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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Did Moral Bankruptcy Finally Catch Up to Carol Garrison In Her Role as President of UAB

Carol Garrison

What prompted Carol Garrison to abruptly announce her resignation as president of UAB on the second day of fall classes? That seems to be the No. 1 mystery in Birmingham at the moment.

One theory has it that Garrison did not get along with Robert Witt, who was named chancellor of the University of Alabama System back in March. That might be a key component to it, but I suspect there is more to the story. Higher-ed elites often extend courtesies to each other--and one of those is an opportunity for a graceful departure. That either was not offered to Garrison, or she was in such a snit that she chose not to accept it.

Either way, she leaves in embarrassing fashion. Richard Marchase already has been named interim president, and my sources say Garrison was officially out the door and nowhere to be found by Monday of this week, just two working days after her announcement. Departures in higher ed don't come much more graceless than that.

I don't know the full story behind Garrison's hasty exit--yet. But I do know that UAB was experiencing a severe case of ethical rot on her watch. And I'm guessing that Garrison's failure to handle simple matters of right and wrong contributed to her downfall.

Two documents from my own unlawful termination speak volumes about Garrison's lack of integrity and courage.

The first is my written statement to a UAB employee committee that was chosen to hear a grievance regarding my termination. (You can view the document at the end of this post.) I submitted the written statement prior to a hearing, which lasted roughly four hours. It included oral statements from, and numerous questions to, both me and my supervisor, Pam Powell. Three other individuals--associate vice president Dale Turnbough, departmental HR officer Janice Ward, and IT analyst Sean Maher--testified at the hearing.

Probably the key issue in my written statement, and in the hearing itself, can be found near the bottom of page 3 and the top of page 4, under the heading "Insubordination." Here is what I wrote before the hearing ever took place:

I can only assume that this charge (insubordination) is based on the accusation that I have worked on my blog using UAB resources. A simple check of UAB IT records would show the facts: I've never touched the first keystroke on my blog using UAB resources. How do I know? I cannot access my blog without getting into a certain password-protected e-mail account. Without getting into that account, neither I nor anyone else can do a thing to my blog. And I have never opened that e-mail account at work. Dale Turnbough's letter of termination doesn't even allege that I've blogged at work.

What happened at the hearing? Sean Maher stated that he had been asked to monitor my computer usage for roughly a month, and he confirmed exactly what I had said--that I had never typed the first keystroke on my blog while on university time or equipment. How could I be insubordinate about something I wasn't doing in the first place?

The second document is Garrison's letter upholding my termination. You heard that right . . . the central charge against me was that I was blogging at work, UAB's own expert testified that I was not blogging at work, but I still was terminated. How can that happen? It's easy in GarrisonWorld.

A day or two after the grievance hearing, HR director Cheryl E.H. Locke summoned me to a meeting in which she said the committee had found I should not have been terminated. Under UAB policy, the HR director can accept or reject a committee's finding, and Locke said I could only return to work under three conditions: (1) I had to accept two written warnings in my file; (2) I had to accept an unspecified position in an unspecified department other than the one in which I had been working; (3) I had to quit blogging.

When I confronted Locke in writing about provision No. 3, she said it meant that I no longer could blog at work. I reminded her that the committee had found, and evidence had shown, that I never was blogging at work. Cheryl Locke was lying on this point; she told me, in the presence of two other HR types, that I would have to quit blogging in order to return to work. That is overwhelming evidence that the real reason I was fired rests with the content of this blog.

I refused to accept Locke's conditions, mainly because of the provision about two written warnings. Under university policy, an employee who gets three written warnings is automatically fired. I knew this provision was a thinly disguised attempt to get me back to work, sign away my rights on the discrimination I already had suffered, and then fire me all over again. To her credit, Locke did not deny it when I said that's what it looked like to me.

Interestingly, Locke said the two written warnings were the committee's idea. But only one issue was presented to the committee: Was my termination proper or not? And the committee found it was not. Nothing else was on the table, and nothing in university policy says a committee can impose or recommend alternative discipline.

