According to question 27, Robins knew I was military since 2010, when I started at Duke.
Robins had previously reported to OIE that “Logan doesn’t have much teaching experience.” (OIE Final Report, p. 3) At the time I was passed over for a teaching contract, in summer 2016, I had already accrued four semesters of unsupervised teaching experience at Methodist University and one semester as a teaching assistant at Duke, having taught a total of nearly 150 undergraduate and graduate students.
Furthermore, on October 10, 2016 Clinton told me over the phone that, during her OIE interview, Robins remarked I “should be happy because [I] was compensated the same amount for half the work.” The term the EEOC has historically used to describe this kind of sentiment is Under-Utilization, which includes being seen as “able to perform only limited tasks.”
The FOIA supervisor at DoL told me one interview was redacted in its entirety because the person was not in a managerial position. Robins’ inclusion in the FOIA release, and her affirmation in question 17 as one of many “management officials” establish her as inhabiting a managerial position. Reese claims (twice) that “every manager” receives EEO training and “knows the policy.” (Reese, q.33)
“As far as [she] knows,” Duke has EEO policy (q.24), but she is more certain that “Yes” it does include veteran status (q.26) and “yes” (q.23 & 25) supervisors are held accountable to said policy. Robins, however, does “not collect vet information before or during the process” of hiring teaching assistants (q.11), which seems to violate not only federal law, but also university EEO policy and Reese’s own testimony. The only training she claims to have received was informal “on the Job Training” in hiring teaching assistants.
Despite two semesters of on the job training from both Conklin-Miller and former Dean of Academic Programs Sujin Pak, it isn’t clear if she followed any logical or consistent pattern in hiring. After all, she cites two different reasons for why I had been passed over for a contract. In response to on question, she claims it was because I was “not a doctoral student” (q.14f), but later remarks that it was because “no professors recommended” me (q.17b). Robins has therefore provided what the EEOC calls “inconsistent or shifting explanations,” an example of a fact that “May Support Finding of Retaliation.”
As a central concern expressed to both Davis (on February 29, following an Implicit Bias presentation) and Struble (on April 11, in his office), of potential retaliation for talking to them about my employment, question 14 is very important. She acknowledges she knew me, knew of my military status (later, in q.27), and it was she who hired me for Spring 2016. Although Struble told me by email on April 21, 2016 that he had “shared the affirmative action plan with our HR office,” Robins claims she “did not receive any info from Mr. Dan Stubble about the AAP.” (q.14d) Then, without any apparent prompting, Robins immediately connects the Affirmative Action Plan, to which she claims to have never been alerted, with whether she had any knowledge of my stated concerns “in regard to treatment of veterans” prior to “late August” (q.14d & 20b), when Reese disclosed my protected activity during his Implicit Bias presentation.
Robins clearly understands that, if she had known about me asking questions “in regard to veteran treatment,” then she would be directly implicated in failing to adhere to university policy requiring hiring managers like herself to “recruit, train, and promote” veterans like myself. She seems to realize that she has a lot to lose if it can be established that she acted upon either anti-military implicit bias or upon retaliatory intent. That is why, according to emails contained in the FOIA dump, she refused to meet with OFCCP investigators without Duke’s retained counsel present, even though she was no longer employed there.
Question 14e is so critical, then, that it merits special attention. I have captured both the question and Robins’ response for reference. Here they are;
Question 14e is the only section she refuses to answer, or which OFCCP failed to record a reply. The first part is a simply Yes/No. It would be easy to just say No, even it it weren’t true, because the DoL has a history of conducting shoddy VEVRAA investigations. The problem with answering No, however, is if you knew contradictory evidence existed somewhere and the risk of it emerging through legal Document Discovery or by chance. If the answer is Yes, then she would have to also explain why she discussed my protected status but, more importantly, also why she refused to abide by the Affirmative Action Plan she knew is required by federal law. (q.23)
Other OFCCP interviews can be found here.