Sunday, February 9, 2020

Former Gallaudet President Jordan's ghost writer revealed for the first time

PRESS RELEASE: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 9:00 pm Eastern Time, including important new material in the Revised Second Addendum

Originally issued: Saturday, August 28, 2010, 1:22 pm ET

Former Gallaudet President Jordan's ghost writer revealed for the first time

David Armstrong has retired from Gallaudet

Long-time Gallaudet staff member David Armstrong has retired from Gallaudet.

This transcript of a radio interview with Armstrong mentions that he retired recently from Gallaudet:

This information has been verified with the administration. Currently, the position of Executive Director of Gallaudet University Press is open and a replacement is not being sought.

Armstrong, as the “Executive Director of the Gallaudet University Press and External Affairs,” had been serving in an expanded capacity, including acting as editor of Sign Language Studies and as Executive Director of Gallaudet University Press, and having a supervisory role over Public Relations department. Armstrong stepped down from his role as editor of Sign Language Studies toward the end of 2009, but was continuing to act until recently as Executive Director of GUPress and Executive Director of External Affairs.

The editorship of Sign Language Studies was then passed to Linguistics professor Ceil Lucas, who is internationally known and respected for her work on the sociolinguistic aspects of ASL and also for working with the Fulbright students at Gallaudet and helping students to obtain Fulbright scholarships, a program with which Gallaudet has recently had great success.

In a Fall 2008 article, which appeared in Sign Language Studies, under David Armstrong’s editorship, author James M. McPherson wrote the following passage:

“Edward soon began lobbying Congress to grant his institution a college charter. He succeeded in 1864, when, even though the Civil War was raging, Congress took time to incorporate the Columbia Institution as a college and to authorize it to grant degrees.” (SLS, Volume 9, Number 1, Fall 2008, page 37.)

The claim that, in 1864, “Congress took time to incorporate the Columbia Institution as a college” is disputed and is probably not accurate. There is no language in the 1864 law mentioning incorporation. The 1864 law law grants the Columbia Institution the authority to confer college degrees, but says nothing about Gallaudet’s corporate status. It is a well-known and accepted fact that Edward Miner Gallaudet lobbied Congress to pass the 1864 law without notifying Amos Kendall or the other members of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution at the time. That being the case, it is very doubtful that the 1864 law would have had any relationship to Columbia’s preexisting 1857 Charter (i.e., very doubtful that the 1864 law would constitute any type of amendment to the 1857 charter, especially since it was not labeled as being an amendment), and it is very doubtful that the 1864 law would have been considered a “second charter.” A federal charter is a legal contract between the federal government and the members of the board of directors of the entity being granted a charter. One bedrock and foundational principle of the law is that parties cannot be made participants of a contract without their knowledge. Therefore, it is more likely than not that the 1864 law was simply a law (i.e., an “act,” as Amos Draper refers to it, by fingerspelling, in the famous 1915 film–The title “The Signing of the Charter of Gallaudet College” was not the original 1915 title of the film of Amos Draper, but was added by a film editor when new copies of the films were made in the early 1930s). Although Edward Miner Gallaudet did refer to the 1864 law once as being “the charter of the college,” he did not do this until Presentation Day, May 10, 1899, which was 35 years after the event and he was probably mistaken in characterizing it that way.

The language of the above quote from McPherson could be taken to imply that Gallaudet has two charters, a claim that has probably never been made before. The appearance of this claim in the Fall 2008 issue of Sign Language Studies would be interpreted by some as indicating a lack of effective oversight of the SLS journal at the time, under Armstrong’s editorship.

A similar lack of effective oversight occurred when the book: A Fair Chance in the Race of Life, which contains articles by McPherson and other authors, was published by GUPress in late 2008. In the editorial comments, which prefaced one of the articles, the book’s editors accuse Edward Miner Gallaudet of acting in an audistic and paternalistic manner in the matter of the hiring of Daniel Chester French to create the famous THG/AC statue. Yet the book’s editors failed to place EMG’s actions in proper historical context, which was that most college and university presidents at the time, all over America, acted in a heavy-handed manner in the exercise of their duties, and in that context, EMG’s actions were typical and common for the time and should not be singled out as being unique or aberrant. Any criticisms of EMG’s actions (which might be valid criticisms) should be applied to the wider group of university and college presidents, and should not be directed at EMG alone or be over-interpreted to entail audistic leanings or tendencies on his part. Especially in this last regard, EMG should be given great benefit of the doubt due to his role in helping to found the college, which has had wonderful effects of empowerment that have now lasted for almost 150 years. As the Executive Director of GUPress, Armstrong should have cautioned the editors of the “Fair Chance” book that the editorial comments they were inserting were biased and constituted conclusions made out of historical context. The publication of the book will have long-lasting effects on the reputation of GUPress.