Again, I suspect Cheryl Locke was lying; the two written warnings almost certainly were her idea--probably at Carol Garrison's insistence. When I asked to see a copy of the committee's report, Locke refused to allow it. In fact, I still haven't seen it--and I suspect that's because the committee found my firing was an utter sham, probably the worst abuse of an employee in UAB history.

Once I refused Locke's conditions, she went against her own committee and upheld my termination. That left only one option for me, within the boundaries of UAB--and that was an appeal to Garrison.

This was in summer 2008, and I held the president in high regard at that time. I genuinely thought she would do the right thing. Shows you how naive I was. Garrison summarily dismissed my appeal, and you can view her letter to me below.

Upon reading this letter, I knew the whole charade had come down on Garrison's orders, probably at the insistence of someone outside of UAB, with ties to legal and political conservatives. Not only did the president reveal herself to be ethically challenged, she also proved to be a coward.

I responded to her letter with the following e-mail, raising pointed questions about the process I had been through. Did she have the spine to address my concerns? Did she show that she cared at all about the abusive treatment of an employee on her watch? No, she didn't.

Maybe that kind of arrogance and cowardice finally caught up with her and led to her disgraceful exit from UAB. Here is the e-mail that Carol Garrison conveniently ignored:

From: Roger Shuler  
Date: Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 1:10 PM 
Subject: UAB termination letter 
To: cgarrison@uab.edu 
Dr. Garrison: 
I am in receipt of your letter dated August 19, 2008, in which you inform me that you are upholding my termination. I would like to ask several questions: 
* You state that you have reviewed the recommendations of the Problem Resolution Committee. I request that I be allowed to see the committee's recommendations. I find it curious that you and Cheryl Locke evidently have seen the report, but I have not--even though I am the one who filed the grievance. 
* You state that you reviewed the facts upon which my complaint was based. I assume that means you reviewed the audiotapes of the grievance hearing, the one where my supervisor, Pam Powell, repeatedly answered "no" when asked if she could provide documentation to support my termination. I request that I be allowed to review these tapes. I was present for the entire hearing, and I know that no evidence was presented to support any discipline against me, much less termination. But since you and Ms. Locke evidently have had access to the tapes, it seems only fair that I be allowed to review them also. 
* Were you aware, in your review, that I had filed a grievance against my supervisor roughly two weeks before I was placed on administrative leave and less than a month before I was fired? Are you aware that UAB policy clearly states that an employee is to use the grievance process without fear of penalty or reprisal? I filed a grievance and almost immediately faced rather serious reprisal--I was fired. And even your own grievance committee found that I should not have been fired. Do you or anyone else at UAB pay the slightest bit of attention to the policy that is outlined in the You & UAB Handbook? If so, how do you justify this statement in your letter: "I believe the decision to terminate your employment was correct"? 
In the end, are UAB employees governed by what you and Ms. Locke "believe" or by what is outlined in the official university handbook? 
One final thing: Several weeks ago, in response to citizens who had e-mailed you about my termination, you said that I was fired based "solely on work performance." You made this statement even though your own grievance committee had ruled that I shouldn't have been fired at all. Given this public statement you made some time ago, why should I (or anyone else) believe that you approached your decision in my case with any objectivity? 
I look forward to your reply. 
Thank you, 
Roger Shuler 


Following are my written statement to the grievance committee, and Dr. Garrison's letter stating that she was upholding my termination:

  UAB Grievance
UAB--Garrison Appeal

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

When did this unbelievable level of CORRUPTION begin? Alabama is the south. The American SOUTH is infamous and has been a target because of an incredibly inviting life style, in the make-believe world ...

