Saturday, August 10, 2013

UW-Whitewater warning: GARBAGE university w/ degrading, disgusting professor Sally Vogl-Bauer

Up until the spring 2013, regretfully I was a master's degree student of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. During the spring, I got stuck with a degrading, insolent, condescending professor who also had a penchant for giving me wrongful and unjust grades for which I can prove. The professor in question is Sally Vogl-Bauer. If you'd like to know more about the mistreatment I was subjected to by this professor, please see the following addresses at: http://sallyvoglebauerunprofessionalteacher.blogspot.com/2013/07/sally-vogl-bauers-unprofessionalism.html and http://yourinterpersonalcommunicationgarbage.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-book-your-interpersonal.html. This article, however, focuses strictly on how the university handled my complaints and grade appeal against Sally Vogl-Bauer. This article highlights striking insights about UW-Whitewater's complaint and grade appeal systems in how they're rigged in favor of professors and against students. If you are not much of a reader however, and would just like the long and short of my experience and warnings down below, feel free to view my Youtube videos on the matters here at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXrs_FaLziQ here at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq9Cks8suPM and here at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNkc1J80jXA and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XybLHYOXGlQ  )
 
As a result of UW-Whitewater professor Sally Vogl-Bauer's degrading, condescending, and insolent conduct coupled with wrongful, iniquitous grades, I made a behavioral complaint and grade appeal to the chair of UW-Whitewater's Communications Department [Kim Hixson, at least at the time of this matter] immediately after semester had ended on May 17, 2013. In my complaints to him, I informed of all Sally's abusive behavior and iniquitous grading in detail. I also informed that I was being dropped from the master's degree program at the university because of her unjust grades. (Mind you, in all my 5 years in college, earning my associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and completing my first semester in grad school, I had never previously made a grade appeal nor behavioral complaint against a professor, so I didn't know what to expect in making out this grade appeal). As part of these complaints against Sally Vogl-Bauer, I provided hard evidence to the Communications Department chair and Provost office dean that corroborated the fact that the grades I'd received from Sally were wrongful and iniquitous. My evidence came in the form of A.) e-mail correspondence Sally and I had; and B) the graded assignments in question. As example, where Sally had docked me numerous points for "lateness" on multiple assignments, I was able to present e-mail submissions that provide dates and times of submission, evidencing I'd turned in assignments on time. Where Sally had docked me numerous points for use of the article title in my in-text citing as opposed to the author's name (the author's name was not mentioned), I was able to provide numerous online documents explaining APA policy that state when author names are not mentioned, individuals must use article titles (such as shown here for example: http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch09_s1-0001.html#RES5e_ch09_p0059 ). Where Sally had docked me numerous points for my research paper opening paragraph being "too prosy," I was able to get a confession from her in writing that she had never previously communicated what type of opening paragraph she wanted beyond that she wanted one that grabbed the reader's attention.

Now the UW-Whitewater Student Handbook states very explicitly that grade appeals will be handled and resolved within 7 days of submission. Despite this, it took the university 5 months to resolve my complaints; that, mind you, was by coldly and carelessly dismissing the matters in late September 2013.  I spent the entirety of my 2013 summer vacation into the fall trying to get my grade appeal matter resolved with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Throughout that time, they gave me the runaround, making countless mistakes, repeatedly sending me wrong forms, repeatedly blowing me off, repeatedly asking for extra time to grade papers, etc. Nonstop, I was sending letter after letter, e-mail after e-mail, report after report; and ripping and running up to the school so as to resolve these matters. I went to great lengths to make them as well informed as possible as to this professor's mistreatment. Despite going to great lengths to try to get some amount of justice out of  these matters, the university showed they couldn't care less. The communications department chair I dealt with in these matters, Kim Hixson, was putting me off numerous times; failing to get back to me for numerous weeks at a time; forcing me to follow up repeatedly after him; coming up with one excuse after another for postponing and drawing out the matters, such as "I have assignments to grade if we could hold off on all that"; asking the question "Would you like to file a grade appeal?" a month after I told him via e-mail that I'd like to file a grade appeal, and he answered "Ok!"; failing to follow up with me and inform me of anything for months at a time; etc.

