UniversityCorruption.org         

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

I believe Chancellor Dennis Shields is corrupt and has abused his position of power at UW-Platteville.   I believe he is lacking in character.

 

I believe Chancellor Dennis Shields has seriously mishandled my wife’s grievances and he has denied and ignored multiple requests from my wife for investigations into her allegations of serious violations of policy and law.   He has repeatedly chosen to do the wrong things.  Rather than holding policy violators accountable for their misdeeds he has tried to cover up and blame my wife.   I believe Chancellor Dennis Shields encouraged people to make false charges against my wife.  He acted quickly on their baseless allegations to threaten my wife’s employment three times but ignored Sabina’s requests for investigations.    

I think Chancellor Dennis Shields needs to go; students and employees are not safe while he is in charge.

My wife, Dr. Sabina Burton, helped a student report a sexual harassment complaint in October, 2012.   Her department chair didn’t seem to approve of the fact that Sabina handled the incident properly so he began to retaliate against her.  

I believe Chancellor Shields pressured then-Dean Throop, who pressured Dr. Caywood to keep things “on the departmental level.”  Caywood created and disseminated a new “policy” requiring complaints to come to only him (contrary to University policy). 

HR Director Jeanne Durr told Sabina “you didn’t do anything wrong.”  She also told Sabina that Caywood “could totally ignore everything that you send him from now til you both retire.”  She punctuated this by saying “he can continue to ignore you forever.”  Sabina requested mediation with Caywood but he refused to mediate.   Sabina filed a grievance against Dr. Caywood and it went quite well for her.     Caywood admitted to handling the sexual harassment incident poorly and the grievance committee found big problems with the way things were handled by people I’m not married to.  We hoped and expected that Chancellor Shields would resolve the issue but we were disappointed.

Chancellor Dennis Shields missed his deadline for delivering a decision on a grievance committee’s findings.  Policy afforded him 30 days to deliver a decision but he let the deadline come and go without action.   We were on pins and needles waiting for him to do something to resolve the very hostile working conditions but he just ignored the grievance committee’s findings and left my wife hanging.   My wife asked the Regents to review the matter, in accordance with policy, but they told her that the matter was still being handled on the university level even though Shields had missed his deadline to act.  

 

Chancellor Dennis Shields didn’t seem to like the Grievance Committee findings, which was favorable for Sabina, so he ordered the grievance committee to re-do their findings without good reason.    The grievance committee delivered their second findings three months after the grievance hearing without ever talking to my wife again.   The new findings were messed up.   The Chancellor delivered a decision that was also messed up.  He publicly blamed my wife equally with the department chair but didn’t say what he thought she did wrong.   Shields’ findings didn’t address, comment on or resolve my wife’s grievance demands.   The facts that had come out in the hearing were ignored in the second findings and in the Chancellor’s decision.  

 

Caywood claimed he was “removed” from the chair position but Dean Throop insists that he “stepped down.”   He must have done something the administration wanted to reward because he was given chair salary even though he was not acting as the department chair.  I guess the administration felt they couldn’t afford to leave Caywood in place as chair for fear he would make things worse and that keeping him happy was more valuable than using student tuition money for students.  I think this was misappropriation of funds. Chancellor Dennis Shields publicly applauded then-Dean Throop for her decision to violate policy by removing Dr. Caywood and replacing him with Dr. Mike Dalecki as interim chair.   By her own admission, then-Dean Throop should have called for an election.  My wife was eligible to be chair but Throop disqualified her because Sabina hadn’t been able to handle Caywood’s retaliation on the departmental level.   It is difficult, maybe impossible, to handle a supervisor’s retaliation without elevating the matter to a higher level but that is what Throop required of Sabina.   I think, if they had held the election, Sabina would have won and she would have been easily able to handle Caywood’s retaliation because she would have been his boss.   She would have pulled the department together and she would have made the CJ department something to be proud of.  I believe she could have worked with Caywood and he would have been pleasantly surprised how good a chair she would have been.   I believe that there would now be a thriving Cyber-Security program at UW-Platteville and students would be learning very important skills relevant to the age in which we live.  However, Chancellor Shields decided to vilify Sabina instead of resolving the issue and that made a mess of things.  

