UO VP Robin Holmes recently rejected a request for support for professor Jennifer Freyd’s survey of experiences and perceptions of the UO campus climate. This study has the interest and shared surveys of a U.S. Senate committee and a White House task force, who asked Dr. Freyd to assist in piloting their work. I am sure they are intrigued by the university’s response.
I have published survey development and research on abuse and related topics for more than 30 years. I reviewed the measures in the current survey, several used in my own work. There is nothing unusual, unethical or problematic about the proposed study, and it asks important questions about the impacts of institutional and interpersonal betrayal.
To attack this project for an imagined potential for bias by Freyd further diminishes an administration embarrassed by recent decisions, in local and national press accounts. That scandal occurred after this project was in development; Freyd’s advocacy is the logical result of her many years of widely respected scholarly work. If a famed cancer scientist used her data to testify against smoking, would her research now be criticized? If a professor who had authored a scholarly book on disabilities then advocated for his autistic son, would his work be recast as “biased”?
Scholars around the country are watching with concern that faculty and students who dare to speak out at UO will fall victim to suppression and criticism. Please keep us informed by your reporting.
Kathryn Quina, Ph.D., Hope, R.I.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kathryn Quina is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a professor of psychology and gender and women’s studies and associate dean at the Feinstein Providence Campus of the University of Rhode Island.