Dr. Maurice Eisenstein
Associate Professor of Political Science
Purdue University Calumet
Dear Dr. Eisenstein:
I received your appeal of the decision of Chancellor Thomas L. Keon set forth in his letter to you and Dr. Miriam Joyce of February 22, 2012.
After careful review of your appeal, as well as Dr. Joyce’s complaint, your response, the report of the University Investigator in this matter, and Chancellor Keon’s letter to you of February 22, 2012, I uphold Chancellor Keon’s decision and the sanction that has been imposed.
In making my decision, I have determined that a preponderance of the evidence presented in this matter supports Dr. Joyce’s allegation that in response to her greeting you responded, “Now I know why your son committed suicide” and that such statement was made in retaliation for Dr. Joyce having filed a complaint against you.
Because the statement does not pertain to a matter of public interest, it is not afforded the protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and is therefore subject to Purdue University’s Anti-Harassment policy. The University’s Anti-Harassment policy and the Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment are designed to further the University’s interest in assuring an educational and employment environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. They are not the procedures of a court of law, nor are they to be interpreted narrowly. Such statement, made on account of the filing of a complaint and which causes or is likely to cause emotional or psychological harm, is not a “petty slight” or “minor annoyance” to which an individual filing a complaint (regardless ofthe merit of the underlying claim) should be subjected to under the University’s policies and procedures. It is an overt act of reprisal.
You are reminded that Purdue University prohibits any overt or covert act of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation, or harassment against any person or group for exercising rights under the Anti-Harassment policy.
Very truly yours,
Alysa Christmas Rollock
Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
C: Chancellor Thomas L. Keon
Dr. Miriam Joyce