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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

From the Denver Post:

Article Published: Sunday, November 21, 2004

Fort Lewis College professor's article stirs racial tension

By Electa Draper
Denver Post Staff Writer

Durango -- A quest by American Indian students at Fort Lewis College to discipline a professor they accuse of subtle racism and unethical behavior has stirred long-simmering racial tensions at the campus.

Andrew Gulliford, head of the school's prestigious Center of Southwest Studies, published an account in a scholarly journal about the rewards and pitfalls of teaching tribal members about their own cultures.

In response, 12 students formed the Student Alliance for Appropriate Representation. They hosted a week of almost nightly forums on the campus marked by angry confrontations. The week ended with the gathering of public testimony Thursday night to submit to federal and state civil rights commissions.

But some college and community members rose to Gulliford's defense. Several said he shouldn't be made the scapegoat for long-running resentments on the campus.

Gulliford has declined requests for interviews but made two public apologies to students for "serious mistakes" with his work, "The Kokopelli Conundrum," published in the October issue of American Studies International.

College administrators will meet on the matter in executive session Dec. 1.

The furor has shaken the college of about 4,400 students, of which almost one-fifth are American Indians from more than 50 different Indian nations. Fort Lewis has an unusual history that strongly shaped its student body. Fort Lewis was a cavalry fort used to quell violence between white settlers and Indian tribes in the Four Corners area of the 1880s.

The fort evolved into an Indian boarding school and later a rural high school. In 1911, Congress gave the campus, a federal reservation, to the state of Colorado in return for the state assuming "a sacred trust." The school was charged with educating American Indians, free of tuition, on equal terms with white students.

"Everyone thinks it's a free ride for us," 22-year-old student Leah Carpenter-Kish said of the tuition waiver. "We hear that all the time. But tribes bring a lot of tribal money to this school."

The Southern Ute Tribe, for example, has made large contributions to the Center of Southwest Studies.

There are sensitivities on both sides, said exercise science assistant professor Jim Cross. He questioned the appropriateness of American Indians burning sage and offering a prayer before a Tuesday night forum in a room packed with Indians and non-Indians.

"The intent of the prayer was not to harm some people. But some people were offended a prayer was said at a public meeting over a public microphone," Cross said.

"It is clear these issues have been festering for a long time," said Jeanne Brako, who works with Gulliford at the center.

Many students and the Faculty Senate have harshly criticized Gulliford for stereotyping American Indians and for callous disregard of his own students' privacy.

He recounted students' stories about sacred rituals, quoted some test answers and even described medical and family histories in the article without the students' knowledge or consent. He used many students' real first names.

"In his article, in his apology, in his history he has shown us he is incapable of understanding our complexity," said Bill Mendoza, a 28-year-old student and Lakota who co-founded the student alliance pushing for Gulliford's ouster.

But Southern Ute tribal member Kenny Frost, who consults on Native American culture with many universities, said he has worked with Gulliford for years and finds his intentions honorable.

"He has been trusted with a lot of native stories by elders to help educate people," Frost told students Thursday. "There's no legal protection for our legends and stories that we tell professors. They have been written about in books for years. If you don't want something known, don't say it. But why are you here? So you can share diverse experiences."

Many believe Gulliford's personal flair and other impressive publications have brought new attention, even luster, to the 40-year-old Center of Southwest Studies.

Paulette Church, who identified herself as just a member of the community, said that Gulliford has been an able ambassador between ethnic communities.

"You can't be in a room with him for five minutes and not know how he values the Native American cultures," Church said.

But Gulliford's detractors are outraged that he generalized about students by calling them "impeccably polite" and "quiet and well-groomed, with sometimes irrepressible laughter." He also wrote that "succeeding in school for these students is not easy."

He wrote about students who missed class because of family healing rituals, which he described.

Jimmie Jefferson, a Southern Ute scholar who attended Fort Lewis, said teachers here are not sensitive to the Indian way.

"Teachers must understand native students if they are to teach them," Jefferson said.

