. Here also we have the "time frame".

- Strike six.

Exhibit 221 - Mar 16, 2015 - Hearings

Time Frame
Commentary:

This proposed "flow" will be retained, even after the list of witnesses grows, and 223 pages of documentation that needed to be refuted was submitted by the Chancellor. As you'll see, it gets even more ridiculous.

Exhibit 189 - Mar 16, 2015 - Hearings

Understanding the Charge
Commentary:

This was intended to summarize things for all parties. The ability of my colleagues to perform their duties is actually not a factor in determining the validity of the charge. No definition of "harassment" is provided. Nor one of "intimidation". It's not when the emails are sent, it's when they're read that matters. What on earth is "implied physical intimidation"?

Exhibit 190 - Mar 18, 2015 - Hearings

Objections

Exhibit 191 - Mar 18, 2015 - Hearings

Witnesses
Commentary:

This issue will fester as well. The University will never provide me with access to cross-examine individuals whose emails were included in the Dean's complaint. The Dean consistently has acted as the intermediary, filing complaints for those who do not do so themselves. This precludes me from engaging in conflict resolution with those parties, and it precludes me from cross-examining what is essentially their "written testimony".

Exhibit 192 - Mar 25, 2015 - Hearings

Witnesses
Commentary:

More of what the rules do not require.

Exhibit 193 - Mar 31, 2015 - Hearings

Dean as Chancellor's Agent
Commentary:

In the midst of this you will find Portman announcing that the Chancellor will not be conducting the prosecution (despite the fact that ALL of the rules relevant to the proceedings name the "chancellor" and not an agent or representative). The other problem with this is that as one of the complainants, the Dean can't actually act as the Chancellor's agent in the prosecution.

- Strike seven.

Exhibit 194 - Apr 2, 2015 - Hearings

Objections
Commentary:

While trying to prepare my defense, it became clear that the requirements for a "valid" charge had not been met.

- Strike eight.

Exhibit 195 - Apr 2, 2015 - Hearings

Witnesses
Commentary:

Obviously, the witnesses that would be presented do not have "firsthand knowledge", and I will not have the ability to cross-examine those who do, because they're not on the list.

Exhibit 196 - Apr 3, 2015 - Hearings

Presence of the Chancellor
Commentary:

The rules make no allowance for the chancellor to have an agent. Also, the timeliness of the proceedings is called into question, as by the time of the writing of this email, the 60-day limit had already passed.

Exhibit 197 - Apr 7, 2015 - Hearings

Counsel

Exhibit 198 - Apr 9, 2015 - Hearings

Objections
Commentary:

Here is the "at the pre-hearing meeting of 16th March we decided the 17th April 2015 would be an acceptable date for the hearing...", despite the fact that she herself states that the panel had not decided on any dates at that meeting. Portman's claims on April 8 in response to my questions are as ridiculous as they usually are. It doesn't matter what tradition is, it's what the rules say. I was disadvantaged by the extension of the 60-day limit because it denied me due process in a "timely fashion", again as required by the rules.

Exhibit 199 - Apr 15, 2015 - Hearings

Time Limits
Commentary:

"Timekeepers"?? When the rules state that the proceedings must be "thorough" and "comprehensive"? How are these compatible?

Exhibit 200 - Apr 16, 2015 - Hearings

Witnesses

Exhibit 201 - Apr 17, 2015 - Hearing

Panelist Recusal
Commentary:

And here we go again. The panel never included two alternates, as was required, then no additional alternates were secured when Ghavamshahidi was not included, and now Valde drops out and no replacement is made. The rules are clear - a "panel of five". Now we have a panel of four, and no replacement was ever found.

- Strike nine.

Exhibit 202 - Apr 25, 2015 - Hearings

Time Limits
Commentary:

My objections to the time limits - again. Apparently after numerous written objections, I was also required to make a verbal one at the hearings.

