Advertisement

Letter to the editor: Jonathan Waters deserved to be fired

August 18, 2014

eckhart.5@osu.edu

Letter to the editor:

I completely and wholeheartedly support both President Michael Drake for firing Ohio State Marching Band director Jonathan Waters and the OSU Board of Trustees for declining to meet with him to discuss reinstatement. This was surely a tough decision because Waters has devoted much of his life to OSU, but it was the correct decision if we truly believe in putting students first.

Notwithstanding all the other elements – the nicknames, the “Midnight Ramp” tradition, the sexualized culture – all one has to do is listen to the audiotape of Waters intimidating and verbally abusing a student to realize the university needed to separate itself from this rogue instructor.

We should all remember that participating in the OSUMB is an academic class. According to its website, students in the band enroll in Music 2205.01 and receive academic credit. Of course, even if it were an extracurricular activity, this would still not excuse the sort of behavior Waters engaged in, which was caught on tape.

And even if sympathizers suggest that Waters was set-up by the student, it must have been common knowledge – and perhaps prior experience – that Waters verbally abuses students. We should be thanking this student for having the courage to document what happened behind closed doors.

I am astonished that Waters has the audacity to hope for his job back and is considering suing the university. I have taught at OSU for more than 20 years, and I hope I have established a positive reputation for myself over those years. But I have to say that if I ever, even once, verbally abused a student, I would expect to be fired on the spot, and I would hope the university would help me get some treatment.

Finally, I know many students who are currently in the marching band, and they are all supporting their former director. I understand and applaud this. Waters has given his career to the Ohio State University and deserves our support. He does not, however, deserve his job back. Firing him was the right thing to do, because the world Waters thought he lived in – where it is OK to intimidate and bully students – is not the world we wish to create here at OSU, and his firing is completely in alignment with the core university value of putting students first.

Bob Eckhart
Executive Director of Combined ESL Programs
Department of Teaching and Learning
College of Education and Human Ecology
eckhart.5@osu.edu


The Lantern uses two-click social media buttons to protect your privacy. Click once to load the button, then again to share!

Comments (70)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. CaseyQ says:

    Obviously this guy didn’t talk to his students who are currently in the marching band, or he would have heard from them that Waters in no way bullied or intimidated them.

  2. Jon says:

    Bob,

    Thank you for sharing how you put students first by ignoring what they have to say. Thank you also for pretending that classroom experience is relevant to the what is essentially a varsity sport.

  3. Amy J says:

    You have no idea what you are talking about….that student was warned many times of his arrogant and insidious behavior! he purposely defied authority over and over and he was even known to flirt with the mothers and make them uncomfortable…that day Jon was standing up for his associate director who had been verbally assaulted by this student! Furthermore this kid has been heard using foul language himself by other band members, mothers, etc! Get your facts straight! No one cares more for his students than Jon Waters!

  4. Jim says:

    There is a difference between cursing AT a student and using profanity in a conversation in which the student is being censured. If you were to tell Urban Meyer that he was not allowed to curse in any of his interactions with student-athletes, you would (and should) be laughed out of the room. Varsity Football is also a listed class for credit, just as Marching Band is. Unless all athletic coaches are to be held to the same unreasonable standard, it is just bald-faced stupidity to suggest Waters deserved to be fired for it.

  5. Jon says:

    Bob — do you also fully support the slanderous accusations found in the much maligned Glaros report? The administration currently has chosen to deflect all questions and comments on the situation by saying that they “stand behind” the report. This report employed “research methodology” that would fail a freshman science course to essentially accuse every current and former member of the marching band of facilitating sexual assault. The Glaros report is almost universally recognized as shoddy as even those interviewed have publicly stated that their testimony was ignored or twisted to reach a foregone conclusion. How can you stand by and allow such serious claims to be made against students without any justification? How can you support an administration that refuses to look at facts and reevaluate a situation? This has nothing to do with putting students first and everything to do with arrogance and superiority. Perhaps you should consider that false allegations of sexual harassment might be more harmful to a student than appropriate discipline.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bullied?? I wish people would get off this “bullying” bandwagon…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did you know that football is a class? Are you ignorant enough to think that this “bullying” you describe doesn’t happen there? Get a life.

  8. Buckeye in the West says:

    In the “real world”, terminating one’s employment is usually the last course of action; not the first. For example, if the “real world”, the employee would be given a verbal warning, a written warning, be placed on probation, possible administrative leave and then finally terminated. During these steps, the employee would be encouraged to correct the offending behavior. In the case Jon Waters, based upon his employment history, this did not occur. If anything he had a stellar work record.

