Monday, August 4, 2014
Letter from the TBDBITL Alumni Club to OSU President Michael Drake
Jonathan Waters has served with distinction, honor and exceptional commitment as Director of The Ohio State University Marching Band.
Without question we believe that service should continue. The Board of Governors of the TBDBITL Alumni Club, Inc., the alumni organization representing decades of Band alumni,unequivocally and without reservation calls for the immediate reinstatement of Jonathan Waters as Director of the Marching and Athletic Bands at Ohio State.
Notwithstanding the apparent longstanding concerns revealed anecdotally in the unilateral Investigation Report now released by the University, we believe that only Mr. Waters can unite the current band members, the alumni, and the University community in addressing those issues. No one is legitimately served by his removal.
Our own investigation over the last few days, since the wrongful termination of Mr. Waters, reveals the following:
1. The allegations contained in the University’s Investigation Report were not presented in writing to Mr. Waters until after he was given the choice to resign or be terminated, when he was handed the Investigation Report. He was not afforded due process and his attorneys were given no opportunity to make any sort of presentation in his defense.
2. The original complaint purportedly leading to the investigation involved a claim related to a reported alleged sexual assault off campus involving a student alleging misconduct by another student. Mr. Waters duly reported the sexual assault in accordance with University procedures.
3. The witnesses interviewed and quoted in the Investigation Report were recommended for the interviews solely by the Complainant. The investigators did not reach out beyond those designated witnesses. Only 4 of 225 current members of the Band were interviewed.
4. University Provost Joseph Steinmetz discussed continuation of Mr. Waters in his current position coupled with inclusion of an outside consultant to address “band culture” but unilaterally withdrew the option, terminating Mr. Waters instead. When Mr. Waters left his prior meeting with the Provost he believed he was keeping his job, only to be told a few days later that he must resign or be fired.
5. As OSUMB director for less than two years Mr. Waters had already instituted several unprecedented formal and informal means to address relationships, interaction, issue sensitivity and leadership within the Ohio State University Marching Band, which were the subject of praise within the University community, but not recited in the Investigation Report.
6. At no time prior to or after his termination has University President Drake met Jon Waters, let alone discussed the allegations in the Investigation Report with him.
The honor and traditions of generations of members and staff of the Ohio State University Marching Band have been misrepresented, insulted and dishonored by the release of the unbalanced Investigation Report, together with attachments long predating the term of Mr. Waters as the director. Specific anecdotes contained in the Investigation Report have been disavowed and repudiated by alleged victims in the few days since its release. We are shocked and disappointed that the University would prepare and release such a report.
The Board of Governors of the TBDBITL Alumni Club, Inc. will continue its own investigation of these matters involving the campaign against the OSUMB and its director Jonathan Waters, spearheaded by a special committee consisting of Alumni Drum Major Shelley Graf, TBDBITL president Brian J. Golden, TBDBITL legal chair Gary J. Leppla, and OSUMB Director Emeritus Dr. Paul Droste. Additional recommendations for Board of Governors action will be offered by the special committee.
The leadership of the TBDBITL Alumni Club is following a plan and a process that is deliberate, actionable, and appropriate. As we work through this difficult matter, we encourage you to continue your support of the OSUMB and Jonathan Waters. The Board of Governors will continue to work to review all information.
Board of Governors
TBDBITL Alumni Club, Inc.
The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni