What Would Groucho Say?

Groucho Marx disguiseMaybe it’s  a myth or maybe the truth, but Groucho Marx supposedly once said “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”

But what about those that WON’T accept you as a member?

This has been stuck in my craw since January, 2011 when I received an email reply from Terry Eberhart. Maybe he’s a great guy. I really don’t know. All I know if that he is (or at least was) the moderator of a LinkedIn group that I was trying to join.

The LinkedIn group is named the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning (HETL) Association. It currently has 13,475 members; including several friends of mine such as John Sener, Chris Duke, Alice Voorhees-Bedard, and John St. Clair to name a few.

Here are the vision, mission, and values statements from that group (copied form their info page):

  • Vision: the long-term vision of HETL is to improve educational outcomes in higher education by creating new knowledge and advancing the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning.
  • Mission: to bring that vision to reality, the current mission of HETL is to develop a global community of higher education professionals who come together to share their knowledge and expertise in teaching and learning.
  • Values: to effectively fulfill that mission, HETL adheres to the values of academic integrity, collegiality, and diversity.

I experienced a mixture of surprise and disgust when I received the email shown below.

Email received rejecting my request to join LinkedIn group

I’ve let it sit this long, but now I’m wondering if Mr. Eberhart would care to elaborate on where my values fall short in meeting his standard.  If anyone else would like to take a shot at that, I’d like to hear from you as well. Here is a link to my profile at LinkedIn – which is apparently what he reviewed to come to his conclusion that my values don’t measure up.

(NOTE: I did email Mr. Eberhart about three weeks ago, but he didn’t respond.)

CC-BY photo By Mykl Roventine

3 Responses

  1. How strange. Not only did he not give you a reason, but won’t respond to your followup.

    Maybe he saw one of your talks, and fears your witty wrath.

  2. Thanks Bryan. Let’s go for full alliteration – warped, waggish, witty wrath. However, nobody fears me (nor should they).

    John St. Clair created a hashtag in my honor. #LetBarryIn Thanks John.

  3. Barry, That’s just not right!

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