Jan Sallinger, Faculty Senate member and associate professor of political science, told Gulliford: "This offends me to my core. You have harmed all of us as an academic facility. I find it unconscionable that you all people, the head of Southwest Studies, would not be aware of the potential consequences of your words."

Gulliford also wrote in his controversial piece: "I am supposed to be teaching (Native American students), but often they are teaching me, and the lessons I learn are profound."


From the Farmington Daily Times:

Magazine article sparks firestorm

By Valarie Lee/The Daily Times
Nov 22, 2004, 11:34 pm

DURANGO, Colo. — Dozens of Native American students met at a classroom on the Fort Lewis College campus Thursday.

They were there to provide taped testimonies with the intention of showing it to college President Brad Bartel, The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Ballatine Foundation.

The reason for the taping stems from an incident that began months ago.

It began when Professor Andrew Gulliford, director of Center for Southwest Studies, submitted an article to a university publication in Washington that featured Fort Lewis College Native American students.

In the article, which was titled "The Kokopelli Conundrum: Lesson Learned from Teaching Native American Students" appeared in the American Studies International, June/October 2004 double issue. The magazine was published by the George Washington University American Studies Department.

In the article, several Fort Lewis College Native American students were quoted and the article featured many of the comments and stories they shared.

The students said they never gave permission for Gulliford to use their comments — or share the traditional stories they told.

It was only after the article was printed the students became aware of its content.

Matt Nehmer, media relations, said the college was unaware of the article and no longer prints the magazine.

Nehmer read an official statement on behalf of the university.

"The publication ASI (American Studies International) is a very small publication of less than 1,000 and is a two-person operation. ASI, incidentally is the last one George Washington University will be publishing, which was decided well before this (current) issue was published. The ASI will be going to the University of Kansas to another American Studies program."

When asked if the university or department knew of the event surrounding the concerns of Native American students, Nehmer said, "I did talk to the department and they did not publish the submission with the knowledge of any wrong doing," Nehmer.

Repeated calls to Shelly McKenzie, one of the two staff members of the magazine, were not returned.

The incident has caused even the college president to become involved.

Speaking officially on behalf of President Brad Bartel, who is on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday, Dave Eppich said the content in the article caused the college "real concern."

"The president was informed of those concerns and started a procession with the Institutional Review Board," Eppich said.

The board concluded the article "Kokopelli Conundrums" did not fit inside federal policy and fell out of guidelines, which protects students in regards to what they share in the classroom or with a professor.

"It (the article) did not violate any federal policies or regulations concerning human subjects because the article did not meet the criteria under those guidelines. We also had a ruling internally that the student federal privacy act, called FERPA, was not violated," Eppich said.

The president is in the process of calling each student mentioned in the article and is talking, or has talked to them about contents of the article. Some of the students are not at the college anymore and others mentioned in the article are current students, Eppich said.

"The process is still continuing. On Dec. 1, there is a regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting, and when they go into an executive session, Dr. Bartel, the president, will be briefing the board of the process of this incident," Eppich added. "No action by the college has been determined yet, as the process is continuing."

Eppich said Gulliford met with a group of students this week and a formal public apology was issued for the contents of the article.

Gulliford said in a telephone message left at The Daily Times, "This whole episode has been disheartening and depressing. I never wanted to hurt anyone. As difficult as its been, I'm grateful to have received the support of many student and others."

Yet, for some Native American students, Gulliford's apology is not good enough.

"Dr. Gulliford has proven that he grossly misrepresented the Native American people by making generalizations and stereotypes in the article," said Bill Mendoza, a Oglala Sicangu Lakota and senior at Fort Lewis College.

"Native American students here on campus feel violated by the trust they placed in him by sharing with him these stories that were featured in the article," said Mendoza, who added the he had no confidence in the professor for his insensitivity towards the Native American students.

Despite the feelings among some Native American students, Gulliford had his supporters at the meeting on Thursday.

"I see Andrew Gulliford as an ambassador and a bridge builder in our community. You can't be in a room with him without knowing how much he values and respects the Native American culture," said Paula Church, who participated in the video testimonial session.

