Over the past two decades, I have witnessed a seismic, anti-Socratic shift in American education. Put simply, many universities cannot afford to upset their students. Although tuitions have tripled since 1975, many institutions of higher learning, backed by non-default student loans, engaged in financial speculation. Often operating on lines of credit, many schools balance their books by relying on exorbitant fees and underpaid labor. In order to keep their student/customers happy, academic administrators weaponized the power of complaint for their increasingly frail student bodies. “It’s astounding how aggressive students’ assertions of vulnerability have gotten in the past few years. Emotional discomfort is regarded as equivalent to material injury, and all injuries have to be remediated,” wrote feminist film professor Laura Kipnis, “Most academics I know — this includes feminists, progressives, minorities, and those who identify as gay or queer — now live in fear of some classroom incident spiraling into professional disaster.” The story you are about to read, is about unaccountable academic administrators who see colleges and universities as self-esteem builders where “student success” is guaranteed and the student/customer is always right. What they fail to realize is that success must first be earned, and is meritless if mandated.
“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first—verdict afterwards.”
—Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th District will hear a case brought by the estate of Utah Valley University (UVU) professor Michael Shively. It alleges that the university’s President, Astrid Tuminez, former general counsel Karen Clemes, and Sara Flood, an Australian who currently teaches in the Department of Biology, conspired to destroy Shively’s career and drove him to suicide. Unless the appellate court intervenes, UVU’s unchecked behavior will set a troubling precedent for 21st-century American higher education. Due process protections will no longer extend to the academic help.
Michael Shively taught anatomy at Utah Valley University for twenty-seven years. During his career at UVU, he was named teacher of the year five times, received nine teaching excellence awards, served as President of the Faculty Senate, was featured in the university’s “Experts in the Classroom Series” on public television. He did not have a single disciplinary incident in his career. His problems began on February 27, 2019, when Kathren “Kat” Brown, the university’s Associate Vice President of Academic Administration, received an email from a male undergraduate identified only as “Student 1.” He charged that Shively’s course placed “unfair demands” on students because he monopolized “so much student time.” Student 1 also charged that the anatomy professor used “tests to gratify his ego by making questions almost impossibly difficult” and that Shively’s textbook contained transphobic language. There was only one problem: Student 1 had never been Michael Shively’s student.
Michael Shively featured in Utah Valley University’s “Experts in the Classroom” ad campaign.
This email complaint was the first shot in an academic coup orchestrated by Student 1’s professor, Sara Flood, in her effort to take over the anatomy program that Shively had built during his long career at Utah Valley University. Although Michael Shively supported the Australian professor’s hiring in 2015 and even helped her get tenure in 2018, by 2019 she wanted her rival fired. Earlier in February, Flood told Marshall Walker, her paid teaching assistant, who had failed Shively’s class, to collect student complaints about Shively because she had a meeting with “one of the heads of UVU” and needed “specific stories about how anatomy with Dr. Shively has affected them emotionally and physically.”Walker sent the following email to students on February 21, 2019: “There is currently a review on Dr. Shively being done on how he runs the program. This is a great opportunity for you to express how anatomy has effected [sic] your life decision on your major, how ridiculous his tests, ELAs were, etc.” Walker urged students to email him “asap” because he had to “turn this information into [sic] the UVU president by Wednesday.”
Why would Astrid Tuminez, the president of a large public university, and a former executive at Microsoft Asia, involve herself in a faculty squabble? Biology professor Jim Harris, and other members of the UVU faculty who are unwilling to go on the record due to fear of retribution, allege that Student 1 was Astrid Tuminez’s nephew (President Tuminez’s spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny this fact). Harris told investigative journalist Steve Murphy, “I was a little shocked by the aggressiveness of one of the student accusers who was also the ringleader, and happened to be a nephew of the president of the institution.”
Utah Valley University President, Astrid Tuminez
In the weeks after Walker sent out his email to students, the university received a number of suspiciously similar complaints about Shively, his class, and the difficulty of his exams. Even though the overwhelming majority of those making the charges were Sara Flood’s students, Utah Valley University opened a formal investigation of Michael Shively for five possibly career-ending violations of the university’s code of conduct on March 8. The investigators would look into Shively’s behavior toward students and colleagues, his failure to use a computer message board, royalties he received from his textbook, and his alleged refusal to grant Sara Flood her academic freedom.
