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From:DennisMiehls

Subject:(NoSubject)
Date:July19,20168:00:33PMEDT

Marianne,Peggy,andIdene,

Marianne,ItriedtogetameetingwithyoutodaybutwastoldbyMollythatyouwere
unavailable.

Igrowincreasinglyconcernedaboutyourcurrentmanagementofstudentconcernsinour
School.IseethattensionsareescalatingandIkeepwonderingwhyyou,astheadministrative
team,areallowingthestudentbodytoessentiallytakeauthorityoverthedecisionmakingofthe
SchoolIcanonlyimaginethatyouarepermittingthestudentssuchawideberthasitfitswith
youroverallgoalsfortheSchoolwhicharequiteuncleartome.

Iunderstandthatmanystudentsofcolorareexpressingconcernsandoutrageathowthey
perceivetheyhavebeentreatedattheSchoolandinthefieldagencies.Doanyofyou
understandthatstudentnarrativesmaybeexaggeratedatthispointandthatthelackof
directionfromyouisonlyfuelingtheseconcerns?Iamdismayedthatyouareagreeingwiththe
sentimentsofmanystudentsthatsuggestthatoursupervisorsandfacultyfieldadvisorsare
blatantlyracistandantagonistictowardsstudentsofcolor.

Ialsounderstandthatweliveinaracistcountryandthatsomestudentsmayhaveexperienced
someinteractionswithsupervisorsandothersasracist.Itislikelyatruestory.But,itisnotlikely
theonlynarrativethatweshouldbeprivileging.Ialsounderstandthattherecentracialized
eventsinthiscountryaretrulyupsettingforallofus,especiallyforindividualswhoidentifyasa
personofcolor.

Icannotabidethatyoucontinuetoportraythefieldoffice,andespeciallyCarolynduBois,asthe
victimizerintheexchangesthatthestudentsfeeltheyhavebeensubjectedtointheir
experiences.Thenarrativesthatthestudentsarecreating(andthatnooneseemstobe
challenging)areinmanyinstancesnotreflectiveofactualevents.Thestudentsdonotseemto
appreciatethatthechangesintheconsultationprocessandalsothereviewprocesswere
institutedbytheDeansoffice,notthefieldoffice.Studentsneedtoknowthatthesechanges
werenotinitiatedbythefielddepartmentandthisspeakstothecoreoftheissue,inmyopinion.

ThecoreoftheproblemisthattheadmissionsprocessofourSchoolhasbeentaintedfora
numberofyearswehaveadmittedstudentswhodidnothaveareasonablechanceofsuccess
inourprogram.Thisisveryproblematicanditisanissuethatseemstobesomehowdisplaced
ontothefielddepartment.Whyisthat?Whydoyou,asadministrators,continuetooffer
differentialoutcomestostudentsofcolor,inspiteofoverwhelmingdatathatdemonstratesthat
manyofourstudents,includingwhiteidentifiedstudents,cannotofferclientsasocialwork
interventionthatisbaseduponcompetence,skills,andethics.Iamverytroubledthatweare

increasingly,asaSchool,paylittleattentiontothegatekeepingfunctionofourprofession.We
aresupposedtobetrainingstudentstobeclinicianswhoareservingtheneedsofclientsin
contrasttoservingtheirownneeds.

IamappalledathowyouaretreatingCarolynduBoisatthispoint.SheisnotthevillainhereI
amsureyouwilldismissmycommentsasCarolynandIarefriends.Yes,wearecolleagues
andfriendsandyes,IsuggestthatsheisbeingmistreatedinthiscurrentclimateinourSchool.

Whenwewillgobacktoinstitutingourpoliciesandproceduresacrosstheboard?Iamvery
afraidthatyourdecisionsasanadministrativegrouptocreatefurthertensionsinourstudent
bodyyouseemtobecontributingtoawhite/studentofcolordivideonourcampus.Differential
procedures,baseduponrace,isonlygoingtofurtheralienateourstudentsfromtheirpurpose
hereattheSchoolthatis,tobetrainedtoserveoppressedpopulationsinarangeofclinical
settings.

Iaskthatyou,asadministrators,begintotakeyourblindersoffandtoseethatyouarecreating
chaosinourenvironment,allwhileundertheguiseofsayingthatthefieldisthesourceofthe
problems.Perhaps,youshouldlookalittlebitmoreinward.

IimaginethatyouwillrollyoureyeswhenyoureadthisemailasIhaveexperiencedin
meetingsthissortofdisrespectanddevaluingofcolleaguesneedstostopsothatwecan
somehowsalvagethemissionofourSchooltotrainexcellentclinicians,groundedintheory
andanantiracismmission.

Withrespectand(some)outrage,
Dennis

DennisMiehls,Ph.D.,LICSW
ProfessorandChairoftheHumanBehaviorintheSocialEnvironmentSequence
Editor,SmithCollegeStudiesinSocialWork