Two other people testified to Gulliford's character and love of Native American people and culture.

Earlier in the week, the Fort Lewis College Student Senate, Faculty Senate, Institutional Review Board, and the Intercultural Committee met in an informative discussion on the issue.


From the Denver Post:

Clueless, yes; racist, unlikely

By Jim Spencer
Denver Post Columnist

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Andrew Gulliford is not William Shockley.

Unlike Shockley, the infamous professor who claimed genetic differences made blacks intellectually inferior to whites, Gulliford is no racist.

He just plays one in an overwrought drama underway on the Fort Lewis College campus in Durango.

There, some students and faculty have accused Gulliford of racism for calling American Indian students "quiet almost to a fault, slow to speak up, reticent to challenge professors."

Gulliford, the director of Fort Lewis' Center of Southwest Studies, used this description in a recently published essay in American Studies International, an academic journal. Gulliford also wrote that his American Indian students were "impeccably polite" and "well groomed."

"Unlike my white students," he wrote, "my Indian students never interrupt."

How dare he say such things, you ask?

Based on his experience, I guess. Does that mean he thinks those traits apply to every American Indian? Read the essay.

Gulliford called it "a personal reflection" when I talked to him Friday.

That's a good thing. Gulliford's piece, titled "The Kokopelli Conundrum," is to scholarly research what this column is to great literature. As readers often do with this column, folks looking at Gulliford's piece might disagree with his impressions. They might find his observations naive, shallow, stupid or stereotypical.

Some students want Gulliford disciplined. The Fort Lewis faculty has called for an investigation of his article. College administrators are scheduled to meet this week to discuss his case.

"I apologized for any misunderstanding," Gulliford said Friday.

In reference to charges of racism, the professor said, "I'll stand on my writing."

That's a shaky platform. Some of Gulliford's pronouncements about Indians smack of the old cliché once applied to blacks: "They make good singers, dancers and athletes."

The problem with such thinking is that it applies characteristics to an entire race that can only be determined individually. Worse, it implies limits on what members of an ethnic group can or should become.

Gulliford's prejudices -- such as they are -- don't seem intended to limit his students. And I don't think a racist would work at a school that offers tuition-free education to American Indians and where 18 percent of students are Indians.

His book "Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions" is in a second printing.

"I donate royalties to the National Museum of the American Indian," he said.

He spent the current semester working with the museum to set up an exhibit of Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell's jewelry.

Ironically, Gulliford may have erred in being too romantic. The "profound" lessons he learned from students who put tribal tradition ahead of science or history actually grate on the roots of academia. Yet his descriptions are as unctuous as they are paternalistic.

If the issue is racial prejudice -- as most of Gulliford's critics hope to make it -- his worst offense is pomposity.

Gulliford figured he could use first names of students and their stories in his essay without permission. That's a definite no-no. Still, the most outrageous intimate details come without names attached. There is, for instance, the student who argued for sharing sacred tribal knowledge in textbooks.

"My parents didn't teach me anything," Gulliford quoted the unnamed student as saying, "because they were frequently drunk with their car in a ditch."

This revelation does little more than inflame the "firewater" stereotype Indians have battled for decades. In context, though, it's clear Gulliford had no racial malice aforethought. Which leads us to what might be the real "Kokopelli Conundrum":

Its author apparently had no forethought at all.


Gulliford's students

'Kokopelli Conundrum' — Professor violated federal law

Posted: December 10, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

DURANGO, Colo. -- A Fort Lewis College professor who published student comments and essays without permission has been found in violation of a federal law that protects student records, but the college president has not taken disciplinary action.

"If you cannot take disciplinary action on eight federal violations, what can you take action on," asked William Mendoza, Oglala Sicangu co-founder of the Student Alliance for Appropriate Representation at the college.

Fort Lewis College President Brad Bartel told students that Andrew Gulliford, director of the Center of Southwest Studies, violated eight students' rights, protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by publishing their class comments and essays without their permission.