As if it were not enough that President Astrid Tuminez’s nephew was leading the charge against this tenured professor, when Sara Flood sat down with President Tuminez and university administrators, she dramatically escalated this conflict. In an academic climate in which the perceptions of comfort and safety are sacrosanct, Flood told them that Shively had threatened and intimidated her and that she feared for her physical safety around him. Flood offered no evidence to back her claims, but she knew that even an unfounded allegation of potential violence required the university to take immediate disciplinary action.
When Michael Shively returned to his office after teaching on March 25, university police intercepted him, took his office keys, escorted him to his car, and told him that he had to stay off campus because he was charged “with a serious offense affecting the public interest.” After the university’s administration ordered Shively not to communicate with faculty or students, he wrote President Tuminez and asked for an explanation for his “mentally traumatic and emotionally wrenching” public ostracism.
President Tuminez never responded to her university’s five-time teacher of the year and former head of the faculty senate because the Tuminez Tribunal, her academic Star Chamber court, was already in session. Instead of Shively’s peers, the Tuminez Tribunal was composed of academic bureaucrat Kat Brown, UVU general counsel Karen Clemes, and an outside hired gun named Spencer Phillips whose management-friendly law firm, Employer–Lawyer LLC, according to its own website, specializes in “defending against employee complaints.”
Over the next three months, UVU investigators interviewed students and professors about Michael Shively, his exams, and his conduct in and out of class. Of the fourteen students who spoke to the Tuminez Tribunal, eleven were students of Sara Flood and only two had actually taken Michael Shively’s anatomy class. According to the “preponderance of the evidence” standard used by the Tuminez Tribunal, the burden of proof was met when there was a greater than 50% chance that an allegation was true.
Tuminez’s nephew, Student 1, was the first witness to speak to the Tuminez Tribunal and told investigators that he was “the spokesperson for disaffected students.” He told the investigators that he had “pieced together” the case against Shively without talking to “Dr. Flood about this directly.” While he did not consider Shively “an out and out male chauvinist, at the very least it is clear [Dr. Shively] is carrying the prejudices and attitudes born of someone born in the 1940s. He is either unwilling or unable to adapt to the outlook and needs of contemporary women.” However, when pressed by investigators, it became clear to the Tuminez Tribunal that “Student 1 relied heavily on hearsay as the basis for most of his concerns. The only complaints he made based on his own experience were Dr. Shively’s use of the word “pathetic.”
Next came a parade of student witnesses who made suspiciously similar complaints about the difficulty of Shively’s exams. Student 2 recalled Flood announcing to the class that “all the tests…were written by Dr. Shively.” Student 3 complained about the hard exams and added, “It was hard to hear from Dr. Flood every day about how ‘no one in the world does it this way, but that’s how Dr. Shively does it.’” Student 4 called the class she had never attended “academic abuse” because it “adds a lot of stress.” Student 5 initially audited Flood’s class because it was “way too hard,” but took it “for reals” the next semester. “I love her. She was awesome,” declared Student 6, before adding that Flood “told us multiple times that he [Dr. Shively] had written the tests.”
Student 7, one of the few students who had taken Michael Shively’s class, called his tests “really hard.” He said that students “need to know [their] anatomy in order to be successful in the course,” and added that Shively had “technology phobia.” Student 7 met with Sara Flood before his second meeting with the Tuminez Tribunal and told them that Flood had “become ‘more and more negative’ in her feelings toward Dr. Shively.” Most significantly, he said that Flood’s “goal of ‘run[ning] the anatomy program’ may not be achieved if he is allowed to return to the University.’”
Student 8, Flood’s teaching assistant Marshall Walker, called Shively “condescending” and “controlling,” and believed this made Flood feel “handcuffed” like she was “walking on eggshells.” Walker “also confirmed that he heard Dr. Flood, on numerous occasions, respond[ed] to student concerns by blaming Dr. Shively for the difficult exam questions.” Students 9, 10, and 12–14, all Flood’s students, made now-familiar complaints about difficult exams and hard grading. Student 11 contacted the investigators when she heard about the investigation because she felt that the campaign against Shively was “nothing more than a witch hunt.”
