Return of Drs. IK Jordan, JK Fernades, and K Kimmel to Campus

The Return of the Drs. IK Jordan, JK Fernandes, and
K Kimmels to Campus

I am posting my thoughts on the return of Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel to teach at Gallaudet NOT because I want to create discord or see a protest emerge. Neither of these outcomes are desirable or effective.

I post because I cherish Gallaudet – she is the birthplace of my Deafhood and my understanding of Civil Rights. Gallaudet’s contributions to Deaf history, ASL development, Deaf education, empowerment, etc. are all very, very important. I do NOT want to see Gallaudet loose her accreditation.

Like the mother in Solomon’s story I would rather give up my own baby and let the woman who falsely claims the child take her as her own rather than see Gallaudet split in two and in doing so be killed. I would do this. I would give Gallaudet up to them if I thought that it would spare Gallaudet’s life. However, given the fact that it is their own poor decision making, incongruent actions and continual misinformation coming from these leaders to the public sphere that is actually contributing to Gallaudet’s possible downfall and loss of accreditation – we MUST take a peaceful and positive stand.

The controversy that has the campus in its clutches is largely caused by the very people who have been claiming they know what is best for the University and they themselves are the best suited to hold leadership positions within the University (dean, provost, president, president emeritus, etc)

Anyone opposing their claim is painted as being a fanatic.

I do not support any form of fanaticism – I do not support any form of oppression or discrimination. I do not want us to become what they falsely accuse us of. I simply want to take a stand for that which is true.

I do not understand why Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel continually choose to harm the Institution they claim to care so much about.

Dr. I. K. Jordan refusing to acknowledge his role in escalating the conflict (quotes in the press about “not Deaf enough,” “many ways of being Deaf,” implying that folks who support Deaf culture do not recognize that, ordering the arrests on black Friday, using inflammatory labels for protestors, holding naming ceremonies in his and his wife’s honor during a time of unrest yet canceling home coming, hailing the lockdown of the campus by protestors as civil disobedience and praise-worthy in 1988 but calling it unlawful, anarchy, and terrorist-like in 2006, refusing to offer a public apology, returning to teach on a campus that under his leadership was nearly destroyed

Dr. J. K. Fernandes continually misrepresenting what the protest was actually about – playing the “not Deaf enough” card when the protestors (Faculty, Students, Staff, Alumni and community members) always asserted it was about the search process and wanting a “GOOD enough” president for their beloved Institution, refusing to step down and resubmit her application to a new impartial search process, showing ignorance of what bilingualism is about and spinning support of ASL to mean a diminishing of English, and returning to teach in a field that she has been actively undermining.

Dr. K. Kimmel
filing a lawsuit against Gallaudet University for the amount of $3,000,000 in compensatory damages and $9,000,000 in punitive damages on the grounds of discrimination based on her hearing loss making her “not Deaf enough.” (see next post where I pick apart the lawsuit in detail). Yet she will be returning to teach on the campus that has caused her such costly emotional distress?

What can we do about the return of Drs. IK Jordan, JK Fernandes, and K Kimmels to Campus:
1. start a petition objecting to their return. One has already begun opposing Dr. Fernandes teaching in the ASL and Deaf Studies dept given her strong anti-Deaf culture and anti-ASL statements in the media.. Send the petition to President President, Dr. Davila, requesting a formal written response to the petition be sent to all the signatories. This may not change anything as they each have tenure but it will at a minimum communicate our concern and desire for the best instructors to be teaching at this cherished University as its academic rigor is being scrutinized and for all time. It also serves as a collective response to be on the record.

2. ask Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel to consider creating a vlog or a public statement to the Deaf community responding to the contradictions listed above. I am very interested in their point of view and having honest and healthy dialogue with them. I really do desire that we can heal and move on. Unfortunately, because we have not been afforded an opportunity to process this whole experience collectively and because misrepresentation and damaging actions keep taking place by the three above – public presentations, quotes in the media and lawsuits – we are continually drawn back into the duty of addressing and opposing audism when it rears its ugly head. I myself offer my forgiveness to them for what they have done and also seek their forgiveness for any harm that I may have caused them. While I forgive and love them I still request that they stop their actions of harming Gallaudet.

3. Do NOT show hostility or aggression towards Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, Dr. Kimmel or any of the individuals who opposed the protest. I am being very serious here. No good comes from hatred. No good comes from evil. Gandhi and MLK, Jr – the best known practitioners of civil disobedience and PEACEFUL resistance – always advocated with love, peace and compassion in their hearts. They were FIRM in their positions and demands but they NEVER did so with hatred and venegence in their hearts. If we become that which we hate, then we give oppression the greatest possible victory over us.

4. If you feel angry and outraged – vent it in safe places that will do no harm to others or yourself. Anger is ok – its natural. We can show we are angry or frustrated or sad to any injustice we encounter but we must show it with love in our hearts.