However, Bartel said he is continuing to investigate and declined to carry out the suggestion of students that Gulliford be asked to resign. "Bartel was unable to support us in that request," Mendoza said after the president met with students on Dec. 8.

Although Gulliford offered a public apology, Mendoza said apologies are not an adequate response for a violation of law.

Gulliford's article, "The Kokopelli Conundrum, Lessons learned teaching Native American Students", was published in American Studies International, June/October issue, by the Department of American Studies at George Washington University.

Kaeleen McGuire, junior communications major, said she has mixed reactions to the president's response to students. While feeling encouraged by institutional changes to protect student rights in the future, McGuire questioned the president's sincerity.

"I feel hesitant to believe him," said McGuire, member of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. "On some points, I felt like he was just going through the motions to make things better."

Bartel assured students that his priorities are the protection of student privacy and the reputation of the college.

As for Gulliford publishing Indian students' class comments and essay statements without permission, McGuire said, "He has broken that trust."

While the college president did not immediately take disciplinary action, Indian students did receive support from Fort Lewis College faculty. The college's Intercultural Committee unanimously passed a resolution calling for an investigation, disciplinary action and a retraction.

The resolution said Gulliford showed "a callous disregard" for the privacy rights of American Indians, while promoting stereotypes of American Indians and seizing intellectual property rights without consent.

"It appropriates confidential statements made by Native American students regarding Native American religious belief and practice without the informed consent of those students, which appropriation may have been motivated by a particularly callous disregard of the privacy rights of Native Americans, thereby suggesting that the college condones or permits such disregard of rights," the resolution said.

"It reinforces stereotypes regarding Native Americans, thereby implying that the college condones or permits the stereotyping of minorities by its academic faculty."

Gulliford's article also misrepresents Fort Lewis College's "free tuition" for American Indian students, because it fails to clarify the historical context in which the tuition waiver was accomplished and perpetuates the misconception that American Indians are a minority receiving an undeserved privilege, the resolution said.

The Intercultural Committee is chaired by Elayne S. Walstedter, Navajo professor and librarian, and includes faculty members Mary Jean Moseley, Oklahoma Cherokee; Carey N. Vicenti, Jicarilla Apache and Richard M. Wheelock, Oneida from Wisconsin.

Gulliford's article was embarrassing to students because students can be easily identified by their first names and tribal communities. Gulliford uses real first names with identifying information, including that of a Navajo Yei'bi'chii dancer.

Indian students said the writing is paternalistic, as in this excerpt: "[Name deleted] comes to school tired, with some of his work not done, but I am sympathetic. He is trying to live in two worlds, with two languages and two sets of expectations, and he is succeeding.

Gulliford quoted directly from student essays without their permission and published detailed information regarding the presence of spirits. He concludes, "Some students have extraordinary sensitivities. They can detect the presence of spirits from centuries past."

Gulliford also repeats a private conversation with Eastern Shoshone, while traveling with them in the Northwest, concerning a healing ceremony.

Then, quoting elders, Gulliford wrote, "We have two ears and two eyes and only one mouth because we are supposed to listen and observe before we talk."

Indian students, however, say Gulliford did not heed the voices of elders he published. He did not include the rest of the traditional admonition: Proceed with respect, do not take without permission, never take more than one gives and never exalt oneself over others.

Gulliford declined an interview with Indian Country Today.

While a professor of Southwest studies and history, Gulliford wrote the article about his experiences teaching Native students during his 25-year career. He said the experience was difficult and rewarding. "There are frequently cross-cultural complications and conundrums."

As for the title, "Kokopelli Conundrum," Webster's Dictionary defines conundrum as "a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun and (2) a question or problem having only a conjectural answer; an intricate and difficult problem."

Gulliford said he taught one of the few courses in the nation titled "Tribal Preservation" and many of the museum classes have 75 percent Native student enrollment.