    I, like many people, would not be supportive of Jon waters, if we thought he was guilty of everything in the “investigative report”. Much, if not all, of it, has been called into question. What remains, is the incident mentioned by Bob Eckhart. This is the only item which is of Jon Water’s doing. But, is it worthy of terminating someone, without going through the established employee disciplinary process?

    I do agree, however, that anyone who verbally abusing another employee, employer or charge deserves to be disciplined for this type of behavior. But, I also expect that an employer follows due process and their own disciplinary procedures. I do not think any employee, on contract, classified staff, unclassified staff, or tenured can be terminated for the first time incident Bob Eckhart refers to. Though, they can if there is a documented history and one does not attempt to change this beahvior. Which, according to Jon Water’s employment record, there is no documented history of such behavior.

    In my years working at various universities, the only times I have seen immediate termination, is when the employee committed a felony and are in custody. The felony would have been one in which the employee would physically harm another individual. Other incidents were dealt with by a similar procedure described above.

    In the end, Ohio State will have a very difficult time defending a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

    So, it is very easy to say a person should be terminated on the spot, but that is opening up the employer to a lawsuit.

  9. Lawrence Cohen says:

    I hope the author of this letter knows that KNSFHP 1196.06 – Varsity Squads: Football is a 2 hour class and will hold the football coaching staff to the same standards he is trying to hold the marching band director to. I would argue that, despite the fact they are both classes, the band director and coaches have some leeway in dealing with their students.

  10. Tyler Studebaker says:

    Mr. Eckhart,

    How in the world does a man whose efforts to reform the band’s culture are described as “courageous” in his most recent performance reviews not deserve to keep his job when faced with the accusation of cultivating a culture conducive to sexual harassment and assault while simultaneously being denied due process? If you have any questions about Jon Waters’ efforts to reform band culture, Jon’s daily behavior towards students, or the culture itself, feel free to contact me so you may further educate yourself on this issue, that is unless you have no interest in hearing evidence that your own viewpoint is incorrect. If you favor the latter, then by all means, stick your head in the sand and ignore the truth, you’ll be on your way to a higher position in the university administration in no time as you’d fit right in. The mass of students coming to Jon’s support is no accident, and his firing was undeserved and uncalled for.

  11. Disgusted says:

    I would have expected a better use of written logic, coming from a professor who claims to be an expert in “legal writing and reasoning” (from your English Dept. homepage). You made a few substantial logical jumps:

    1) Right off the bat, you characterize the contents of the audiotape as “verbal abuse”. That isn’t verbal abuse – plain and simple. The actual definition of verbal abuse is “the use of words to cause harm to the person being spoken to.”

    2) You say that “And even if sympathizers suggest that Waters was set-up by the student, it must have been common knowledge – and perhaps prior experience – that Waters verbally abuses students.” This is a classic example of a logical fallacy referred as “begging the question”. This is a proposition which requires proof – you, of course, do not provide any. From this point, you expect the reader to be on board with the notion that Waters was a serial abuser.

    3) Finally, you cap everything off with “But I have to say that if I ever, even once, verbally abused a student, I would expect to be fired on the spot, and I would hope the university would help me get some treatment.” You still haven’t proven your original proposition – namely, that Waters committed verbal abuse. However, you’re just hoping the reader has forgotten about that little detail. After all, how can anyone argue with the statement that verbal abuse is bad?

    This letter (and the few others like it) is a half-hearted attempt by the faculty of this great university to repair the damage caused by its erstwhile president and BoT. Whether or not the administration continues to put pressure on the faculty to write this sort of letter is irrelevant, because the tide of public opinion is already closing in on Drake. The Glaros Report has been thoroughly debunked, and now the administration is grasping at straws.

  12. Buckeye in the West says:

    “Disgusted” left out:

    If Bob Eckhart is a tenured professor, then “But I have to say that if I ever, even once, verbally abused a student, I would expect to be fired on the spot, and I would hope the university would help me get some treatment.”; would never happen. The university would have to go through the very painful process to terminate a tenured professor, which is a very tine consuming, expensive process. Apparently, Bob Eckhart has many more protections, than what Jon Waters had at his disposal.

