June 25, 2006
Glass House Shatters For Ex-UW Engineering Dean

When then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers told a conference one possible reason for so few women choosing careers in math and science might be innate differences between the sexes, he caught a lot of flack, perhaps quite deservedly, perhaps not, as this Seattle Times story shows. One leading critic of Summers' comments was then-University of Washington Engineering School Dean Denise Denton, who said (in the above-linked Times article):

"The notion that half the population may not be up to the task, even remotely getting that idea out there, especially from the leader of a major university in the United States, that's of concern."

Summers eventually resigned as outrage grew over his remarks. Denton's next year and a half would be a test of her own fortitude in the higher reaches of academia, during her scandal-tainted tenure as Chancellor of The University of California/Santa Cruz. Like some others - male and female - who have become enmeshed in high-profile controversies, she apparently became overwhelmed to the point of choosing death. The issue for her was high-profile perks and favoritism from the University of California. If anything symbolized her troubles it may have been the $30,000 dog run added to her university residence (more details in links below). My sympathies to Denton's family and partner in the wake of her tragic suicide reported in today's San Francisco Chronicle.

Her death comes against the backdrop of a highly-publicized investigation into lavish perks granted to top UC administrators. Background on the scandal here and here from the Chron. More on Denton's troubles at UC Santa Cruz in a March 30 post at The American Thinker; from Captain Ed; and here from the Chron. A Santa Cruz Sentinel story here describes Denton being stopped by protesting students during a labor dispute earlier this month and forced to watch an anti-racism skit. Today's SF Chron story is here. It notes:

Denton had been provided a 2,680-square-foot home on the UC Santa Cruz campus, the subject of a story in a Chronicle series this spring examining perks and pay in the UC system. Before she moved into her university-provided house on campus in 2005, she asked for dozens of improvements -- everything from a new fence for her dogs to new wiring, speakers, amplifier and CD player for a built-in sound system, according to university documents. In all, a $600,000 upgrade was made to the home, though it is not clear how many of the improvements were at Denton's request. Denton's annual salary was $282,000.

...In 2005, UC unions protested the hiring of (Denton's partner Gretchen) Kalonji, a former University of Washington professor of materials science, into a $192,000 UC management position. UC also provided Kalonji, then Denton's partner of seven years, a housing assistance allowance of up to $50,000.

...News of Denton's death reached her former colleagues at the University of Washington on Saturday evening. "I never expected this," said Mani Soma, acting dean of the school's college of engineering, which Denton previously ran. "She was an outstanding performer here, and we were extremely glad to have her." Soma said Denton was known as a hard worker who had very high standards. Some former colleagues were in tears when they learned of her death through news reports, he said.

May Denton's soul rest in peace. It will be tempting for some to say Denton was driven to despair by the baying wolves of the press and blogosphere, but that victim stuff don't hunt. Somewhere along the way, she appears to have lost her ethical compass, with the help of top officials in the UC system.

UPDATE: More in this article today from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at June 25, 2006 10:38 AM | Email This
1. Brian Malone at The Radio Equalizer has done a great job covering the controversy of Denice Denton's tenure at UCSC and her tangle with Larry Summers. There is an update at the bottom of his first story, with links to the coverage he has had from her time here at UW. http://radioequalizer.blogspot.com/
The controversy was entirely based on greed, nepotism, and special privilege, yet it is sad that she took her life rather than dealing with the issues of her perks at UCSC.

Posted by: Skeptic on June 25, 2006 11:20 AM
2. that's a woman?

looks like Summers' remarks were correct, at least as far Ms. Denton was concerned. too bad the coward had to off herself rather than face disgrace.

Posted by: disgusted on June 25, 2006 12:01 PM
3. To clarify the issue on her partner's position: the UC didn't simply hire her, they CREATED a $200,000 salaried position that was not necessary. They didn't fill an existing position. They made one up just for her. Wonder if she'll keep it now...

The UCSC community considered this a slap in the face to people like the custodial workers at UCSC that make lower wages than their counterparts at community colleges and have been asking for equity for years now. Aa $30k dog run was nothing compared to the taxpayer cost of this cronyism.

RIP Denton. Suicide is just sad.

Posted by: a UCSC employee on June 25, 2006 12:25 PM
4. Like I always say, give those on the left enough rope, and they'll hang themselves. Looks like some take that too literally.

Posted by: Jeff B. on June 25, 2006 12:26 PM
5. Gosh, why do tales of government graft sound so familiar? Could it be the fact that such phenomena are occurring on an exponentially larger scale (http://select.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/opinion/25rich.html?ei=5087%0A&en=ab19055e7a7b64a5&ex=1151380800&pagewanted=print)
at the Presidential level (albeit without the jeering misogynistic subtext)?

Posted by: bartelby on June 25, 2006 12:56 PM
6. wow, $30,000 dog runs make Jim and Tammy Fay Baker's air conditioned dog houses look like chump change.
I am flabbergasted at what the UC system spends on perks!

Posted by: Misty on June 25, 2006 01:12 PM
7. ..and I sure hope the UC system wasn't complaining about budget shortages. If they are, I think we know what the REAL problem is.

Posted by: Misty on June 25, 2006 01:14 PM
8. FOAD bartleboob...

Posted by: alphabet soup on June 25, 2006 01:36 PM
9. Hey bartleby,

Frank Rich's editorial rant is behind the pay wall a the NY Times. That traitorous rage favored by Islamic Jihadists the world over.

Nice to know you are a subscriber, perhaps that will be the next place the Feds can look for traitors and jihad supporters. Of course looking at the Daily Kos crew and the kowtowing Democratic politicians who follow their lead.

Posted by: Skeptic on June 25, 2006 02:24 PM
10. Demands for unusual treatment by highly desireable, as opposed to necessarily qualified, candidates for university posts is as old as academia. What is "new", if a practice three decades old can be considered "new" any more, is the emergence of protected classes that employers have been intimidated into favouring thanks to our out-of-control judiciary and their claque in Congress.

