Statement by Lisa Troyer

Statement by Lisa Troyer

Following is a statement by Lisa Troyer, former chief of staff to University of Illinois President Michael Hogan.

Nineteen months ago I was so excited to be joining the University of Illinois — a world-class institution with world-class scientists, scholars, and artists. The University has more than its share of Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer winners, and it's thrilling to be among them; but I also know that many other faculty, staff, and students work hard and quietly, generating equally important creative works, life-changing discoveries, and new scholarly insights on age-old problems. To me, this is the core of the University of Illinois — it embodies the Midwestern ideals of compassion, hard work, humility, thoughtfulness, and innovation.

Lately, it hasn't been easy for me to recognize these characteristics that I'd missed so much while I was away from the Midwest for a few years. I didn't write or send anonymous emails, and there's substantial evidence supporting that fact. Over the last months, I've been devastated by the mishandling of the investigation and deeply disappointed with some who've perpetuated lies and disseminated misinformation. I try to remind myself that it's really only a handful of individuals who are engaging in the seemingly relentless and misinformed crusade against me. I try to instead focus on the many supporters who've expressed acknowledgement that I had nothing to do with this.

But when I read irresponsible, inaccurate statements that appear designed to hurt me — such as those by people like Associate Professor Joyce Tolliver, Professor Michael Moore and his co-authors, and Professor Harriett Murav — it's almost too much to bear. I want to set the record straight by sharing all I know, but I'm bound by confidentiality.

When I initiated the ethics investigation, the investigators and I agreed to keep details of the investigation and identities of those involved confidential. Although some have violated their promises of confidentiality to me, I've chosen to respect the promise. Accordingly, there's very little I can state publicly at this time, even though I believe revealing more would go far to quell the blood thirst that's rampant among some.

Because of the confidentiality agreement, I cannot publicly disclose the verifiable details that question the credibility of the investigation. I cannot publicly share the exculpatory facts omitted from the report, or specifically challenge the unsubstantiated speculation, irrelevant information, and many inaccuracies in the report. There's no such thing as "due process" under these circumstances. And the absence of due process is exacerbated by the irresponsible and seemingly deliberate lies publicly perpetuated by Moore with his co-authors and signatories, as well as Tolliver, Murav, and others.

For instance, Moore and his co-authors accuse me of being "coy" about my denial of responsibility and cite my relative silence in this matter as aimed at ensuring "job security." Tolliver suggests that my silence is related to protecting others. These accusations are inaccurate. As an initiator of and participant in this ethics investigation, I'm not permitted to publicly disclose details of the investigation, including its many flaws. The fact that these investigations are confidential is well-known, and the fact that Tolliver, Moore and Moore's co-authors ignore this seems deliberately intended to inflict harm.

To suggest that what's occurred has been orchestrated for my benefit is preposterous. I was not "elevated" to a tenure position after resigning as chief of staff as asserted by Moore and his co-authors. I've been tenured at other institutions since 2001, and attained tenure at UIUC in 2010 through the same process as all faculty — department, college, and campus review (including review by the provost and chancellor), with approval by the Board of Trustees. This is a matter of public record. Yet, Tolliver asserts I was granted a tenured faculty position without consultation with Interim Provost Wheeler, and Murav asserts that it was never vetted with the chancellor or interim provost. There are only a few reasons why Moore and his co-authors, as well as Tolliver and Murav would knowingly promote such a falsehood.

These may seem like trivial points to some. But to me, they are facts upon which I can comment that speak volumes about the nature of the investigation and the subsequent handling of the matter. These are examples of verifiable facts twisted to suit the narrative of a contingent set upon my destruction. They are examples of lies being publicly disseminated as gospel. I expected a higher degree of diligence, devotion to the truth, and restraint from individuals like Tolliver, Murav, Moore, his co-authors, and the others jumping on their bandwagons.

Despite everything that's happened so far though, I still believe that the University of Illinois is a wonderful place, resplendent with Midwestern compassion and integrity. My belief is reinforced by the many kind colleagues who have quietly and kindly reached out to offer support and convey their faith in my innocence. They number more than the few publicly spreading lies. But even their compassion and faith in me doesn't erase the pain of being routinely and publicly maligned by a few with questionable motives. It doesn't take away the hurt and frustration from adhering to my promises of confidentiality, while others selectively violate theirs. And it can never remove the sadness of seeing the career I spent 25 years building ripped apart as the result of a mishandled and misreported investigation and the lies others are perpetuating to exacerbate the situation. I'm heartbroken that at my reputation has been irreparably damaged by what's transpired. I'm dismayed that the University is being portrayed so poorly by a few who consistently seek a public spotlight to willingly and relentlessly spread lies. Yet, I still believe in the University and the majority of people in this community. I can only implore upon this majority to strive for more than this; to instead strive for truth, for accuracy in investigations and the reporting of them, and for respectful treatment. Reserve judgment until all the facts are before you, and don't rush to condemn simply because a relatively small number of people publicly spreading lies may make it seem easy or popular to do so.