More recently, under Armstrong’s tenure as Executive Director of External Affairs, former Gallaudet PR Director Mercy Coogan was re-hired on a temporary/contract basis to work again with the PR Department. No announcement was made to the wider Gallaudet community that she was being re-hired, and had an announcement been made, it is very probable that the community would have expressed great misgivings about re-hiring Coogan, even on a temporary basis, due to her performance as head of PR during the time of the 2006 UFG protest when she downplayed concerns about the front end loader/bulldozer being used to remove protesters tents at the Brentwood/MSSD gate.

Currently, the administration is not looking for a replacement for the position of Executive Director of External Affairs, and the PR aspect of that position is now being handled by Donald Beil, President Hurwitz’s chief of staff.

The operation of GUPress is presumably now being handled on a temporary basis by Paul Kelly, until a replacement can be found for the position of Executive Director of GU Press.


Here is the full text of the “Editor’s Introduction” of the article in question that was mentioned in the update below:

QUOTE (p. 33 in the “Fair Chance” book):

Michael J. Olson’s meticulously researched article directly challenges benign interpretations of Edward Miner Gallaudet’s presidency. Drawing heaving from primary sources, Olson looks at a previously unexplored controversy that sparked intense debate among American deaf leaders in the late 19th century and raised troublesome questions about Gallaudet’s commitment to equality for deaf people. Olson depicts Gallaudet as ironfisted and essentially absolute in his decisions. Gallaudet operated under the guise of hosting an open competition to hire a sculptor to create a statue of his father and Alice Cogswell, but, Olson shows, even before receiving proposals from deaf candidates, he had already commissioned the well-known hearing artist, Daniel Chester French, for the job. Olson’s research suggests that audism and paternalism were characteristics of Gallaudet’s first president.


There are multiple problems with this disgraceful “Editor’s Introduction.” First of all, the “introduction” (editorial) seems to constitute an act of paternalism in and of itself, since the goal of the “introduction” seems to be to inculcate a particular point of view to readers of a Deaf audience before they have even started reading the article. The claims of the article should stand or fall on their own merits, without such editorial handholding being prominently highlighted at the beginning of the article. Also, the “introduction” constitutes an insult toward the author of the article, and implies that the author didn’t do a good enough job of writing the article in the first place to communicate his intended points to the reader.

Next, the wording of the “introduction” is highly deceptive, starting out with nebulous weasel words and phrases such as “drawing heavily from primary sources,” “looks at...the controversy,” “raised ... questions,” “Olson depicts,” etc., then gliding and shifting into more definitive conclusions than the author himself provided in the article, stating: “Gallaudet operated under the guise of hosting an open competition to hire a sculptor to create a statue....but he had already commission the well known hearing-artist, Daniel Chester French, for the job.”

Not only is this manipulative writing and improperly propagandistic on the editor’s part, but this is just plain bad editing and bad writing. If this is truly the author’s message, why preempt the author and make the point before the reader has read article? The reader might as well just stop at the end of the “introduction,” swallow hard, and then skip to the next article, being left with the impression that the editor’s characterization of the article was accurate.

In fact, the editor’s characterization of the article is not accurate. Nowhere in the article does the author make the sweeping claim that is made in the “introduction” (i.e., that “Gallaudet operated under the guise of hosting an open competition to hire a sculptor to create a statue....but he had already commission the well known hearing-artist, Daniel Chester French, for the job.”)–Such a sweeping claim is simply not in the article itself. The author, rather, is presenting his interpretation of comments made by EMG in a letter that he wrote to French and in comments that he made in his diary. Specifically, the author writes (on p. 37): “This episode [about two storms blowing over an apple tree]...suggests that President Gallaudet was more closely involved in the selection of French than some of the Deaf leaders thought.” (emphasis added). Later the author refers to: “The apparent conflict in Froehlich’s statements, as well as the seeming decision to select a hearing artist without a formal process...” (emphasis added). The author does not go on to use more definitive language, but presents his thesis as a thesis, needing to be supported by interpreting pieces of evidence. Nowhere does the author make any definitive, sweeping claims, as was made in the “Editor’s Introduction.”