  13. Katie says:

    If you are going to write a letter to the editor, perhaps you should review all of the information available, instead of just that which fits your argument. You appear to be another person in a leadership role at OSU that is using poor research strategies to back up their uneducated opinion. Also, the university does not immediately terminate professors that ‘swear’ or ‘bully’ students. I got tangled up in a dispute between professors while a graduate student in your very college (EHE). I was sworn AT and treated very disrespectfully by a department chair. I did not illegally tape the recording, as this student did, nor did I do anything to deserve this ill-treatment, as this student did. I did report the conversation to the Graduate School and Student Affairs, not because I really cared about being yelled at, but because I needed the situation taken care of. I was told by someone very high up in the grad school that they had been having issues with this professor for a long time and suggested switching departments within the college as their was really no way ‘around’ this professor within her department. She worked for the university for several years after this incident, and I’m sure, many others. Find out the facts next time, and please don’t add to the embarrassment that OSU is already causing….

  14. Anonymous says:

    Disgusted – Mr Eckhart is NOT a faculty member, he is just a lowly staff person managing a small program. That is why he has no clue about he issue at hand.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Buckeye in the West – Please be comforted by the fact that Mr. Eckhart is NOT a tenured, or any kind of, faculty member. He is just a staff person managing a small program, and unable to comprehend the world around him.

  16. Buckeye in the West says:

    Anonymous thank you for clearing that up.

  17. Yeah, sure.......... says:

    Hey Eckhart, did Drake tell you to write this letter? Or maybe it was Glaros, who formed a conclusion, then fabricated a report to fit the conclusion, most of which has proven to be false.
    Also, why would witnesses NOT need to provide “proof” for the report but need to provide “proof” to you when they state the report was erroneous?

    It is my understanding that the band member that was “verbally abused” had previously been suspended from the band for breaking rules. He obviously has no problem with rule breaking since it is ILLEGAL to record a person without their knowledge.

    Now go back to your lab, little man.

  18. Stupid Rookie says:

    Dear Bob -
    You are dumb.

  19. Anonymous says:

    People move on. Hire a new band director and let this black eye for the university disappear.

  20. Stupid Rookie says:

    I was more “verbally abused” by professors I had during undergrad than the student on that tape. Knowing he verbally assaulted the associate director, I think waters should be commended for not showing him the door, especially since it’s also been made public that this student didn’t exactly take direction from superiors very well.

  21. Joe T says:

    Anonymous says:
    August 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    “People move on. Hire a new band director and let this black eye for the university disappear.”

    Absolutely not. What a horrible lesson for a school to teach its students – Even though you might dedicate your life to a cause, and you might do everything within your power to do the right thing, your employer can screw you over by having an underpaid lackey write an inaccurate, amateurish report condemning you as some sort of deviant. And then when you do get screwed over, just roll over and let it happen.

    Drake and the BoT are the ones who have to “move on”. They need to accept that the Glaros Report has been debunked, and is threatening to be a legal liability for the school. They need to fix this before OSU is facing both a wrongful termination suit by Waters and a class-action suit by the band alumni.

  22. Guest says:

    Sorry Buckeye in the West I learned the hard way if you live in an “at will” state you can be fired for ANYTHING!!!! Sadly I listened to Waters on one of the national shows and if my child complained to me about his behavior and wanted it documented I would support them. Oh by the way I am a parent of a former student athlete who HATED the ignorant behavior of “some” of the team (poor coaches trying to deal with hormonal childish females hahaha)but choose to think “When I graduate I’ll never have to see most of these idiots (teachers included) again so I stay quiet!!!”

  23. Buckeye in the West says:

    Joe T; this class action suit could also include alumni and students. Imagine what it will be like to go to an away game or go some place, showing one’s Buckeye Pride and being ridiculed? This is what happened at Penn State, with something much, much worse.

    Jon Waters has said is this more than about him, it is about the band, the band alumni, the students, and the alumni. This goes far and deep. Apparently, the out of touch administration though it affected one person, and the current bad, but they are wrong; very wrong. This report defames a lot of people.

    So, not only should Jon Waters be reinstated, but those who showed great irresponsibility by accepting a flawed “investigative” report, and by posting on the internet, should be forced to resign and make a full apology to the entire Ohio State community.

    If Ohio voters vote for Trustees, then every one of them should be voted out. And, if teh faculty wants to continue getting grants, then they need to vote to condemn the report and ask fro President Drake’s resignation.

    This is not going to go away.

  24. don p says:

    Guest says:
    August 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    “Sorry Buckeye in the West I learned the hard way if you live in an “at will” state you can be fired for ANYTHING!!!! ”

    Yes, the state of Ohio is indeed an “at will” state – however, per legal precedent (and the 14th Amendment), a state employer is required to provide due process to an employee facing termination with cause. This due process was not provided to Mr. Waters – in fact, there is a good legal argument for malicious intent in the investigative methods of the Glaros Report.

