Dan Danford’s Narrative

This page has been created to support the Narrative Kansas State University agreed to accept from Mr. Danford under the August, 2015 negotiated settlement KSU made with Mr. Danford.

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Mr. Dan Danford began his pursuit of a PHD in Personal Finance at Kansas State University in 2009. Unfortunately, midway into the program Mr. Danford learned that there is a huge power differential between a PHD candidate and the academics directing the course of a PHD candidate’s path.  Mr. Danford presents his narrative, not out of vengeance, but as a cautionary tale with the hope that it will help other people.

Mr. Danford hopes this narrative will accomplish the following:

(1) First, that the senior leadership of KSU will read his narrative, learn from his experience, and then make the necessary and appropriate changes to ensure future PHD students in the College of Human Ecology are not subject to the same treatment.

(2) Next, that anyone considering starting a PHD program benefits from his story and takes all the appropriate safeguards to ensure they are not subject to similar treatment.

(3) Finally, that people come to understand the importance of the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA).  Mr. Danford knows it is unlikely that that he will ever see the complete written record he requested several times under the KORA.  He believes however, that if it were not for an unverifiable measure of compliance by KSU with the Kansas Open Records Act he would never have discovered the full extent of the actions of some of the people in positions of authority over him while he was a PHD candidate at the College of Human Ecology.

United States Supreme Court Justice Brandeis once aptly stated, “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Mr. Danford couldn’t agree more strongly with that notion.  The documents archived here offer a glimpse into just one student’s experience.

Please review the legal cases linked to below. These cases illustrate that even in cases where an able and affable PHD student is subject to poor behavior by a PHD committee member, through no fault of their own, and the student reports that abusive behavior, the student – not the faculty member – essentially become a persona non grata.

No academic, who values their position, will take that student on and help them complete their program. Once they are tainted by a professor that student is toxic and few academics have ever shown the courage necessary to rescue that student’s PHD program.

Further aggravating is the fact that it takes more than one such courageous academic to fill a student’s PHD committee.  The odds of finding three or more such brave academics is 0 to the third power.  That is just the way it is, and that is wrong.

Narrative:

Supporting Documents (Most Recent First):

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