The “editor,” in his “introduction,” is the actual person(s) involved who is acting in an absolutist manner, by not properly taking into the account the historical context (that most college presidents acted heavy-handedly and exerted undue influence during that historical period), and on top of that, by not taking into account Deaf history.

After the Milan Conference of 1880, Deaf education was slowly careening into major crisis mode. One very plausible interpretation of the later decision to change the name of the “National Deaf-Mute College” to “Gallaudet College” would be that a name change would help to prevent the takeover and/or change in the philosophy and mission of the college on the part of Alexander Graham Bell (which Bell could have perhaps done by lobbying Congress, and did later try to do in at least one instance) and firmly cement the college’s link to the establishment of the Hartford school and to the pedagogy and philosophy brought to America by Clerc and used at that school. Erecting a statue of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell would be a major step in the direction of cementing the college’s link, in the public’s mind, with the Hartford school. If the name change was done for that reason and if the statue was erected for partly that reason, then the historical context of the events can accurately be described as a type of political emergency.

In such types of emergency scenarios, people’s actions must be judged carefully in the specific contexts in which they occur. One only need keep in mind that the announcement of a proposal to erect a statue honoring THG was made at the NAD convention in 1883, at the same time Bell was preparing to deliver his infamous “Memoir” speech in New Haven, Connecticut, which he did that November. The paper he presented was titled: “Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race”. Bell had been working on this paper for years by writing letters to superintendents of Deaf schools all over the country, and this fact would have been well known to the people who were involved in deciding to propose the erection of a statue to honor THG.

A more appropriate view of EMG’s actions would be one of him being a strong advocate for the social equality of deaf people and hearing people. EMG even explicitly referenced such concept of equality by stating the following in his 1864 inaugural address: “Dr. [Thomas Hopkins] Gallaudet gave to the world the most convincing proof of his belief that the deaf and dumb could through education be made the social and intellectual equals of those possessed of all their faculties, by taking one of his own pupils as his wife.” Five years later, during the second commencement ceremonies, EMG gave another address, stating: “Deafness, though it be total and congenital, imposes no limits on the intellectual development of its subjects, save in the single direction of the appreciation of acoustic phenomena.”—These are not statements made by a person who thinks Deaf people are inferior. To the contrary.

The editor of the “introduction” to Olson’s article in the Fair Chance in the Race of Life book makes no reference to any of these wider considerations and no reference to the wider historical context. Such type of out-of-context conclusion-making represents the quintessence of absolutism, and thus a more appropriate conclusion, on our part, to make would be that it is instead the editor(s) of the introduction who is acting in a way that is “ironfisted and essentially absolute in his decisions,” and is succumbing to psychological projection in writing the “introduction” in the way that it was written.


Brian H. Greenwald and John Van Cleve were the editors of the book: A Fair Chance in the Race of Life–The Role of Gallaudet University in Deaf History, which was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2008 under David Armstrong’s executive directorship.

Here is the link to the Worldcat listing for the book:

Readers will recall that Brian Greenwald was Chair of the committee that ran the “150 Years on Kendall Green–Celebrating Deaf History and Gallaudet” conference, which was held at the Kellogg Conference Hotel on April 11-13, 2007. The other members of the conference planning committee were: David Armstrong, Senda Benaissa, William Ennis III, Gene Mirus, Joseph Murray, Nicole Sutliffe and John Van Cleve. No disclaimer was made at the conference as to explaining how the decision was made to invite I. King Jordan to be a keynote speaker at the conference. The decision to hold the conference was made in 2006, while Jordan was still President of Gallaudet, and the decision to invite Jordan to be a keynote speaker was, therefore, a decision that was made under his auspices. Such a situation calls for a disclaimer to be made, as is common practice in television and print journalism and in other professions. The “Fair Chance” book is essentially a follow-up to the conference, and the book also contains no disclaimer or explanation. Instead, the book contains propagandistic remarks by Jordan, which amount to rationalizations and dodging responsibility for acknowledging his role and his shortcomings in taking actions that ended up inciting the 2006 protest—a protest that could have been avoided had he acted differently during the term of his presidency.