5. If you believe in prayer – pray. Light a candle, burn some sage, offer up their names at church or in shul when it comes time to pray for those in need of healing. I do believe Jordan, Fernandes, and Kimmel have been hurt tremendously. I do believe the protestors have suffered tremendously also. Post Traumatic Stress weighs heavy on our collective consciousness. Pray for wisdom and justice to manifest itself peacefully.

6. Other ideas????

Other blogs/vlogs on this topic to check out:
Ryan Commerson’s Vlog: Paternalistic Gallaudet Leaders

Patti Durr’s response to Fernandes’ quotes in the Chronicles of Higher Education article

Mishka Zena’s blog on Karen Kimmel’s lawsuit – has pdf of litigation

Robert Johnson’s “Simple Lies and Complex Truths” Abridged version in ASL

Ridor Live – will add URL later right now the internet says Site Temporarily Unavailable

I’m sure there are others blogs/vlogs on this topic that i have missed – pls add good links in comments


Note: I will post a sample petition soon.
Note: one poster made a suggestion that i not entitle this blog posting by referring to the three professors above as the Three Ks as it is a reference to the white supremacist group

thank you for this observation – i have now gone back and amended. I was not thinking in those terms but i did see some blog/vlog titles in Deaf Read suggesting such

that is inappropriate and i do NOT support any analogy to the three as being similar to such a group – i was simply looking for a catching title and that they all have Ks in there names but the way it can get signed – instead of signing 3 ks – KKK instead – i totally object to

thank u for bringing error on my part that to my attention


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joseph Pietro Riolo
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 05:31:33

    I have another suggestion: Stop calling them as “Three K’s” or any variety of it. It only shows the disrespect to their names by linking to the acronym of a well-known hate group in a very subtle way.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

  2. Pamela R. Conley
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 06:16:36


    I feel as strongly as you do!!

    While at the CAID conference last June, I found out about the anticipated return of Fernandes and King to our beloved Gallaudet. I was in the company of senior professors when I found out. I asked them if it would really be possible for King to issue his public apology about the 2006 protests, they shook their heads. Shows how obstinate King is!

    I’ll remember the K’s in my prayers. I’ll also pray for the positive outcomes of this really serious situation.

    As always, thanks for sharing!

    Hugs, Pam

  3. DE
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 07:09:38

    Patti for Gallaudet President!!!!
    Patti for Gallaudet President!!!!

    🙂 Thank you for concisely representing how we feel and what needs to be done. You are the epitome of “cooler heads shall prevail”.

    Another idea- a far-fetched one yeah, but a gag order on the 3 K’s, muffling them up from spinning the media so they’ll finally start a real dialogue with the community. If there’s a way to tie this with their current tenure, do it!

    Where’s the real dialogue? Where’s the healing? It has to start with them meaningfully dialoguing with the community, rather than spinning the media.

    Second, while we know we likely will be unable to “convince” the 3 K’s to see the light of their actions, we can control our reactions to their returned presence on campus.

    How about a support group, a sort of a coalition of “positive healing/change”, etc.? I mean, a regular gathering where people vent- but with a moderator, mediator, whatever on call. Or a think tank – where, instead of a support group or a rap session, ideas are processed and bounced back/forth for a positive change.

    Anything to keep people talking and processing deeper issues bothering us. That’d definitely shift us to more proactive standpoints, yet not compromise our values. Discussion groups (think tanks) do really work wonders.

  4. pdurr
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 07:39:52

    joe thanks for your suggestion and for catching my error – i have changed the title of the posting and added a note at the bottom which im copying and pasting here in case folks dont read the original and corrected posting again
    Note: one poster made a suggestion that i not entitle this blog posting by referring to the three professors above as the Three Ks as it is a reference to the white supremacist group

    thank you for this observation – i have now gone back and amended. I was not thinking in those terms but i did see some blog/vlog titles in Deaf Read suggesting such

    that is inappropriate and i do NOT support any analogy to the three as being similar to such a group – i was simply looking for a catching title and that they all have Ks in there names but the way it can get signed – instead of signing 3 ks – KKK instead – i totally object to

    thank u for bringing error on my part that to my attention

  5. pdurr
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 07:49:43

    pam thank u for ur comment and for prays for all

    DE re: patti for president – me laugh big time

    i would make a very lousy administrator

    re: ur thoughts on a support group / think tank

    i agree whole heartedly – any such group should begin by processing the portest and fall out. That is the first step. A mediator / facilitator is a must to keep folks focused on healing and not backstabbing and blaming.

    moving then onto becoming proactive would be awesome – a coalition is a great vision

    u r right – small groups can change the world – margaret meads’ quote etc



  6. Jean Boutcher
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 08:31:36

    You have said it all! I love that you use Solomon as a comparison. I would like for you to WRITE an open letter to the Deaf community in general and to the Gallaudet community in particular. Remember how Linguist Robert E. Johnson’s open letter, “Unlock the Curriculum,” had rocked the boat not only the Gallaudet community but also teachers in schools for the deaf in the USA.

