Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wrongfully Expelled NWACC Students–Outrageous!

We have received information from many wrongfully expelled NWACC students, but this case is so well documented that we are using it as an example to show just how NWACC practices academic mobbing.

This is an analysis of a former NWACC student’s case of wrongful expulsion by Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) in Bentonville, Arkansas, that occurred just three weeks prior to her class’ graduation.  The ill treatment of this student began with the respiratory therapy director, Alan Clark (a bully) and respiratory therapy instructor, Michelle Frazier (a bully), and then went all the way up the chain of command to Dean of Allied Health, Mary Ross (a bully), to Judicial Affairs, Dale Montgomery (a bully), to Dean of Learner Services, Mike Hartman (a bully), to Dean of Academic Affairs, John Tuthill (a bully), to Provost, Steven Gates (a bully), and finally to President Becky Paneitz (a bully). Not a single person in this chain of command addressed this student’s grievance. Instead, they brought her up against three different disciplinary action committees for fabricated allegations.

Furthermore, respiratory therapy instructor, Michelle Frazier, and respiratory therapy director, Alan Clark, attempted to recruit the entire class of 2011 to go against this student and to back up their false allegations against her.  Half of the class joined in on the bullying and the other half refused to do so.  Those who joined Frazier and Clark in ganging up on this student are Cameron Bishop of Siloam Springs, Kristie Hamilton of Springdale, Amie Jones of Siloam Springs, Seandra Martin Watanabe of Fayetteville, Melinda Johns of Centerton, Jessica Armstrong of Holiday Island, Mariah Thomas of Bella Vista, and Chrissy Flatt of Siloam Springs.

It should be noted that Mike Hartman and John Tuthill left NWACC shortly after this student’s case because the heat was on and they didn’t want to be caught up in it.  Hartman and Tuthill are good friends who travel around the country obtaining jobs at community colleges.  These two should be held accountable, as well as all those involved in destroying this student’s reputation, grades (they tampered with them), financial stability, and career in respiratory therapy.  This student paid heavily for a service that NWACC provides, only to have NWACC yank it out from under her at the last minute.

This student e-mailed NWACC President Becky Paneitz requesting that NWACC honor her degree in respiratory therapy as she was a good student with good grades and attendance and strong work ethic, and because she completed the ENTIRE program with the exception of the final three weeks leading up to graduation because NWACC wrongfully expelled her at that time.  Her e-mail request to President Paneitz requesting her degree has also gone ignored.  It is rightfully hers because she has earned it in every way and more so than her classmates.  The two years of vicious bullying on top of her academic obstacles were unfortunate, but she was able to get through it with good grades and attendance.

This student also called Provost to President, Steven Gates, to ask for his help, but he told her that bullying is very rare and that he must side with his employees, suggesting that the real problem was this student rather than his NWACC bullies. For an entire year, this student attempted to arrange a friendly coffee meeting with Gates and his attorney, but was stonewalled every time. Furthermore, Gates’ attorney would send ugly correspondence to this student in an attempt to get this student to walk away and to deal with the total destruction of her life rather than attempt to repair the severe damage NWACC caused her. It has been almost three years since her wrongful expulsion and she has not given up yet.

This "game" of plausible deniability is not uncommon in cases of institutional abuse.  In fact it's an age old trick. They break the victim’s spirit through isolating and bullying and then attempt to take away their degree thereby marginalizing them.  This, however, is not acceptable behavior, especially for an accredited institution.  NWACC knows this and is pulling out all stops in order to keep the truth from coming out.  Given the severity of the charges and allegations of this student against NWACC, this case has great potential to damage the school's reputation, which is already in a fractured state. NWACC has financial and legal resources that are well beyond the means of an average student.  Consequently, many wrongfully expelled students over the years have walked away from this unpleasantness with nothing settled, and NWACC continues on with perpetrating the same old monstrocities to their numerous victims.

This student has been able to produce much credible evidence to support her claims.  What is also interesting about this case is that her grievance was met with a highly-articulated and fabricated counter attack rather than the peaceful desire for resolution promoted in the school's policy.  In the cover letter of her formal grievance, which is dated 12.17.2010, this student clearly stated, “My hope for the outcome of this grievance is to repair my reputation at clinical sites; be given the grades that I rightfully earn with fair academic instruction and testing; foster open communication channels and respectful relations between NWACC faculty and administration, hospital clinical sites, and myself; and to be able to complete my final semester in peace, to graduate, and to move on with my life.”  The school's haste to throw together a fabricated case against her and administrative personnel overlooking these simple requests altogether are questionable.  This student asked to be heard, only to be silenced. She asked for an education, only to be robbed of it. She asked for diplomacy, only to be stonewalled. She asked for peace and NWACC gave her war.

In fact, her grievance was raked over the coals at the same time her rights and education were being dismantled.  The inherent conflict of utilizing paid staff to administer judicial hearings is questionable.  What's ironic is that this student has clearly gathered more than enough evidence to satisfy the burden of proof regarding her allegations of harassment, policy abuse, the mishandling of data, and records tampering, while the school's argument against her reads more like a teenage squabble.  

If even a fraction of her well-documented allegations are true, NWACC could be facing some very serious repercussions, especially in regard to its record tampering practices.  It is evidenced through her letters that her efforts have been continuing. As such, it may be concluded that the school's efforts to denounce her rights, to deny her degree, and to marginalize her as an individual have too been continuing.  Her attempts to resolve this situation have extended through a variety of departments and personnel, yet she has made no headway in reconciling the matter.  She is entitled to the correction of any falsified records, of which there are so many.