Readers will recall that I. King Jordan (ostensibly) used the term “absolutists” in his January 22, 2007 commentary that was published in the Washington Post. Whether or not Jordan used a ghost writer on his January 2007 editorial is something that has also not been acknowledged or addressed. The question arises as to whether or not it was David Armstrong who actually wrote the infamous WaPo commentary and had it published under Jordan’s name, thus, continuing the exploitation of deaf people by using them as dupes, as it appears Paul Kelly had being doing vis-a-vis King JordanJordan, our erstwhile hero who was taken from us, by the machinations of the power-elite for their own purposes.

<=== CLICK HERE to return to the Shock Waves press release.

Addendum (Sept. 21, 2022): The 1869 commencement ceremony was actually the second commencement ceremony, not the first, as is widely believed (with even television's Jeopardy question writers perpetrating this false information). Melville Ballard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, the very first earned degree issued by the College, in 1866, and "exercises" were held (in other words, a commencement ceremony) in Chapel Hall during which his degree was granted. The 1869 ceremony was the first commencement ceremony involving more than one graduate, and is important on that basis (and is even currently indexed as the "first" commencement by the GU administration) 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Shock Waves in the North American Deaf Community — Student Protest Leader Carl DuPree Killed by Gallaudet Campus Police, November 9, 1990

Re-Release: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 6:45 pm ET

Original press release: Monday, September 24, 2012, 3:13 pm ET

Shock Waves in the North American Deaf Community — Student Protest Leader Carl DuPree Killed by Gallaudet Campus Police, November 9, 1990

Gallaudet Vice President shifts blame, unjustly making scapegoat out of Deaf professor

(Washington, DC)

Chronology and synopsis of events:

Carl DuPree, an undergraduate student at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, had made several unsuccessful attempts to pass a remedial English course prior to the Spring semester in 1990.

The normal practice at the time was for the English Language Program (ELP) coordinator to be listed as the instructor in the schedule for all English 50 classes, as is what happened in this case.

DuPree signed up for English 50 for the Spring of 1990 under Marcia Bordman (MB), because MB was the coordinator of the English Language Program. MB then assigned DuPree to attend Carl Schroeder’s class.

On April 24, 1990, DuPree was involved as a co-leader of a protest at Gallaudet, protesting the university’s remedial English policy. It was a “Deaf Professors Now” protest. DuPree told the Washington Times that Gallaudet’s English instructors weren’t able to teach them effectively because most of them were hearing instructors who couldn’t sign well. As part of the protest, two or three hundred students boycotted the English Placement Test.

In May, at the end of the Spring semester, Carl Schroeder reported to MB that, technically, DuPree received an “F” grade for the class (to a large extent for missing too many classes and assignments), but that MB needed to bear in mind that DuPree successfully passed all four parts of the English Placement Test, and therefore, according to a statement in the handbook, he should qualify to receive an “A” grade.

Carl Schroeder never discussed the issue of the statement in the handbook with DuPree, but Schroeder told DuPree that technically MB was listed as the instructor of the course and that MB assigned him (DuPree) to the class (Carl Schroeder’s class).

In late May or early June of 1990, when DuPree discovered on his own that (according to the English Language Program student handbook) he qualified to receive an “A” if all four parts of EPT were passed, DuPree approached Carl Schroeder. Schroeder went to look for MB but couldn’t find MB. Nancy Kensicki (NK, the English Department chair) was not there, either. The English Department was almost empty, so Schroeder decided to check with Robert “Skip” Williams, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Carl Schroeder and Williams agreed to change DuPree’s grade to an Incomplete so that the Department could look at the student handbook. When MB discovered that DuPree’s grade was changed to an Incomplete, MB became apoplectic and then decided to change DuPree’s grade back to an “F”.

NK informed Carl Schroeder that MB wanted to fire Schroeder, or have Schroeder be fired, but couldn’t find a way to do it. NK then pushed Carl Schroeder out of the English Language Program and transferred him to the Freshmen/Sophomore Program where he taught college composition for the next two years.