Denton had it all. She was a woman and a lesbian in the world of engineering where ambitious, qualified women are as rare as the proverbial hens' teeth. Of course she was able to negotiate from a position of strength with UCSC, a well-known bastion of both diversity politics AND political correctness.

Unfortunately for Denton, the blogosphere has made the fetid sorts of things that go on behind too many doors like those at UCSC a matter of public record.

Not everybody has figured that out and begun to behave accordingly. It's really hard to hide these days and not just for the people the left love to hate. Denton wound up turning herself into roadkill because she didn't "get it". It's a damned shame in one way and at the same time the beginning of a long overdue payback for thirty years of evil perpetrated by people who should have known better.

Posted by: plaasjaapie on June 25, 2006 03:50 PM
11. Was this the woman who said she was going to eliminate all the "male oriented math" from the UW Engineering program? I remember reading about it in the Seattle Times at the time, and was shocked that an engineering dean would say something so stupid. Does anybody remember that or have a link?

Posted by: Bubba on June 25, 2006 04:22 PM
12. She was a liar and a cheater, and she defrauded the university for her personal gain. She attacked Harvard President Lawrence Summers by twisting his words out of context, and she did it knowingly. I'm glad she killed herself. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Posted by: Mike on June 25, 2006 04:54 PM
13. Well, as long as she was committed to the ideal of diversity.......

"Those of us who worked closely with Denice valued her intelligence, humor, and commitment to the ideals of diversity and higher education," UC Santa Cruz Campus Provost David S. Kliger said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened by her death."

Posted by: Huey on June 25, 2006 04:55 PM
14. Yes, and the liberal orthodoxy is that gays, lesbians are happy, balanced and just wonderful contributors to society.

This pathetic tortured soul chose suicide over accountability; right......

That is certainly happy, balanced and wonderful.

Good riddance, bad rubbish says it all.

Seattle is in slow motion demographic suicide, driving out families, promoting homosexuality, promoting socialism.......Good riddance, bad rubbish, such a great saying......

Posted by: Hank on June 25, 2006 05:43 PM
15. I was a student of Denise, and I she was hands down the best teacher I ever had. EVER. People like that helped me accomplish retirement at 36.

If you did not like her negotiating a good package for employment, check out the payscales of UC althletics coaches (tell me they earned their 1.5 million). And check out the economic system you live under (hint: its called Capitalism). If the university agreed to her demands, they are the ones responsible, not her. If she abused university funds for putting in a dog run, she would pay for it eventually, but the crime does not justify death or gloating. Get a life.

Posted by: get a life on June 25, 2006 05:56 PM
16. UC athletic programs generate a profit. That is much different from a program that is billed to the taxpayers.

Posted by: Michael on June 25, 2006 06:17 PM
17. And universities are about as far from capitalism as you can get.

Posted by: Michael on June 25, 2006 06:18 PM
18. plaasjaapie,
Well said and on target. I remember her appointment at the time and wondered what it was that gave her privilege. Was it her academic credentials, political viewpoints (color it radical), who she knew, management abilities. Or what?
Her being a lesbian might have added to her qualifications for the position at UC. The U certainly took care of her partner with the creation of a new position @ $175k, plus a $50k housing allowance. Then there was the scandal about $600k renovations for her university residence.
There is more to this story than just the sensationalism of her untimely death. It is a story of privilege and then destruction. May she RIP. And may the chips, on what transpired in her public position, fall where they may.

Posted by: bulldozer on June 25, 2006 06:21 PM
19. "get a life"

I agree praising her suicide is callous and uncalled for. You don't explain why she was a great teacher and how she helped you retire at 36. Where were you a student of hers?

The story is how someone abused the system. Whether by claiming victimhood, special rights, or just knowing the right people should not be allowed (male or female, gay or straight) to take advantage of their position. She had a job created for her partner, she insisted on a remodel job of the house she was to use on campus while laying off employees and denying them cost of living increases. She managed to get moving expenses for her and her partner in the deal. You call that capitalism, I call it cronyism and nepotism.

I don't applaud her suicide, I would have rather her be alive and face the consequences of her actions. She helped bring down Larry Summers by misquoting what he said at a conference. She may have been brilliant, but she had an agenda that continues to hurt higher education. She is not the only dean that relishes political correctness to the detriment of education.

Posted by: Skeptic on June 25, 2006 06:34 PM
20. How pitiful to read such bitter and disdainful comments about a humanbeing who obviously was highly intelligent, accomplished, educated, progressive, courageous, and who in one sorrowful moment yielded to an erroneous suggestion to end her short life tragically and abruptly. It's not hard to detect the jealousy prompting harsh unkindness. The good news is that Denise will go on, and will find than nothing (not even death) can separate her from the love of God!

Posted by: Carol on June 25, 2006 06:39 PM
21. Summers was excoriated by the PC Thought Police for daring to suggest there may exist innate differences in the brains between male and female. His comments were so utterly controversial, that one female professor in attendance swooned and had to leave the conference over such provacative ideas. What irony.

Denton took the cowards' choice, rather than defend her nepotism. What a shameful and sordid end for a talented dean.

Posted by: Shaun on June 25, 2006 06:43 PM
22. Get A Life

Capitalism and University Systems should never be allowed in the same sentence. The UC system is a "taxpayer supported" operation. Without those "little people" (tax payers), the system would die. As for coaches in the Athletic system earning large salaries those are always in sports generating positive income. Now that's Capitalism. Since you attended UW it's understandable why you never learned what Capitalism is.

Posted by: swassociates on June 25, 2006 06:55 PM
I was a student of Denise, and I she was hands down the best teacher I ever had. EVER. People like that helped me accomplish retirement at 36.

So, "Get-a-Life," you learned to game the system with under-the-table deals from her, did you?

If you did not like her negotiating a good package for employment, check out the payscales of UC althletics coaches (tell me they earned their 1.5 million).

This tu quoque argument doesn't work here--can you prove that those coaches got their salaries due to hidden, creative financing? Some of us do in fact believe that their salary is ridiculously inflated, but in your zeal to spout ideology, you never bothered to find out.