    In reality, however, all OSU likely had to do was fire him and not say a word; like you said, OSU does not necessarily need to have an actual reason to terminate. However, they DID give a reason, in the form of a fallacious report written with a level of quality I would expect from an OSU Freshman. Because they went the extra mile to make libelous statements about Waters and current/former band members, they have exposed themselves to some serious lawsuits.

  25. Buckeye in the West says:

    Don p, you give the creators of the report too much credit; “freshman” is correct, but high school is more like it.

    I forgot to add, OSU can also be sued for releasing sexually explicit material on the internet, with no access controls. The “exam” and “song book’ certainly qualify as sexually explicit material. Certainly, people under 18 not only have access to this material, but they are downloading too. This release was completely irresponsible. This is the added damage to all the other damage done.

    It is pretty hard for the Board of Trustees and President Drake to take the high ground, where they did a worse act, than what Jon Waters was terminated for. A lawyer, or group of lawyers, is going to have a field day. I hope OSU has a very good liability insurance policy; they are going to need it.

  26. Kate says:

    Lapdog for the Trustee mafia. What a load of doublespeak.

  27. Buckeye One says:

    Mr. Eckhart does not have a clue about this whole situation. This letter is no more than a ‘kiss ass’ attempt to support a flawed President. I am embarrassed that this person has a position with our great University.

  28. Sad Story says:

    People fired from OSU:
    Woody Hayes
    Earl Bruce
    John Cooper
    Jim Tressel
    Gymnastic coach
    Cheerleader coaches
    Gordon Gee
    A psychology professor I filed a sexual harassment complaint against in 1988.

    Mr. Waters was fired. He needs to move on. Just because readers do not agree with this letter to the editor, that’s no reason to disparage the writer. To invoke ad hominem arguments make you appear immature.

  29. Reality Calling says:

    I’m glad the lantern provides a therapy location for so many of you to gather and practice your twisted logic. Let’s see if Waters can get anywhere in a court of law. Or if the completely ridiculous idea of a class action law suit can get anyway further then a mention on a website for frivolous lawsuits.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sad Story says:
    August 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    “People fired from OSU:
    Woody Hayes
    Earl Bruce
    John Cooper
    Jim Tressel
    Gymnastic coach
    Cheerleader coaches
    Gordon Gee
    A psychology professor I filed a sexual harassment complaint against in 1988.

    Mr. Waters was fired. He needs to move on. Just because readers do not agree with this letter to the editor, that’s no reason to disparage the writer. To invoke ad hominem arguments make you appear immature.”

    There haven’t been many ad hominem arguments made here – not sure if you actually know what that logical fallacy even means. The vast majority of statements here have been backed by fact, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here.

  31. Anonymous says:

    “Reality Calling says:
    August 19, 2014 at 12:29 am

    I’m glad the lantern provides a therapy location for so many of you to gather and practice your twisted logic. Let’s see if Waters can get anywhere in a court of law. Or if the completely ridiculous idea of a class action law suit can get anyway further then a mention on a website for frivolous lawsuits.”

    I haven’t seen any twisted logic here, outside of the actual letter to the editor. Drake himself has actually admitted that the university could face financial consequences for standing by their decision to fire him; I’m not sure why you think this is a “completely ridiculous” idea, when it’s pretty well established Waters has a very strong case. It turns out libel has an actual legal definition, and the university’s irresponsible report crossed that line.

  32. Abracadabra says:

    Another university press release disguised as an independent thought! I guarantee Bob gets a promotion for playing the good little soldier to the most overpaid administration in OSU history; excluding the new black guy, of course. It still is Ohio State…

    Hearing one recording without any shred of background information does not give anyone the right to judge, especially when the judgement affects so many people’s lives. OSU has a history of ignoring abuse of power, illegal activities, and other affairs that cross the line, but brow beating someone who has repeatedly been painted as a miscreant is the last straw? Stick to teaching and the arts Bob, because you obviously weren’t taught about any fields that require evidence to support an accusation or hypothesis.

    PS – I thought The Lantern was supposed to be an independent news source, not another part of the OSU media machine. You should be ashamed of yourselves Lantern staff. Look to Purdue’s example for how real journalists act…

  33. ric allwood says:

    Steinmetz,Wadsworth used Drake to fire Jon Waters because they can….The intent of Title IX is ok…problem arises in its application.It is intentionally written vague.It can be violated in any setting from dorms to faculty lounges.It is also a good hiding place …justifies righteous action.This is why leadership must be in short supply at my alma mater.Is this uneven use of Title IX…which will be backed up by Betty Montgomery worth it to Ohio State….Go BUCK$$$$$$$$

  34. Guest says:

    The governor places the BOT, push the governor to make changes or vote him out…

  35. R Weiss says:

    Thank you, Mr. Eckhart, for succinctly stating an opinion shared by the vast majority, even if some band alumni choose to deny it. It’s time for them to face the music, evinced by their paltry petition. OSU has 57,000 students, 475,000 living alumni, and the state of Ohio over 11,500,00 people. Only 12,600 signatures (including non-alumni and national) support the reinstatement of Jon Waters to protect the band’s sacred traditions.