Most importantly, in pursuing these matters, I've learned that the very structure and design of UW-Whitewater's grievance complaint and grade appeal systems are rigged in favor of its professors and against its students. The way UW-Whitewater's grade appeal system, in particular, works is that the university first has the student send their grade appeal via e-mail to the chair of their faulted professor's department, in the case with Sally Vogl-Bauer the Communications Department. According to the Student Handbook, the chair is actually supposed to review the matters first and come to a determination; however, Communications Department Chair Kim Hixson skipped this process. After weeks and weeks of waiting on his resolution, he finally admitted to never having reviewed the matters, that he was too busy grading papers, and that he was sending the matters to the next process. According to the Student Handbook, if students are still dissatisfied after receiving the chair member's determination on the matters, they may request the chair to have it reviewed by a committee. Skipping the initial process, Kim Hixson forwarded my grade appeal to a committee. Now, here's the catch: this "unbiased" committee is made up of three professors WITHIN the faulted professor's department that she REGULARLY works with. The faulted professor and those three professors that the faulted professor REGULARLY WORKS WITH IN HIS/HER SAME DEPARTMENT all have conferences together that the student is NOT allowed to participate in or even be present for. The ONLY involvement that students are allowed to have with regards to their grade appeals at UW-Whitewater is their initial e-mailed submission of the matters to the chair and THAT IS IT. Based upon the private meetings between the faulted professor and the other professors he/she regularly works with and their collaborated majority vote, one of the following will happen: A.) the three professors will dismiss the student's grade appeal; or B.) they will encourage the faulted professor to reconsider the student's grade.

Three additional rigged elements in UW-Whitewater's grade appeal system are listed as follows: 1.) UW-Whitewater doesn't bother to mention on their website nor in their Student Handbook this method of disallowing participation from students in their grade appeal meetings. This little detail is only revealed to students once confronted with the predicament of having to submit a grade appeal and after they've formally requested participation in their grade appeal. 2.)  Adding to the university's tactic of solely using three other professors within the faulted professor's department as grade appeal committee members, UW-Whitewater also selects professors that the faulted professor is likely to be close to in more ways than one. I say this because one of the three professors on the committee in my grade appeal was Barbara PenningtonMs. Pennington not only works in the same department as Ms. Vogl-Bauer, but she has an office RIGHT NEXT DOOR to her at UW-Whitewater [at least at the time of these incidents, she did anyway]. 3.) Another professor within this grade appeal committee of three was S-A Welch. S-A Welch had come up whenever Sally had spewed a tirade at me during semester for use of "Ms./Mr." When Sally had condescendingly instructed me to list off all the names of my previous professors for her in telling me that I didn't belong in college, I began making polite remarks about "Mrs. Welch" because she was a previous professor of mine. Sally then spewed a tirade over my use of "Ms." as opposed to "Dr." in referencing this professor. She then lectured me on how she herself and this professor in question have earned their doctorate degrees and how ashamed I should be for referencing them as "Ms." That, of course, led to Sally spewing a tirade on how "sexist" men in general are because "they target women like this all the time." She went into how my "saying such a thing" makes me "sexist against women," but this is all an entirely different story of Sally's abominable behavior. For now, let's stick to the subject matter of how UW-Whitewater mishandled my complaints.

If it's not already clear to you, the 4 flaws making UW-Whitewater's grade appeal system rigged against students are listed as follows:

          1.) Students are not allowed to be at all involved in their grade appeal beyond their initial e-mailed submission of the matters, leaving teachers a considerable advantage over students in making their case. I formally asked the chair if I could attend the conferences or, in some way, be more involved beyond my initial e-mailed submission of the matters. I was denied participation and told that as a student I am not allowed, that this would go against UW-Whitewater policy. This system allows the professor to get away with making any sort of inaccurate claims against the student without offering the student the ability to make any sort of rebuttals. I looked up how other colleges around the country conduct grade appeals. All the ones I looked up had a system in which the student was allowed in on these conferences, allowed to rebut any false claims in person like the professor, allowed to make his/her case in person like the professor, etc. It wasn't one-sided as is the case at UW-Whitewater.