And check out the economic system you live under (hint: its called Capitalism).

Did you mean "we" instead of "you?" Or are you spending your early retirement down in the worker's paradise of Cuba?

If the university agreed to her demands, they are the ones responsible, not her. If she abused university funds for putting in a dog run, she would pay for it eventually, but the crime does not justify death or gloating. Get a life.

Better buy another clue, Sherlock. You seem to have missed the fact that the articles criticize the University as much as they do her, for taking advantage of this abuse of the public trust.
Her suicide is sad. May she rest in peace.
Her wasteful spending of public money (since she ruled a California state school, not a private school) is shameful and worth drawing critical attention to, so that this rot at the core of the system may be removed.

Posted by: pseudotsuga on June 25, 2006 07:04 PM
24. I think the question of what place training programmes for spectator sports has in academic institutions is quite appropriate. It is quite a perversity of American culture. My son graduated from an American high school last year. We walked his old campus a few days ago while he is here for a short holiday before leaving for Japan to polish his spoken Japanese skills. We did a rough quantity survey and estimated that about 50% of the land area of his old high school and perhaps 35-40% of its physical plant are dedicated solely to the training for and exhibition of performances by spectator sportsmen who comprise no more than 5-7% of the student body. It's worth remembering that Americans spend over half a trillion dollars on K-12 public school education per year. Given that talking about university sports programmes "paying their way" is totally daft.

Posted by: plaasjaapie on June 25, 2006 07:07 PM
25. Carol posted:
How pitiful to read such bitter and disdainful comments about a human being who obviously was highly intelligent, accomplished, educated, progressive, courageous, and who in one sorrowful moment yielded to an erroneous suggestion to end her short life tragically and abruptly.

Highly intelligent? check. Accomplished? check.
Educated? check.
Progressive? Umm...okay, whatever you mean by that--but I doubt that what she did down in California was really all that progressive (she spent HOW MUCH of the people's money on personal perks?!)
Courageous? Umm...whatever. I'm not sure she's a victim or a martyr. God save us all from such victimhood!
You left out the fact that she was clearly corrupt, nepotistic, criminal, and most likely felt that she "deserved" her special privileges. All the good stuff doesn't cancel out the bad stuff.

It's not hard to detect the jealousy prompting harsh unkindness.
Jealousy of...what, exactly? Her wealth? Her power? Her accomplishments? You want to believe that anybody who criticizes her misuse of all those things is automatically jealous--based on what? Why should anybody be jealous of somebody who had a very large ethical problem?
Her salary would be nice to have, but not if one gets it unethically!

The good news is that Denise will go on, and will find than nothing (not even death) can separate her from the love of God!

umm...dude...she's dead.
And as for being separated from the love of God, I didn't know that you were made Judge over such things...

Posted by: pseudotsuga on June 25, 2006 07:26 PM
26. "During the meeting, regents also received an updated version of the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of 32 senior management positions, presented in April, that found that 91 exceptions to policy and procedures were granted over the past decade to give extra compensation to 44 executives without proper approval from the regents. An attachment to the audit shows who granted some of those exceptions.

While the PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors were not able to determine who granted each of the exceptions, the auditors now say that Dynes approved 13 of the exceptions, including extra vacation, increased sabbatical benefits and relocation incentives and temporary housing in excess of policy. But the policy transgressions extended across the system, including former Provost M.R.C. Greenwood, and back to Dynes' predecessor, Richard Atkinson"(San Francisco Chronicle,Tanya Schevitz and Todd Wallack, 18th may 2006). Price Waterhouse Coopers is auditing
all US accounts of the Comptroller of the Currency. It is not at all independent but as KPMG[very near to the US Democrats] more or less to one or the other political party or business lobby group - for example IBM - very biased.

Posted by: Delta Forces Veteran on June 25, 2006 07:54 PM
27. I usually only write on judicial questions, but thought a comment here was called for.

Denton's suicide is sad -- tragic for her family and friends. Those who've posted callous statements above make a grave error and should show more compassion.

Denton negotiated a very favorable contract. So favorable that it is offensive to most people, more offensive than corporate packages because public funds were used to pay Chancellor Denton, her partner and renovate her university residence.

Denton could have asked for less, could have insisted on an existing position for her partner and could have made more reasonable demands for her residence. Note, employment for partners of senior university staff is today normal, though they are not usually “new” positions, nor are they usually so well paid in public institutions.

Denton, like most people, wanted a good package for herself and her partner. I think she showed poor judgment in asking for so much that it raised public concerns. Given the obvious toll this controversy took on her, she may well have agreed.

The real people who are at fault in this story are the Regents at UC and those responsible for negotiating Denton’s compensation package. They had a duty to protect the financial interests of the university, and it is fair to say they failed.

The anger expressed above is misplaced and seems more about a reaction to the PC movement and extremism is our colleges and universities. I find much of that offensive too, but in this cases a real human being's death is at the center of this story and therefore restraint is in order.

My sympathies go to all of Ms. Denton’s friends and family.

Posted by: Court Watcher on June 25, 2006 08:09 PM
28. hhmmm.....
When she was hired that was the last time I was giving money to the UW...I realized I was bankrolling a death culture. It seemed abundantly clear the only qualification was her life choices and not her qualifications.
Her packaging looked great her resume's key highlights were far from the four degrees but inside this system that rewarded personal choices she made it gutted her; it forced conformance to these abnorms.
The functional purpose of the university converted into crushing humanity from everyone! Students and Faculty alike....forced to conform to everything bizarre and hate anything wonderful, anything sensible, anything American, anything family. She rose beyond her coping level. PC guts everyone today that plays the game or is too white and too married to even possibly play the game. Her reaction is to be expected and tragic but is a probable outcome of a system that rewards walking away from ones humanity and embracing the most distance choices possible. She chose it all to the end and maybe just maybe her suicide will cause some real change back to the equality of opportunity rather than the equality of the most perverse.

None of us knows her real heart towards God. That is settled but we can tomorrow start to rebuild the culture of the universities founded not on a system of death but life.