Tuminez’s nephew, Student 1, didn’t just encourage students to complain about Michael Shively, he also visited faculty members and encouraged them to support Sara Flood’s crusade – or else. After he met with Associate Dean Jason Slack, he followed up with an email summarizing their thirty-minute conversation, and demanded a written response. Not only did he give Slack a deadline, Student 1 warned that “he would take his concerns to Dr. Kathren Brown and the University’s Title IX office if he found Mr. Slack’s response to be ‘absent or unsatisfactory.’”
Student 1 also met with Jim Price, the head of the biology department, and made his now standard complaints about exam difficulty, and then added that “all of the faculty hate [Dr.] Shively.” When Price asked Tuminez’s nephew if he wanted to transfer out of his class, he gave Price “a strange look and said he was already in [Dr. Flood’s] section.” The professor asked why he was complaining. “Because [Dr.] Shively writes the exams,” he replied.
After this strange conversation, Price reached out to Flood to get her side of the Shively story. “Dr. Price and Dr. Flood spoke for about 45 minutes by phone, discussing the concerns raised by Student 1,” wrote the Tuminez Tribunal in their final report. “Near the end of the conversation, Dr. Price recalled asking Dr. Flood, ‘Is everything okay with you and [Dr.] Shively?’ to which Flood replied, ‘Oh, yes, we are great.’” Jim Price asked Sara Flood if Shively was allowing her to write her own exam questions, she said that there was just a misunderstanding over a note that he had written her. When Price asked to see the note, “Flood said that she could not find it.” Nonetheless, Jim Price took the Australian at her word, and left the meeting believing “that the concerns raised by Student 1 were not generally shared by Dr. Flood.” Two days after his meeting with Flood, Jim Price received an email from Student 1 inaccurately describing the substance of their meeting. “Due to the aggressive and authoritative tone of Student 1’s letter,” wrote the Tuminez Tribunal, “Dr. Price sought guidance and advice of several peers before responding in a professional manner and inviting Student 1 to seek further assistance with his concerns by contacting the University’s Ombudsman and Title IX office.”
Even though Michael Shively did not know everything he had been accused of, or even who his accusers were, the Tuminez Tribunal demanded interviews with him. After his first interrogation, Shively asked Scott Abbott, UVU’s American Association of University Professors representative, to accompany him. “This morning, at his request, I accompanied Professor S. to the second meeting he has had with you after his suspension,” wrote Abbott. “Although he was told in the last meeting that he could bring an advisor – either a colleague or legal counsel to the meeting this morning – he and I were told that UVU’s general counsel, consulted while I waited, said that no representative was allowed in this meeting.” Abbott charged UVU’s general counsel, Karen Clemes, with violating university policy.
Although Shively dealt with the investigators in good faith, Scott Abbott now worried that Shively was answering questions without knowing the scope of the investigation. Abbott knew that in an academic star chamber court like this one, anything the professor said could and would be held against him. “I do not believe that the anonymous complaints that we reviewed on 4/17 came from students registered in my class. I have much warmer relationships with my own students than I heard,” Michael Shively wrote investigator Spencer Phillips on March 16, “I was unfairly portrayed to her students as dishonest and deceitful.” In an effort to resolve the conflict, Shively even offered to make his exams easier, “It is my sincere belief that nearly all of the complaints about me and my testing will dissipate if I test with less rigor (easier tests). I sincerely hope that I am given an opportunity to prove this to be true. Thank you for meeting with me today.”
The faculty witnesses who spoke to the Tuminez Tribunal painted a far more nuanced portrait that undermined Sara Flood’s most serious accusations. Don Homan, a lecturer and lab manager who had taught anatomy at UVU for twenty years, debunked Flood’s charge that Shively wrote her exams. Homan said that all three of them “participated in the exam writing process” and added that “Dr. Flood seemed ‘overwhelmed’ by family issues and she ‘sometimes asked to be left out because of other issues she was dealing with.’”
