Partial transcript of meeting between Dalecki and Ron Jacobus around Nov 2014
† Note:† Wisconsin State Statute†††††††††† 968.31† says:
†ď(2)It is not unlawful under ss. 968.28 to 968.37:
††††† (c) For a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication where the person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States or of any state or for the purpose of committing any other injurious act.Ē
Note:† Dr. Dalecki agreed that the transcript seems accurate (Dalecki sworn deposition).†
Background to this meeting:† Deb Rice said in a public place, during a social gathering at which a graduate student was in attendance, that Dr. Burton ďis suffering from a mental disease or words of similar effect and meaning.Ē† She also said that ďDr. Burton had a prejudice against East Germans, or words of similar effect and meaning.Ē† Dr. Dalecki sat at the same table and participated in the conversation.† Dr. Dalecki did not correct Ms. Riceís statements or reprimand her for making those statements in the graduate studentís presence.† At the same social gathering the graduate student heard then-Provost Den Herder say that Dr. Burton was on a sinking ship by herself. (Dkt-52-Declar-Jacobus)
The graduate student later informed Dr. Burton of these statements.
Dr. Burton then filed a proper complaint with Interim HR director Lohmann against Deb Rice for spreading false rumors about her.
Instead of correcting Deb Riceís rumors Interim Chair Dr. Dalecki decided that the real problem in this situation was that the graduate student talked to Dr. Burton.† This seemed to violate his gag-order against Dr. Burton so he called the grad student into his office for a ďmentoring session.Ē
The grad student recorded the meeting and gave the audio recording to Dr. Burton.
(The audio has been shortened by removing all but the underlined text below) (italicized notes are included to give context)
Click this link to begin shortened Audio:† (A28b-Dalecki-GradStudentmeetingNov2014)††
Click this link for the (full audio)
Dalecki:†† What I want wanted to chat with you about was um.† It kinda came to my attention that, that, and this is always difficult to know where oneís loyalties lie and what one should say, um.† That you may have passed on something that Deb Rice said to you to Dr. Burton.†
Dalecki:† and, um, it seems like there are no other alternative pathways by which that information could have been delivered other than, than you and so itís hard not to, uh, make the conclusion that perhaps thatís what happened and, um, itís since resulted in about an hour and a half of my time being spent dealing with the problem that erupted from it as well as future time that might be looking at
Note: Dr. Dalecki never asked the grad student if he was the one who told Dr. Burton.† Dalecki assumed that it was him and continued as though his assumption could not be wrong.
Dalecki:† as well as maybe costing you the trust of somebody who kind of presumed that maybe what she passed on to you wouldnít necessarily move on to anyone else.
Note:† The person whose trust Dalecki is concerned about is Deb Rice, not Dr. Burtonís.† In other words ďthe grad student betrayed Deb Riceís trust because he told Dr. Burton about the false rumors that Rice had been spreading in a public place.Ē
And uh itís always difficult I know, because I can remember very vividly these kinds of things that when youíre starting out graduate school that uh itís not exactly clear, kind of betwixt and between, youíre not really a professional yet but youíre not really an undergraduate anymore.† So, youíre sort of in this nether region where itís not clear what the rules are.
Dalecki:† And thereís a certain amount of anomie that exists and uhm..
I know that Deb is pretty upset (deep sigh) um that she felt like a conversation that had no particular reason to be passed on to anybody would have moved on to the person.
Note:† This is more evidence that Dalecki was concerned about Riceís feelings and not Burtonís.
†And it isnít exactly clear why necessarily that would have happened or what would have been gained by it.†
Note:† Dalecki doesnít seem to believe anything could be gained by stopping Deb Rice from spreading false rumors about Dr. Burton.
Daelcki:† um and now weíre dealing with (sigh) the fallout of that, so, (sigh). um† I want to caution you, that uh, first of all, um to be very very careful what you pass on to other people. uh† Silence is usually golden.† And um Itís hard sometimes to see that thereís much benefit in um, in acting as a conduit for anybody or for anything. Cause in the long run, that stuff, it will come back and will ultimately to haunt you either in terms of people will no longer include you, or, uh, or who knows what
Note:† Dalecki seems to be saying ďif you pass information to the victim of a vicious smear campaign you will be excluded, haunted and there will be other consequences too.Ē
and uh I think that, uh, from what Iíve heard from people that you are astute enough to know that you want to stay away from the politics of the department (unintelligible).
Jacobus:† Oh yea.
