Alumni – Contact IU and Purdue about SJR-7

The bill I’ve been writing so much about lately – SJR-7 – will have an affect on the domestic partnership benefits that are offered by state universities. Currently Purdue and IU have these benefits, and Ball State and other universities have been considering adopting them to remain competitive for the best faculty.

Currently, the right-wing sponsors of SJR-7 are lying their faces off to universities and trying to convince them that the bill won’t have any affect on these benefits. Chris Douglas has a really good post about how wrong they are, and Gary Welsh also talks about the legal analysis while talking about the recent Associated Press article on this very subject.

If you are an IU or Purdue faculty member, staff member, student or alum, please contact the trustees by phone or e-mail immediately to ask them to voice opposition to SJR7. Also, please forward this information to any of your friends or acquaintances who are IU or Purdue faculty, staff, students or alums. (At the end of this [pos is a sample letter to the trustees, for your consideration.). Contact information for IU is below the fold. I don’t have info hand on Purdue, but it should be easy to look up.

If you wish to send an e-mail to a single address, the trustees’ secretary Robin Gress will forward messages:; tel. 812-855-3762; fax 812-855-5959.

If you wish to address all of the trustees in person, here are their e-mail addresses:

Clarence W. Boone, Sr.:
William R. Cast:
Jeffrey S. Cohen:
Casey B. Cox:
Philip N. Eskey, Jr.:
Stephen L. Ferguson:
Thomas E. Reilly, Jr.:
Patrick A. Shoulders:
Sue H. Talbot:

Their individual phone numbers are listed at:
I suggest you also copy the university Provost–Michael A. McRobbie–and the director of University Human Resource Services–Dan Rives. Their e-mail addresses are: and

Below is the text of a sample letter you could tweak and use, courtesy of John Clower from Indiana Equality.

Dear Trustees of Indiana University:

I am writing to urge you as a body to oppose Senate Joint Resolution 7. SJR7 is a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would deny rights and legal protections associated with marriage to all unmarried couples, same-sex or otherwise.

Passage of SJR7 would have a chilling and deterrent effect on efforts to attract and retain the best IU faculty, staff and students. It would signal a statewide intolerance of diversity and work against IU’s efforts to create new economic opportunities in partnership with the private sector, particularly in the life sciences.
The quality-of-life issues and family protections that SJR7 could affect extend beyond health-care coverage to fee courtesy, emergency family leave, hospital visitation rights, inheritance decisions, family tax benefits and adoption rights. Moreover, SJR7 violates the spirit of IU’s nondiscrimination policy as well as the proud legacy of equality bequeathed to us by former IU President Herman B Wells.

Although some lawyers are apparently counseling you that Indiana’s public universities “might not” or “probably won’t” be affected by SJR7, other lawyers think that public universities would indeed be affected. Playing Russian Roulette with quality of life and family protections for unmarried couples and their children at IU is simply not acceptable.

Please voice your public opposition to SJR7, and please authorize IU’s statehouse lobbyist to carry that message to Governor Daniels and to the leaders of the Indiana House and Senate.
[Your name]

Continue ReadingAlumni – Contact IU and Purdue about SJR-7

University Domestic Partnership Benefits at Risk

In a neat bit of investigative work, Bil Browning discovered that SJR-7 author Brandt Hershman’s statements about the bill not affecting domestic partnership benefits for Purdue and Indiana University faculty members is not only false, but that he wrote the bill specifically to target those rights.

Bill uncovered legislation by Hershman to repeal those rights that had been killed several ago in the legislature – exposing Hershmans’s true intent. Read more about that here…

Now this won’t just mean that the faculty members who enjoy domestic partnership benefits will lose them if SJR-7 passes. It will mean that Purdue, IU, Ball State and other universities won’t be able to attract quality faculty members in the future, which will have a devastating effect on the quality of education in Indiana. The state of Wisconsin can testify to that:

This summer, Wisconsin lost a good deal of its edge in the nanotech revolution thanks to the Legislature’s refusal to provide domestic partner benefits to university employees. That refusal, plus the Legislature’s push to ban gay marriage, has prompted a leading nanotech researcher, Robert Carpick, an associate engineering physics professor, to leave the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a job at the University of Pennsylvania.

And if that, along with Michigan’s recent repeal of benefits for university employees doesn’t properly scare the crap out of Purdue and Indiana University, what’s going on in Kentucky right now should. A bill to strip universities of those rights in that state is moving through their state legislature, with some pretty serious affects:

Last year, during the debate over bills designed to improve Kentucky’s lagging math and science scores, it came up that the higher educational institutions in the state of Kentucky graduated only one qualified physics teacher last year. One.

Kentucky’s ability to attract qualified faculty to their sagging universities will die off as well, and the already poor quality of education that can’t even produce physics teachers now will deteriorate further.

Continue ReadingUniversity Domestic Partnership Benefits at Risk

Top Ten Questions on the Indiana University Basketball Coach Application

10. "Do you feel you have a proper disrespect for authority?"

9. "In what anger-management class do you see yourself in five years?"

8. "You’re not one of those guys who pats everyone on the ass, are you?"

7. "Have you ever been prescribed drugs that are used to sedate horses?"

6. "Fill in the blanks: I’m going to break your ____ing neck, you mother____"

5. "Are you actually Bob Knight in a fake mustache trying to get your job back?"

4. "Do you have what it takes to lead Indiana to a 2nd-round NCAA tournament loss?"

3. "Not your area, but what’s the deal with that lame ‘Big Brother’ show?"

2. "Which scenario results in getting fired:
A) threatening a basketball player or
B) having sex with a hefty intern?"

1. "Why them balls so bouncy?"

Continue ReadingTop Ten Questions on the Indiana University Basketball Coach Application