Placed in the category of education, the article describes teaching Indian students at Fort Lewis College, a four-year, public liberal arts college. Describing it as having moderate admission standards, Gulliford says students are attracted to the beauty of the region in southwestern Colorado, home to Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Jicarilla Apache, Hopi, Zuni and the Navajo.

Eighteen percent of the college's 4,400 students are American Indian.

Fort Lewis College is named after the military fort that evolved into an Indian boarding school for Ute and Navajo. It remained as federal land, with rich mineral and water rights, until in 1911 when Congress transferred the land to the state of Colorado with a provision that it remain tuition free for Indian students.


Professor's 'research' rife with stereotypes -- Dec. 12, 2004

By JODI RAVE Lee Enterprises

What was professor Andrew Gulliford thinking?

Had he convinced himself his Native students were truly tacit and would stand for publication of their names, thoughts and ideas without consent?

Gulliford, director of the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., borrowed from their private conversations, final exams and classroom discussions for recent use in an academic journal.

"The stories they tell me, an Anglo professor, and the things they have to say are as powerful as anything one can learn from books," he wrote for the American Studies International.

His students mystified him. "Some students have extraordinary sensitivities. They can detect the presence of spirits from centuries past."

At times they floored him with questions. "Why can't you white people handle Indian sexuality?"

It was a valid question relative to the iconic Kokopelli figure. And it was raised in a classroom setting, but one certainly never intended for international publication. Nor was the private information about a traditional ceremony involving a student's sick mother. And neither were the comments from a student who revealed a life with drunken parents.

He spelled this out, including sacred cultural information, in his essay, "Kokopelli Conundrum: Lessons Learned from Teaching Native American Students."

And that's where Gulliford created his own conundrum.

The essay not only violated student trust, but was peppered with stereotypes. Ironically, he colored students as "quiet almost to a fault, slow to speak up, reticent to challenge professors."

Since the essay's publication, students have turned that supposition on its head.

They met with Fort Lewis College president Brad Bartel on Wednesday, insisting the professor be held accountable for violations of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. They also created the Student Alliance for Appropriate Representation, an organization intended to give a voice to Native students across the country, and a measure to protect their intellectual property rights.

"We're all vulnerable to this kind of exploitation," said Lakota student Bill Mendoza. "Because we're in school does not mean those can be harvested and exploited or molested."

Native professor Carey Vicenti is left to wonder what would happen to a professor if it were white students quoted. He sees a college that seems ready to overlook the infraction.

College administrators have said Gulliford might be protected by freedom of speech. And an internal review board said his essay fell short of meeting academic research standards, thereby offering some reprieve.

"I refuse to accept the argument he's not educated and schooled in the methods of his profession," Mendoza said. "As freshmen, these things are pounded into our head. You have to cite your sources. If you use human subjects, there are specific guidelines."

Gulliford has a doctorate in philosophy.

Excluding tribal colleges, Fort Lewis College has the country's highest percentage of Native students, who make up 18 percent of the student body. And those faculty and students who've stepped forward have now said Gulliford's essay is more than an isolated incident. It's reflective of a campus entrenched in a "pervasive environment of racism," Vicenti said. It falls in place with Durango's "frontier-chic attitude," where Natives make good props but don't receive respect, he said.

And Native students frequently feel the pinch of racism because they attend school free of tuition as part of a 1911 land exchange between Natives and the state.

And then there's professor Gulliford, whose actions provide yet another example of arrogant paternalism, the kind Natives frequently experience when associated with so-called white "Indian experts."

It's part of today's modern racism, "the kind where people might love their Indians but they never conclude these Indians have the same intellectual capacity, the same career potential as themselves," Vicenti said.

Gulliford's future now rests with college president Bartel, who is reviewing the matter. He is expected to release his findings in about two weeks, according to David Eppich, special assistant to the president.

Many on campus are wondering how he will handle it, given the recent forced resignation of a Hispanic faculty member. She kicked a white male student who she said backed his rear end into her face while she was seated at a restaurant. He was "showing off" his Republican-inspired T-shirt that read: "Join us now, or work for us later."

The college agreed the student had a right to free speech.