Maybe Chancellor Shields’ decisions were influenced by other pressures Sabina and I had no knowledge of at the time:   Aric Dutelle was accused of soliciting bribes; Dr. Caywood committed fraud and told then-dean Throop that he “knows how to get around the law” (according to court records).    A petition was circulated asking Chancellor Shields to “Make UW:Platteville a less “Rape Prone” Campus” (archived);  Dr. Reza Rezazadeh B.S.M.E., LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D., S.J.D. published a letter to Ray Cross (archived) complaining that Chancellor Shields and his VC, Robert Cramer, abused their power and violated his due process rights.   Maybe Shields thought Sabina had been involved in some of these things but she didn’t have any knowledge of them until years later. 

 

Sabina complained about the unfair manner in which the chair position change was handled but Chancellor Dennis Shields responded that he had decided “not to weigh in.”   That seemed to be a darned poor leadership decision to me.   Shields decided that he just wouldn’t even comment on this very serious matter.     Even after a grievance committee determined that then-Dean Throop had violated policy and law nothing was done to correct the situation.  

Chancellor Dennis Shields seemed to think that the problem would just go away.  He seemed to think the problem was Sabina.  He seemed to expect that Sabina would get a job elsewhere and just leave.   He didn’t seem to realize that Sabina is quite stubborn (she is from Bavaria and they are known to be stubborn).  I’m pretty stubborn too.   We could not, in good conscience, move away without trying to make the school safe for students.  Our daughter goes to school there.  Sabina never sent one resume looking for employment elsewhere.  We decided to stay, partly because Shields and his minions wanted us to leave.  We also wanted to stay because this is our home.  Our two wonderful daughters are here.  They have friends here.  Our eldest attends college at UW-Platteville and she has been on the Dean’s list or the Chancellor’s list every year so far.  2016-17 is her senior year.  Our youngest daughter attends UW-Whitewater.   Why should we leave?  Other people violated policy and law, not Sabina.  They should leave, not us.   Chancellor Shields should leave.   Sabina should stay.  She loves the school and the students.  She wants the best for the city and people of Platteville and the university.  We want the students to be safe.   Students can’t be safe in a school where advocates of student rights are targeted for constructive termination, harassed, suspended and investigated for dismissal on bogus charges.  We want to bring about change to the culture of corruption that exists at UW-Platteville. People who violate policy and law need to be punished instead of rewarded.  Most employees seems to know that the administration is corrupt but they seem to all be afraid of the chainsaw administration that chops down anyone who stands against corruption.

Dr. Dalecki  abused Sabina.  Sabina filed an official grievance against him to address some of the issues.  A grievance hearing was promised but was never scheduled.  Sabina asked Chancellor Shields for help to stop the abuse but he refused to help and added to the abuse.

Dean Throop issued a letter of direction (LOD) against my wife that was based on lies.  Sabina requested a grievance hearing to address the false allegations in the LOD.    Throop wrote a ridiculous letter explaining why Sabina’s due process rights should be violated.  A hearing was promised but was never scheduled despite Sabina’s repeated requests for an expedited hearing. 

Seemingly illegitimate “policy” found its way onto the university website where it seemed to be part of the employee handbook but it doesn’t show up in a search of the official employee handbook.  I think someone just put their own made up “policy” online without getting the proper approvals.    Chancellor Shields’ agents seem to have misinterpreted the illegitimate policy to falsely authorize the grievance committee to write their own illegitimate “Grievance Hearing Procedures,” which do not conform to Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, to deny my wife’s requests for a hearing with vague, confusing and illegitimate reason for violating her due process rights.   

