With 2.1 seconds to go, it looked like Denver was going to steal an OT road victory at Omaha. Jake Pemberton had just made a three and Denver had a 74-71 lead – Omaha would need a miracle three to tie it… and as you can see in the picture above, Omaha’s Daniel Norl made that miracle three (banked in no less!) and sent the game to a second OT. Denver had a chance in that second OT, and hung around, but in the end Omaha pulled away and Denver ended up with its most frustrating loss of the season.
Photo courtesy of Denver Athletics
The Pioneers play their first home series of 2018 this weekend when they host the University of Nebraska-Omaha
Whether you’re playing in the NCAA, in Juniors, or even the NHL, teams get a sense around this time of year if they are for real or not. The new year is a great motivator for teams that have struggled closing out the previous year to turn a new leaf, and for those who were successful to reflect on what gave them that success. Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: University of Nebraska Omaha
The University of Nebraska Omaha Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, participated in the first round of interviews for the Denver AD job but has been cut from the second round of interviews in January.
We at LetsGoDU were delighted with yesterday’s news that the DU Chairman of the Board of Trustees had sent an email to at least one alumnus announcing that the Pioneer nickname was staying, and inviting the alumnus to share the news. DU also came out with a new internet home page, which reads “We are University of Denver. We are Denver Pioneers”. While these are certainly significant, it is notable that home pages are (obviously) easily changed, and an email to one alumnus is not the same as a public statement. We continue to encourage the Chancellor and Board of Trustees to make a more declarative public statement that can be pointed to in the future. Indeed, with all the communications tools and administrative staff in DU’s arsenal, it is clear they should not have to rely on an alumnus to share their statement.
Still, we are delighted with DU’s preliminary steps.
Our sources tell us that the threat to the Pioneer name was not only quite real, but very imminent. LetsGoDU had to move very quickly to find its voice and to tell this story, be dogged and determined throughout, and had to work very hard to help our readership to respond in an effective way. Thank you to the team of experienced communicators who got this story out, and to all of you readers for responding and letting the administration become aware of the power of Pioneer alumni and fans.
We don’t know how long the name will stay Pioneers, but this will serve as a powerful reminder that any future change to our nickname will be met with overwhelming opposition.
It also will serve as a different kind of reminder to DU – that in the age of social media and nearly instant two-way communications, it is unwise for DU administrators to attempt these kinds of major identity changes without alumni involvement. It’s no secret that many of the DU senior leadership team avoided interacting with us. Either they underestimated the level of passion that we alumni and DU sports fan have about our school identity, or they didn’t want to hear it. Hopefully, this episode has helped them learn that they need to reach out to us the right way, instead of excluding us.
And LetsGoDU and its readers have reminded them that we’re all watching what they do and how they do it, and when they mess up this badly, they will get called out.
But frankly, this is no time to gloat. We still have many issues with the DU administration that need to be addressed going forward. To know that members of the Chancellor’s senior leadership team were actively undermining our Pioneer identity is still deeply concerning to us. We don’t think that should be in anyone’s DU job description.
We hope that there will now be some accountability for the arrogant overreach we have all witnessed. Inclusive Excellence has merit, but it needs to be practiced in an inclusive way that includes all of the DU community, not just for those who claim oppression. We hope DU will redirect those IE people who reductively sought to damage our traditions toward more productive concerns, such as outreach, scholarships, mentorships and opportunities. Senior administrators should never have a carte blanche to simply attack everything they don’t like, or to enlist students to work against the interests of the DU larger community. They should practice unity and not division.
Secondly, the additional allegations of DU senior leadership team malfeasance regarding the anti-Boone “mask” policy has left that policy exposed and without any moral credibility. Accordingly, we hope that the Board of Trustees will revisit the policy during their meetings this week. In light of the disingenuousness LetsGoDU exposed, and the shady back story of how it was created for reasons other than safety, as well as the surge of alumni goodwill that can be anticipated if the policy is revoked, we hope the Board will rescind this debunked policy. The sooner the Board throws it out, or at least makes an exception for a vetted Boone, the more credibility they will gain with their largest audience.