Skip the memorial services they will only be a gut check on everyone towing the party line rather than demanding to change the death cultures of the universities in America.

How soon does Bush get blamed for this?

Posted by: Col. Hogan on June 25, 2006 08:33 PM
29. First, let me say that I am sorry for this death. Whaever bad (or good) Denton may have done in her career, we can all regret this kind of ending.

That said, I want to correct a common misunderstanding about what Lawrence Summers said. He did not say that women were less intelligent than men. Or even that they were worse at math. He said -- and he is entirely correct in this -- that men vary more than women. (In statistical terms, the variance is greater for men's IQs. The average IQs are the same, but there are more men in both tails of the distribution.)

As a result, you will find more boys in special education classes, and more boys with very high SAT scores. Those fields (mathematics, theoretical physics, et cetera) that require the abilities measured (roughly) by those high SAT scores will have more men in them -- for exactly the same reason that you find more boys in those special education classes.

Posted by: Jim Miller on June 25, 2006 08:40 PM
30. (Pssst...Col. Hogan: the correct idiom is "toeing the line," not "towing." "Towing a line" kind of makes sense, but it's not the historical use of the idiom. Carry on...)

Posted by: pseduotsuga on June 25, 2006 08:42 PM
31. Re: getalife's comment--I notice that when liberals benefit from huge perks packages or capitalism, then other libs defend it and call it good.

When non-liberals do same, liberals all of a sudden see employment perks as evil and capitalism just as evil.
Just noticing the screaming double standard.

Posted by: Me on June 25, 2006 10:26 PM
32. I've been in the technical/engineering workplace since 1981. In that time I've seen a lot of women come into that field, and nearly all of them leave shortly thereafter. Very few of them seem to actually have any interest in hard sciences and engineering.

Even those that do seem to find something else to do after a while. One of the most driven women I've ever met graduated college a couple years after me with a rare and difficult to get degree in laser electro/optical engineering. I looked her up in an alumni guide a year ago, expecting to find her at the top of her field and awash in patents. She's a hostess at Sizzler in the middle of nowhere, Idaho. Considering that she could have chose to do nearly anything, I have to assume that she chose to her current job.

There is a very good reason why women aren't equally represented in engineering and hard sciences - they don't really care to be.

Posted by: H Moul on June 25, 2006 10:39 PM
33. I am sorry that Denise Denton chose to live in misery, and then to die in misery.

Aren't their laws and ethical standards against nepotism? How could Denton get away with hiring her significant other into a nearly $200K top management position at her university? Just because she was not married to her partner, and her partner was of the same gender, does not mean this type of nepotism should be allowed.

Whoops -- that is nearly a quarter million in salary with the $50,000 housing assistance allowance. Maybe housing in expensive in Santa Cruz, but with an almost $200k salary, you should be able to afford it. But wait -- wasn't she living with Denton already -- in university housing provided to Denton as part of Denton's compensation package?

Posted by: Richard Pope on June 25, 2006 11:34 PM
34. I am sorry that Denton chose suicide as a way out of her problems. I am sorry for her family and her partner and friends.

But as a liberal and a feminist, I want to say that I am appalled at the information coming to light about her misappropriation of state funds. I don't care if she negotiated the package she wanted. I don't care if it was approved. Both parties in that negotiation were wrong. The result was unethical. Also unethical was the instinct that caused her to take her own life and leave others to clean up her mess.

Because I feel sorry for her family and feel that suicide is a waste and a shame, that doesn't mean I can't excoriate the circumstances that led up to her death. Her supporters do her memory no justice by muddying the waters.

Posted by: Miss Nell on June 26, 2006 12:27 AM
35. Denton's sad story is a manifestation of a scandal endemic in American education: the huge budgetary overhead created by grossly bloated administrations and hugely overinflated fatcat administrative salaries. It runs from top to bottom. The Superintendent of my local school district makes more money than the Governor of my state.

Posted by: dfs on June 26, 2006 12:28 AM
36. The expensive dog run came about because of the topography of the land there and the need to keep the dog from molesting the wildlife. The woman had dogs when she was solicitated to come to UCSC - was she supposed to give up her dogs because there was no enclosure? So, the $30k was a way for the university to get this woman on board. As far as the remodeling of the house... Wiring for a stereo system, a new dishwasher, and whatever other minor things she asked for does not add up to $600 K. Major neglected structural issues that needed addressing between tenants adds up to that kind of money.

The issue with her partner and the job... That is fishy, of course. However, can't we well imagine that this has happened before with other UC leaders, or why would it have gone through? It doesn't make it right, no, but... How do you hire a candidate when their partner needs an accademic job in a one school town? Since we don't allow gays to marry, it's not like Denice could have claimed her as a dependent.

Her car was surrounded by UCSC union members blocking her way from her home, she had concrete thrown through the window of her home. She was hounded and shaken by her reception at UCSC. If she were a man, would the attacks have been so personal? Would workers surround a male chancellor's car and prevent him from leaving his driveway? Break windows?

I think she was a vulnerable target, an easy mark and it is a darn shame she let it get to her. She was an important role model for all women. RIP Denice.

Posted by: Opal on June 26, 2006 03:12 AM
37. would some corporate exec in the same straights swallow a gun barrel and get such flowing support and sympathy? i doubt it; yes, 'su-i' is tragic, but we make our own beds in life for the most part; how 'sad' were these victims when they banked those paychecks and enjoyed those perks for years? everything comes home to roost; perhaps her best contribution from this mess would be her case study in a required ethics class;

and to echo dfs's comment--i noticed for years that university tuition increase requests always are double or triple the rate of inflation; way above any raise % in the private sector; are we getting the respective return in results or finished product?

Posted by: Jimmie-howya-doin on June 26, 2006 04:30 AM
38. "I think she was a vulnerable target, an easy mark and it is a darn shame she let it get to her. She was an important role model for all women. RIP Denice."

This particular woman: FT, believes that Denice's contribution -- great as it might be in the actual academic fields -- will be actually make things incrementally worse for the rest of us. Particularly other dykes. She developed a victim's sense of entitlement to demand an outrageous amount from the public trough.