    As in a half-time show, the TBDBITL alumni coordinate on an impressive level in efforts to reinstate Waters and attack those who disagree. But just like marching to music, it’s just a show. They are not special. This ‘outrage’ performance continues to plunge them into deeper levels of embarrassing. Like a never ending noon tornado siren, they trumpet the danger to their traditions and prestige as more important than either sexual harassment or the other 99% university members and alumni.

    If only they put this much energy into maturity. Evidently it was not something learned in band, just eroded. Let Waters sue if he thinks he’ll succeed; stop continuing to fail in the court of public opinion.

  36. Doug says:

    It continues to amaze me that the facts are irrelevant in this discussion. “R Weiss” does not seem to care that the report has been demonstrated to be false. It therefore carries no weight in an argument. Why don’t you let me accuse your friends of appalling things that they did not do. Let me accuse your sons and nieces of being perverts. Let me watch you walk through an airport 500 miles from Columbus and see the look of disgust by someone judging you based on a lie. This is what has happened to my friends, my sons and me. I can only imagine that you would stand up for yourself to attempt to correct the injustice of the situation. How many people who are wrong constitute a just majority?

  37. RPL says:

    R Weiss says:
    August 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    “Thank you, Mr. Eckhart, for succinctly stating an opinion shared by the vast majority…”

    Nice try, Drake. Take a look at the media coverage over the last week, and observe how the entire narrative has shifted as the Glaros Report has been thoroughly dismantled. The average person no longer believes Waters got a fair shake. I don’t even know a single member of the marching band, but I won’t donate another cent as long as the university continues to embarrass itself with this hack job.

    The resolution is so simple, and so straightforward, that this is honestly starting to make the administration look like amateurs. Boiled down, here:

    1) OSU conducted investigation

    2) Investigation found evidence of a “sexualized culture”, necessitating the band director’s firing. At first, national media carry the official OSU position that Waters willingly ignored glaring sexual harassment issues.

    3) Interviewed band members/alumni came forward, saying their words were mischaracterized or omitted – OSU refuses to release interview transcripts

    4) Report included two offensive documents (songbook and “rookie midterm”) as “exhibits” – neither one has a date, and in fact both predated Waters’ time as director

    5) People named as “victims” in the investigation report came forward and contradicted the statements made in the report

    6) At the university’s request, Waters created and handed over to investigators a 7-page document highlighting actions to address and correct behavioral issues within the band. This document should have been included as an exhibit in the report – however, it was not even mentioned.

    7) Nobody interviewed stands behind the Glaros Report – based on 3 through 6, this report no longer carries any weight. Virtually every claim made in the report is claimed to be false, by the very people it identified as victims.

    8) Waters’ job review is released by OSU, following a Freedom of Information Act request. It turns out he was commended for the steps he was taking to fix cultural problems within the band. The school can no longer claim to have not previously known about potential issues.

    And now the school is at a cross-roads. The smart thing to do would be to suck it up, admit the mistake, re-instate Waters, and move on. However, the administration has shown a disturbing degree of incompetence up to now. It seems much more likely that they will choose to fight an uphill legal battle – one that they, frankly, deserve to lose.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Weiss – I can only surmise that you have just emerged from the rock under which you live, since you clearly have not followed the step by step discrediting of the Glaros Report that has taken place over the past month. No, you prefer to believe the slanders the University plastered all over the press to try force their case on the world, and then use these to smear the students and alumni that have given the University so much through their efforts. It takes an enormous dose of arrogance to assume that all those students and alumni who have not voiced an opinion on this matter are all allies to your warped thought process. How much easier it is to use the broad brush of cliche than to actually read and follow the unfolding issue. Congratulations, Mr Weiss, your OSU gift pack will be arriving shortly, courtesy of the Trustees and the administration.

  39. Haha says:

    Look at all these defensive answers and chants that twist report facts. The band is such a cult. Take your orders and drive, drive, drive!

  40. Anonymous says:

    HaHa – Actually it seems to me that the band supporters are very much on the offensive, and it is the Trustees, administration, and twerps like you that are on the defensive. Cult, indeed! Grow up.