Former biology department chair Virginia Bayer told investigators that she had advised Sara Flood to teach her class “however you want.” Physiology professor Heather Wilson-Ashworth told investigators that Flood complained she felt “constrained and controlled by Dr. Shively.” Wilson-Ashworth said that she never feared for her physical safety around Shively, but she did describe him as “controlling and aggressive toward her (i.e., academic bullying), and that he only backed down because of her willingness to push back and stand up for herself.” When Wilson-Ashworth told Flood to tell the department chair about her problem, Flood refused and said, “Things are fine, things are fine. [Dr. Shively] is helping me with my visa.”
Biology professor Jim Price flatly rejected the Tuminez Tribunal’s assumption that Sara Flood was the victim in this case and instead told them that “[Dr. Shively] is a victim of a hostile work environment [created] by [Dr.] Flood.” According to Price, the Australian’s biggest problem was that she was “afraid of students,” so she pandered to them. “[She’s] not able to tell them anatomy is hard and we need future patients to be in good hands,” Price explained to the investigators. “I think she says things in class to deflect responsibility for the difficulty of the class onto [Dr. Shively], and then the students complain.” Price also told the investigators that he was growing increasingly “worried” about Michael Shively.
Sara Flood’s turn came to testify on May 2 and she was forced to acknowledge that Michael Shively had supported her throughout her career at UVU and “that her constant finger-pointing ‘caused problems’ for Shively.” Still, Flood made her boldest claim yet and told the Tuminez Tribunal that “she is worried about Dr. Shively shooting her.” Flood said “I know that he carries a gun…He’s said he carries a gun on himself all the time on campus.” Flood’s witness, however, told investigators that he had only told her that Shively owned guns. When asked if Shively had ever made any threats, verbal or physical, Flood admitted that he had not. When it came to the exams, she admitted that she chose not to write her own exams. Flood did further harm to her case when she could not produce a note written by Shively and a voice recording made by a student that supposedly supported her charges.
Utah Valley University Professor, Sara Flood
Even this one-sided investigation could not ignore the obvious fact that Sara Flood’s endgame was to get Michael Shively fired and take over the anatomy program. Initially, Flood claimed that she did not exercise her academic freedom because of job insecurity and her immigration status. After both issues (visa and tenure) were resolved, “she nevertheless [was] unwilling to work with Dr. Shively.” Flood also told the Tuminez Tribunal that “she has an ‘out plan’ and will not teach anatomy if Dr. Shively returns to the university.” It was now clear that Flood would not be content with anything less than Michael Shively’s expulsion from UVU.
Rather than dismiss the case after Flood’s most serious charges were not substantiated and her conspiracy with Tuminez’s nephew was exposed, UVU expanded the investigation and hired an “independent” outside expert, Trent Stephens, to evaluate Michael Shively’s textbook and exams. There was only one problem. Stephens was anything but independent, much less impartial. He and Shively had been academic adversaries for twenty years.
By the summer of 2019, Michael Shively had been interrogated without counsel or faculty representation eight times, and he still did not know who his accusers were, everything he had been accused of. In June, Scott Abbott, Shively’s faculty representative, wrote the UVU President and general counsel and charged them with violating the professor’s right to due process. “How does one defend oneself against accusations lacking in any detail, accusations made by unknown persons?” he wrote, “It is now the 21st of June, three months since Professor Shively was escorted from campus. It seems unconscionable to keep him in suspense for this length of time, with no communication for weeks now” [emphasis in the original].
Whether they intended to or not, Utah Valley University made it impossible for Michael Shively to cope with the most traumatic event of his life. The personal and professional toll of being kicked off campus, humiliated in front of his students, potentially losing his job, and being isolated from his friends and colleagues was now clear for all to see. Shively was now barely eating or sleeping, had lost twenty-five pounds, and was a shadow of his former self. It was clear to his retired clinical psychologist wife, Dr. Ann Shively, that her husband had “lost touch of reality.” Scott Abbott maintained weekly contact with him and was also growing concerned. “The way he was speaking and the things he was saying,” recalled Abbott, “he was obviously not doing well psychologically.” When Shively’s stepson, Jim Pye, came home at his mother’s request, he barely recognized his stepfather, “Face was sunken, there was no countenance, no spark in his eye, almost unrecognizable.” His family now feared that Michael Shively was suicidal and removed all of the guns and pills from the house.