I know. It's tough to make it on $250,000/year. So, it is understandable that she'd want to drag her partner down to the Bay Area (with a $190,000 guaranteed position) to "do some good"


I'm not going to comment on her suicide. Some of the previous comments are a little crass. But, annointing her as some kind of noble victim is insulting to the rest of us who have to muddle through each day to earn far less than she did (let alone, adding her partner's salary) and have to put up with a considerable amount of public 'flak'. Her self-serving actions and demands as a public employee got scrutinized. They were published. That's one of the consequences of developing an entitlement mentality, imho.

Posted by: FT on June 26, 2006 04:55 AM
39. Another tragic event linked to politcal correctness.

Posted by: Yossarian on June 26, 2006 07:40 AM
40. Oh, I'm sure they'll find a way to blame it on Summers.

Posted by: BananaLand on June 26, 2006 10:55 AM
41. you people are beyond sick, you're pathological liars and hate-filled trash. fred phelps has a place for you in his picket lines at soldiers' funerals - you'll fit right in.

Posted by: Dave on June 26, 2006 11:12 AM
42. She's wearing a button in that picture of her in the red muumuu that says "I Support Women in School". That really says it for me. With women enjoying 4% higher enrollment in colleges and the population of disaffected young men rising, that hideous bull-dyke was pressing an agenda meant to disaffect more young men all the while rolling in largess like Jabba with a fresh vat of frogs.

With her lips curled back like a braying jackass she used duplicitous and caustic tactics to bring down an accomplished man and then, when those same fierce halides were shined in her direction, she took the chump's route and dove headlong into matyred celebrity.

Fuck her. There are tragic suicides to be mourned. This asshole isn't one of them. Good riddance, bad rubbish.

Posted by: disgusted on June 26, 2006 11:28 AM
43. Excuse me, the button says "I Support Women In Science" rather than "School".

Response unchanged.

Posted by: disgusted on June 26, 2006 11:31 AM
44. Gosh dave, you haven't even gotten to the really good posts yet!

More of that liberal "You'll learn tolerance if we have to beat you to death!" lunacy.

Go sniff some more glue dave....

Posted by: alphabet soup on June 26, 2006 11:41 AM
45. I am the mother of a student at UC Santa Cruz and a B.A/M.A. from Cal. I didn't know Denice Denton and my student didn't even like her.

Yet I am stricken by her sucide and by the comments here, so many of them identified with male names.

Women are more vulnerable. I believe they are attacked more and want approval more.

I can only hope Ms. Denton didn't succumb to either. May she rest in peace.

Posted by: P. Clancy on June 26, 2006 12:54 PM
46. RE: "then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers"

Lawrence H. Summers will be the president of Harvard University through Friday, June 30, 2006.

Posted by: j b on June 26, 2006 02:12 PM
47. I hope the following being helpful.


New president’s salary to be $470,000
Thursday, April 15, 2004

The University of Washington Board of Regents has approved an employment contract with Mark Emmert, Louisiana State University chancellor who will become the president of the UW, effective June 14.

Emmert will receive an annual salary of $470,000. In addition, deferred compensation of $120,000 will be credited to him annually for five years, beginning June 14. Emmert will not be entitled to any of that money until he has completed five years of service.

The funds for Emmert's compensation come from two sources: 36 percent ($215,000) from state general fund dollars, and 64 percent ($375,000) from other University funds, including interest income, administrative overhead revenues, student tuition, and miscellaneous fees. No private gift funds or other private money is included in Emmert's compensation.

"I am very pleased with the compensation package we have finalized with Dr. Emmert," said board president Gerald Grinstein. "The discussions went smoothly. Mark is focused on doing the job, and we agreed on a compensation package comparable to what he is making now. The board has very successfully and happily brought to conclusion its most significant responsibility — that of selecting a new president to lead this great University to an ever more excellent future."

The president will receive a one-time relocation incentive payment of $160,000. He also will receive an automobile allowance of $1,000 a month and will be reimbursed for moving expenses, as provided under University policy.

The president is required to live in the University-owned residence in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle. He will be a tenured faculty member with the rank of professor in the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.

The contract also provides four weeks’ paid vacation between the end of Emmert’s LSU appointment and the start of his UW service. His actual first day at his office will be July 12.

Under the terms of his contract, the president serves at the pleasure of the Board of Regents.

Emmert's total compensation as chancellor of LSU is $590,000. This includes $100,000 annually in deferred compensation.

Posted by: wyx on June 26, 2006 02:21 PM
48. http://www.engr.washington.edu/denton/index.html

This link is from our College of Engineering's tribute to ex-Dean Dention and describes very accurately what she did for UW during her tenure here. Some staffers can be seen crying upon hearing the news, male and female. So it is not a sex-issue. She treated people well.

I cannot believe the venom on this page. I am a financial conservative (social liberal) and I can still see and understand a leader who has delivered so much results to be compensated well (and honestly, not that well, compared to the corporate CEOs). This is not a double-standard, it is a result-based standard.

It is not easy to be a leader. It is even harder when you know many people's lives will be changed by your decisions. When you have to make these decisions and be accountable for it, the pressure is high, and that pressure and the ability to stay calm under such pressure should be well-compensated. Unlike the "golden parachutes" in many FAILED corporation executives package, she was compensated rather fairly for her past records.

It is not uncommon for a Head of School to be well-compensated for such large responsibility. If it isn't, who would want to want that job, and take the respective responsibility?

Posted by: someone at uw on June 26, 2006 02:56 PM
49. Someone at UW: You utterly fail to address her unethical and outrageous behavior, while glamorizing a angry, man hating, smug, selfish, self absorbed bureaucrat with an extremeist agenda who produced nothing but acrimony. And that is laudable? Give us all a break

This self absorbed anger driven woman refused to take responsiblity for her actions, and snuffed herself instead. Loser.

Taking responsibility for behavior is unthinkable for a screaming, angry liberal.

And, pray tell, what is angry and vitrolic about pointing out exactly who and what she was?