  41. Anonymous One says:

    The vitriol in which the band supporters are showing their hand here is embarrassing to us all.
    The lack of decorum, the questionable logic, and willingness to devolve into the lowest common denominator as a whole, are only solidifying the reputation for group think that appears to be pervasive in the band’s culture.

    The easy way in which supporters turn to insults and make sweeping accusations of anyone willing to question their motivations should be worrisome for those of us operating at a research institution at the highest level.

    And Bob Eckhart, while I may share your sentiment and respect your willingness to speak out, Liz has done you no favors in printing this.
    As a non-tenured staff member, you have risked your reputation publicly vs a group that prefers to use scare tactics, anonymous cover, or are operating from alumni status and not in danger of repercussions. I hope you do not suffer for your attempt at common sense via free speech here.

    This was no more than added fuel to the fire for The Lantern for the voracious narrative that they are so intent upon supporting.
    There have been something like 20 articles on the band… in the same amount of time The Lantern did not print any other letters to the editor. I’m wondering why they haven’t asked USG for a quote… could it be because they won;t find the supposed support is there?

    Frankly, a quality paper, interested in advocating for students would have had the reverse ratio that has been on display… many individual opinions to the editor could have been given a voice, but while the real business of real issues for students were addressed. There are at least a half dozen serious, Dispatch worthy stories, floating around campus right now… stories that students deserve to hear, but are not given the print space because The Lantern has tunnel vision.

  42. jeff says:

    Sounds like someone in the administration finally got around to encouraging faculty to start writing letters and comments disparaging the band. Unsurprisingly, they all seem to follow the same talking points of “twisted logic” and the like. They don’t even make the slightest attempt to tackle the issues surrounding the debunked report.

    Instead, they try to make the spurious claim that this isn’t the biggest story happening right now at OSU. The fact is, this is the single most important ongoing issue at the school. If Drake’s questionable executive capacity isn’t addressed now, OSU is going to be in a world of hurt in the coming years.

  43. jeff says:

    Haha says:
    August 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    “Look at all these defensive answers and chants that twist report facts. The band is such a cult. Take your orders and drive, drive, drive!”

    The only fact in this whole disaster, is that there are no facts in the Glaros Report. It is an error-ridden failure of a document that is going to prove a legal liability to the school.

  44. Doug says:

    “The lack of decorum, the questionable logic, and willingness to devolve into the lowest common denominator as a whole, are only solidifying the reputation for group think that appears to be pervasive in the band’s culture.”

    This sentence makes sense if you replace “band’s culture” with the group think of OSU’s administration.

    Someone please explain how standing up against libel and slander is indecorous? Why is it ok to manipulate evidence so that an organization can fire someone? Please provide the names of your best friends, your children, and yourself so that I can say anything I want about them and you to the world.

    Please point to the questionable logic of believing hundreds of witnesses versus the handful quoted (now known to often be misquoted and misrepresented) witnesses in the report. The questionable logic is to accept the word of the administration blindly despite the facts which contradict just about every argument the Glaro Report presents. If you separate the wheat from the chaff in the Glaros Report, there’s not enough left to make a bread crumb.

    The lowest common denominator appears to be that the report is false, misrepresenting an organization that has brought honor to OSU for more than a century.

    “Honor is better than honors.” Abraham Lincoln. OSU has tried to steal the honor of the OSUMB and TBDBITL Alumni. We will continue to defend our honor.

  45. Joseph R says:

    “And Bob Eckhart, while I may share your sentiment and respect your willingness to speak out, Liz has done you no favors in printing this.
    As a non-tenured staff member, you have risked your reputation publicly vs a group that prefers to use scare tactics, anonymous cover, or are operating from alumni status and not in danger of repercussions. ”

    Are you actually arguing that the reason band alumni are able to speak their minds is because they are “not in danger of repercussions”, suggesting that current students are not afforded the same protections of speech? If current students are receiving pressure from the administration to not speak their mind and support Waters, then that is an extremely dangerous precedent.

  46. Anonymous One says:

    No, Joe R, you dolt.
    I was inferring that a staff member does not have the same protections as students, tenured faculty, or alumni.
    But way to try and spin this back to your own self focused, twisted narrative.

  47. Nalaya says:

    Can someone explain why it was okay that some band members passing around band-related materials that included sexism, rape, homophobia, and racism? Waters admitted knowing about it ever since he was a student. It was even updated at the very least in 2006 while he was second in charge. It even has his name in it. How is it okay for him to become an educator and hide this? I just don’t understand how these alumni can care so much about this firing but not that people from who write and distribute messages like these are among their number. That is the same as saying it’s okay.