Finally, the appearance of administrative deceit, honor code violations by high level DU administrators and staff, and the ignoring of alumni and fans in this process are hugely concerning to all of us. We hope DU will use what it has learned to clean up its house so that we can trust our university again.
It should be known and remembered that we didn’t choose this fight. We became forced to fight for our 93-year-old Pioneer identity when we were betrayed by our leadership. DU is a much better place today as than it was a few weeks ago, and while we hated revealing some of the things we were forced to reveal, we know that we were right to do it. University employees who lived in fear of the University’s Inclusive Excellence shadow have reached out to us to let us know how thankful they are to us, as they lived in fear of retribution if they spoke out. Indeed, this would be a very good time to look at IE in a much more critical way. For all the good things that it can create, there is a dark side to it that stunts free speech, kills diversity of thought and, apparently, can turn capable administrators into seditious community-dividers.
We look forward to the healing that must take place, but we also remind everyone that we should never have to experience dishonesty, malfeasance and deception from our own leaders.
We hope that DU will work hard to restore our confidence following the betrayals we have experienced as this episode has unfolded.
We also hope that the Board of Trustees will address the contents of this column in their meetings, and will take the actions it needs to take.
DU needs to be better, and we all play a part in that.
Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a long-time DU fan and alumnus. Her shares his views periodically here at LetsGoDU.
Our Crimson and Gold-tinted nightmare appears to have made a major breakthrough: There will be no nickname change. According to University of Denver Board chair Doug Scrivner, ‘Pioneers’ is here to stay.
In an email reply to a concerned alumnus that Scrivner gave permission to share with everyone, and which we’ve quoted below, Scrivner explained that despite the recent controversy, the nickname will remain.
The University has also changed its web site:
We now consider the Pioneer name officially “safe” for now.
Read Scrivner’s email below: Continue reading BREAKING: DU Board Chair Doug Scrivner confirms that DU will keep Pioneer Nickname
LetsGoDU has learned from several sources that the “Trailblazers” name was to have been a key thematic element in Chancellor Rebecca Chopp’s upcoming State of the University speech. Our sources have also indicated that the “Trailblazers” concept was not only a speech theme but was likely the intended seed of a Trojan horse replacement for DU’s 93-year-old nickname “Pioneers”.
In the days since we exposed DU’s recent mask policy as a politically-motivated tool intended largely to ban the unofficial mascot Denver Boone from campus, the University’s honesty and intentions regarding our 93-year old nickname “Pioneers” have also come into serious question. Our sources tell us that while the administration disdained the word “Pioneers” as traditional and western, they saw the concept of “Trailblazers” as being an acceptable replacement.
It seems that DU’s senior leaders were not only actively working to slice DU from its western traditions, they were doing it through a covert web of lies, deception, and disdain for DU’s largest constituency – its alumni. Indeed, the malfeasance of senior leadership daily continues to draw DU into further disrepute.
We have written previously about Renell Wynn, DU’s Vice Chancellor for Communications, who advised key alumni of the so-called “mask” policy only AFTER the policy was a fait accompli – already approved by members of the Board of Trustees. Wynn’s use of “safety” as her cover story for the policy backfired when Don Enloe, DU’s Director of Campus Safety, admitted to the Denver Post that other schools’ mascots would be allowed inside Magness Arena (while Denver Boone would be banned from his home arena by the policy). Interestingly, we haven’t heard a single quote or release from Wynn since this story broke, and she’s Vice-Chancellor for Communications. Hmmm…
We also have drawn into doubt the credibility of Dr. Liliana Rodriguez and Dr. Frank Tuitt, the “inclusive excellence” leaders who co-authored the “smoking gun” anti-Boone letter of January 2017, which assured students that “procedures” were being created to eliminate Boone. It is also important to note that in the original version of the “mask” policy posted in late December 2017 on the DU website, Rodriguez’s office was to be the contact point for requesting exceptions to the policy — until the exception language mysteriously disappeared in an Orwellian puff of smoke before January 1, 2018.
