A word from former faculty

I am writing in reference to your excellent investigative report on the impeachment of former SGA Vice President Dennis Chaney. While Mr. Chaney is the subject of inquiry, what I found most revealing and shocking is the blatant, self-aggrandizing pronouncement of SGA President Keith Kaseke and his belief in his self-anointed exclusive voice of students (”hellip;The only face that speaks on behalf of the students’hellip;’). President Kaseke expresses a cavalier attitude towards the SGA Constitution and a painfully casual attitude toward the obligations of his oath of office. Additionally, we discovered administrators’ alleged support for these outrageous proceedings – those in which Mr. Kaseke revealed on record during questioning at Chaney’s removal hearing. The Office of Legal Affairs has unsuccessfully distanced itself from the embarrassing mess and its alleged encouragement of Chaney’s impeachment. It is, in fact, Mr. Kaseke who provides credence to the allegation by indicating that when you have the support of the administration at NKU, you need no Constitution, let alone adherence to campaign promises or oaths of office.
Mr. Chaney’s offense appears to consist of raising questions with the powers-that-be on matters of interest to students and fulfilling his constitutional duty for SGA to promote student rights. Kaseke seems to regard the vice president as an appointee rather than an elected official of SGA.

Ignored by Mr. Kaseke and various administrative personnel is the fact that Mr. Chaney is a very good student with a consistent record of extracurricular participation in activities that are highly beneficial to this academic community. Chaney had led Students for Change, one of the best and successful student organizations, in providing a venue for student activism.

What did he do to deserve impeachment? He raised questions about proposed policies in which he and the students in attendance at the Board of Regents’ meeting suspected would be damaging to student interests. He communicated his concerns to both administrators and Board of Regents members. It was not only his right to do so; it was his duty to conduct himself as he did. In dealing with the Legal Office, he was under the disadvantage in so far as NKU had once retained an attorney (Phil Taliaferro) to advise and defend students and faculty exclusively. Years ago, the faculty and the students were stripped of this protection while the administration added staff to the Legal Office and turned it into a management v. labor type of operation.

The Northerner’s investigation reveals that there was an agenda to punish Mr. Chaney for his failure to toe the line, his audacity and his initiative. His reputation has been assailed. The impeachment eventually caused considerable damage to Mr. Chaney’s standing as a respected student leader. Since his former position came with the use of an office and a stipend, Mr. Chaney suffered losses beyond reputational damage – in fact, he suffered the loss of income.

Rather than considering whether Chaney should be impeached, NKU should be considering a heartfelt apology, and his reinstatement to the SGA vice presidency and reimbursement of all missed stipend payments.’

Sincerely, Adalberto J. Pinelo, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, 1972-2009 NKU Faculty