  48. Nalaya says:

    “You F****** Wh***.
    These empty long necks,
    Have lowered your guard,
    I’m gonna break right through it,
    Your Hymen.”

    These little town wh****,
    I’ve all f***** dry.
    I’ll make a brand new start of it,
    In the Marching Band.”

    I can not describe how sick and sad the thought of this makes me feel as student. I could not look at anyone in the face who knew about it and did nothing. Nor any group who thinks restoring the job of someone who knew this existed is more important than that it existed.

  49. John says:

    Bob you are just another idiotic product of academia. You just dont get it at all. Waters more then deserves his job back, or a nice settlement.

  50. Lance says:

    Don’t pretend to know what Waters did or did not see. The reason his name was in the songbook is because there was a song written ABOUT HIM in it. That alone ought to be a pretty clear indication that the songbook was distributed without his knowledge.

  51. Yeah, sure.......... says:

    Obviously HaHA was a first cut from OSUMB.

  52. Fireside Cat says:

    Maybe Haha is in the band. I actually hope they change F-Night now. Even dropping it’s fine by me. I just want to play my brass while marching for my school. The slideshows where I’m told that Waters and Hoch are my new Gods and the leaders are lesser gods and if I don’t always obey them I’ll be devoured really rubbed me the wrong way. But you have to stay quiet if you want to play.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Nalaya says:
    August 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    “You F****** Wh***.
    These empty long necks,
    Have lowered your guard,
    I’m gonna break right through it,
    Your Hymen.”

    These little town wh****,
    I’ve all f***** dry.
    I’ll make a brand new start of it,
    In the Marching Band.”

    I can not describe how sick and sad the thought of this makes me feel as student. I could not look at anyone in the face who knew about it and did nothing. Nor any group who thinks restoring the job of someone who knew this existed is more important than that it existed.”

    I don’t think you get it…The Glaros Report was crafted expertly to seize attention, with the hope that readers would just take it at face value. Waters didn’t know about that songbook, and the report doesn’t even claim he did. But they just left it there, with no context, in the hopes that the average uninformed reader would just lap it up. The song that you mention above has probably not been sung by a member of the marching band since the 80s. Thanks to the release of the songbook by the administration however, offensive people across the country can enjoy singing it for years to come.

  54. Joseph T says:

    Anonymous One says:
    August 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

    “No, Joe R, you dolt.
    I was inferring that a staff member does not have the same protections as students, tenured faculty, or alumni.
    But way to try and spin this back to your own self focused, twisted narrative.”

    Nice ad hominem – but I’m not sure how my narrative can be “self focused.” I’ve never known anyone in the marching band; I’m more concerned about the direction of the administration, and in their mismanagement of this debacle. I donate a substantial amount of money every year to be in the President’s Club, and this will be the last year. I have no desire for my donations to help support Drake’s habit of setting the university up for costly lawsuits. If they can’t even figure out how to handle this issue, I have absolutely no faith in Drake to show any executive competency.

  55. Mike says:

    The audio tape revealed that Jon Waters is exactly as passionate about TBDBITL as he should be. In the real world, when someone makes a mistake he needs to be educated- but when he deliberately act against the wishes of a superior, they need to be chewed out, if not fired. Only a lifelong academic would pretend otherwise.

  56. Brutus says:

    When did it become okay to secretly record a private conversation?

  57. MM says:

    Only one party needs to consent in Ohio, aka the recorder. But it would be illegal for someone outside the party to record them (sans a warrant). It helps to catch people lying.

  58. Class of '98 says:

    Sadly, the firing of Jon Waters should surprise no one. After all, it’s just another example of the Big Trends in higher education today:

    - Ignoring or denying unpleasant facts that don’t fit the PC narrative.
    - Embracing mediocrity by targeting faculty who rigorously demand excellence from students.
    - Lack of personal courage, even to the level of refusing to meet with the man being fired.

    It’s telling indeed that the only individuals who have shown any integrity through this debacle have been the undergraduates who had the guts to stand up for their band director. President Drake could learn a valuable lesson from them.

  59. Buckeye traditions says:

    From the manual of “Emasculated Leadership of A Big Public University”: When title IX rears its screeching head grab your cheeks and flee from the room emitting loud man screams

  60. HarleyDave says:

    Letter to Bob:

    It’s time for you to move on also.

  61. Susan says:

    I am a female who made the band in 1974…The second year girls were allowed to try out. 5 females and 220 males that year. You would think it to be a ripe atmosphere for sexual harassment. Was I harassed? NEVER. Did they watch out for me? ALWAYS. Never saw or heard the songbook. My brother still arranges music and shows for the band. We know Jon. And we know that the University has made a huge mistake.

