April 21, 2012

NEWS: Carlsen's 2006 Harassment

Portions of this article originally appeared on
The Campus Ledger Online April 21, 2006

Carlsen's unwelcome visits continued into 2006
Female employee says her supervisor knew of Carlsen's visits and still did nothing

by Miguel M. Morales

A new document reveals Teresa Lee, manager, Human Resources, feared the college president, Charles Carlsen, would resume sexually harassing her.

The Ledger obtained a new document describing a visit Carlsen made to Lee's office one month before allegations of unlawful harassment against him became public.

A previous 22-page document described alleged unlawful harassment by the former college president from May to November 2003.

“I am shaking about it”
The new document dated March 14, 2006, states Carlsen came into the Human Resource office where Lee works and sat in her private office until Dorothy Freidrich, then director of Human Resources, interrupted.

"Dorothy came in to say that she had [someone] on the phone and wanted to know if Dr. Carlsen was able to be a part of a conference call," Lee writes in the document. "He made a joke that he didn't like the look in her eye and then said he could.

"He stayed seated in my office after she left ... I thought it odd that he wouldn't just get up and leave."

According to the document, after Carlsen left, Lee spoke to others in her department as she had in 2003.

"I then went out to ask [another emplo
yee] what Carlsen had asked her," she continues. "[The employee] told me that he had asked her about [a Human Resources] issue. She directed him to me as she was now out of the loop.

"I told her, 'Gee, thanks!'"

"I am not sure why he is in my office again. He was in last week as well and I let Dorothy [Friedrich] know. I would think that the man would never set foot in my office again."
Teresa Lee, manager, Human Resources

The employee asked if Carlsen was again in Lee’s office with the door closed.

"I told her that it hadn't stopped Carlsen in the past whether the door was closed or not," Lee writes.

Lee also wrote that she thought this type of behavior from Carlsen ended in 2003 after she confronted him about his unlawful harassment. According to information from a previous document, that was the meeting where Carlsen admitted harassing Lee.

"I am not sure why he is in my office again. He was in last week as well and I let Dorothy know," Lee writes in the new document. "I would think that the man would never set foot in my office again.

"I am a little concerned that he is going to start something again. I haven't been keeping track of his visits but I think I will need to start again ... Now I am shaking abo
ut it."

“Satisfactorily resolved”
April 13, nine days after denying the allegations of unlawful harassment in The Ledger, Carlsen released a statement resolving to take a leave of absence while a third party investigated the allegations. In the statement, Carlsen again denied the allegations.

"I am deeply distressed by reports in our campus newspaper about a personnel issue brought to my attention two and one-half years ago that I was assured had been adequately addressed and satisfactorily resolved at that time," his statement read.

The meeting Carlsen referred to took place Nov. 14, 2003.

The meeting involved Susan Lindahl, vice president of College Relations and Strategic Initiatives; Friedrich, then director of Human Resources, now vice president; Lee; and Carlsen.

Lee's calendar shows a 10 a.m. meeting with Carlsen that day, which corroborates the date in her narrative.

Lee's narrative describes Carlsen as "uncomfortable" during the meeting. He also admitted that he didn't know why he harassed her.

The document also reveals Friedrich said the college would pay Lee's legal fees.

"My legal fees -- Dorothy said after the meeting for me to submit them to her and we would try to get them paid under consulting fees," Lee writes.

In an e-mail to her attorney that day, Lee writes, "While I was meeting with you the powers-that-be-met with him. We all met this morning and he apologized to me and discussed how we could improve the current procedure for handling this type of problem."

Her lawyer responded, "I am pleased that your concerns were recognized as important. I am also pleased, but surprised, that the issue was addressed by JCCC without a formal complaint from you.

"Pat yourself on the back for standing up for yourself, and for handling the situation professionally and with class. Keep a journal of any further incidents, and stay in touch."

Lee took his advice.
In 2004, she documented contacting and meeting with Board of Trustee chair, Elaine Perilla, regarding Carlsen's unlawful harassment. Lee also documented Carlsen's March visit.Exceeding expectations
Trustees, including Perilla, deny knowledge of the alleged sexual harassment.

Lindahl and Friedrich have yet to deny knowledge of the alleged sexual harassment or that they impeded the process by not reporting it.

Lee's performance appraisal forms, or evaluations, from fall 2002 to fall 2005 rate her overall work performance as "exceeding expectations."

Friedrich, who conducted each evaluation, noted in the fall 2003 appraisal, "You have a trusting relationship with many supervisors on campus. They frequently seek your advice on personnel matters. I consider this to be a major strength for you and for the division.

"I respect your advice and value you as a colleague. I genuinely appreciate your commitment to our team."

April 16, 2012

April Showers

They say that spring
brings rebirth
but for many children
it means an abrupt end to
school and

Nourishing rain
brings work
cultivating crops
of corn and
They need tending,
weeding from
young hands.

They say that spring
brings rebirth
but I know that
April showers
migrant flowers.

April 5, 2012

My Queerness

The Writers Place
Now that I'm feeling more comfortable calling myself a writer, it seems the universe is offering opportunities to keep me on my path.

Last month in Chicago, I was encouraged to apply for a national LGBT writers workshop.

I'm going to take part in a reading at the Neon Gallery this fall. Watch for details.

I've also been invited to read at an LGBT event at The Writers Place in June with some of KC metro's most notable queer writers.
  • Kelly Barth
  • Crystal Boson
  • Wayne Courtois
  • Wendy Dow
  • Charles Ferruzza
  • Mark Manning
  • Miguel M. Morales
  • David Wayne Reed
It'll be an evening of visual and literary arts -- memoir, poetry, fiction, nonfiction and the photography of Andrea Brookhart.

Let me know if you plan to attend so I don't read that poem about you, you know the one ...

Celebrating Voices:
A Celebration of Queerness
7:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2012
Cost: $3 - $5

The event is sponsored by The Writers Place, the Missouri Arts Council, CAMP Magazine and The Tenth Voice on KKFI 90.1 FM