To: JHRaichyk, PhD

Subject: Win-win-win solution

08/17/2005 06:39 PM

Thanks for the note. I am referring this matter to the University Legal Counsel.

Chin Kuo


From: J.H.Raichyk, PhD

To: Dr. Chin Y. Kuo
Provost, CSU

Recently I've been engaged in a project that impacts CSU, namely the gender discrimination case filed by Dr. Batya Weinbaum because of her treatment by the CSU English Department. My role is to evaluate the loss she's been subjected to and since I don't view calculations as mere numbers but as representations of realities, the results are somewhat awful in the sense that they measure injury. The emotional aspect is definitely at work when I see how determined she is to have a fair remedy, regardless of the length of time it may take. Considering the fact that the University originally sided with Dr. Weinbaum in the early disputes says to me that this will eventually end badly for the University though the real source of the problem is one of the academic department heads, not the University. A sense of rightness makes such an outcome seem unfortunate though fair to the aggrieved party.

What is wrong is that the students and other members of your administration are not served. Yet as I was completing the first phase of my role, it occurred to me that there was indeed a solution that would be a win-win-win.

Suppose the University were to create a new department, rather on the model of some schools that have added areas for subjects like Women's Studies, or Pop Culture. Namely Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature, or more appropriately, Speculative Literature. And make Dr Weinbaum head of the department, though at her original status and rank. She would be out of the hair of the English Dept, so they should have no call to complain. It's my recollection that many of the students were protesting the affair and would be better served if she were still there to continue her work, which would add to CSU's appeal to students. Instead of piling up legal expenses, administrative distraction, and -- because the court system is arranged to reward persistence-- eventually being ordered to pay some substantial amount with no benefit to the education community, in this alternative the University would receive Dr Weinbaum's services in return for her normal payroll and benefits. The only complication I can see would be the re-assignment of any future Sci-Fi/Fantasy faculty to the new department, which would be totally defensible. The bottom line is a win for all involved, each getting the most they could expect and their stated wants.

Surely this is preferable to allowing the usual machinery loose to shred up what's best for each in the affair, instead of choosing a Solomon-esque solution. Don't divide the baby, take a different course. Add a new department with its own scholarly journal, its own student appeal, with no operational overlap with the complaining department; their argument was merely that they couldn't get along. Resources saved in legal expenses should cover any minor adjustments to physical plant for such a neophyte operation. It just makes good sense. Even though Dr Weinbaum has committed substantial resources of her own to securing her rightful benefits and clearing her name, there must be some way to make this right, without causing all to suffer. The AAUW is picking up part of her legal fees, but the remainder of about $20,000, I'd guess, is surely somehow rectifiable since an ultimate court settlement would likely include it as well as the much longer trail of expenses by that point. Comparatively, it's a bargain to settle early, for all concerned. It would be so much better for everyone not to have gone that route.

Lastly, but most importantly, I am in no way authorized by any of the parties to make this appeal, none of them know of my moment of inspiration since I've completed the analysis phase required for the current initial legal dances and have not discussed this with anyone, til this proposal. I would so like to see this affair and injury made whole, and sense prevail.

Can you not see how much better this could be than where things are going. I look forward to hearing that my services will no longer be needed because the problems have been resolved, to the surprise of all. Kindly put me out of a job.

J. H. Raichyk, PhD.
Decision Analyst
Cincinnati OH