The Murder of Little Mary Phagan written by Mary Phagan Kean, Publisher: New Horizon Press; 1st edition (September 15, 1989).
Leo Frank and the Murder of Little Mary Phagan : Mary Phagan ...
archive.org/details/TheMurderOfMaryPhaganByLeoFrankIn1913

" . . . The real criminal groups running American politics developed from among the immigrant gangs that settled America’s cities. There were German, Irish, Italian and Jewish gangs. All that survive now are the remnants of the Mafia, the Jewish gangs who now run Washington and Wall Street and the new threats from Kosovo and Albania, the latest round of criminal immigration into America.

With the full cooperation of FBI Director Hoover, tasked with protecting America from criminal organizations, the government stood aside while every aspect of American life, every necessity from water to electricity to medicine, leaving nothing out, came under assault by criminal groups grown fat on profiteering from war, narcotics and, during the Prohibition years, the sale of illegal alcohol.

For decades, America’s media has been tasked with blaming all ills on Italian Americans and corrupt trade unions while America has been little but a colony of key European banking families who created wars, suppressed technologies, manipulated currencies, raised and crushed stock markets and national economies and, in the end, became as a hydra, the multi-headed beast of Greek mythology, ruling all.

. . . While London, from the earliest days of what America had believed to be freedom from British rule, in actuality ran America’s economy, and was, itself, subjected to rule by continental bankers.

Britain, the colonizer of the world was, itself, no more than a client of the Bauer/Rothschild group who underwrote the British pound.

Planned war on Iran and the General who said No!

PRESSTV Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran, a combat infantryman, and Senior Editor at Veterans Today.

Anonymous said...

LS: UAB's grievance process sounds like a con game. A committee of your peers can find in your favor, as happened with you, but then the administration can overrule. This whole process really stinks and is ripe for abuse.

When you asked to see the committee's report, and UAB refused to show it, that's another sign the system was rigged. The higher ups must think you and other regular employees are stupid.

James Greek said...

I think the then-chancellor off the UA system, Mac Potera contributed to your firing in some way. Since he was part f the Bsiness Council of Alabama. I don't think he took too kindly to the truth about The Canarys and a lot of the other conservatives.

legalschnauzer said...

I think you are on target, James.

Anonymous said...

LS, this is a classic example of what can happen when you have no union protection in the workplace. The UAB HR director and president were free to act unilaterally, do as they please, because there is no union to keep them in line.

Their grievance process clearly is a dog and pony show. The top cheese folks can do whatever they please.

Most of the anti-union clowns out there, I would bet, have never been through an experience like yours.

Anonymous said...

Kangaroo.

You experienced the Kangaroo Court just like Gitmo prisoners.

We are the Kangaroo courts and it ought NOT to be this way when supposedly we are the super power in the world.

Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett, now he did what our system is supposed to do for the young Marine who has now got smarts.

Takes what it takes, LS, and you, too, are now "Smart."

That is what America wanted, all of us to get "Smart," and be tethered to the UN our new nanny nazi for another hundred years and counting.

aka

biloxi marx scribd

jeffrey spruill said...

It included oral statements from, and numerous questions to, both me and my supervisor, Pam Powell. Three other individuals--associate vice president Dale Turnbough, departmental HR officer Janice Ward, and IT analyst Sean Maher--testified at the hearing.

*

Bunch of baloney to go through when your fate at UAB was already predetermined!

Anonymous said...

Bunch of baloney, yes jeffrey spruill and the new VP Romney pick, Paul Ryan drove the "Weeny Mobile" as a "real" job.

Baloney from the higher ed weenies to the baloney coming as perhaps a great big weenie government to prove we are hopelessly lost in Kangaroo Courts driven by Weeny Mobile Weenies in almost total control of the universe.

The "Hokey Pokey" is what we get to do, in our Kangaroo Courts.

David said...

Aftet I check my email, Facebook and a few news sites I go to see who the Legal Schnauzer is barking at and sometimes biting someones rear end. When I feel like I have something relavent to say I post a comment. When I hit the button to send a comment, it will not automatically appear. You read it and decide if it will be posted. Given this, why are there comments allowed that have zero to fifth power to do with what you have written on a given day?

