Negotiations with ASU Broke Down Before They Began


For the previous story in this series, see Ledonne Requests Allegations, ASU Provides Hearsay.

During the week of November 16th – what would be the final correspondence concerning the appeals process proposed by Adams State University (ASU) upon banning Danny Ledonne from campus – at President McClure’s request, several concerned faculty repeatedly met with McClure and Interim Vice President Kurt Cary to explore a possible path to negotiate an amicable resolution.

Along with guidance from other concerned faculty and staff, Dr. Ben Waddell and Dr. Jeff Elison met separately with Ledonne, Cary and McClure to identify the areas of concern to ASU in banning Ledonne from campus and how these could be resolved in order to address concerns of campus safety while granting Ledonne access to the ASU campus without the threat of arrest. Following President McClure’s request on November 16th, Waddell, Elison, and Cary met multiple times for several hours and were able to persuade Ledonne to agree to a meeting with Cary.

Ledonne made explicit that such a meeting would be to discuss the process of negotiating a resolution with ASU regarding his hiring concerns as well as the remedies necessary to address being banned from campus without due process and the ongoing statements by ASU administration asserting that Ledonne is a threat to campus safety. In doing so, Cary understood that this would nullify ASU’s “official” appeals process as he would now be acting in the capacity of brokering the terms of a negotiation rather than to engage in the appeals process.

On November 17th from 11am until 2pm, Waddell, Elison, and Cary met with Ledonne at his residence. Cary took detailed notes and asked for clarification as necessary. Cary made clear his role was to gather information. Elison and Waddell facilitated discussion on granting Ledonne provisional access to campus, Ledonne shared his hiring concerns that had never previously been reviewed by administration, and the group outlined potential remedies to the harm incurred by Ledonne and also by the ASU administration over the previous month. Ledonne reiterated his ongoing desire to engage ASU in mediation and ultimately negotiation regarding the hiring process.

Upon conclusion of the meeting, the parties agreed that the discussion had been positive, productive, and promising.

At approximately 3:30pm that same afternoon, President McClure emailed the entire ASU student body, reiterating a variety of existing claims and adding new ones regarding Ledonne being a threat to the campus. See President McClure emails Students, Student Responds for this email in full.

Despite initiating the aforementioned conversations, McClure has subsequently stated that she found the efforts by male professors to reach out to her in the effort to find a solution to be sexist in nature. In an “emergency” Faculty Senate meeting on November 18th, McClure selectively paraphrased sections from a faculty member’s private email to her to illustrate sexist comments.  This email was sent in the middle of the aforementioned negotiations and started with two paragraphs about wanting the best for ASU and hope over the negotiations.  For more on this, see The Charge of “Sexism”: A Means of Suppressing Free Speech.

When the facts are laid on the table, this conduct is stunning, particularly in light of good faith efforts to meet with Cary and outline a possible resolution to the public controversy and legal exposure to the university. The next day, Danny Ledonne issued the following letter to Kurt Cary, stating that President McClure’s behavior had undermined the course of negotiations. In doing so, the appeals process and the opportunity to negotiate a solution had been exhausted, leaving legal action as the most viable path to resolution.