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    College housing executive director made sexist, racially insensitive comments, staffers say

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    Redman ✓ Decentralization ✓ Staffers ✓ Administrative ✓ Representative ✓ Department


    • ” In October 2014, a group of College house deans met for one of their periodic meetings with Redman, the executive director of CHAS, where he briefed them on why resident advisors had seen their work-study grants unexpectedly cut by Student Financial Services.
    • The spokeswoman explained in a statement, believe the highly responsive lot of these issues, which touch on the specific details of multiple individual employment situations, it will not be possible for Vice Provost Winkelstein or Marty Redman to comment for the article, either in person or in writing.
    • Smith, who had gont in CHAS since its inception, said in an email to Vice President for Human Resources Jack Heuer that she was informed of her termination in a meeting called “under the guise of hearing about a promotion for my assistant.

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    Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site. auditorium housing executive director filled sexist, racially obtuse comments, staffers say Since Redman arrived at Penn in January 2011, at least seven former or current CHAS staffers have spoken to Penns Division of Human Resources about Redmans behavior. Credit: Athena Panton For various staffers in College Houses & educational Services, it was the latest in the long line of sexist and culturally insensitive comments from their boss, Martin Redman: the so-called “ Africa comment. ” In October 2014, a group of College house deans met for one of their periodic meetings with Redman, the executive director of CHAS, where he briefed them on why resident advisors had seen their work-study grants unexpectedly cut by Student Financial Services. The RAs were not actually supposed to have gotten work-study jobs, but some of them had mistakenly gone against protocol, including one particular RA who had apparently been sending the work-study money home to his family. Attendees expected Redman to give the student, who is black, a break for the honest mistake, and some spoke up in his favor. What Redman said next floored those in attendance. “Well, I’m not in the dealings of sending money back home to Africa. Too ugly for him,” Redman reportedly spoken in an balance confirmed with seven employees who either attended the meeting or heard about his comments shortly after. assistant had occasionally delivered money home to their families, staffers later explained, but the manner in which Redman stated his thought was racially insensitive, they said. Off-color remarks like these occur to be a staple of Redman’s tenure at CHAS and far from irregular. In interviews with nearly two dozen former and current house deans, faculty fellows and CHAS staff members, The Daily Pennsylvanian uncovered a pattern of continued disregard for his staff’s discomfort with Redman’s language. “ He keep to always blurt out the worst potential suit you could ever imagine someone saying ,” said a faculty fellow who has worked with Redman. alarmed by reaction they discerned as offensive, at slightest seven old or current CHAS staffers, involving four house deans, say they have spoken to Penn ’s group of Human Resources about Redman. Some have admitted their example to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of negative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs. Beyond a weeklong leadership training, none of them said Redman was disciplined in any way. The portrait they and their colleagues describe is of an administrative unit central to the student experience that is beset with frustration over a leader many regard as sexist at worst and woefully insensitive at best. Since Redman disembarked at Penn in January 2011, eight house head have either left their positions to pursue opportunities outside of Penn or in another University department. It is not clean that all exodus were related to Redman and at least one likely was not: Ryan Keytack gone his post as Rodin dormitory House dean in February two thousand and fifteen after earning a promotion to director of four-year houses and residential programs within CHAS. One former CHAS employee, John Merz, took his concerns directly to Redman’s boss, Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein, in an April email he sent days before quitting. “ Another thing I have is with Marty Redman,” he wrote. “ He is abrasive, condesending [sic] and outright impolite to most of the folks he interacts with in CHAS. He, for a paucity of a better term, is a workplace bully. ” In one evident instance, Redman reportedly filled a remark about Penn President Amy Gutmann’s Jewish religion that staffers found inappropriate, three sources familiar with the comment said. A spokeswoman for Gutmann did not return a request for comment. “ Marty is one of the most un-self-aware folks I’ve ever worked for,” said a old house dean who, like many others interviewed for this article, asked not to be named to avoid retaliation from Redman. “ Just totally clueless — the worst superintendent I’ve ever had. ” Through a spokeswoman for the Office of the Provost, of which CHAS is a subsidiary department, Redman and Winkelstein dwindled to comment for this article. The spokeswoman explained in a statement, believe the highly responsive lot of these issues, which touch on the specific details of multiple individual employment situations, it will not be possible for Vice Provost Winkelstein or Marty Redman to comment for the article, either in person or in writing. ” A latest hiree Months before any staffer had pronounced a individual complaint about him, Martin W. Redman III was just a name on one of many applications for the position of executive director of CHAS. The stance was a latest one, determined in the fall of 2010. CHAS