At some point during the summer, after considering the issue of the statement in the handbook, MB reversed the decision and changed DuPree’s grade back to an Incomplete.

In approximately September 1990, DuPree finished writing his essays that Carl Schroeder requested and turned them in to Schroeder. Schroeder gave the essays to MB. MB evaluated the essays and found them unacceptable. MB then changed DuPree’s Incomplete grade back to an “F” (the third time that MB changed his grade).

DuPree complained about the “F” grade and NK attempted to compromise on the issue and keep everything cool by changing his grade to a “D”. This was the fifth time his grade had been changed overall — once by Skip Williams from “F” to Incomplete, three times by MB, and once by NK.

DuPree still insisted that (according to the handbook) he deserved an “A” grade, but that he would accept a “C” grade. He needed a “C” grade in order to receive money from Vocational Rehabilitation.

NK refused to change his “D” grade to a “C”.

DuPree then withdrew from all his classes (in approximately early October 1990.)

Carl Schroeder attempted to discuss the issue with NK, MB, and Diane O’Connor (DO, the EPT coordinator), however each of those three people refused to speak with Schroeder about the matter.

On Friday, November 9, 1990, DuPree met with Carl Schroeder in the morning and Schroeder explained to him that he (Schroeder) had no authority to change the “D” grade to anything else. DuPree then went to NK’s office, only to discover that NK was scheduled to return at 1:00 pm. DuPree then returned to Schroeder’s office and said he would try to catch NK after NK’s class was finished that afternoon.

Before Carl Schroeder left for home at 12 noon, he stopped by the English Department to check his mailbox. Schroeder ran into NK and told NK that DuPree was not satisfied with the “D” grade and that DuPree would come to see NK later that afternoon. NK became furious and declared an intention to alert the campus police about DuPree.

Carl Schroeder then went to pick up his child and his child’s friend from the Day Care Center and they all spent the entire afternoon off campus.

Shortly after 3:00 pm, DuPree went back to the Hall Memorial Building to speak with NK, the department chair (while Carl Schroeder was off campus).

At some point during the meeting, NK called the campus police (DOSS) and two officers appeared in the English Department office. The campus police officers ordered DuPree to leave the campus and they followed DuPree when he left the English Department office.

Previous to the meeting, DuPree had asked his wife to wait with two of their children in the Ely Center and that he would return after his meeting with NK.

The officers continued to follow DuPree as he turned to enter the side entrance of the Ely Center. DuPree signed to them: “leave, leave . . . . I will leave,” indicating that he was complying with the demand that he leave the campus, but the officers did not understand him and they did not understand that he was in the process of leaving by picking up his wife and kids at the Ely Center.

The officers later claimed that DuPree shoved one of them and that they were afraid that he would throw them down the stairs.

Six more campus police arrived, eventually making a total of eight on the scene. Two of them were new officers who did not even have uniforms.

One of the campus police officers put an illegal chokehold on DuPree. There were multiple officers piled on top of DuPree and it was difficult to even see him under the pile of officers.

The chokehold had been outlawed in the District of Columbia since 1984. It rendered people unconscious by cutting off the air supply to their lungs.

Students at the scene saw DuPree signing that he couldn’t breathe and they attempted to communicate that to the officers, but the officers didn’t understand and they continued the chokehold.

A bone was broken in DuPree’s neck and he suffocated to death.

By about 5:30 p.m., Carl Schroeder received a TDD call from his wife, who said that he needed to call the campus police immediately regarding DuPree. Schroeder’s wife told him that DuPree had died, but didn’t explain how he had died.

Schroeder then called the campus police via TDD. They asked if Schroeder could come to Gallaudet to make a statement about DuPree. When he arrived there, Schroeder saw Paul Kelly together with campus police chief Bernard Holt. (Paul Kelly had been Vice President of the Administration & Finance division at Gallaudet for two years, since Gallaudet President I. King Jordan, Kelly’s personal friend, selected him for promotion to the position in 1988.) Both Kelly and Holt asked Carl Schroeder when the last time was that he saw DuPree. Schroeder told them it was about 10:30 that morning. They seemed upset and asked if Schroeder saw him that afternoon.