Dalecki:†† because frankly I think the politics are a sign of a dysfunctional department not a functional one, but thatís being addressed and Iíve been working on it for a year and a half and weíre not done.
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to think the dysfunction in the department comes from Dr. Burton.† He seems to believe that treating Dr. Burton unfairly and harassing her until she packs her bags and leaves is the way to resolve the dysfunction in the department.† He seems to believe that Deb Rice was doing the department a service by spreading false rumors about Dr. Burton.
Dalecki:† Uh, And politics are primarily a consequence of people who place themselves ahead of the mission of the group.† And when I see people who do that I know what drives their behavior and it means I donít trust them necessarily to put that mission first because I canít tell what theyíre gonna do.†
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to be saying that he doesnít trust Dr. Burton because he knows what drives her behavior.† He seems to believe that she places herself ahead of the mission of the group.† He doesnít seem to trust Dr. Burton to do what is best for the mission of the Criminal Justice department because he doesnít know what she will do next.† Dr. Dalecki doesnít seem to understand that ďJUSTICEĒ is central to the mission of the Criminal Justice program.
And, uh, I would think at this point that you would have seen enough from what has gone on over the last six months to understand that there are deeper issues here than youíre necessarily privy to and
Note:† It seems Dr. Dalecki knew that this conversation is something that needed to be ďhushed up.Ē
Jacobus:† Oh yea.
Dalecki:† that the smartest move is to
Jacobus:† Stay as far away a possible.
Dalecki:† Well, itís , thereís nothing youíre going to do thatís gonna make a difference except that if something explodes in the face youíll get hit by shrapnel
Dalecki:† and the best thing for you to do is stay away from where that happens. And um
Iíve been doing, not necessarily chair stuff, in this department but similar kinds of stuff for a long time and uh, one of the things that you learn in such positions is that everybody else thinks they know what they would do in the position but none of them know everything the chair knows. And if they knew what the chair knew then they would, in some cases, shut the hell up and in other cases theyíd cut the chair a break because they know the chair is taking a hit for everybody.
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to be threatening the grad student that if he does not ďshut the hell upĒ something will explode in his face and heíll get hit by shrapnel.
Jacobus:† No, and I think politics is a perfect way to make a, um, compare the two, because you often see that when somebody is running for something and they havenít been in that seat theyíll kind of say the same thing when they get there and they change their mind when all of a sudden theyíre on an intelligence committee or something and go woa ok, I better not do that. Yea.
Dalecki:† Thatís the case here. †And there are people who have drawn conclusions about things who have no idea what theyíre talking about and frankly theyíre less well thought of in some cases, because, theyíre playing the fool because they assume that what piece of the whole theyíve gotten represents the entire whole and it does not.†
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to be referring to Dr. Burton and call her a ďfoolĒ because she doesnít see the whole picture.††† He seems to believe she has no idea what she is talking about.†††
And ah, you will never know, no one will ever know because some of them are personnel issues that you simply cannot be privy to and I know how that sounds but thatís also the way it is.
Note:† The way it sounds is exactly the way it is:† Cover up.† Harassment.† Retaliation.† Discrimination.
and um one should always take what anyone tells them with a grain of salt because you donít know what self-interest is driving those kinds of things.
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to be saying that Dr. Burton has some hidden ďself-interest.Ē† Her interest has always been to advocate for students rights, to gain fair treatment for herself and to protect future advocates of studentsí rights.†† Her self-interest is evident.† She doesnít want to be fired on trumped up charges.
†and I, ah, would just caution you that you think twice and maybe thrice before you pass information on to anyone uh, that frankly they donít necessarily need to know.† And, uh, in this case it may cost us a significant amount of time and effort that ultimately wonít result in any changes but it will be a huge time suck. and the last thing in the world I want and the last thing anybody needs is for my attention to be distracted by stuff that really doesnít have to happen anyway.†
So, if I were you I might ah, think about going and having a conversation with Deb and see if you canít make amends†
Dalecki:† over that.† And she may just tell you to go to hell I donít know, and say I have nothing to say, I mean you have nothing out of it but um.
Note:†† It is obvious that Dalecki does not care that Dr. Burtonís reputation was damaged by false rumors.† Daleckiís concern seems to be that the student had hurt Deb Riceís feelings by snitching that she was attempting to assassinate Dr. Burtonís character.