          2.) The faulted professor may have good relations with those three professors who represent the grade appeal committee. Again, the three professors who represent the grade appeal committee are from the SAME department as the faulted professor, so they're professors who all regularly work together and have a motive for having each other's backs. Consequently, this system likely leads to biases and puts hard paying college students at a distinctly unfair disadvantage. When I looked up how other colleges conduct this aspect of grade appeals, I learned that many of them have a system whereby an equal amount teachers and students make up the committee. The colleges imply that doing otherwise would be biased in favor of professors and against students.

          3.) Students are also not allowed to view the grade appeal committee letter that is required to be sent back to the chair after they've made their decision. I only received access to this letter as I recently went in and formally complained about how I had been treated by Sally Vogl-Bauer and the university in trying to get these matters resolved. It was only after that when the chair finally took pity with the hassles they'd  all put me through and gave me a copy of the grade appeal committee letter of rejection (which students are typically not allowed to be exposed to). Moreover, the chair also encouraged me to pursue these matters in court just because there was so much he was not in charge of at the university. Being able to get a copy of the grade appeal committee letter of rejection from the chair, I was exposed to the blatant injustices that were used to favor Sally Vogl-Bauer. This letter examples several provable inaccuracies made during the meeting, clear biases, and lots of facts that prove my case with regards to wrongful grades. For example, according to the letter, when Sally Vogl-Bauer was questioned on the subject of whether or not she wrongfully deducted me points for "lateness," she simply replied "I don't recall." The three professors representing the grade appeal committee found this answer to be legitimate and thus altogether rejected this objection I put forth. 

4. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Student Handbook states that if students are dissatisfied with the results of the grade appeal with the chair, they may turn to the provost dean. So with that, as I had previously done with the Communications Department to no avail for several months, I sent letter after letter, report after report, and e-mail after e-mail to the provost dean. I dealt with similar hassles from the provost dean as I did with the Communications Department. Similarly, these hassles consisted of putting matters off; not getting back to me for several weeks at a time; making sloppy mistakes left and right that I had to correct him on and walk him through; having private conferences with Sally and the grade appeals committee that I wasn't allowed to be apart of nor respond on; etc. When Provost Dean Mark McPhail finally got back to me in an e-mailed letter that I still have a copy of, he essentially dismissed my grade appeal and complaint on basis of his personal view of Sally Vogl-Bauer, his view of her reputation, and his personal relationship with her. Mark McPhail didn't touch upon any of the very specific points of injustice I'd presented him with in regards to the unjust grades nor any of the evidence I had to support it. Judging from his letter sent to me, his decision was based upon his personal opinion of Sally Vogl-Bauer and his personal meeting with her and this committee that students are not allowed in on.            
Again, I can't stress enough, if you're a student of UW-Whitewater, don't expect to be able to take up any serious complaints and grade appeal matters you may have in higher forums at the university. While the university guidelines may lead you to believe you have a couple other alternatives once you've been subjected to their crooked grade appeal system (which you MUST go through as a first step by the way, according to the university), this is a direct falsehood. When I took the time to rewrite, redirect, and reorganize all my complaints and graded assignments for UW-Whitewater Chancellor Richard Telfer and Provost Dean Mark McPhail, they gave me the same runaround and hassles I had been dealing with from the university's Communications Department: putting off my complaints for several weeks at a time, forcing me to have to repeatedly follow up after them; instructing me to temporarily deal with other random professors while they claimed to be unavailable for several weeks; making slews of sloppy mistakes when they finally bothered to review my materials, which I had to walk them through and correct them on at every other turn; blindly sending me back to their crooked grade appeal and complaint system; blindly supporting the decisions made by their crooked grade appeal/complaint system; etc.