On July 8, Michael Shively’s lawyer, Steve Sumsion, received an email from Tuminez Tribunal member Kat Brown. She informed him that UVU had concluded its preliminary investigation and that many of the allegations had been substantiated. Three days later, Michael Shively returned to Utah Valley University to read the Tuminez Tribunal’s final report (his lawyer was not allowed to read it). Shively was given just two hours with the two hundred page report and only allowed to take handwritten notes. The UVU General Counsel gave him a week to respond to the charges in writing. When Shively requested more time and a second look at the report, Karen Clemes denied his request.
A week later, on July 18, Michael Shively emailed his response to the Tuminez Tribunal. “Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your investigative report. I wish I could have had more than 2 hours to read and digest the 31-page document and two stacks of exhibits,” he wrote. “I was disappointed to see that my 19-page written testimony was not represented in the main body of the report. I was shocked and disheartened by much of what I read. However, some parts were quite valuable in understanding the allegations and motivations involved in this investigation.”
It was now clear to Michael Shively that Sara Flood, with the help of the UVU administration, had orchestrated this student-led coup against him, and offered these examples as evidence, “Ms. Ing testified that she grew tired of hearing my name mentioned (in a negative way) ‘everyday’ by Dr. Flood. Marshall Walker testified that Dr. Flood actively solicited negative comments about me. One student even emailed his classmates that ‘[t]here is currently an investigation of Dr. Shively…Clayton R. claimed that Dr. Flood expressed an intention of taking over the whole anatomy program.’” Michael Shively reminded the Tuminez Tribunal that at many universities, “some of these things alone could have resulted in dismissal or sanctions against Dr. Flood.” Shively rejected the students’ complaints as “false narratives” propagated by Flood. “I have not changed the difficulty of the course or the tests in the last 20 years nor have my department chairs or deans ever expressed the need for me to do so. Please note that Dr. Flood is totally in control of her own curve, grading, use of canvas, textthatsheuses [sic], etc. I have not threatened Sara Flood about anything. Allegations 2, 3, and 4 are totally false [emphasis in the original]. I have been unwavering in my support of Dr. Flood and have not tried to control or ‘micromanage’ her in any way.”
Shively called the Tuminez Tribunal’s decision to appoint Trent Stephens to be his “independent” reviewer “problematic” and pointed out the obvious conflict of interest. “Perhaps it’s because some of his own material received a negative review in a presentation that Don Homan and I made in 1999 at the HAPS (Human Anatomy and Physiology) Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, entitled entitled, ‘Lies, Half-Truths, and Misleading Statements in Anatomy and Physiology,” wrote Shively. “Twelve of my publications in peer-reviewed journals also address this subject.”
Finally, Michael Shively reminded the Tuminez Tribunal that he was training future doctors and nurses, after all. “I try to give UVU students the very best anatomical background possible when preparing them for careers in the biomedical sciences,” wrote Shively. “This does require a learning effort on students’ part. I also try to treat every student and colleague with respect and courtesy. Any alleged behavior contrary to that has not previously been brought to my attention.”
Although Michael Shively was disappointed by the many inaccuracies in the Tuminez Tribunal’s final report, he called it “instructive.” The veteran professor was not defensive, and instead expressed a willingness “to change or adjust to create a better experience for students and my colleagues” and stated unequivocally, “I am always willing to reevaluate my methods and improve them. I am open to new ideas and will incorporate changes required by UVU as soon as I learn what they are.” Now the ball was back in Utah Valley University’s court. Would the university fire a repentant, tenured professor?
Before Michael Shively had the opportunity to change his ways, he received a call from a faculty colleague informing him that he would not be teaching the fall semester because UVU had not concluded their investigation, and had not rendered a verdict in his case. Shively, however, misunderstood the conversation, and hung up the phone, shattered. He turned to his wife Ann and said, “I’ve been terminated,” and went to bed. His family had taken all of his guns, but they had forgotten about his nail gun. The next morning, his stepson found Michael Shively on the floor of his shop with a self inflicted nailgun wound. He hung on to life for four days and then died. Today, Sara Flood is UVU’s senior anatomist, and a senior UVU faculty member familiar with the situation wrote that “under Flood's influence Anatomy education at UVU has gone from being the best in the state to being the worst in the state.”