You liberals always ignore fact and reality, and start name calling.

That makes you part the the same loser club she was in.......

Posted by: Hank on June 26, 2006 03:16 PM
50. hey, apologists: cry me a fucking river!

assholes like that woman excoriate young men on a daily basis and seek to undermine their academic acceptance at every turn--unless they're professed sodomites, at which point they are annointed to the sacred protected class and deserving of meritless promotions and presumably tenure as well as a living allowance. the only alternative is to mouth the holy PC bromides at every turn and present yourself as a delighted dhimmi granted privileged servitude amidst their ivory towers.

this fight wasn't started by the posters here--it was started by militant dykes like Denton.

Posted by: disgusted on June 26, 2006 03:49 PM
51. Opal "She was an important role model for all women."

I see-lesbian, angry, man hater, so arrogant as to think she can change the world to her values, rip off a public university with $30,000 dog runs, forcing the creation of a phony position for her lesbian lover, trying to trash Summers, who just spoke a reality of life.

If this jerk is a female role model, God help today's women.

Take a look at her pictures-clearly an incredibly angry and unhappy person.......Gee-another aspect of great female role modeling.

Opal, you are an idoit......

Posted by: van on June 26, 2006 04:08 PM
52. Not my idea of a role model.

Posted by: Michele on June 26, 2006 04:21 PM
53. Hank,

"You liberals always ignore fact and reality, and start name calling."

Who just started name-calling? Nothing in my post included any classification of anybody. You did. And no, I am not classified as a "liberal" by any means; in fact, I should be more of a Republican, by definition. If this world is so black and white "liberal" vs "conservative", life would be so simple, it isn't.

"Unethical and outrageous behaviors" - please kindly explain. Dean Denton was anyone but a "protected class"; you probably do not know that she came from a pretty lowly start, and worked her way up. Her "outrageous behavior" moved UW up the ranking on a national level and she has advanced many departments on campus in teaching and attracted much needed research grants. She has produced results, and it is not rhetoric. Her selected achievement is noted in the article posted above. Please list the "acrimony" she produced.

Her compensation package was negotiated and agreed by both sides before her tenure at UCSC. That was her package that UCSC believed conformed to the UC policy. She was on the other side of the table during negotiation; if there is one to blame, it would be the UC regents who did not adhere strictly to the policies. I also do not believe that the compensation package was outrageous, given that serving a university does not accrue equity like it would be in a corporation. The UC agreed to the package based on the perceived value that the person can offer. She, apparently, commanded that perceived value. Anyone who understands the free market idea understands that she would only have been paid as the market can bear, and that they believed that she could produce results that outweigh her compensation. The fact is clear and the reality is clear. She did that for UW.

"Man hating"? I don't know where that came from. She might be a lesbian, but she had never come across as man-hating. Now that's name calling. I am male, and have never felt that there was anything against men while she was the Dean.

Posted by: someone at uw on June 26, 2006 04:23 PM
54. Sounds to me like there are some disgruntled would-be engineers above. They must think that the reason they couldn't get into UW engineering was Denise Denton. Time to grow up guys. Booboo

Posted by: Booboo on June 26, 2006 04:39 PM
55. So where is all your vitrolic prose with the UW new president's package! Hey, men! No, he "deserves" the compensation. I am outraged at the inhumane and compassionateless comments made in someone's tragic passing. Too bad none of you will ever accomplish anything your lives that will even bring anyone's notice to your death. It's easy to scapegoat an out lesbian; call her names; dehumanize her. Just remember, to the extent you all dehumanize her, you dehumanize yourselves. I hope I never meet any of you who carry such hate in your hearts. No wonder our country and communities are so divided. May Dr. Denton rest in peace while your living souls play in hell.

Posted by: aaronsc on June 26, 2006 06:27 PM
56. So where is all your vitrolic prose with the UW new president's package! Hey, men! No, he "deserves" the compensation. I am outraged at the inhumane and compassionateless comments made in someone's tragic passing. Too bad none of you will ever accomplish anything in your lives that will even bring anyone's notice to your death. It's easy to scapegoat an out lesbian; call her names; dehumanize her. Just remember, to the extent you all dehumanize her, you dehumanize yourselves. I hope I never meet any of you who carry such hate in your hearts. No wonder our country and communities are so divided. May Dr. Denton rest in peace while your living souls play in hell.

Posted by: aaronsc on June 26, 2006 06:29 PM
57. I choose at this time to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of Denise Denton. The media has not reported the circumstances around the reasons for her suicide except that she was very depressed about her professional and personal affairs. There already is a lively discussion about her negotiated package at UCSC so I offer a broader view of her extensive career cut short at the age of 46. May Denise Denton and all those souls on this thread, rest and live in peace.

Denise Denton - An electrical engineering scholar, gifted teacher, and mentor to many in her field, men and woman, and talented administrator--below is her bio and the many national awards she received including a Presidential Award in May 2004.

Chancellor Denice D. Denton: A Brief Biography

Denice Denton

Denice D. Denton was appointed by the UC Regents as the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz. She assumed office on February 14, 2005. Dr. Denton also held a UCSC appointment as Professor of Electrical Engineering. As chief executive, Chancellor Denton led a major public research university with a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of about 15,000 students engaged in 62 undergraduate majors and a total of 32 master?s, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs.

Previous Appointments
Beginning in 1996, Chancellor Denton was Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), the first woman to hold such a position at an NRC-designated Research One university. She held academic appointments at the University of Massachusetts, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Z? and the University of Wisconsin? Madison, where she worked from 1987, leaving as professor in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Chemistry to become dean at UW.

A Commitment to Diversity
Dr. Denton earned an international reputation for effective advocacy supporting access to science, math, and engineering opportunities for women and minorities. At each of her previous appointments and during her tenure at UW, she established and promoted programs that expanded access to these fields. In May 2004, Denton was among nine scholars honored by the White House with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, recognizing her role as a major leader in enhancing diversity in science and engineering.