originally formed in 1998 as a way to standardize the College house system at Penn and had been run since April 2002 under the leadership of a faculty director and administrative director. “ I was often frustrated in the early days of when I was dean and when I was chair of the math department, if you wanted to do something with the College houses, you had to do it 11 times,” said Dennis DeTurck, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the faculty director of CHAS. Since at minimal 2006, CHAS has toppled under the purview of the Vice Provost for Education, who oversees the vast, interconnected film of undergraduate and graduate schools, research hubs and student services. When the Office of the Provost decided in favor of adding an executive director, the Vice Provost for Education at the time, biology professor Andy Binns, tasked his subordinate, Executive Director of Education and Academic Planning Rob Nelson, with leading the search. The search ended up being narrower than expected, said two members of the search committee who asked for anonymity to speak frankly to the DP about deliberations that are typically kept confidential. “ We didn’t get a very strong pot of candidates,” one search committee member said. “ Of the folks we interviewed, Marty had the most experience. ” According to the two sources, members of the search process decided to not hire any internal candidates, even though some applied. “ We definitely decided against internal candidates--mainly because the obvious candidates were the House Deans, and relationships among the House Deans (also between House Deans and CHAS) were rather delicate,” said the second source, who asked to be identified as the “student representative” on the committee, in an email. Binns and Nelson did not respond to requests for comment. Redman had been allow go from Dartmouth dormitory a scarce months earlier after his position as dean of residential life there had been eliminated in a string of staffing cuts . He knew Pennsylvania higher education well as an administrator at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. and understood the Ivy League through his years at Dartmouth. In application materials sent to Penn on Sept. 23, 2010, obtained by the DP, Redman described his vision of a diverse, academically focused residential College system for Penn to rival the legendary dormitory systems at Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. “ Throughout my craft I have the cheerful fortune to guide the work of an astounding staff dedicated to helping diverse populations of students achieve their educational and social goals. I am arrogant of what we complete together, ” Redman wrote in his letter of intent. But Redman was not an academic, something that initially worried search committee members who still remembered the academic-first vision of CHAS set forth in 1998 by founder David Brownlee, an art history professor. Redman’s experience dealing with tough unions at Dartmouth worked in his favor among the search committee, the two sources said. CHAS has always had problem determining a standard operating procedure with Facilities and actual Estate Services, the arm of Penn that deals with building maintenance and operation, said the first member of the search committee. At Penn, specific administrative language like CHAS and FRES navigate relatively autonomously. The level of maintenance service FRES can provide the staffers in CHAS and their residents depends on the budget allotted to FRES by Penn Business Services, the purchasing arm of Penn. “ He had some expertise at Dartmouth with dining unions. We said, ‘ We’ll leave the school up to us and let him be the kind of rugged guy,’” the source said. “ He’s got kind of a swagger. He fing not back down. ” As for any original fear about Redman’s salty personality, the source said: “ I did explain somebody before he started, ‘Look out if he ever turns it on us. ’ And that’s exactly what he did. ” A ‘clueless, white boy’ At Penn, Redman burned headlong into the film of traditionalism and decentralization that are staples of the University. As a non-academic working in a department that had previously been dominated by faculty input, he quickly butted heads with staffers, according to multiple source accounts. “ On a drop from appreciative to confrontational, he’s probably senior toward the latter more of the time. And piece of it is a personality thing,” DeTurck said. “ piece of it is he probably endured some of that similar frustration having to explain the same thing [over and over]. ” While staffers all acknowledged the difficulty of navigating the bureaucratic quagmire Redman inherited, nothing excused for them his tendency toward aggressive, troublesome remarks. In an agreement verified by six people who witnessed it, Redman reportedly said in a meeting that a staffer in Fisher Hassenfeld College House who went on maternity leave had decided to become a actual mother. ” “ That was really horrible to all folks who’ve had children and couldn’t afford to take longer maternity leave,” said a former house dean who was at the meeting. At another meeting, he spoken administrator of IT Services Marilyn Spicer had a “ slim figure,” corresponding to four evidence who either witnessed it or heard about it shortly after. At a particular meeting for all CHAS staff, he explained she “knew him better than his own wife did,” three employees said. Spicer did not respond to a request for comment. “ He made women feel uncomfortable,” said a former CHAS staffer who worked with Redman for years. “ If we fing the society we tell the students we want, we have to deliver,” said Jorge Santiago-Aviles, the faculty director of Kings Court English College House, when informed of Redman’s reported comments. “ If not, we save the assistant down. ” DeTurck noted how a efficient nature can exist where staffers are generous to joke with each other and occasionally push the envelope in terms of off-color jokes and innuendo. For such an