This is sort of a mentoring conversation between you and I, um.† No one else is privy to it and itís not a designed to be a horrific kind of thing but rather to be little bit of advice. and† I recall when I was a masterís student like you
Note:†† Wow.†† This is not mentoring.† A mentor is defined as ďA trusted counselor or guide.Ē†† The graduate student did not trust Dr. Dalecki as evidenced by the fact that he recorded the meeting and shared it with Dr. Burton.† This is not mentoring.
Dalecki:†† I made a mistake and rather than cut me off at the legs and let me crawl away bleeding I was given a chance to demonstrate that it was a one-time affair and all of that. And, um, If you find yourself unable to maintain a professional discretion about what people say then itís probably best to remove yourself from the situations where youíve been (unintelligible sounds like ďlearningĒ) because thatís not going to help anybody, and in the end you will get caught in the shrapnel.† Because the explosion that occurred and Iíve been in departments where they do occur and some where they donít occur.† Theyíre never pleasant and never particularly functional.
Note:† This sounds threatening, not mentoring.
†Iíve served in, one two three four, five,† four or five departments in my life.† Two of which have been a blessing and some of which have been less so.† And you can assess sometimes, the degree to which someoneís interests are the mission or their own by the number of times they use the word ďIĒ in their conversations.† And the more they do, the more my experience says, tells me where the personís real loyalty lies. (unintelligible) Thatís just my sense of (unintelligible)† I donít know, you know, whether, ah, that makes any sense to you or not but itís kind of a word of advice that as you get older and you meet more people and you get burned a few times. (unintelligible)
Note:† Count the number of times Dr. Dalecki says ďIĒ or ďmeĒ in this conversation.
Dalecki:† what uh is
Jacobus: Kinda the reality is of those situations
Dalecki:† and it makes the world sound worse than it really is but the reality is there are people out there who like to do stuff for themselves.† that I got defeated on city council by a person whoís sole reason for being on city council was to make sure that city employees had 40 hours a week instead of 37.† And then of course they got back and discovered that he didnít have the money to do it. Wanted to take a shot and and they also had to defend the fact that (unintelligible) 37 hours to the amount of work produced by the city† employees hadnít changed any.† Which tells me they were being overpaid for three hours.† So, but I mean I just kinda laugh at that stuff because in the end the people who made the decision got the government they deserved.†
Dalecki:† And those who voted for me and didnít get meÖ well, Iím sorry.
Jacobus:† Thatís the way it falls sometimes.
Dalecki:† Well, Iím glad to be here I donít know if itís good or bad but the net result is that uh they picked the government they deserve, so.†
So, uh just kind of a word to the wise.† I would uh watch the
Jacobus:† Yea, certainly whatever has been going on here. Uhhm these people I respect them.† Different areas or whatever, I donít really know where the stuff falls out and where the chips end up so, yea. Iíll just try to ah stay out of everybody elseís hair.
Dalecki:† Well, you donít you donít know the whole story
Jacobus:† no, and thatís what Iím saying, yea.
Dalecki:† I suspect youíd be amazed by it all and um all I can do is try to treat people fairly and if they canít deal with that then thatís how it is.† And ah and I think I do try to do that itís up to them whether they will recognize that or not and, ah that doesnít mean everybody is treated the same all the time because a lot of people confuse egalitarianism or equality with everybody is the same thing all the time the same way which is not how it is.
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to be saying that Dr. Burton does not deserve to be treated the same as others.† He seems to be admitting that he treats her disparately from others in the department.† He seems to be saying it is ok for people to spread false rumors about Dr. Burton.
Dalecki:† and it gets spread out when I have the time and ability to do it. Um so.††
Watch, um, when someone says something to you itís generally private information.† Now I know you could say ďwell,you didnít tell me not to say itĒ but then that results in something else which is, which is, ok you know somebody (unintelligible) will never say anything because they canít be trusted to exercise professional discretion in terms of what they heard.†
Note:† This sounds a lot like a secret ďcode of silence.Ē
And sometimes people just rant sometimes people just gotta get something off their chest and once itís done itís done.†
Note:† Dalecki seems to be saying that Deb Riceís false rumors are ok while he is ďcorrectingĒ a student who told the truth to one person.
That doesnít mean it has to be passed on to anybody in particular and end up when you do those sorts of things deciding to cast your lot in with one side or another when in fact (unintelligible) the side you should cast your lot in with is the person who is paying you.
Note: †Wow.† Dr. Dalecki flat out said that loyalty is due only to ďthe person who is paying you.Ē†† He seems to be saying that lying for your boss is ok.† He seems to be saying that any truth that embarrasses your boss is to be kept quiet no matter who is harmed by the cover-up.†† This statement speaks to the culture of UW Plattevilleís administration.