I ended up sending these complaints to the Better Business Bureau when I wasn't receiving any replies back from the university's powers that be on the matters for a month. By the point I'd resorted to this, I was three months into my dealings with trying to get these matters resolved. It was shortly thereafter that UW-Whitewater Provost Dean Mark McPhail finally just responded with a letter of rejection as to my behavioral complaints and grade appeal matters (see above paragraph for details on letter of rejection from McPhail). The Better Business Bureau later informed me that UW-Whitewater's communication was poor, that they had never even bothered to respond to them when they informed them of these matters. Businesses who actually care about their consumers at least have a timely response for the BBB if they find that they have received complaints. However, considering the three-month run around of numerous long letters, reports, and evidence the university forced me to waste my time with, I wasn't at all surprised that UW-Whitewater decided to snub the BBB complaints made against them.

When the BBB decided it was going to take action with regards to my complaints because UW-Whitewater had been snubbing them as well, the university's Dean of Students Greg Cook contacted me through my university e-mail. He beseeched me to resubmit my grade appeal only through him, that I wouldn't deal with the same negligence, carelessness and incompetence as I had previously dealt with from Kim Hixson and Marc McPhail. I strongly believe, however, that this was all apart of a ploy by the university to let me know I'd be unsuccessful while at the same time getting me to relent on my BBB complaints against them. I say this because the entire time Greg Cook was handling these matters with me, he was diplomatically explaining all of Sally's injustices and misconduct to me. For the entire month I dealt with him, he was also making remarks like, "You know, if you don't get your way, at least you've stood up for yourself, and that's a good thing. So if you don't get your way, don't think this was all for nothing." By the end of September after I'd spent the entirety of a month, detailing all my complaints to Mr. Cook, he finally just gave me a letter as to why my complaints were dismissed. He diplomatically tried to get me to accept everything that Sally had done. He came up with a bunch of new defenses for Sally that she had never even used when I discussed the matters with her. Greg also showed his ignorance in several areas, such as APA policy. For example, he stated that Sally was right in docking me points for use of the article title in my in-text citing, stating that if the author's name is not mentioned, I'm to look elsewhere on the Internet. This was after I'd previously spent a month showing him online documents explaining APA policy (such as this http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch09_s1-0001.html#RES5e_ch09_p0059 ).

To make matters worse, I was also concurrently trying to get my complaint matters as it relates to Sally's behavior resolved through Chancellor Richard Telfer. I had been sending long, detailed documents to Chancellor Richard Telfer as to all the behavioral incidents that went down with Sally Vogl-Bauer. I was shocked that by mid-September4 months into sending these behavioral complaintsthat Chancellor Telfer informed me that the university hadn't even bothered to handle any of my grievances against Sally. Mr. Telfer claimed they weren't handling the matters because I hadn't separated the issues as it related to Sally's grading from the issues as it related to her behavior, that this made my complaints confusing to them. In response, I questioned him on why he never told me this. I also informed him that the matters intersected and that it would be hard to make out new documents trying to separate the issues. In his response, he came up with a new excuse, that I had followed the wrong complaint procedures anyway. That's when I informed Mr. Telfer that I had followed the procedures in the complaint form that HE HIMSELF gave me in early May 2013, 4 months prior. Without giving any apologies, Mr. Telfer gave me AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT complaint form from which to use in making out my complaint. When I took the time to rewrite out all my complaints in this new format, he coldly and callously dismissed the matters shortly thereafter. In his letter of dismissal in late September, he stated "I have reviewed the substance of your communications you state to having with the professor, and I do not view any of it as mistreatment or harassment of you by Dr. Vogl-Bauer." There you have it, Chancellor Telfer apparently approves of professors doing such things astelling their students how horrible they are; telling their students how unintelligent they are; telling their students how they don't belong in college; telling their students how they're not good enough nor cut out for college; questioning their students incessantly on where and how they got their degrees; questioning their students on who they're previous professors are; etc. (I've highlighted this in a Youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq9Cks8suPM )  
 
The hierarchy at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Chancellor Richard Telfer, Deans Greg Cook and Marc McPhail, Communications Department Chair Kim Hixson) couldn't give a rat's rear end if they're hard-paying students have serious complaints of abuse and grading iniquities from one of their professors. The fact that Sally Vogl-Bauer's response of "I don't recall" held up with her superiors at the university when they questioned her on whether or not she'd wrongfully deducted me points says a lot about UW-Whitewater's ethics. Perhaps because the powers that be at UW-Whitewater condone it at the end of the day, Sally felt she could get away with it. And I'm thinking the university's powers that be condone it because they have enough students doling out money at them, unaware of all their iniquities in complaint handling.