After Michael Shively’s suicide, Utah Valley University announced that at the time of his death, he was the subject of an ongoing investigation and that “most of the allegations were substantiated.” However, “substantiated” according to the “preponderance of the evidence” standard used by the Tuminez Tribunal hardly means guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This burden of proof is met when there is a greater than 50% chance that an allegation is true.
However, the most telling sign of the Tuminez Tribunal’s bias was the weight they gave to the different witnesses’ testimony. Although they declared Flood’s concerns about her physical safety around Shively “unfounded” and found “no evidence that Dr. Shively engaged in any behaviors of a physically threatening behavior towards Dr. Flood.” She was still declared a “mostly credible” witness. The Tuminez Tribunal called the report written by Trent Stephens, Shively’s long time academic rival, “reliable and accorded substantial weight in formulating the conclusions reached in this investigation.” They also deemed 13 out of the 14 student witnesses “credible” even though most had never attended a class with Michael Shively.
The Tuminez Tribunal took a much harsher view of Michael Shively and declared that they had “serious concerns about Dr. Shively’s credibility and willingness to be open and forthcoming in the investigation process.” While they described Don Homan, who challenged Flood’s claims on the exam writing process as, “somewhat credible,” they considered Jim Price’s “credibility compromised” because he called Flood “a liar” and was a longtime friend of Shively’s.
When it came to Student 1, even his aunt’s handpicked panel had to admit he “relied heavily on hearsay as the basis for most of his concerns” and rejected his contention that he was not conspiring with Flood. “Although Student 1 may not be coordinating his efforts with Dr. Flood,” the Tuminez Tribunal concluded, “his claim that he has not spoken directly to Dr. Flood about these issues is suspect and tends to undermine his credibility.” In the end, however, they gave the actions taken by Sara Flood and the Tuminez’s nephew, with logic almost as strained as their English, a wink and nod of approval. “Based on the evidence reviewed above, the investigators find that Dr. Flood with the assistance of [names redacted], Student 8, appropriately encouraged students with concerns about Dr. Shively to complain to the highest level of UVU administration. Student 1, separately and with Dr. Flood’s knowledge also undertook efforts to collect student complaints and to share these complaints with University administration for consideration and resolution.” It took UVU almost two months to release a redacted version of their final report.
In November, 2019, Alex Simon, the president of UVU’s chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, sent an open letter signed by thirteen other faculty members to President Tuminez. Simon objected to UVU’s treatment of Michael Shively and linked it to his suicide. “Although he was not a threat to others, his suspension from campus and the lengthy investigation made him a threat to himself,” wrote Simon, “The stress of being investigated took an enormous toll on Mike. He lost a significant amount of weight and expressed concern that his suspension would lead students and faculty to assume the worst of him.” The letter also made it known that Michael Shively’s was hardly an isolated incident at UVU. It made note of “a well-respected professor” who was subjected to a similarly one-sided investigation, reminding President Tuminez that “[a]fter an invasive investigation that took several months was finally completed, it was determined that the allegations—which were completely unsubstantiated and false—were ‘unfounded.’” Although the professor did not commit suicide, he was “so traumatized by the experience that he took stress leave.”
In the months after Michael Shively’s death, Utah Valley University’s American Association of University Professors chapter investigated four more cases in which UVU faculty members were subjected to ad hoc investigations (one lasted seven months and another a full year) and a pattern of quasi legal harassment emerged. Three of the cases ended with decisions in favor of the faculty and one ended with UVU paying a settlement to one faculty member. In all of them, disgruntled students were encouraged to make anonymous accusations and coached through the official complaint process by unaccountable academic bureaucrats. “In each case, UVU counsel denied or skirted due process and exerted legal pressure on faculty who had no legal support of their own,” wrote AAUP representative Scott Abbott.
In 2020, Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez, General Counsel Karen Clemes, and others, were sued by tenured professor Kemal Makasci. The Turkish-American Muslim taught at the university for more than a decade without a single disciplinary incident. Makasci alleged that a group of female UVU students openly harassed him for his ethnicity. When the professor attempted to discipline them, they countered by filing complaints of sexism, sexual harassment, and gender bias with the university’s Title IX office. Not only did UVU immediately open an investigation, the university raised the complaining students’ grades without Makasci’s knowledge.