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Squirrel wrote on March 01, 2012 at 9:03 am

Sounds like she's been copying from the Blago playbook. It's a conspiracy. People hate me for no reason. Wait till all the facts come out. I can't talk about it now. Blah blah blah. Please leave and take your boss with you

urbanaman wrote on March 05, 2012 at 1:03 pm

"To me, this is the core of the University of Illinois — it embodies the Midwestern ideals of compassion, hard work, humility, thoughtfulness, and innovation." - Lisa Troyer

Funny that you cite these qualities as things you admire as you’ve abused our compassion with your shameless coverup, attempted to deceitfully manipulate our hard work (the u of I senate), scoffed at our humility with your negative comments about respectable faculty members, insulted our thoughtfulness with your outrageous lies, and disparaged our innovation with claims of “mishandling” of the forensic investigation. The things you omitted from your list are our Midwestern common sense and uncanny ability to judge character or, in your case, the lack thereof.  

Yer mom wrote on March 01, 2012 at 10:03 am

If you are in fact innocent Ms. Troyer, perhaps it would be best to remain silent and allow the facts to come out as they inevitably will.  Your continuing assertion of innocence is, to me, tiresome.  And makes me think that perhaps there is truly more fault on your part than the public knows.  Please act as an adult and keep quiet.

zeke99 wrote on March 01, 2012 at 10:03 am

I think this interview with Lisa Troyer when she first started is telling:

lruthjoh wrote on March 01, 2012 at 10:03 am

I find Ms. Troyer's characterization of Harriet Murav, Joyce Tolliver, and Michael Moore as liars extremely disturbing. As far as I know, Ms. Troyer is entitled to defend herself. In this statement, she does not do that--she replaces reasoned argumentation with name-calling and accusations that she does not substantiate. If she is not permitted to disclose details that would actually serve to build an argument, she should wait until she is permitted to do so, or until the process underway permits those details to be revealed. Accusing Murav, Tolliver, and Moore of lying does not suffice as an argument. 

Stereoscope wrote on March 01, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Has anyone noticed that Ms. Troyer's writing style, as exhibited in her statement printed in today's N-G, is remarkably similar to the writing style of the anonymous emails?

urbanaman wrote on March 02, 2012 at 10:03 am

To me, these are either the sentiments of someone who has done nothing wrong nor even suspect, or that of a subset of our species who can perhaps best be described as scum of the earth – a shameless liar and utter hypocrite who accuses those of integrity around her of being liars as well; someone who has only her best interest in mind and tries to manipulate anyone who will listen into defending her character in spite of any and all inexcusable behavior. I feel deep compassion for the former and fervently hope for her vindication but wish nothing but misery and humiliation, for a season at least, on the latter.

Supportthekids wrote on March 02, 2012 at 10:03 am

It never ends. The nefarious villain who hacked into Lisa Troyer's laptop to send anonymous emails to make her look bad has now hacked into her computer again to send the above statement to make her look even worse.  I totally believe Ms. Troyer that she did not send the anonymous emails and look forward to seeing her incontrovertible proof now that the University does not have a confidentiality agreement with her.  It is inconceivable that a person smart enough to earn a PhD and was so valuable to the State of Illinois that she was paid more than the Governor, would make such a stupid statement.  It must be her enemies in the faculty that are doing this.

urbanaman wrote on March 02, 2012 at 12:03 pm

It’s becoming clear that the person we’re looking for is a computer ubergenius who leaves no detectable trace of his tampering and/or is a first-class ninja who has the capability of stealing Ms. Troyer’s laptop at will (on several occasions, to make “test” drafts of emails apparently). This person may or may not have a personal ax to grind with Ms. Troyer and is intimately acquainted with the details of the U of I senate’s goings-on. Trust no one. Report all suspicious activity to The Department for the Prevention of Malicious Techno-Ninjas.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 02, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Will she claim that "Anonymous" did it?  I am perplexed why she made any public statement. If she had discussed it with her friend, Dr. Hogan; I am sure that he would have discouraged her from making a public statement.  This only keeps the scandal alive.  I would hope that Dr. Hogan's address to the the Faculty Senate is released to the public.  It will be interesting to see what he has to say.  He "apologized" once before.  This time, he will be present with his e-mails to Chancellor Wise fresh in the minds of the faculty.  Perhaps; Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chris Kennedy, will be at his side?  Although, Mr. Kennedy may have pressing business to avoid the situation.  What will Hogan say?  Maybe, he will just send them an e-mail?

Alexander wrote on March 02, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Sounds like she's setting up for a constructive dismissal lawsuit. Look out.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 03, 2012 at 9:03 am

Good point, Alexander.  Either a pay off, or an expensive lawsuit.  Another good reason to have the State Attorney General's Office to get involved since Dr. Troyer is a state employee.  At the very least, the State Inspector General's Office should be involved.  It is time for this to move out of the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Hogan's hands.

Alexander wrote on March 03, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Great idea.

dw wrote on March 03, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Can't wait next year to take my ethics test to see if they include this in the "it really happened" scenarios...

At least there's something to look forward to taking my yearly "the state is gonna get 'cha!" "test"

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 03, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Did Hogan, and Troyer take their tests?  It would be interesting if the University Office of Ethics released proof that they actually did take their tests.  Since the tests are done on a computer; it should be easy to check.   I doubt that they did.  They are / were administrators.  Of course, the Office of Ethics reports directly to Hogan.

Au1 wrote on March 06, 2012 at 1:03 pm

It would be very interesting, especially considering that state employees who do not take their mandatory annual ethics traning are subject to disciplinary action.