• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 12 comments on Shiney James Resigns as Orientation Director after Investigation into Behavior with Student Workers

  1. This stinks for her but completely understandable. She could have learned a thing or two from Questrom’s “plus delta” feedback system and made the feedback an oxytocin rich conversation instead of a cortisol-filled conversation.

  2. I spoke to the fact finder in late October and even she seemed shocked by some of the examples I used to describe James’ culture of toxicity from my short time as a summer orientation employee many years ago. While she may be gone, I hope BU continues to look into and actively change these environments that are often students’ first “professional” job experiences. These students love the school and want to share that love with incoming students, parents, siblings, families–don’t let it be something they look back on in regret from their college experience, as myself and several other former Orientation employees do.

  3. Hey BU, how about a “we are extremely sorry to all the students who tried unsuccessfully to report her behavior for almost a decade?” How about “we take full responsibility and we will do everything to ensure this NEVER happens again?” People knew this was happening for years, and nothing was ever done about it. The powers at be did nothing to validate or investigate reports. As far as I’m concerned, the deans who covered for her and lived in her inner circle are equally as culpable. President Brown makes a seven-figure salary, but he doesn’t have the courage to come out and apologize for all the students who endured her abuse? Shame on you.

  4. So many students said they reported her to the University. Sounds like all of those people who should have done something about it will get away with doing nothing. This wasn’t just a failure of Shiney, it was a failure of the University to act sooner and spare years and years of additional students from suffering the same toxic work environment that the classes before them were forced to endure.

  5. As a parent of an incoming Freshman, I thank all of the people that spoke up throughout the years to right this wrong, and that action was finally taken for the benefit of all, thank you!
    “The silence of good men isn’t the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil. The persons advancing the evil, whether in command or the rank-and-file, must be strong and determined; and the lukewarm must be either cowed into submission or willing to go along because the evil seems to prosper,” (David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University), Reuters Fact Check.

  6. The leadership only addressed this after the news was made by the Free Press. The Dean of Students knew or should have known of these problems.

    Accountability is needed. And the University needs to be transparent on the findings to the community and the student and parents.

  7. Where were the Dean’s and other senior leaders while students were harassed, intimidated, and forced to work without breaks and mails and to falsify timesheets? I hope this is only the first step in holding BU accountable.

  8. While this news is welcomed, I am incredibly disappointed that it came with little to no details of the findings of the investigation, and no overt apology to the students (myself included) who had to endure this woman’s abuse. I actually laughed out loud when I read the line of them thanking students for coming forward. How about you create an educational structure that doesn’t systematically abuse, manipulate, and humiliate students, and you won’t have to thank us for bringing these allegations to light.

    It’s even more insulting because these allegations WERE brought to the Dean of Students’ office many times and nothing was done. This only went anywhere because of the excellent student journalism by the Daily Free Press, which, again – hats of to them, because if it wasn’t for them Shiney James would be starting her psychological warfare against a new crop of Orientation students as we speak.

    As an alumnus, this experience has completely soured my memories of BU. I was heavily involved in student activities and had great relationships with several administrators. I expected to hear from some of them at some point expressing their regret for how this situation impacted us, but, what do you know — crickets from them.

    Lastly, as much as the news of Shiney’s resignation is welcomed, I (and many of my friends) won’t feel vindicated until those who enabled her are held accountable. I am hopeful that the University does their due diligence into asking the question, “Why was this allowed to go on for so long?” Those of us who were impacted will continue to push for an answer to that question.

  9. Not to dismiss students’ concerns; however, one has to wonder how much of this might be rooted in students’ inexperience in dealing with a woman of color in a position of authority. For example, numerous studies have found evidence of bias in student evaluations of college faculty and other persons of color on campuses.

    1. I am not sure if you’re aware, but Shiney was particularly brutal to students of colour themselves. If you look at many of the accounts listed this was a clear trend. As someone who dealt with her directly her mistreatment had nothing to do with her being a woman of colour, and many of the women of colour on staff (like myself), are truly I tolerate and appalled of her behavior.

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