The new “Grievance Hearing Procedures” were presented to the Faculty Senate as an “informational item” which did not require the Faculty Senate to even read the new “procedures.”   Chuck Cornett told the Faculty Senate that the Grievance Committee has “the governance to set their policy and procedure as a committee.”   I believe he was wrong.    I think Chuck Cornett was lied to and he didn’t verify the truthfulness of his statement; he just took it at face value and presented it to the Faculty Senate as fact.  The Faculty Senate accepted his statement as fact and did nothing to ensure proper procedures were followed in creation of the new “Grievance Hearing Procedures.”. 

The Faculty Senate did not discuss, evaluate, comment on or vote on the new “Grievance Hearing Procedures.”  Dr. Balachandran created the “Grievance Hearing Procedures” with help from Attorney Thomas Stafford.   My wife questioned the validity of the new “Grievance Hearing Procedures” but her questions were never answered, probably because she was right to question the validity of the document.  It seems that my wife’s inquiries into the legitimacy of the new “Grievance Hearing Procedures” caused Dr. Balachandran to stay home from work (probably from stress of knowing Sabina saw through his lies).    The new bogus “Grievance Hearing Procedures” were used to delay and deny Sabina’s requested grievance hearings.   Chancellor Shields was made aware of this issue but he did not correct it or comment on it.  The faculty Senate was made aware of the issue and did not address it.    I think Chancellor Shields is responsible for the creation of fake policy that was presented as valid and used to deny my wife’s due process rights.    

 

In sworn testimony then-Dean Throop stated that Deb Rice falsely accused my wife of cancelling a class and that Rice later confirmed the report.  Deb Rice, also in sworn testimony, denied making this report.   Dean Throop accused Sabina of cancelling class and promised discipline for it but Sabina hadn’t cancelled the class. Instead of apologizing for the false accusation then-Dean Throop filed a UWS Ch 6 complaint against Sabina two weeks later, on bogus charges.   Chancellor Shields immediately initiated a rushed investigation into then-Dean Throop’s bogus allegations against Sabina.  He sat on the investigation report for a year, holding it over Sabina’s head like a sword of Damocles.  I think he was waiting for the right opportunity to bring it down and fire her.    The university failed to provide Sabina with a copy of the report and even refused to deliver it to her when she requested it.  She finally was given the report after asking the Assistant AG to intervene.  The report was full of errors and heavily slanted against Sabina.      

I believe Chancellor Shields was thinking:  he could use these documents to fire Sabina; his plan was to file formal charges against Sabina without giving her the investigation report; if Sabina failed to request a hearing within 20 days (as would be her right) he would use the documents to quietly get her terminated; if, however, Sabina did request a hearing within 20 days he would pull a few more strings.  I think he had planned to get Sabina fired by arranging for Sabina to be ushered into the hearing room alone without representation; they wouldn’t allow me to attend; they would give her about five minutes to present her case before the hand-picked hearing committee; they would give two hours to the prosecutor, with Sabina out of the room, to persuade the committee that She is a rogue menace to the school by presenting the biased investigation report that Sabina had never seen.    But it didn’t come to that, probably because Sabina complained.   Chancellor Shields, after sitting on the hidden investigation report for a year, dismissed the complaint saying that it had merit but did not say what part of it had merit.  Sabina asked him what merit the bogus charges had but he never responded.  They were bogus charges without merit.  I think Chancellor Shields was trying to provoke Sabina into yelling and screaming at someone or punching someone so he could use that to fire her.  Sabina didn’t fall for it.  She kept a cool and level head through this whole ordeal and I am so proud of her for that.

 

My wife filed a lawsuit against the UW System and named Dr. Caywood and Dr. Throop as defendants.   She probably would have named Chancellor Shields as a defendant but our attorney at the time, Mary Kennelley advised her against it.  We are extremely disappointed in Attorney Kennelley and strongly recommend against anyone hiring her as a representative in a case against the UW System.  On a scale of one to five stars I give her minus three stars.   I’d recommend getting an attorney from outside Wisconsin if you plan to file suit against the UW System.  