Rodriguez also likely had a key role in encouraging her staff to work with student groups such as Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Native Student Association (NSA) to create new mascots and to actively campaign against the Pioneer nickname, respectively. By actively promoting disunity and division, such acts were over-reaching, manipulative and wedge-driving. Indeed, such activities appear to be less those of “inclusive excellence” and more those of “exclusive insolence”.
Now, we also question the credibility of Ed Rowe, the Chancellor’s Director of Special Projects, whose e-mail replies to angry alumni have further eroded trust. Indeed, the inauthentic form e-mails and awkward language in his some of his talking points are suggestive of obfuscation, rather than honesty.
- Ed Rowe Talking Point: “That [nickname] rumor is false”
That’s an incomplete statement if we’ve ever seen one. Are the Chancellor and Board of Trustees committed to the identity “Denver Pioneers” going forward or not?
- Ed Rowe Talking Point: “The Chancellor and Board have affirmed our use of Pioneers”
It is obvious to anyone that the words “have affirmed” is in the past tense. And what does the phrasing “use of Pioneers” mean? Does it mean we have “used” the term in the past, but it may be changing now? What we need to know is, are we Pioneers going forward or not?
- Ed Rowe Talking Point: “DU is proud of the ways our faculty conduct pioneering research and pave the way in student-centered education focused on the public good”
Here ‘pioneer’ is being used as a verb, suggesting that while we are being ‘pioneering’, we may not be ‘Pioneers’. Not only does this avoid the question of commitment to Pioneers, it actually appears to be laying a path to the concept of being ‘Trailblazers’ rather than ‘Pioneers.’ We aren’t asking about research. We are asking: Are we Pioneers going forward or not?
- Ed Rowe Talking Point: “Denver Pioneers create new companies and nonprofits, they find new solutions to complex problems and they are committed to making the world a better place.”
Can you please answer our questions instead of trying to snow us with platitudes? DU must think we’re children! What we want to know is: Are we Pioneers now and forever?
Finally, where have the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees been while key senior team members have been running a harmful agenda, creating disingenuous policies, avoiding the alumni, trying to erase the western history from our traditions and writing meaningless and obfuscating communications?
We deserve better than this, DU. We entrust our leaders to provide stewardship, honesty, and competence. And there can be no grey area where it concerns honesty.
According to the DU website, “All members of the University of Denver are expected to uphold the values of Integrity, Respect, and Responsibility. These values embody the standards of conduct for students, faculty, staff, and administrators as members of the University community.
“Our [DU] values are defined as:
* Integrity: acting in an honest and ethical manner;
* Respect: honoring differences in people, ideas, and opinions;
* Responsibility: accepting ownership for one’s own conduct.”
As engaged alumni, we’ve observed what may be lot of potential violations of these values.
DU, you have let us down.
Now is the time for alumni and fans to let our school know where we stand on this issue.
Not surprisingly, it was a long afternoon in Brookings, South Dakota for the Denver Pioneers. The Jackrabbits proved why they are the league favorites and atop the conference standings – they are dang good. Mike Daum had 34 points and David Jenkins added 27 in a game that Denver was never in from the start.
We wrote on Thursday, January 11th about the collusion between DU senior leadership, staff members, and student groups to ban unofficial mascot Denver Boone and to potentially also change the school nickname from ‘Pioneers’ to ‘Trailblazers’. Yesterday, a source provided us with a copy of a January 2017 letter which is a “smoking gun” proving that this collusion reached to the highest levels of the University. We’ve provided this handy chart that outlines the key players in the scheme, and what we know to be true so far about their roles. Continue reading BREAKING: Letter confirms collusion at highest levels of DU: Who did it?
Over 1,000 people, ranging from famous NHLers to Campus Lounge bar regulars, came to say goodbye to former Pioneer Captain Jim Wiste (1946-2018) at a touching memorial service on the ice of the University of Denver’s Magness Arena on January 11th.
DU and Wiste’s family put together an impressive tribute, complete with on-ice floral displays, an excellent video of Wiste’s life (shown on the scoreboard), and a post-event reception with extensive photos of Wiste’s life well-lived — as hockey player, entrepreneur, tavern-owner and host, husband, father, and grandfather. Continue reading PUCK SWAMI: Saying goodbye to Pioneer Hockey Champion Jim Wiste