Awards and Honors
Among other numerous awards were the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award (2006), a prestigious national recognition of exceptional work that advances opportunities in the sciences for women and girls; the IEEE/HP Harriet B. Rigas Award (1995); the ASEE George Westinghouse Award (1995); the W. M. Keck Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (1994); the Benjamin Smith Reynolds Teaching Award (University of Wisconsin, 1994); the Eta Kappa Nu C. Holmes MacDonald Distinguished Young Electrical Engineer National Teaching Award (1993); the American Society of Engineering Education AT&T Foundation Teaching Award (1991); the Kiekhofer Distinguished Teaching Award (University of Wisconsin, 1990); and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1987).

National and Regional Leadership Roles
Dr. Denton was a current member of the President's Committee to select recipients of the National Medal of Science, and the committee to select recipients of the A. T. Waterman Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Women in Science, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She was a member of the National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate Advisory Committee and a member of the Visiting Committee for the California Institute of Technology Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Formerly, she served as chair of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/NRC) Board on Engineering Education. Among many other prestigious appointments, she was a member of the NRC Committee on Advanced Materials and Fabrication Methods for Microelectromechanical Systems and of MIT's Advisory Board for Initiatives to Diversify the Professoriate. Chancellor Denton was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Board of Directors of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Education and Research Interests
The author of nearly 100 scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers, Chancellor Denton earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; her doctoral thesis was titled, ?Moisture Transport in Polyimide Films in Integrated Circuits.? MIT also awarded her three other degrees, including a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, the Electrical Engineering degree, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. Her research was in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) as an enabling technology, particularly in life sciences applications. She also worked in the arena of transformational change in higher education.


May 15, 2006

Chancellor Denton wins 2006 Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award

Chancellor Denice D. Denton has won the 2006 Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award, a prestigious national recognition of exceptional work that advances opportunities in the sciences for women and girls.

A jury of distinguished educators and scientists cited Denton?s work in developing programs on university campuses and with neighboring organizations to encourage women and girls to pursue the study of science.

?Maria Mitchell was a true mentor and role model for generations of women students,? Denton said. ?I?m deeply honored to have been selected by the association that continues her goal of making the sciences more accessible to women.?

Denton?s leadership at UCSC and her accomplishments at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Washington were cited as examples of reaching beyond the campus into local communities and organizations to mentor girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Juror Nancy Doe Hopkins, Amgen professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the 2004 Women in Science winner, said that Denton, in her role as chancellor, ?uses the power of her leadership position to raise the visibility of issues related to supporting and advancing women and girls in science-related careers both on and off the campus.?

Another juror, Judy Tevethia, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, cited Denton?s creative strategies to build mentoring networks. ?Where they are few in number on a campus, women scientists have followed Denton?s cues to find and support each other,?? she said.

As dean of engineering at the University of Washington for nine years, Denton created programs and strategies to match school-age girls with university students working on robotics and web-design projects. She served as principal investigator for a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant to eliminate barriers for women in the science, engineering, and math workplaces. She also supported junior faculty in grants writing, with the result that sponsored research funding at the College of Engineering more than doubled.

Earlier, at the University of Wisconsin, Denton served as faculty adviser for the Society of Women Engineers, providing advice and support to university students and encouraging them, in turn, to become mentors to young women in local high schools.

The jury said, ?Denton?s ideas and projects are accessible models for other communities to follow.?

The award is named for Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), the first woman astronomer in the United States. It has been given since 1997 to a person, program, or organization whose efforts have encouraged the advancement of girls and women in the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science and technology.

Mitchell gained international fame in 1847 at age 29 when she discovered a comet by telescope. Mitchell became the first female professor of astronomy and later trained women scientists during 23 years as a professor at Vassar College.

The Maria Mitchell Association (www.mmo.org) is a nonprofit science center on Nantucket Island, Mass., founded in 1902 to honor Mitchell, an astronomer, educator, and librarian, who hailed from the island 30 miles off the Massachusetts coast.

Posted by: UCSC '79 on June 26, 2006 07:35 PM
58. Aaronsc:

Inhumane and compassionsateless comments??

All we are doing is repeating what this bizzare broad was. What is inhumane and compassionate about repeating who she was???.

Facts, you idoit.

Noticing her death? Not a death-suicide. Sorry Bozo, it was a suicide, you moron. The ulitmate in self absorbment.

Accomplish something in her life? Like what? Her legacy is hatred, putrid intolerance of normal human relationships.

Thank goodness she and her ilk will not and cannot, reproduce hatred, intolerance, and crazed ideology.

Get lost, pal......

Posted by: Van on June 26, 2006 07:42 PM
59. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denice_Denton

More wikipedia facts and articles regarding her life.

Posted by: UCSC '79 on June 26, 2006 08:15 PM
60. P. Clancy

You say "Women are more vulnerable. I believe they are attacked more and want approval more."

This is classic bullshit liberal feminist victim justification and refusal to accept reality.

If feminists win superficially by misdoing they are more powerful and commanding, more attacked and resented, and they don't need approval or approbation like mere men. When they get caught, give up and behave despicably, it "has to be" because they are more vulnerable, attacked more, and want approval more than mere men.

Is it possible that Denton was a weak person who would rather die than face the humiliation of losing?

I am sorry for her family.

Posted by: Amused by liberals on June 26, 2006 08:45 PM
61. Ironic that she chose to off herself on Pride Day in San Francisco. Had she soured on "activists" after being on the ground in Santa Cruz California for a while? She was greeted by protests the day she arrived, and personal attacks throughout her tenure. She became the easy target because of the contract she was awarded and the conditions under which it was awarded and because she was a woman, and suddenly someone who struggled for equality throughout her career became the pinnacle of inequality, the guardian at the gate. It's much easier to make the problem about a supposed evil person rather than about institutional injustices that had developed years before she arrived at UCSC. You can get more people riled up and angry and out to your rally and onto your blog if you tell them a story about an evil woman, especially a rich evil man-hating lesbian woman, rather than explaining the complexities of inequality that exist within the UC system. I'm sure she met nothing like California activists at UW.