Chancellor Dennis Shields promoted then-Dean Throop to Interim Provost.   I think he did this so she would be more marketable to allow her to get a job elsewhere and it worked.  She accepted a new position at Frostburg State University in Maryland in Dec 2016.  I feel sorry for the faculty and students of Frostburg State.  I think the Board of Regents were getting tired of the problems Throop created that kept coming up to them and that they told her that she needed to find employment elsewhere ASAP.   She probably blamed Sabina for everything.  

 

I believe Chancellor Shields rewarded Deb Rice for filing false claims against my wife.  Shields quickly ordered investigations into Deb Rice’s bogus allegations against my wife but ignored and/or denied my wife’s requests for investigations into Rice’s misdeeds.   He pretended he didn’t understand what Sabina wanted.  

After filing a complaint against Sabina Deb Rice was given the first two weeks of the semester off for no apparent reason.  The records custodian could not find any record of her request for time off or any signed approval form.   I think she was given time off as reward for filing her bogus complaint against my wife.

A grievant is due a hearing within 20 days but my wife was denied hearings for illegitimate reasons.   My wife’s requests to address some serious issues were delayed indefinitely and/or denied.   Chancellor Shields is ultimately responsible for these violations of due process in my opinion.

My wife’s accurate, truthful and documented allegations of serious legal and policy infractions were used as reason to discipline her.   She was wrongly presumed to be incorrect without investigation into her accurate and truthful claims. 

 

Chancellor Shields ordered two investigations against my wife on trumped up charges.   The results of the investigations were withheld from my wife in violation of law.  Chancellor Dennis Shields’ investigations were shams.   I believe he ordered the sham investigations to build a false case against my wife and fire her on false and hidden charges and to harass her, to provoke her and to discredit her.  My wife’s requests to be given the investigation reports were denied for invalid reasons.  State statutes that require the university to give her the requested documents within 7 days were misinterpreted, probably purposely, and used as reason to deny her requests.  The very statutes that guarantee she be given the documents were used as reason to keep the documents from her.   If she had not fought for the reports my wife would have never been given them and she would not have even known of the false and hidden charges against her.   I believe Chancellor Dennis Shields was trying to railroad my wife.   I believe he wanted to fire her and he didn’t care how it got done.  He doesn’t seem to care much about truth or following policy and law but he holds Sabina strictly to every little rule and promises excessive punishment for any perceived infraction.    

 

In one of the investigations Dale Burke, of the Riseling Group, reported that the HR director Crowley confirmed that my wife had filed four grievances against Deb Rice but Sabina had filed only one grievance against Deb Rice.  This is one of many errors in the investigator’s report.   Every error slants the report against Sabina and there are a lot of errors.  I believe Investigator Dale Burke purposely slanted the report against Sabina, probably by request of Chancellor Shields.  I’m guessing that Shields promised Burke that Sabina would never see the report and that he paid extra for Burke’s to bias the report against Sabina.    I question Dale Burke’s ethics.

My wife’s personnel records are a mess.  There are missing rebuttals and missing letter of congratulations.  There are many pages in the record that shouldn’t be.  Sabina’s personnel record is maintained by HR Director Crowley and I question her ethics.  Sabina filed a complaint against Attorney Jennifer Sloan Lattis for unethical behavior.  The investigator requested Sabina’s personnel file but it appears that he has still not been given the requested records.   I believe Chancellor Shields is ultimately responsible for allowing and encouraging this cover-up record keeping.   

My wife requested that Dr. Caywood, whom she was suing in federal court, be removed from the Departmental Review Board evaluating her due to the obvious conflict of interest.   Her request was ignored.   Her evaluation scores were altered.    Her records were tampered with.   Chancellor Shields ignored her complaints about the matter.  