Schroeder explained that he picked up his child and his child’s friend from the Day Care Center at noon and they were off campus for the rest of the day. Holt asked Schroeder if he knew what happened to DuPree, and Schroeder said that his wife had said on the TDD that DuPree died, but that he didn’t know what caused it. Neither Paul Kelly, nor Bernard Holt told Schroeder what happened to DuPree.

Per Paul Kelly’s and Bernard Holt’s insistence, Carl Schroeder wrote a statement saying that DuPree stopped by his (Schroeder’s) office that morning to talk about his final grade and that the meeting ended with DuPree intending to see NK about the matter. Schroeder learned later, over that weekend, that Holt was involved in wrestling/restraining DuPree and that DuPree had suffocated.

The next day on November 10, 1990, Muriel Strassler (MS), director of Gallaudet PR, told multiple lies to the Washington Post reporter, claiming (as the Post indirectly quoted MS as saying) that the “...incident began Friday afternoon when Dupree and a former teacher got into an argument. The teacher summoned campus security and asked that Dupree be removed...” MS may have been partly motivated by a professional conflict that MS had with Schroeder, because MS disliked American Sign Language.

Carl DuPree and Carl Schroeder never, ever argued with each other. DuPree often stopped by Schroeder’s office to talk, which was sometimes bothersome, but they never argued. DuPree was always respectful toward Schroeder. Schroeder’s impression was that DuPree understood that he registered under MB’s name as the instructor and that he had to deal with the English Department about his grade. Schroeder harbored no hostile feelings toward DuPree. During the upcoming trial, Schroeder was asked if he was ever afraid of DuPree, and Schroeder said no. Schroeder was asked again in other words if he ever felt intimidated by him and Schroeder said no.

The death was ruled a homicide and four DOSS officers were charged by a grand jury in August 1991 with involuntary manslaughter.

The charges against one the four defendants, James R. Rossi, age 35 at the time of the indictment, were dropped in the middle of the three-week-long trial.

The prosecution at the trial never identified a specific DOSS officer as being the officer who placed the chokehold on DuPree.

The prosecution produced students as witnesses who saw the chokehold, but a major error by an interpreter caused one of the students to lose credibility in the jurors’ eyes. That student was referring to one of the DOSS officers by using his nickname, “Spider,” but the interpreter thought the student was referring to an actual spider, and the interpreter caused the student’s testimony to seem nonsensical.

The jury acquitted the remaining three, mainly because the prosecution never identified a specific DOSS officer as being the officer who administered the chokehold. The three were: Bernard A. Holt (age 42 at the time of the indictment, Chief of DOSS); Paul C. Starke (age 30); and Steven L. Young (age 26).

After the trial, Paul Kelly gave Bernard Holt a promotion which included being head of Facilities as well as chief of campus police (DOSS), then later PK fired Holt when Holt refused to sign a memo that contained false statements about why $4 million had not been spent to hire and train new campus police officers.

At some point, Paul Kelly had hired the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey to investigate the whole incident and they wrote a report, but the administration never allowed the report to be released.

In 1992 Paul Kelly decided to make Carl Schroeder a scapegoat in the DuPree matter and get Schroeder fired.

Carl DuPree had an open and shut case against the English Department. The handbook said he deserved an “A” grade because he passed all four parts of the placement test. Carl Schroeder recommended to MB that he be given an “A”, due to the rule in the handbook, even though his coursework was deficient.

At the time DuPree organized this protest in April 1990 he didn’t know about the rule in the handbook. When he found out about it during the summer, he approached Schroeder. Schroeder then approached Skip Williams, the dean, who agreed that the matter needed attention.

Obviously, MB, the head of the English Language Program, was retaliating against DuPree because of his instigation of the protest only a few weeks earlier (which got major coverage in the local press and probably damaged MB’s career) and MB changed his grade back to an “F” — which the rules of the handbook said he didn’t deserve — then MB reversed it back to Incomplete, realizing the error. Then later during the fall, MB deliberately ignored the rule in the handbook and gave him an “F” for the class after he turned in his work to make up the incomplete.

This was a horrible travesty of justice. DuPree did not “stress out the system.” The English Department chair, NK, had already planned to call the campus police three hours before DuPree came to meet NK on November 9, 1990. Obviously, it wasn’t anything he said or did during the meeting which was the actual, or underlying reason for summoning campus police, and then DuPree attempted to tell the campus police that he was indeed leaving the campus, just as they required. He needed to pick up his wife and kids on the way out. But they were unable to understand him and they ended up killing him as a result.