  62. Chris Z. says:

    This is the most ridiculous argument I have heard to date. So Urban doesn’t yell at the football team (and I am sure his language is squeaky clean, by the way)? The basketball and baseball teams are asked politely to please correct errant drills?

    Welcome to the real world, Bob. Tip: It is not the one you are living in.

  63. Anonymous says:

    You are the typical stereotype OSU Prof who is bitter that Sports, Band, etc… get more press and admiration than your tenured rear end. It’s too bad that there are still so many like you in Academia. I am sure you wish you had the support Mr. Waters has. You never will.

  64. Classof2000 says:

    You bring up a good point, Anonymous. It seems to me that when Waters gained so much success so quickly and was hired by Gee reporting up the athletic department chain, there were some “tenured rear ends” at the college of music who did NOT have his back. I’m guessing those people were upset at how Waters was hired, titled and (dare I say?) controlled?

    Now, the Title IX people are harassing the band members. Fear and intimidation are the means which Ohio State interacts with its students in the band. That’s something that even the writer of this editorial as a member of the faculty and/or staff should be concerned with.

  65. Class0f1998 says:

    I have been living in the real world now for about 16 years,don’t ever graduate nowhere near as much fun outside of school. I feel like the band kids Jon Waters a huge apology. He probably asked them to stop their ridiculous “traditions” and they choose not too and now like the majority of our whiny country they want a redo. Sorry folks redo’s aren’t given much when we have big boy and big girl jobs. If 1/8 of that report is true, he blew it or the band blew it for him, but he deserved to be fired. Believe it or not you cannot act like an entitled brat forever without paying for it in some fashion. Now again like the majority of the country those that caused the problem want to blame and sue someone else for their mistakes. I will leave you with a line from my daughter’s (the one that will never have a grown man make or watch her march in underwear or call her some explicit name in a “traditional” fun paper) favorite movie “Let it go”

  66. Anonymous Buckeye says:

    I was in the marching band in the 70s. Those disgusting songs were belted long and loud on every bus trip. The directors (and their wives) were assigned to buses as “chaperones”. And the directors sat there and let it happen. Did this sexualized environment contribute to better marching on the field? No. Did it allow men and women who were lesbian or gay to feel comfortable? Are you kidding? No!

    Title IX has strict standards. If you want federal money, you play by the rules. And those rules include not allowing a culture of sexual harassment.

    I am proud to have been a Buckeye and a member of TBDBITL. But I would not encourage my daughters to try out. And that’s kinda sad.

  67. Bob Jones says:

    Class0f1998 – I encourage you to check out the TBDBITL alumni report. It documents very well exactly what Waters did as band director to change the culture. (Hint- the full alumni report can be believed, unlike the Glaros report. Current-band-member-verified.) And besides, he’s not suing for wrongful termination, but for lack of due process and for treating him differently than females in a similar position. It just happens that one of his demands is his job back.

    Anonymous Buckeye – good for you for being one of our alumni. You say that the songs were belted loud on every trip? Good thing it’s no longer the 70′s. If you’d read your fellow alumni’s investigative report, it mentions that Waters didn’t tolerate it on his bus, and in my experience that wasn’t just his bus either. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we sang one of those songs on the bus – probably 2012. That’s when it was stopped on our bus. And also, based on the culture change in the past few years regarding gay marriage in society in general, isn’t it natural to assume that the same sort of progression happened in the band? What makes you think that the band would ever treat your daughters with anything but the utmost respect?

  68. Scott Laidig says:

    Bob – thanks for your letter. It provides all the insight any person needs to see why education in America is on the decline. “Pathetic” best describes my reaction. And to think that you happily sign your name and position. We can only hope that your ability to grasp basic facts, understand relevant opinions clearly expressed by people involved, and brown-nose an incompetent administration is not indicative of professors throughout the School of Education.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Ignorance.

  70. Anonymous says:

    “Grow up America.”In this day and age, Jon was lucky that being fired is all he got. He knew this all was going on and “that’s a fact “and did not do anything about it. Maybe some parents are going to be doing something about him standing there and watching their “minor” family member in their underware. What about him not doing his job over sexual harassment? Those people were thrown to the lions den for abuse and if that wasn’t bad enough, Jon defended the ones who did the crime. Where were all of you when they needed your help. Alumni you said you would have helped them. You just disowned them and threw them under the bus.Shame on all of you!!!. You who believes that Jon is right. I just hope nothing in your life happens to you and you have done to you what Jon and all of you , did to them. Shame

Leave a Reply