Individuals who are considering UW-Whitewater as their college home, here's my blunt warning to you: THINK AGAIN. Rather, you should consider a college with a fair and just complaint and grade appeal system. UW-Whitewater students, get out of UW-Whitewater while you still can, before you waste many hours of your precious time and hard-earned money like I have. The $4000 I spent on one semester in UW-Whitewater's master's degree program alone is all down the drain. And for what? A degrading, iniquitous professor and the university's rigged grade appeal and complaint systems . These systems work to condone, protect, and support its professors at all costs. If you do choose to attend UW-Whitewater at my earnest warnings not to, just make sure you don't have an iniquitous, condescending professor as I did in Sally Vogl-Bauer. Take professor review websites very seriously, share your experiences on review websites in all aspects of life, and make sure to go the extra mile on researching review websites in all aspects of life. At the end of the day, when complaints and/or grade appeals are brought to the attention of UW-Whitewater officials for handling, you'll be met with a system in which the professors are always right, and the students are always wrong.


March 26, 2014 UPDATE
ATTENTION ALL: The grief I've been put through by and as a result of my former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor Sally Vogl-Bauer CONTINUES ON now a year after the fact. Sally Vogl-Bauer is now get this... SUING ME in an OUTRAGEOUS LAWSUIT FOR $900 for "defamation" because I reported her behavior to the public as "degrading," "condescending," "demeaning," that I said "she called me a horrible student," etc. I took the liberty of spelling out the details in regards to this ridiculous lawsuit here: http://sallyvoglbauersoutrageouslawsuit.blogspot.com/2014/03/attention-im-being-sued-for-whopping.html


I received the summons in December 2013... MIND YOU, while I was preparing for Christmas and caring for my handicapped brother. As I have been busy dealing with holidays, vacations, caring for my handicapped brother, etc., I have not had the time to pay much attention to Sally and her bogus lawsuit until now. Anyways, Ms. Vogl-Bauer and her lawyer Timothy Edwards, who is also shockingly enough a college educator himself, aren't even handling this lawsuit traditionally. I am receiving notices in the mail that they don't want the typical court case bench trial where a judge rules (which is normal for small claims cases of this nature), but are seeking and paying for a jury trial. Part of their desired verdict in this case is expecting me to be responsible for all the fees they incur in paying for this. So that's on top of the ridiculous $900.


I did some Internet searches and it's said that cases like these are traditionally handled by a judge so I was very baffled and wondering what these two were up to. I did some more Internet searches and legal experts state that some lawyers will try to be slick and go this route around the judge for cases that would otherwise be thrown out. Legal experts say that there's a better chance for cases that would typically be thrown out as nonsense to be entertained by a jury trial. I also read something about how the people asking for a jury trial get to pick jury members.


I've also been informed by friends that another factor that might work against me is that this case will be handled in a conservative rural area. UW-Whitewater is a predominately white college in a very conservative rural area and thus the case must be handled in that county. Although I've not revealed this in any of my post to date, I am an African American male and Sally Vogl-Bauer is white. It's actually been WHITE FRIENDS of mine of whom I'm very close to who have told me that this might work against me, ESPECIALLY with Sally Vogl-Bauer and her lawyer being able to select jury members out of that county which is an hour away from where I live.


I'm not sure if such factors could be an influence in this lawsuit I'm involved in as a result of this disgraceful and outrageous professor, but I do know one thing: this professor has caused major stress in not only my life but now in the lives of me and my family. I have a handicapped brother to care for and we our having to set aside all this time for Sally and her nonsense when I need to be caring for a disabled brother and family matters. I am CAUTION the public even more so than before about getting involved with Sally Vogl-Bauer and this university. STAY AWAY! DO NOT BE DRAGGED DOWN THE ROADS I AM JUST FOR SEEKING AN EDUCATION.