After this, Paul Kelly got involved and decided to put the blame on Schroeder. Carl Schroeder was actually completely blameless and had handled the situation in a very proper manner the whole way through. MB, NK and DO refused to speak with Carl Schroeder about DuPree’s grade.

Paul Kelly then orchestrated a dishonest plan (which almost certainly violated employment law) to get Carl Schroeder fired. That accomplished two goals, because, since Schroeder was a highly effective teacher and strong advocate of ASL and Deaf culture, Paul Kelly would have perceived Schroeder to be a political stumbling block to the continued acquisition of power that he was imposing on Gallaudet.

The plan was so blatantly wrong that even Jordan’s close personal friend, Skip Williams (the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences) refused to go along with it. They had to break the proper hierarchy and get Howard Busby, the Dean of Students, to fire him.

This is just one blatant example of how Paul Kelly was scheming behind the scenes to push through his personal agenda of power grabbing — by his characteristic method of pushing faux decentralization plans,1,2 in combination with orchestrating repeated instances of sham reorganizational plans, which were intended to displace political rivals and others, while soliciting the involvement of neoliberalist pseudo-intellectuals3 and propagandists masquerading as historians4 — all the while co-opting and corrupting Jordan in the process. Hypothetically, if firing Carl Schroeder had actually been the right thing to do, then Jordan could have easily persuaded Skip Williams to fire him, but Williams balked and he refused to order NK to fire Carl Schroeder.

To further compound the injustice, Congress allocated $4 million to hire and train new campus police officers and the Jordan/Kelly administration received the money and then did not use it as Congress intended, thus actually endangering more students’ lives.

The ultimate, underlying cause of Carl DuPree’s death involved internal Gallaudet politics and Paul Kelly’s (successful) attempt to grab power and play power-politics. This underlying managerial ethos (or rather, “anti-ethos”), that was heightened after Paul Kelly’s ascension to the Gallaudet A&F Vice Presidency in 1988, became so pronounced as it grew unchecked from year to year after the Gallaudet campus police killed Carl DuPree that the faculty even gave it a name: “Management By Intimidation,” referring to it by the acronym “M.B.I.”5 The student protesters picked up on the usage of this term, too, by the time of the Unity for Gallaudet protest in 2006, with many of them connecting the dots and realizing that Paul Kelly was functioning to exacerbate and perpetuate the longstanding “plantation mentality” that had existed among members of the board of trustees for decades, or longer.6

Paul Kelly was the person who encouraged his close friend, King Jordan to apply for the presidency in 1988. Jordan mentioned during his resignation speech in 2005 that Kelly helped him before he applied to become president.7

In this respect, Jordan was actually Paul Kelly’s dupe, and this is an extreme example of a hearing person scheming and maneuvering behind the scenes and exploiting Deaf people — actually doing things that cause Deaf people to be killed.

Paul Kelly, presumably, advised Jordan or concurred with Jordan’s choice of Jane Fernandes to be hired as vice president of pre-college programs in 1995. Jane Fernandes (née Kelleher) had been on the Gallaudet campus and associated with Gallaudet since 1987, and had married James Fernandes, who himself had been a friend of both Jordan and Kelly for some years before that. They both, then, worked in Hawaii from 1988 to 1995, where Jane became head administrator of the Hawaii Center for the Deaf. They met Joseph Mesa in Hawaii, who later enrolled in the high school on the Gallaudet campus, then later was admitted to Gallaudet University, where he lived in the dorms and murdered two classmates. (See also THIS ARTICLE.)

Paul Kelly surely knew that Jane Fernandes was Joseph Mesa’s close mentor and protector and that Jane Fernandes surely contributed in Mesa developing aberrant behavior, and surely must have acted, along with Jordan, to cover up the issue.