Jacobus:† yea. or just out of the lot altogether
Dalecki:† Yea.† (unintelligible)† Well,
Jacobus:† (laugh) yep so
Dalecki:† so, thatís what I wanted to to, chat with you about. But, When you get a chance I mean she might not want to talk to you I donít know.† Go talk to Deb and see what she has to say about it so,
Note:† Again, Dalecki encourages the student to apologize to the person who spreads false rumors.
Dalecki:†† um so, thatís all I had.
Jacobus:† Ok, yea,† it was actually, I donít want to depart too far off the subject but there was a, I read somewhere about the emails that go from somebody lower to somebody higher and that the lower individual is usually, typically, when they feel unconfident about the position, will use ďIĒ and ďmeĒ more than anything else, to a superior.
Dalecki:† Well, that may be true of emails but Iím talking about in general.
Jacobus:† yea, no, I just thought, that was something I came across probably six months ago.† I thought huh, thatís interesting so to have you bring it up again um gives it another context.
Dalecki:† (unintelligible) The people who I like are the ďweĒ and the ďusĒ people.†† The ďIĒ and ďmeĒ people, in my experience, are, tend to be less uh focused on mission and Iíve had enough experience with people to say thatís the way to bet.† Itís not an absolute, nothingís an absolute. but Thereís another element too, which is (unintelligible) that if everybody felt compelled, say, to write an email to the Provost youíd never get anything done.† Most problems could be solved at the local level all people need to do is simply talk about it and (unintelligible).† Some people have a propensity to do everything by email, which is a huge time suck as well.† The nuances of personal face to face communication are lost.† The ability to ask clarifications are lost.† 99% of problems can be solved quickly and easily simply by people who will trust each other and engage in a collegial relationship with each other.
Note:† This reminds me of a movie scene I saw a long time ago (Trustinme).
†Those who tend not to do that tend to have more difficulties and thatís also something thatís true.† So, being a colleague means focusing on the mission and helping everybody with their job and Iíve been in collegial departments where itís almost a delight to be there, because you know people have your back.† And Iíve been in departments where you didnít turn your back because you didnít know who was going to plunge a knife into it.
Note:† Dr. Dalecki seems to be saying that Dr. Burton has not been ďcollegialĒ because she has not trusted the people who routinely plunge knives into her back.
Jacobus: oh yea.
Dalecki:† and itís much more fun to be in the former than the latter.† And one thing we donít want to do in this department is contribute to any propensity for people to do that. And this departmentís had issues, Iím not here because itís an accident.† The Dean didnít just suddenly say ďoh boy letís change chairs.Ē† Anybody whoíse got enough experience in either politics or academia or anything else knows that those things donít just happen.†
Note:† Dalecki seems to be saying that there is severe dysfunction in the Criminal Justice department.†† He is not wrong.
Jacobus:† yea, I think we know.
Dalecki:† and I didnít go looking for this job she came and asked me.† So, I have theories as to why she might have thought I was suitable for the position.
Note:† What are Dr. Daleckiís theories as to why he was asked to be Interim Chair of the CJ department?† Those theories might shed light on issues.
†Thatís up to her whether it would be consistent with what she really did, I donít know.† But um, be careful in terms of where you affix, um, loyalties.† Itís fine to be loyal, its another thing to be (unintelligible sounds like ďblindlyĒ) loyal.† And um the one thing you donít want to do is end up with difficulties so if I were you I would try to steer a course down the middle as much as you can.† And, uh, thatís the best advice you can probably give anybody.
Jacobus: yea I think so
Dalecki: So, hopefully youíll take that the right way
Note:† The graduate student seems to have chuckled because of the obvious irony in Dr. Daleckiís last statement.
Dalecki:† and uh recognize that maybe you made a mistake, so
Note:† The graduateís response seems to indicate that he did not believe he made a mistake.
Dalecki: You know what we do with mistakes? Ė (Dr. Dalecki points to a sign on his wall that reads, ďMistakes: 1) Own them, 2) Fix them, 3) Learn from themĒ. This was done in a manner that clearly demonstrated he wanted me to recite them out-loud from off the sign.)
Jacobus:† (reading from the aforementioned sign Jacobus recited:) Own em, Fix em, Learn em††††††††††††††††††††††
Dalecki:† Then learn!
End of Audio
Note:† Soon after this meeting the graduate student was fired from his position.
Another version of this audio can be found at:† https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIfsQXNzvKU††† This is a video with the transcript onscreen.