Chancellor Dennis Shields dropped the first complaint against my wife saying that the charges had merit but didn’t say what merit they had.  I think he dropped the complaint because the charges had no merit and he could no longer ignore the matter.  Why would he drop charges against Sabina if the charges had merit?      I believe he has been trying to get Sabina fired for four years so he wouldn’t.

Chancellor Dennis Shields dropped the second bogus complaint against my wife (by Deb Rice) saying that it was all just a misunderstanding.   He dropped my wife’s valid and serious complaints against Deb Rice at the same time for the same vague and improper reason.  My wife’s complaints were valid while Deb Rice’s complaints against Sabina were baseless.

 

Chancellor Dennis Shields has a sort of policy that employees should talk in person rather than by email.  It is a policy that is enforced behind closed doors.  Chancellor Dennis Shields believes that “emailing is problematic especially in handling conflict and dispute.”  When a victim sends an email about abuse it can upset people; can cause people to support her; can communicate the need for the administration to deal with an abusive supervisor; can expose corruption.   It seems that Chancellor Shields, to avoid these things, demands that faculty members never communicate abuse by their supervisor via email.  He demands that victims of abusive supervisors settle their dispute by taking their dispute directly to their supervisor; to the person who abuses her; to the person who is physically stronger; to the person who is in a position of power over her; to the person who lied to her and about her and defamed her and spread false rumors about her; to a person who may be verbally abusive; to the person who enforces a gag-order against her; to the person who refuses to talk to her; to the person who refused mediation.   I believe Chancellor Shields wants to limit email communication to limit evidence of corruption and to allow corrupt people to threaten targeted employees, like my wife, without leaving an email evidence trail.  I believe he wants victims to believe their only recourse is to negotiate with their abuser because this keeps the matter on the lowest level possible; it keeps these issues out of his office; it allows him to base advancement on loyalty rather than merit; it helps identify targets.    

Chancellor Dennis Shields “forgets” to put dates on documents that he should have issued sooner.   I think he does this so he can later claim that the document was issued at an earlier date.    I call this “flex dating.”   I think one reason Shields doesn’t like people to use email is because it puts a time-stamp on every communication.    I think another reason Chancellor Shields prefers paper letters is because they are more difficult for me to store digitally but I just scan his letters and date them myself.   I send myself an email with the scanned document attached to get a time stamp.   Chancellor Shields’ office has played other paperwork games with Sabina.    When Sabina applied for tenure the CRST committee’s recommendation was “Took No Action.”   No reason was given for the inaction on Sabina’s tenure request.  Sabine fought hard to get the administration to process her tenure application and they finally relented and gave her tenure.  If she had not fought for her tenure she would have been fired long ago.    I believe Chancellor Shields was directly responsible for the CRST’s failure to process Sabina’s tenure request.  I believe the inaction was a deliberate attempt to deny her tenure without the liability of denying it.  They would claim that it was just an “administrative oversight,” an “office error” and “simply a glitch in process” and they would not be held liable.   

 

Chancellor Shields suspended Sabina and ordered a third investigation into more bogus allegations against her in Jan 2017.  He initiated dismissal proceedings against my wife for defending herself against bogus complaints and false allegations but he has not disciplined Dr. Mike Dalecki for threatening a graduate student.   He did not discipline Deb Rice but instead rewarded her.  Sabina has been banned from even going on campus, where our daughter attends school.   She is not a threat to anyone except perhaps corrupt administrators.  I believe Chancellor Shields is corrupt. 

 

Chancellor Dennis Shields has been trying to find employment at another university.  I think he is doing so because of the mess he has created at UW Platteville.  He was named as a finalist at Wright State University for their President position.   I hope he leaves Platteville soon.  I would rather see him get fired and humiliated rather than sluffed off on another unsuspecting university.    If he goes I say good riddance.   I would feel very bad though for any other university that gets stuck with him.  

 

For more information and documented evidence please read through my website at UniversityCorruption.com.