environment to exist, there needs to be mutual respect and understanding. “ My idea is that that spirit and atmosphere is often stumbling in CHAS,” he said. “ And it follows me unhappy. ” Longtime staffers, who had been at Penn when Brownlee and a cadre of faculty created CHAS, grew frustrated and tense under Redman’s leadership. “ Prior to the equipment of the Executive Director, I reacted that my artistic work, my intelligence, and many contributions to the department were deeply appreciated and respected,” former CHAS Associate Director of Communications Sue Smith wrote in a statement to the DP. “ All of that changed. For me, it relaxed a daily endeavor just to be recognized as a seasoned, credible and yes, bigoted professional. ” Three past house head who registered individual complaints about Redman to HR said separately that the representative they met with excused his actions as those of an “old-school, clueless, white boy. ” “ He’s so sexist,” explained one of the house boss who met with HR. “ He would always have a qualifier when he talked about women. He would always have to explain as if it were some full manifestation that women could be smart. ” Merz, the old CHAS staffer who emailed Winkelstein about his concerns with Redman, had worked at Penn in College House Computing for narrow to a decade before Redman became executive director. Almost immediately after Redman’s arrival, Merz said he felt deeply uncomfortable in his presence. “ I grasp like he was homophobic,” Merz said. “ Everyone check tell I’m gay. Some folks keep hide it really well. I’m not that person. I definitely grasped like there were moment he treated me that way because of this. ” Around nine months after Redman started as executive director, Merz filed complaints about him with the Office of the Ombudsman, a department where staff can confidentially seek conflict resolution advice. In February 2012, Merz shown/showed he spoke to Susan Curran, the manager of individual resources for departments within the Provost’s Office. Curran reportedly applauded Redman’ s administration and suspended Merz’s concerns. He broke seeking out another HR representative, Kathy Swartz, who reportedly told him “ Marty is on our radar. ” Curran and Swartz both did not respond to requests for comment. After two of his assistant cease on the equal day in October 2015, Merz petitioned his immediate supervisor, Marilyn Spicer, and Redman to receive extra pay to compensate for extra work. His conflict, described at diameter in a preliminary DP article where he used the pseudonym “ Lewis,” arisen in a embittered exit from Penn soon after sending that email to Winkelstein in which he called Redman a “bully. ” In an interview last month for the article about College House Computing, Redman responded to Merz’s characterization. “ Sure, if that’s somebody’s opinion, I’m not going to say no,” Redman said. “ I would generally say that’ s not who I am and it presume upon the circumstance. ” An inopportune restructuring In May 2012, Redman invited five CHAS staff members, all of whom were members of an underrepresented minority group, to participate in a special “360 review” administered through HR and managed by an independent consulting group, where their colleagues and family members are interviewed intensively about them. The intrusiveness of the program, which begs input from all directions of the organization about particular employees, sent staffers into a frenzy. After introducing the program in the spring, Redman announced in the fall that he intended to complete the program himself before any of the five staffers did it. During an clumsy appointment where he publicly register the largely negative responses gathered during his three hundred and sixty review, Redman shuttered the program, according to seven employees who attended the meeting. Four of the five people he initially picked for the program have since left Penn. HR engaged house president to speak about Redman after the three hundred and sixty thing and he ultimately followed a weeklong leadership training. His outreach to employees picked up after then, employees said, though for many, Redman had already exhausted their patience. Whatever goodwill held evaporated in April two thousand and fourteen when Redman restructured the office in a move that eliminated the jobs of three longtime staffers in the CHAS central office: Sue Smith, Pamela Robinson and Leslie Delauter, who has since returned to Penn in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The restructuring was a essential able move, employee sources said, to accommodate a change in philosophy at CHAS that divided houses into three types: freshman, four-year and upperclass. To oversee these three types of College houses, Redman introduced three new director positions. Longtime staffers were let go with close to no input from the rest of the office and blindsided with the news. Smith, who had gont in CHAS since its inception, said in an email to Vice President for Human Resources Jack Heuer that she was informed of her termination in a meeting called “under the guise of hearing about a promotion for my assistant. ” Smith sent the email in July, “as part of the grieving process” of leaving Penn, and never received a response from Heuer. notice up for our newsletter Get our newsletter, beloved Penn, carried to your inbox every weekday morning. billboard Up She specifyed her introduction to Penn as a latest staffer in one thousand, nine hundred and eighty-six and described, point by point, the emotion of being let go in such an abrupt way from the place she loved. “This prototype of stealth, ‘surprise’ dismissal has no place at such a large University. It’s not in the Penn spirit,” she wrote. “ Something as simplistic as enduring a Penn sweatshirt seems unworkable now. ” PennConnects Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Disqus Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian. Most register
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