Making the rounds on the TC listserv today, an email from Professor Madonna Constantine. In the email, Constantine maintains her innocence and calls the actions of the administration “premature, vindictive, and mean-spirited.” She also indicates that she believes her race played a role in the investigation: “I am left to wonder whether a White faculty member would have been treated in such a publicly disrespectful and disparaging manner,” she said.
Constantine also criticizes TC for offering those who work speak against her “indemnification.” According to the professor, the investigation is nothing more than a “witch-hunt” and TC attempted to blackmail her into resigning. “There have been attempts by the Teachers College administration to intimidate and blackmail me into leaving the College by insisting that I sign a false statement related to the aforementioned investigation,” she said.
Full email after the jump.
Dear Teachers College Community:
I am outraged by the President’s memo that summarized the outcomes of a “neutral” investigation that I used the work of others without appropriate attribution. The premature, vindictive, and mean-spirited action taken by the administration to release a statement to the faculty regarding the results of this biased and flawed investigation reflects not only a profound lack of sensitivity and due process, but it also may have sufficiently “poisoned the well” for any fair and objective review of the matter. These actions are historically unprecedented at Teachers College. I am left to wonder whether a White faculty member would have been treated in such a publicly disrespectful and disparaging manner.
The evidence that I have presented establishing my innocence has been ignored, even when independent third parties have corroborated it. Evidence showing my accusers to have lied also has been ignored. The biased manner in which the investigation was conducted indicates it was designed to reach a foregone conclusion. My accusers who themselves were exposed to accusations of plagiarism of my work were given “indemnification” by Teachers College, to “cooperate” in the investigation. This is tantamount to giving transactional immunity. People willing to stand for the truth of what they are saying do not require indemnification. Furthermore, an investigation in which indemnification is granted to one party and not the other is certainly not neutral. From my perspective, the investigation and the entire process surrounding its outcome are reflective of the structural racism that pervades this institution.
Evidence regarding my case will be presented to the Faculty Advisory Committee at Teachers College as soon as my attorneys and I can coordinate my appeal. It is my opinion that this investigation, along with other incidents that have happened to me at Teachers College in recent months, point to a conspiracy and witch-hunt by certain current and former members of the Teachers College community. I believe that nothing that has happened to me this year is coincidental, particularly when I reflect upon the hate crime I experienced last semester involving a noose on my office door. As one of only two tenured Black women full professors at Teachers College, it pains me to conclude that I have been specifically and systematically targeted.
There have been attempts by the Teachers College administration to intimidate and blackmail me into leaving the College by insisting that I sign a false statement related to the aforementioned investigation. I refused to sign it! I would never admit to doing something that I did not do. My due process has been violated repeatedly by the administration of Teachers College. In light of the hateful events to which I have been subjected this year, I am saddened by the hypocrisy of an institution that purports to stand for social justice and equity.
Professor Madonna G. Constantine