    A petition shall be in the form of something like “Declaration of Independence” with a long list of “John Hancock” signatures.

    I am looking forward to SIGNING my name on the petition.

    Glory that is Gallaudet!
    Jean Boutcher

  7. Joseph Pietro Riolo
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 09:12:28

    I am very impressed by your sincerity in rectifying the error. I am sure that Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes and Dr. Kimmel would appreciate it although I can’t speak for them.

    I want to apologize to you for using your blog as an example of vilification in one post that I made to the forum GallyNet-L. Your sincerity shamed me for assuming the worst part about you.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

  8. Deep Ears
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 09:32:43

    “Three K’s” is not the same as “KKK”.

    There is nothing wrong with writing “Three K’s”. It’s perfectly acceptable and serves as a way to identify the three professors together.

  9. Jenny
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 10:35:57

    Another form of protest that would be very effective is by not signing up for any of their classes. If their enrollment numbers are low (or nonexistent!), then Gallaudet would need to let them go.

    Also, if anyone takes/is forced to take their class because it’s a graduation requirement or something, very low evaluations, using specific examples of things they actually say and do in their role as instructors, would be very effective as well.

    Combined, these two things would send an unmistakable and powerful message.

  10. pdurr
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 12:29:28


    would u consider writing up an open letter?

    presently im busy with the petition, another post on the lawsuit, grading and family

    if u have time – would love to see it

    if anyone knows Dr. Johnson personally, perhaps he can be solicited to write another piece or Dr. Erting – i am a huge fan of both of their works but i know neither of them personally



  11. pdurr
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 12:37:05

    joe re: ur apology – big thanks

    deep ears re: three Ks is ok – yes, i agree but others have abused it to be KKK in ASL which i totally object to

    jenny re: boycotting their classes – while i know boycotts are very effective forms of civil disobedience – i do not recommend it at this stage because:
    1. it may be perceived as more unrest and social disorder on campus by those crazy anarchist students

    2. the students deserve to take courses and get quality education – if they take a course under any of these professors and feel the content and delivery is bad then they can document it and complain

    3. many professors have low enrollment – often Universities just opt to cancel the class and regulate the faculty to a “desk job” this affords them to earn a handsome salary while doing little or know academic work

    i think communities and the campus having petitions circulating and different organizations sending letters of complaint to the board and president davila may go a long way in documenting our objections and may help to show these professors the value in not misrepresenting Deaf culture, ASL and Deaf studies to the media and academia


    patti durr

  12. Deep Ears
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 13:58:58


    Oh, no. Boycott is very proper and very effective.

    A while ago during the time the Audism Mandates were unveiled, the Buff and Blue did a piece on an audist professor. Students stopped taking his classes and then the university asked him if he would leave. He agreed.

    This particular professor had tenure, and a boycott was able to send him the message that he had to go.

  13. Mark
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 17:31:09

    Jordan is already teaching at Gallaudet for this semester. Get your facts straight. Thanks.

  14. K is K
    Oct 28, 2007 @ 23:01:22

    Jordan do not have my respect anymore since he dared to blot out the reputation of every deaf communitiy with his infamous quote “not deaf enough”. He has the nerve to come back to campus. And the same with Fernandez … please remember that Jordan and Fernandez refuse to heed our demand (not just the students, but also the alumni) that Fernandez is not to be selected. Like I said, they totally lost my respect. The end of the story.

  15. pdurr
    Oct 29, 2007 @ 06:10:27

    re: 12. Mark
    boycott can work but it also can be very disruptive – im worried about accreditation

    what about a sit-in – students in their classes who oppose their teaching attend the classes – but stare straight ahead or turn their backs to the wall for the entire class? they might get low marks for participation but if they do all the other required work their grade wont be adversely affected and they have chosen a civil and peaceful way to resist / protest. classmates may choose to attend and participate in the class – that is fine – to each their own. 1 person can be very powerful – if peaceful

    13. mark – all my sources told me ik jordan would be teaching scuba in the spring – what is he teaching this semester? thanks for the correction

    14. K is K -many people have shared with me their loss of respect, frustration, and deep seated pain re: the choices and actions of IK Jordan and JK Fernandes – this needs to be communicated to them in a dignified and effective manner – pls see the next posting of the petition, copy and paste and then print and get as many folks that u know who r upset by this to sign and send to Dr. Davila and the Board

    “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.” – Tecumseh Shawnee

    let us – the Deaf community bind ourselves together collectively to be a strong bundle so we can not be snapped in two and harmed any further



  16. Mark
    Oct 29, 2007 @ 21:02:46

    He teaches night classes of scuba diving at the Field House’s pool.

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