It is apparent that there is an organized push by school faculty and other NWACC representatives to quarantine this student’s story of wrongful expulsion which suggests a breakdown within the institution itself. This conclusion is also based upon the volume of other NWACC cases she has on file, which have involved foul play.

NWACC needs an ombudsman who is willing to look past private and financial interests in order to ensure fairness to both students and faculty.  What I don't understand is the strong bias that seems to have existed regarding her character.  She was raised in Germany; has traveled the globe; earned a liberal arts degree from an Ivy League college; spent nearly a decade living in Japan;  volunteered with Mother Theresa in Calcutta; spent a year in Borneo volunteering at an orangutan sanctuary; spent another year in Zanzibar tracking, monitoring, and habituating a troop a Zanzibar red colobus monkeys; spent approximately a year with a group of primatologists tracking one of Diane Fossey's troups of mountain gorilla's that had gone missing, and has lived a life full of philanthropy.  Additionally, she is multi-cultural and multi-lingual.  Furthermore, she is fifty years old and Michelle Frazier and Alan Clark expected her to think and behave like a traditional college-aged student of 19, which would entail erasing thirty-one years of her life from her memory. 

She came to Bentonville, Arkansas, to start a new chapter in her life, but has been treated like a second-class citizen by a bunch of low-class homegrown locals who are not emotionally equipped to deal with her diverse background and, in my opinion, a very interesting life of endeavors.  In short, they are simply green with envy and have made every attempt to destroy her.  NWACC faculty and administration is behaving on a very primal subjective level rather than on a sophisticated objective level as should be required by colleges and universities to qualify for a position within the institution.

There is no reason why a student should have to spend so much time and effort bargaining for rights that have already been guaranteed by the school through its very own policies and procedures.  The school seems to have intentionally placed a sizable gap between its students and their resources.  What personnel have been secured to delegate student grievances are disengaged and equally unwilling.  Likewise, those consigned to uphold procedural standards in disciplinary proceedings appear to be unanimously biased and uncooperative.  The administration of discipline should guarantee procedural fairness to any accused student.  It is surprising that NWACC does not employ an ombudsman or a neutral third-party mediator in order to facilitate conflict resolution.  NWACC’s grievance process is administered "in-house" and directed solely by staff and administrative personnel impeding the rights of aggrieved students.

According to the documents, emails, and transcripts this student has compiled, her grievance against Northwest Arkansas Community College and its Respiratory Therapy Program is based primarily on the following factors:

·         Bullying and Harassment by Instructors, Faculty, and Other Staff Personnel
·         Violations of Student Rights (per policy)
·         Violations of Whistleblower Protections
·         Retaliation by Staff and Administrative Personnel (per policy)
·         Due Process Violations (per policy)
·         Breach of Contract
·         Tampering and/or Altering of Scholastic and Personal Records
·         Fabrication and/or Forging of Official Records
·         Altering of Grades
·         Character defamation by Staff and Administrative Personnel/Slander Inside and Outside the Classroom
·         Sabotage of Future Employment Opportunities in NWA
·         Conspiracy/Civil Rights Violations
·         Consumer Fraud
·         Revocation of School Records Including Judicial File, Registrar's File, and Financial Aid File
·         Refusal of School to Respond to Multiple Freedom of Information Act Requests
·         The School's Promotion of a Hostile Learning Environment
·         The School's Unjustified Cancellation of her Classes and Wrongful Expulsion
·         Interference and Control of Your Personal Life
·         The Withholding of Grades for Work Completed
·         The Fabrication of a False/Illegal Psychological Assessment by Unlicensed/Unqualified Personnel
·         The Loss of Approximately $40,000 in Student Loan Debt with Interest Accruing Daily Plus Four Years
·                Study & One Year Appealing Case
·         Subsequent Damage to her Personal Credit
·         The Refusal by the School's Council to Hear and Process her Formal Grievance
     The Refusal by School Administration to Properly Address Faculty Indiscretions & Improprieties


  1. Do tell more of this story. I would like to hear her entire story.

  2. Respiratory therapy teacher, Michelle Frazier, is a whiskey slugging, pot smoking, chain smoking, vulgar bully. Don't understand where NWACC comes up with these kind of people. Guess NWACC can't do any better. NWACC has this brand new health education facility but hasn't bothered to upgrade their instructors to match the facility. I think it should be required for local medical professionals to have more clout and say-so with NWACC's allied health programs.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. This poor student! Gates is filing a personal law suit against her when this blog is all about NWACC. And the bullying continues. How can this even be legal? Smells fishy to me. Something is very wrong with NWACC.

      It doesn't look like Gates has been affected by this blog. He still holds his position at NWACC and makes a 6-digit income.

    3. A VP of NWACC is suing a former student! Seriously? This is outrageous. I do hope the Honorable Judge John Scott will be THE person who brings NWACC into the 21st century. It's time for our elected officials to take a stand against bullying. If anyone is watching national news, there are bullying stories on all the time these days.

  4. Greedy NWACC! You want the money from the students but you can't even treat them with respect. Students are the ones who pay for the college to even have its doors open. For Shame! Think you just might burn in hell for eternity.

  5. Of course NWACC gave her war. That's all they know how to do. Compassion isn't one of their strengths. This student's story is just like NWACC's other victim's stories. It isn't anything new. NWACC has a problem with originality. All their bully tactics are the same. This should raise some flags with the local media and elected officials. Makes me think that the media and elected officials aren't very bright. What's wrong with this picture?

  6. Alan Clark is on the disciplinary action committee and knows very well how to use this against the wronged students. He's cold and calculating, and makes way to many non-politically correct and sexist comments in class that he would not get away with if he weren't in the state of Arkansas. He's protected by Steven Gates, who enjoys the bullying process immensely.