For some background on the lawsuit, and what you are about to read and hear, we suggest you go to a previous article of ours first, located HERE.
Law Med has obtained an audio of MSU Executive Vice President and Attorney Roslyn Artis admonishing the class in 2009 during what would have been a pharmacology lecture. Ms. Artis, under the guise of expressing concern for the well-being of the students, expresses her personal indignation and offense over a private email a student sent to a number of other students criticizing the program, as well as an email sent to her expressing concern over the program director threatening the students in class the previous day.
Artis proceeds to intimidate the students in various ways including advising them that if any student feels threatened she will need to remove them to a “safe place”…somewhere other than MSU’s Nurse Anesthesia program. In other words, feel threatened? You will be thrown out for your own good. She demands that any student who feels threatened by the program director speak up..as she stands next to the director in front of the entire class. She also rants on about her welcoming lawsuits from the students, “Bring it on” she says. A number of the students find her behavior and threats “inappropriate” and tell her so in no uncertain terms.
Before we get to the audio, here is some background on what led up to it. Two days before the audio was recorded, all but 2 of the students met with a lawyer regarding their concerns over the goings-on at the school and their program. Word leaked out and according to witnesses the next day the program director, Ron Smith, showed up in the classroom with a rather bizarre PowerPoint presentation. Obviously prepared in response to his finding out the students met with a lawyer the previous day, Smith’s presentation berated the class for being unethical and went on to express his “hate” for his students and desire to “kill them all”. In what has been described as a “melt down”, Smith blamed the class for causing him “emotional distress” and “diabetes”. He then told them that anyone consulting an attorney about issues they had with the program would never graduate. He would make sure of it.
After his shocking tirade, Artis was contacted by students via email expressing their concern over the threats Smith made. Rather than come to the aid of the students, Artis showed up in class the next day and continued the threats and intimidation.
Click on the Play arrow below.
The first student comment which can not be heard very well, consists of a student telling Artis that the email she has made a copy of and handed out to the class, and which she is making a big deal of was “private correspondence” which was none of her business, and that it is inappropriate for her to come to the class and ask their opinion of the program director while he is standing next to her and in front of them. And he was 100% right.
Smith was fired about a week after this was recorded. So much for the administration being confident they had the best of the best. This was the second program director fired in under a year. Despite Atris’ claims that the “program would continue” with or without these students, it shut its doors within a year.
Artis is the worst kind of hypocrite and liar. She starts by telling the students that the university has changed faculty and administrators with a distinct goal of fostering “open communication” where “everyone’s opinion will be respected”. Barely in the next breath she admonishes the author(s) of the email she received for expressing their opinion and tells them their opinion is offensive, wrong and unworthy of respect. She represents that the accreditation body for nurse anesthesia training programs, the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs (COA), made a site visit which resulted in the program being put on probation, where they allegedly showered the program with accolades for their efforts at improving the program. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. They soundly admonished the program for multiple violations of the COA standards, which is why they were put on probation.
For a university vice president and a lawyer, this behavior is beyond unethical and repugnant. Law Med recognized the personality and anticipated where this might go once Artis said her spiel about being at a children’s party and receiving a “nasty little email” authored by a student. She is the last person who should be involved in overseeing the education of students, in any setting, anywhere. It is little wonder the university had its accreditation yanked.Roslyn Artis, Ron Smith, University, School, West Virginia, mountain state university