A professor at the U.S. Naval Academy has filed a federal whistle-blower complaint alleging that the institution improperly denied him a deserved pay increase for publicly accusing it of illegally operating a separate admissions track for minority students.There is a price sometimes for standing up for truth. Sometimes it is money, time, employment, or "friends." Often, all of the above - sadly too often a much steeper cost.
Bruce E. Fleming, a professor of English and civilian employee of the Naval Academy, said he filed a formal complaint last month with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates whistle-blower accusations by federal employees. He alleged in the complaint that top academy officials denied him a merit pay raise to which he was entitled, in retaliation for his public assertions that the institution's race-conscious admissions policies are so heavy-handed they probably violate federal civil-rights laws.
The college's policies call for academic departments to give civilian faculty members scores based on their performance, rank them based on their scores, and then, based on their scores and rankings, recommend giving them either an increase of one or two steps on the academy's pay ladder, or no increase at all.
Based on the recommendations of a committee of English Department faculty members, the chairwoman of that department, Allyson A. Booth, gave Mr. Fleming a good review and recommended him for a two-step increase. Instead, Mr. Fleming's letter to the AAUP says, Mr. Phillips, the academic dean, treated him as if he had received a bad evaluation from his department and gave him no pay increase at all.
When interviewed on Wednesday, Mr. Fleming, who has written essays critical of the Naval Academy and about his own field for The Chronicle Review, said he is deeply committed to his institution but believes "taxpayers have a right to know how we operate."
Thing is - none of those things are worth what that man in the mirror tells you every morning.