After Professor Makasci was cleared of all charges, the same students staged a confrontation with him and sent a cell phone video recording of it to UVU’s Title IX office and sympathetic administrators. The same day, UVU received a letter from a lawyer representing one of the students involved that threatened to sue the university for “the harms suffered by [name redacted] due to the negligence and intentional acts of Associate Professor Kemal Makasci.” The next day, Utah Valley University suspended Makasci without pay and banned him from campus. As they had done in the Shively case, the UVU claimed that Makasci posed “a threat to the University community.” After an almost four-month suspension, the Title IX director dismissed all six charges of sex/gender discrimination as “unfounded,” but “substantiated” two charges of “retaliation.” Makasci challenged the findings, and, with his legal complaint pending, UVU fired him, the Title IX officer, and much of the Title IX office staff.
Michael Shively was not declared a threat to the safety of the UVU community because of his difficult exams, or “arrogance,” Shively posed a much greater threat because he believed in the sanctity of the medical professions and refused to allow the hard sciences to be infected by the anti Socratic model of higher education. Under the old Socratic model, professors and students engaged in sometimes antagonistic dialogues to find the ground of truth. Over the past two decades, American academia’s managerial elite have replaced it with a decidedly student centric model that has made profit maximization and students’ perceived “comfort” and “safety” a higher priority than their education. Sadly, under this new academic regime, professors, are now afforded neither comfort or safety—and unless the 10th Circuit Court intervenes—not even due process.
 I first learned about the Michael Shively case from my mother, writer and teacher, Joan Tewkesbury. She is a friend of Michael Shively’s stepdaughter, Lori Pye. After The Chronicle of Higher Education published, “Is This Professor Dangerous?” a conspicuously incomplete article, the board of Fainting Robin Foundation gave me the time and resources to write my own account of this tragedy. While I was able to speak to numerous members of the UVU faculty and the Shively family, neither Astrid Tuminez, Karen Clemes, or Sara Flood replied to emails due to the ongoing litigation. When I reached out to Emma Petit, author of “Is This Professor Dangerous?” and asked her why she failed to mention the fact that the leader of anti Shively mob was President Tuminez’s nephew, she did not respond. Anne P. Shively v. Utah Valley University, Astrid S. Tuminez, Karen Clemes, and Sara J. Flood, U.S. District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, Case No. 2:20-cv-00119-DBP; Ann P. Shively v. Utah Valley University, Astrid S. Tuminez, Karen Clemes, and Sara J. Flood, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Oral Argument Requested, No. 12-6294.
 Utah Valley University, Final Investigation Report (referred to hereafter as UVU Final Report), July 31, 2019, p. 4. The report identified Student 1 only as “a student in Dr. Flood’s anatomy class during the Spring 2019 semester.”
 Ibid, pp. 6, 16.
 Insider Exclusive, “Justice in America: Michael Shively’s Story,” December 29, 2020. https://insiderexclusive.com/justice-in-america-dr-michael-jay-shivelys-story/. Price also believed that the Shively investigation would have not gone as far had it not been for President Tuminez’s nephew, “I don’t think anyone else would have gotten that much attention.” Student 1 is also identified as Tuminez’s nephew in Anne P. Shively v. Utah Valley University, Astrid S. Tuminez, Karen Clemes, and Sara J. Flood, U.S. District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, Case No. 2:20-cv-00119-DBP, p. 16: “As the report noted, one student unabashedly solicited complaints by distributing an email which offered peers a great opportunity to complain about Shively. This student expressed that he had a deadline by which he had to submit complaints directly to the president of the university, Tuminez. Upon information and belief, this student is Tuminez’s nephew. Alternatively, this student had a relationship with Tuminez that allowed him to bypass the usual chain of command and directly contact UVU’s president.” One faculty member wrote, “As you know I'm torn about wanting to speak up but fearing to speak up. So as far as my interactions with anyone at UVU, I seldom or never mention this controversy.” Although I received numerous emails and phone calls from UVU faculty members, the vastly majority of individuals were afraid to go on record. Clearly, there is a culture of fear and intimidation at Utah Valley University.
 UVU Final Investigation Report, pp. 1-2.