Posted by: angry activist on June 27, 2006 01:53 AM
62. To Opal:

Yes, she was supposed to give up her dogs. They are illegal on campus. Every other member of the UCSC community is exptected to leave their dogs off campus, even members of residential life staff who live there. So excuse us for taking exception to a $30k dog run. All she needed to do was OBEY THE LAW and she could have easily skirted all the critisism that was thrown up on her for that gross misuse of public funds.

The previous chancellor of UCSC, MRC Greenwood, resigned her position as provost when it came to light that she violated UC policy in the hiring of her business partner to a high level position. It is a shame that Denise felt she had to take her own life rather than address the criticism in a more productive manner.

Posted by: a UCSC employee on June 27, 2006 03:10 AM
63. Could we try somehow to avoid characterising something as arbitrary as university regulations as law? American society is already overwhelmed with laws enough to want calling the sets of regulations that unelected bodies like university administrations create to regulate their internal affairs "laws" as well.

Posted by: plaasjaapie on June 27, 2006 04:26 AM
64. This entire commentary is myopic. Why the vitriol for Denise? Why not the Board of Regents. Purge your hatred on them. Denise was a product of the system and, perhaps, a symptom of it, but definitely not a mean person.

Who annoited you, stone caster?

Posted by: faroffland on June 27, 2006 07:11 AM
65. There is no evidence anywhere that Denise "became the easy target because of the contract she was awarded and the conditions under which it was awarded and because she was a woman, and suddenly someone who struggled for equality throughout her career became the pinnacle of inequality, the guardian at the gate."

The idea that Denise Denton's problem was oppression against homosexual women is comical in the extreme. This is all victim rhetoric from people who know better but whose agenda is to further equalitarian nonsense at the expense of human decency and common sense.

Denton's sexuality and gender was not the issue here no matter how much silly pandering garbage aaronsc, P. Clancy, angry activist, or any other liberal nit-wit uses to objectify Denton as a cause cè lé bre for their mindless driveling nonsense.

Wise up morons.
I'm sorry for her family.

Posted by: Amused by liberals on June 27, 2006 08:37 AM
66. Faroffland:

Hatred? Vitriol?

Just because we describe exactly who and what she was, and these words come to your mind, why is it that those who describe her and her actions are hateful and vitroilic?

Pour your hatred? Just exactly who poured out hatred on the Board of Regents? Just because they are caught redhanded casually giving away the taxpayer funds, hatred is the word applicable to those who are disgusted by incompetence? Really.......

Just another moron liberal who utterly refuses to recoginze that people and institutions are actually responsible for their actions.

"Denise was a product of the system."

Sharpen your pencil, pal, those are code words for victim, and not very cleverly hidden, either. She was a victim?? Ask Larry Summers about who was a victim...

I suppose Hitler was innocent because of a bad childhood.

You people are not only ridiculous, but pathetic...

Posted by: Hank on June 27, 2006 04:24 PM
67. I hope for all of our sakes Faroffland is eponymically correct.

Posted by: Amused by liberals on June 27, 2006 04:55 PM
68. Please note that she did correctly calculate the trajectory from the roof to the surface of the planet. She was not injured by the fall, but the sudden stop was a bitch.

Posted by: geezerlust on June 27, 2006 05:23 PM
69. What if she was pushed?

Posted by: Organization Man on June 27, 2006 10:45 PM
70. It would be total conspiracy-theory to suggest Dr. Denton was pushed. The police investigation has been closed on her death and it has been labelled a suicide. Her mother was in the building at the time of her death and again to repeat reported that she was "very depressed" about personal and professional matters. There has been no further details offered by anyone who talked to her within a week of her death.

May her family and friends and colleagues find solace at this time.

Posted by: UCSC '79 on June 28, 2006 07:43 AM
71. From San Francisco Chronicle articles:

"UC Santa Cruz will hold a memorial Thursday for Chancellor Denice Denton, who died Saturday in San Francisco. She was 46.

The memorial service, which is open to the public, will be held at 10 a.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall.

Ms. Denton, who was named campus chancellor in early 2005, apparently took her own life.

She had been treated for "physical medical conditions," her mother, Carolyn Mabee, told campus spokeswoman Elizabeth Irwin.

The chancellor was on scheduled medical leave from June 15 to Monday, missing campus commencement ceremonies. It was announced at the ceremonies that she regretted she could not attend because of illness."

----------and in a separate article in San Francisco Chronicle......it was reported

"Denton's maternal uncle, Gilbert Drab, of Gun Barrel City, Texas, said he had not yet been able to reach her mother, Carolyn Mabee, who police said was in the apartment building at the time of Denton's suicide on Saturday morning. Mabee, who declined interview requests on Sunday, told authorities that her daughter was "very depressed" about her professional and personal life.

"It's a real tragedy. That's what happens when you get really bright people -- too much on their mind," said Drab. He said his niece had been treated for cancer in past years but did not think it had anything to do with the suicide. "She was a very, very kind person," he said, "that wanted to help women progress in their field." ..."


Posted by: UCSC '79 on June 28, 2006 06:27 PM
72. What goes around, comes around.

If she knowingly lied about Harvard Summer's comments, then that is a lie not needed in academics.

Those sort of lies I expect from the compassionate conservatives who post here. Nasty. I guess I should say Reagan, another Californian, was a victim of use it or lose it. Why be nice? Compassionate conservatives is an oxymoron.

Come to think of it, another Harvard President fired all his union, Derek Bok?, or would-be unionized staff and like another Ivy League pres fired the entire housekeeping staff and hired minimum wage people. Fortunately the rough, tough Teamster's Union was able to block the university sate funds and everyone was hired back at higher union wages now.

So what's my point? What goes around, comes around.

I wonder though if the real reason was something personal. A break up with her partner is what I thought, in spite of everything. All the things mentioned above are small potatoes for the tough people in academia, the men and the women. They are nasty and clever. Not great scholars but sure good manipulators, both the conservatives and the liberals. Both do lie too much.

Posted by: Ada on June 30, 2006 07:38 PM
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