Exhibit 203 - Apr 27, 2015 - Hearings

Time Limits
Commentary:

"...timekeepers and their stopwatches"? How does one respond to such absurdity? A proceeding takes as long as it takes to be "thorough" and "comprehensive". "Fair" and "just" in the eyes of the University. What's remarkable in all this is the willingness of the members of a Faculty Senate committee to violate rule after rule, especially when the sole charge of that committee is to uphold and defend those rules.

Exhibit 204 - May 6, 2015 - Hearings

Report of the Hearing Panel

Exhibit 205 - May 6, 2015 - Hearings

Memo Accompanying Report of the Hearing Panel

Exhibit 206 - May 8, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Penalty Hearing
Commentary:

I don't know what to say. The rules say the hearing on the penalties has to occur within 14 days, and by denying the charges I obviously denied the penalties.

- Strike ten.

Exhibit 207 - May 9, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

More Objections
Commentary:

Because the Dean represented the Chancellor, he had access to all of the information in the rules that the "complainant shall not receive".

- Strike eleven.

Exhibit 208 - May 20, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Penalty Hearing
Commentary:

There is no such rule.

- Strike twelve.

Exhibit 209 - May 28, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Off-Contract
Commentary:

Wrong rule. And more time limits that don't exist in the rules. And just because the chancellor has "agreed to compensate" participants for working while off-contract (an admission that he can't compel anyone to do so), I don't have to agree to it, and didn't. I was actually sent a request to sign my acceptance of the stipend after the hearing I did not even attend, which I of course declined. Presumably another attempt to entrap me.

- Strike thirteen. And fourteen. And fifteen.

Exhibit 210 - Jun 3, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Objections
Commentary:

A summary of all of the "strikes" against the University.

Exhibit 211 - Jun 5, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Open Records Request
Commentary:

Suddenly the rules regarding timeliness matter! Have a look at the panel's June 11 report and you'll see "It was noted that outside of the charge against Dr. Henige, only one other UWW VI Hearing was concluded within a five year window and that the complaint leading to the charge was not for a similar act." Now how is it they know this but somehow couldn't convey that information to me in time for the hearing?

Exhibit 212 - Jun 9, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Penalty Hearing Notice
Commentary:

More time limits. I didn't bother to attend because they had no right to hold such a hearing while I was not under contract, or if they believe they did, no right to compel me to conduct university business by defending myself while not under contract. My attendance would do nothing more than sanctify their holding the untimely meeting.

Exhibit 213 - Jun 9, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Memo Accompanying Penalty Hearing Notice

Exhibit 214 - Jun 9, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

University's Case
Commentary:

Notification. See next entry for their statement and my annotations as response.

Exhibit 215 - Jun 9, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Response to University's Case

Exhibit 216 - Jun 11, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Report of the Hearing Panel

Exhibit 217 - Jun 12, 2015 - Penalty Hearing

Memo Accompanying Report of the Hearing Panel

Exhibit 222 - Jun 12, 2015 - Review

Annotated Chapter VI Rules
Commentary:

This summarizes all of the violations of the rules as annotations to the rules themselves. Can there be any question, any question at all, that the proceedings described in all of the documentation presented here constitute a "Kangaroo Court" of the worst kind?

Exhibit 254 - Jun 29, 2015 - Final Charge

Final Charge
Commentary:

It must be noted here that the timing of the suspension is "at the start of the spring 2016 semester", which was January 19. Later Chancellor Kopper would change it without my consent to "December 23, 2015 and concluding on January 18, 2016". See next entry.

Exhibit 255 - Dec 8, 2015 - Final Charge

Final Charge Modified
Commentary:

Chancellor Kopper, at the 11th hour, changed the dates for the suspension, presumably in order to make room for the next one she anticipated, despite my "presumption of innocence". It caused me to cancel hip replacement surgery, as I had no indication that I would not have to return to work on January 19.

- Contents

Background
2001-2012

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
Exhibits relevant to the Hearings