Anonymous said...

A myth? There are these rumors about the so-called "lizards" that are alleged to be the predatory among us. How to know them is they look sooooo typical of the person you would automatically "trust," the Carol Garrison and Mr. Rollins' too, both "look the look."

Then the neck. The necks are very strange and rumor about the myth is these "lizards" need large neck in the thyroid to eat the prey.

sorry for the myth rumor, but someone has to say it.

legalschnauzer said...

David:

I moderate comments mainly to keep out spam, profanity, insults, and other forms of inappropriate content. If a comment is within those boundaries, I try to be pretty liberal about the subject matter of comments.

I agree that some comments get way off the subject of my post, but that seems to be pretty common on many Web sites. If you check comments on Daily Kos, for example, many of them don't have a lot to do with the original post.

That being said, I've had a number of readers complain about comments that get way off track, so I'm monitoring that. I don't want to squelch useful feedback, but I also don't want certain comments to distract from the discussion at hand.

I welcome comments from readers on this issue. It might be that I need to be more strict about keeping comments more closely connected to the subject of a particular day's post.

My general rule has been: If a comment has something to do with justice issues, I usually let it go. But I might need to tighten that a bit.

jeffrey spruill said...

zero to fifth power to do with what you have written on a given day?

David-- Are you complaining on what I said in my comment?

If so David--I KNOW what it feels like to be unconstitutionally railroaded all the way to the Supreme Court spending 4 wasted years of my life in the federal clink just to show where Congress was abusing legislative history!

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-5739.ZO.html#FN4

jeffrey spruill said...

zero to fifth power to do with what you have written on a given day?

Little arrogant MF!!!!

jeffrey spruill said...

When I feel like I have something relavent to say I post a comment.

*

I really have nothing relevant to say David. That's why I breathlessly wait for your comments.

jeffrey spruill said...

David:

How do YOU like this idea? Maybe LS should only post yours & the uppity/presumptuous complainers comments.

I'm sure they will be as sterile & flaccid as Rush Limbaugh's.....

jeffrey spruill said...

When I hit the button to send a comment, it will not automatically appear. You read it and decide if it will be posted.

David--Are the pompous,uppity complainers still complaining?

You little......

jeffrey spruill said...

Aftet I check my email, Facebook and a few news sites I go to see who the Legal Schnauzer is barking at and sometimes biting someones rear end.

David--YOU really are a pompous ahole!

Anonymous said...

David you are actually a Goliath in the world of TROLLS, you hit your dumb button and up comes your head.

Next, you hit your dumber button and up pops a smattering of what was once a mind.

Then, finally, you hit your dumbest button and yes, you get to post the same ole TROLL STORY:

DO NOT EDUCATE YOUR PEOPLE, LS, because then the dumb, dumber and dumbest get to FINALLY smarten up and not elect any more GOLIATH TROLLS to USA government NOR the Witt Families - Half, Dim and Nit, clearly, look at our choices for the past 100 years.

Go back to your black hole troll.

Bill said...

Hmm, quite an elaborate and well drawn out process for mostly insubordination in regards to blogging at work. I suppose the context of the blogs is relevant in this matter, but still, this grievance is over the top.

jeffrey spruill said...

I've had a number of readers complain about comments that get way off track


Do you think these readers ACTUALLY KNOW what it feels like to spend years ducking & dodging the "Bush Crime Family" from downloading smut on one's computer--circa Oct.19,2007--to sending in Erik Prince's hit squad--July16,2009?

http://s3.amazonaws.com/thenation/pdf/JohnDoe2Declaration.pdf

David said...

I have question who the ____ is jeffery spruill? What did I do to him to recieve such venomous rants about my comment about other comment that are totally unrelateed to what LS has written on a given day. Iwas maily refering to "anonymous" commenters.

BTW, "zero to the fifth power" is an old math joke. It is not mathmatically possible.