Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dr. Destler's reply re: inquiry on process for decision on Bell dorm

Responses to inquiry to RIT President, Dr. Destler, ask his involvement with the decision making re: Bell dorm in accordance with the process he explained would take in his Ask Dr. Destler website

Reprinted here with permission

The report and Dr. Hurwitz's recommendations were reviewed by me and also sent to the Trustees for their comment prior to his communication to the community. Both the Trustees and I felt that the process used was a good one and that Dr. Hurwitz's recommendations were reasonable given the report of the committee.

Bill Destler

Additional email sent from Dr. Destler after I sent him an email of thanks for the reply above and for the permission to post

On 5/21/08 9:36 PM, "Bill Destler" wrote:


You are welcome, and you might also put up the following comment from me.

The Trustees, Dr. Hurwitz, and myself feel very strongly about the importance and value of NTID and the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to RIT, and as a result we want to support that community in whatever way we can. From our perspective, the current issue has arisen because that community is not of one voice on the issue of the renaming of AG Bell Hall. Unfortunately, this is a binary issue, with a decision to do nothing appearing to support one side, and a decision to remove the name appearing to support the other. Even worse, there is no obvious middle ground available to serve as the basis for a compromise.

As we know from the report, the issue of whether the dorm should be renamed was discussed at length by the committee, but the final vote on that issue was fairly evenly divided between the groups on each side of the issue, with a majority (57%) voting for removal of the name. In contrast, the recommendation to remove the plaque in the building was a consensus recommendation of the committee, and we consequently implemented that recommendation immediately.

I am pleased that Dr. Hurwitz has called the community together to discuss these issues openly, and I hope that all who participate in the meeting will do so with respect for those with opinions that might be different from their own. My greatest fear is that in dealing with this emotional issue we might do damage to the existing culture of tolerance within RIT's deaf and hard-of-hearing community. We would all be the losers should that happen.

Bill Destler

No comments:

About Orange Brown Coalition

Mission: To share with the RIT community about Deaf Culture (language, history, humor, etc.) and related activities.

To facilitate relationships between Deaf and hearing members of the RIT community through awareness of our cultures.

To provide opportunities for self-empowerment and self-advocacy of Deaf people on campus.

[Click Here To View ASL Version]