In that vein, Native students at Fort Lewis need to keep talking.

Gulliford has apologized since the article's publication. "If I mentioned sensitive subjects, I apologize for my ignorance," he said in an interview with Kaeleen McGuire of the online Reznet news site. "I beg forgiveness of anyone I've hurt."

But not all Native students are ready to forgive. "He says he loves Indians," Mendoza said. "That he cares for Indians. But he doesn't understand us. He doesn't know anything about us."


Fort Lewis College professor transferred

Posted: December 17, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

Students say instructor violated rights and remains a liability to college

DURANGO, Colo. -- The president of Fort Lewis College announced the transfer of a professor that violated federal law by publishing American Indian students' comments and essays without their permission.

Fort Lewis College President Brad Bartel said Andrew Gulliford, director of the Center of Southwest Studies since 2000, would step down as the center's director effective April 1, 2005. Gulliford agreed to accept a non-instructional position as a fundraiser for the college.

While Native students were disappointed that Gulliford was not removed from the college, they are celebrating the action as a victory because their voices were heard.

"Gulliford is still a liability," said William Mendoza, Lakota cofounder of Student Alliance for Appropriate Representation.

"He clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding of indigenous complexities. What happens when you magnify that? Now he will represent not just indigenous students, but the college as a whole."

American Indian students say the transfer reflects how difficult it is to remove a professor with tenure.

"I saw it right away as a compromise," Mendoza said.

Mendoza said when he spoke with Gulliford, expressing the wishes of students that he resign, Gulliford admitted he made mistakes, but believed an apology was adequate. Mendoza said Gulliford had no idea of the extent of harm to students.

With nationwide media coverage of the incident and reactions, Mendoza said there is a great deal to be learned. "I think the primary lesson from all of this is that no matter how much a college administration claims to be looking out for student interests, there is an inherent bias within the administration."

Citing the need for nationwide changes, Mendoza said if students were allowed to serve on Institutional Review Boards at colleges, it would serve to protect student rights.

Although no lawsuits have been filed so far, at least two of the Indian students Gulliford quoted in the article are proceeding with complaints to the U.S. Department of Education for violations of the Federal Education and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). One of those, Craig Benally, Navajo, made his name public as his father, Clyde Benally, called for Gulliford's resignation during a series of college forums.

When asked about the transfer, Patrick Kincaid, Cheyenne from Oklahoma, said the subtle racism present is reflective of this society. "I wanted a full resignation, but I understand you have to have compromise."

Still, Kincaid, a senior majoring in Environmental Biology, said Gulliford's transfer is positive. "It is a victory."

More on Gulliford and the "Kokopelli Conundrum"
The Journalistic Conundrum:  Lessons learned from watching experts and the media cover Native Americans

Rob's comment
The notion that Indian students are "quiet almost to a fault, slow to speak up, reticent to challenge professors" is a variation of the wooden- or stoic-Indian stereotype.

Although Gulliford apologized for his remarks, let's delve a little into his situation. He might claim he was just observing his students, factually describing how rarely they spoke in class. Let's assume his observations were accurate—that his Indian students did indeed speak up less often than non-Indians.

Some questions immediately arise. Was this presumed classroom behavior normal or abnormal for these students? Was this behavior particular to this group of students, this subject matter, or this professor?

If it was particular to these students, was it because they all come from one tribe or group of tribes? Because they were taught to respect authority figures? Because they were intimidated by being minorities in a predominantly white school? Or because they thought the professor's comments were obvious, uninteresting, or unworthy of a response?

You see the point? Even if the professor's observations were accurate—a big assumption—his blanket aspersions were stereotypical. As far as we know, he didn't do any kind of study comparing these students to other Indian students or non-Indian students. He didn't assess his own behavior and how it might've contributed to their behavior. He didn't delve into the possibly complex reasons why the students behaved as they did.

By describing all Indian students as being a certain way, Gulliford's writing was stereotypical and arguably racist. By using their names, Gulliford apparently violated the law. Therefore, he probably got what he deserved.

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