I attempted to tell myself, and ultimately believed that I was unconcerned with the outcome of my complaint filed with the Office of the Provost, regarding the situation of intellectual bias I have chronicled here on my blog. But I didn’t know how wrong I was until I received an email, stating that the evidence I had put forth failed to prove by a preponderance that Prof. Amanda Fuchs Miller had demonstrated bias against me for my political opinions expressed in class. This couldn’t be further from the truth in my opinion. I know I’ve gone back and forth in my posts about my ability to “prove” my case, but that was from a belief that my proof had to be beyond a reasonable doubt, not by a preponderance of the evidence – a much different standard of proof. I would like to share two very simple points that in my opinion separately provide convincing evidence of the probable truth of my claim. Not to mention, when everything is looked at in combination, it’s even more convincing that there was indeed unfair treatment taking place. These two points are not nearly exhaustive in the slightest, they are just the easiest to explain.  

NUMBER 1: Throughout my entire academic history at American University, up until my last semester of my Junior year when I was enrolled in this class, I never once received below a B- in any of my courses at AU. Why then, all of a sudden, would my performance drop, when every other course I took that same semester received no grade below a B+? Not to mention one of these classes was a 500-level course, while Prof. Miller’s class was only a 300-level course.

NUMBER 2: After calculating a grade of 60 on my mid-term, rather than the 39 I was given, it was shown that my cumulative grade for the course, at the time of the test, would have been within less than a point of a B-. It’s important to note, this was only one of two major graded assignments given throughout the course. For the final graded assignment, I have an email correspondence in which Prof. Miller indicates her expectation of my poor performance on the assignment, weeks before it was even due.

Preponderance of the evidence is a type of standard used in a burden of proof analysis, under which the burden is met when the party with that burden (me) convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. If you have read my previous posts about the way the class operated, I think it’s probable to believe that something less than fair took place. All you have to do is look at the curriculum.

Prof. Miller brazenly made unseemly comments about white people, gun-owners, men, and basically anyone else she disagreed with. I went into my meeting with the Provost’s office extolling that my purpose for bringing my complaint forward, rather than just dropping it (because let’s be frank, I was aware of the upstream battle I was facing), was to shed a light on the partisan nature of this course and this Professor and hopefully make the experiences of future students taking this course better than mine. However, I have not received any notification that the teacher has been spoken to, or that anything has been put in place to ensure these experiences do not continue to occur.

I initially believed the Office of the Provost had been taking my complaint seriously, however, it was clear from my most recent update from them that this was all just a way to cover their butts, rather than help a student who has continually felt ostracized by the culture of the campus.

6 thoughts on “Update: The Normalization of Intellectual Bias at American University

  1. Will the professor be willing to admit on tape that a poor grade would result from espousing views that are opposed to hers? It’s fine to kill intellectual diversity – that is her prerogative. Just stop pretending to live up to ideals that aren’t true. Publicize evidence of intellectual bias to incoming students, warning them that the tradition of intellectual diversity has all but died, at least at American. Students deserve to know what are they are in for.

    Liked by 1 person

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