Rather than doing the right thing, Paul Kelly supported Fernandes’ elevation to the presidency — not only putting a psychologically disturbed pseudo-intellectual into the role of president (for his own political gain), but also causing a backlash which necessitated dozens of students heroically putting their lives at risk, during the Unity for Gallaudet protest in 2006, in order to rectify the situation and cause justice to be done. And then still Kelly fought back as if he were in an actual war, rounding up Physical Plant Department (PPD) personnel and campus police officers (DPS) who threw objects at protesters’ tents and scooped up the tents with a front-end loader/bulldozer (per objective third-party journalists’ reporting) without first looking inside to see if any students were in the tents.

The shock waves that spread all throughout the US and Canadian Deaf Community after the Gallaudet campus police killed protest leader Carl DuPree, and the negative fallout caused, will never be erased or healed as long as Paul Kelly works at Gallaudet.

True healing cannot take place until the source and cause of the disease is isolated and removed.


1. University of Maryland, College Park, Office of Human Relations Programs; and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. (1998). Diversity Blueprint: A Planning Manual for Colleges and Universities. Washington, DC: Association of American College and Universities.

2. Hernandez, Arelis. (2010). A Crack in the Foundation? Diverse Issues in Higher Education (February 4, 2010). Fairfax, VA: Cox, Matthews, and Associates, Inc.

3. Cf. Bauman (1998), p. iii.

4. See:, per the related mention of the article series in the commentary linked by the “propagandists masquerading as historians” hyperlink.

5. Paul Kelly showed consciousness of guilt on the issue by having one of the (faux-)auditors working under him at Gallaudet co-write an article on the topic in the summer of 2006, when, as part of a grotesque display of blatant MBI, he attempted to turn the tables on the faculty (and students) by using the faculty’s own anti-MBI rhetoric as a weapon against them. The article (page 5) also includes a thinly veiled reference to the faculty supposedly being a tyrannical majority (Warigon, 2006, p. 5). In this we see Paul Kelly flying his anti-Academy, anti-intellectual credentials high, as part of the everything-a-mere-shade-of-gray-there-is-no-truth-or-justice-in-the-world-I-just-want-to-get-my-piece-of-the-pie nature of his character and personal philosophy. Later, that same (faux-)auditor violated District of Columbia employment law in 2007 at Gallaudet, when he released an employee’s personnel and medical history records to the public. He was then, as a part of an apparent double cross, fired by Paul Kelly on June 6, 2007 for doing so.

6. In fact, it is possible, or even probable, that the co-founder of Gallaudet, Amos Kendall, used slaves to build the mansion on what later became Gallaudet property, and, though Kendall possibly didn’t own slaves while living there (but possibly did) and presumably did little or no farming on the property, it might be accurate to say in some sense that Gallaudet (the school that later added a collegiate department that later changed its name to Gallaudet) was at one point in time part of, or adjoined to, an actual plantation. Slavery was, in fact, practiced in the District of Columbia up until April 1862, when the boarding school that is part of the first years of the history of Gallaudet University was almost five years old. The author of a scholarly book about Kendall, when contacted, mentioned that wealthy residents of the District of Columbia at the time commonly used slaves, and Kendall, though he grew up in the North, was part of this social milieu.

7. In his retirement speech, given on September 1, 2005, Jordan stated (emphasis in the original): “Paul Kelly helped me before I was president. Paul tutored me on financial issues and budget issues, and without his help and guidance during that application process, I know that I would never have become a finalist for the position. Then after that, during my presidency, he’s been a wonderful friend and supporter. Thank you, Paul Kelly for all you’ve done for me. Thank you.”


Bauman, Humphrey-Dirksen Lippmann. (1998). American Sign Language as a medium for poetry: A comparative poetics of sign, speech and writing in twentieth-century American poetry. PhD dissertation, State University of New York at Binghamton.

Warigon, Slemo D. and Betsy Bowers. (2006). Impact of Management by Intimidation on Human Capital: Is It Destroying Your Organization? College & University Auditor. Vol. 50, No. 2 (Summer 2006), pp. 5-10.


AND (commentaries by Carl Schroeder’s protégé, Jason Tozier):

ASL translation titled: “Carl DuPree and Carl Schroeder: Heroes of Deaf Culture” (translated by Jason Tozier):

AND (People of the Eye):

George Veditz: The Hohenstaufen Era of German Literature

Delivered By G.W. Veditz , at the Presentation Day Exercises of the National Deaf-Mute College , Wednesday, May 7th, 1884. In the period f...

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