 Laura Kipnis, “My Title IX Inquisition,” The Chronicle of Higher Education,” May 29, 2015. After Kipnis was subjected to a similar star chamber proceeding over an article she published, she wrote: “My point in citing this legal morass was that students’ expanding sense of vulnerability, and new campus policies that fostered it, was actually impeding their educations as well as their chances of faring well in postcollegiate life, where a certain amount of resilience is required of us all.”
 Michael Shively to Astrid Tuminez, April, 2019.
 From Employer-Lawyer’s website, “Does your Company need an employment law attorney with unparalleled experience for trainings, workplace investigations, or defending against employee complaints?” (http://www.employer-lawyer.com/experience); UVU Final Report, p. 4. In “My Title IX Inquisition,” Kipnis described how university officials applied the “preponderance of evidence” standard in her case. “The standard that applied was “preponderance of evidence," they’d explained — "more likely than not" as opposed to "beyond a reasonable doubt" — but that seemed pretty vague. Note that I was never actually presented with any of this evidence. Given that the investigators doubled as judge and jury, and the extralegal nature of the proceedings, I wished I’d been more ingratiating.”
 UVU Final Report, p. 5.
 UVU Final Report, the student complaints can be found on pages 4-9 and 15-19.
 Ibid, pp. 8-9. Although Student 7 agreed that Shively had “‘made mistakes,’ Student 7 feels those mistakes are ‘not enough for him to be gone.’”
 Ibid, p. 15-19.
 Ibid, p. 19-20.
 Ibid, p. 14.
 Ibid, p. 15.
 Scott Abbott to Kat Brown, April 11, 2019;https://www.justice4shively.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Complaint-and-Exhibits.pdf
 Michael Shively to Spencer Phillips, March 16, 2019. The letter was published in Emma Petit, “Was This Professor Dangerous?” The Chronicle of Higher Education,
 Ibid, p. 12.
 Ibid, pp. 12-13.
 Ibid, pp. 14-15.
 Ibid, p. 10.
 Ibid, p. 11.
Anne P. Shively v. Utah Valley University, Astrid S. Tuminez, Karen Clemes, and Sara J. Flood, U.S. District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, Case No. 2:20-cv-00119-DBP, p. 18.
 Insider Exclusive, “Justice in America: Michael Shively’s Story,” December 29, 2020. https://insiderexclusive.com/justice-in-america-dr-michael-jay-shivelys-story/
 Anne P. Shively v. Utah Valley University, Astrid S. Tuminez, Karen Clemes, and Sara J. Flood, U.S. District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, Case No. 2:20-cv-00119-DBP; https://www.justice4shively.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Complaint-and-Exhibits.pdf
 Ibid; Michael Shively to UVU investigator Spencer Phillips, July 18, 2019.
 Insider Exclusive, “Justice in America: Michael Shively’s Story,” December 29, 2020. https://insiderexclusive.com/justice-in-america-dr-michael-jay-shivelys-story/; anonymous correspondence with to the author 2021.
 UVU Final Report, p. 32.
 Scott Abbott’s Refutal of UVU Statement Regarding Dr. Michael S. Shively Investigation; https://www.justice4shively.com
 Austin Skousen, “Fired UVU professor sues the university,” The Review, 2019 (UVU student paper no date); Kim Bojorquez, “Ex professor claims wrongful termination in lawsuit against Utah Valley University,” Desert News, August 4, 2019; anonymous correspondence with author; Makasci v. Utah Valley University et al, 2:19-cv-0045. Egregious cases like Michael Shively’s are hardly isolated. Second year University of Virginia Medical student Kieran Ravi Bhattacharya was recently expelled for asking questions at a faculty panel discussion about “microaggressions.” In April, a federal judge allowed his free speech case, Kieran Ravi Bhattacharya v. James B. Murray, Jr. et al to move forward. “Judge lets med student’s free-speech law move ahead,” AP, April 18, 2021; see also https://casetext.com/case/bhattacharya-v-murray
 Dennis Romboy, “Former Title IX director sues UVU over alleged civil rights violations, retaliation,” Desert News, May 11, 2018; Annie Knox, “Records: UVU to pay $45k to former Title IX director,” KSL, October 31, 2018; anonymous correspondence with author.