USAFA Reviews Hiring Practices After Criticism

After accusations the US Air Force Academy could not justify hiring Dr. Mike Rosebush, the Academy has now said it will review its hiring practices to make sure they are

legally sound, equitable and unbiased

The Academy has repeatedly said that Dr. Rosebush has performed his duties well and there have been no complaints.  Still, USAFA said they will “specifically focus” on his hiring.  Three homosexual USAFA cadets — presumably those who would have been most harmed by Dr. Rosebush, according to critics — even told the press they’d never heard of Dr. Rosebush until his name came up in the press.

According to at least one talking head, some of USAFA’s response to the criticisms of Dr. Rosebush has fed the fires.  The Air Force Academy has repeatedly emphasized that Dr. Rosebush 

has not had any interaction with cadets “at any time since he was hired in 2009,” Vidal said in a statement issued this week. “His last direct contact with cadets occurred when he was a member of the faculty here, and he left that post in 1992.

“Bottom line: He does not and will not evaluate or counsel cadets.”

NBC commentator Rachel Maddow essentially said USAFA’s repetitive “reassurances” of a lack of cadet contact implied a concession to the criticisms of Dr. Rosebush’s character.

In its explicit statements, USAFA has done the opposite.  For example, LtGen Michelle Johnson, USAFA superintendent, acknowledged “both sides of the issue” in her statement on Dr. Rosebush [emphasis added]:

We realize the hiring of Dr. Mike Rosebush is a raw and emotional issue to many people on both sides of the issue surrounding reports in the media about his background and alleged beliefs

In other words, there are people demanding Dr. Rosebush’s ouster because of his beliefs, and there are people — including some in the military — concerned about the possibility he may be fired because of his beliefs.  As one commenter said,

“If we are going to start firing people because they don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle — whether they actively do something about it or not — then we have a WHOLE LOT of people to fire in the military.  There are a lot of us who disagree with that lifestyle…It is THEIR right to be a homosexual, but it is my right to not promote or actively support it…”

In addition, a joint statement from Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh said:

The Air Force is comprised of a rich workforce whose backgrounds reflect various races, origins, orientations, ethnicities, languages, cultures and life experiences. We promote an atmosphere of inclusion throughout our ranks and strive to ensure every Airman is treated with dignity and respect. If we fail to do that, at any level on the team, we break faith with our core values that hold us together.

It is unlikely the Air Force is intending to base its hiring decisions on prior or current positions on homosexuality.  The “atmosphere of inclusion” and the Air Force’s goal of seeing “every Airman…treated with dignity and respect” clearly includes those Airmen who may not affirm homosexuality — Airmen like Dr. Mike Rosebush.

Doesn’t it?

On a lighter note, Allen Willoughby, welcome to a public relations version of the Wedge principle.

Full Press Statement by LtGen Johnson:

The Air Force’s Academy respects the rights of all people and we endeavor to reinforce and foster a culture of dignity, respect and inclusion for all.  The Academy prides itself on its inclusive environment and is absolutely a safe and validating place for all active duty Airmen, civilian Airmen and cadets – whether they are LGBQ or not.

We realize the hiring of Dr. Mike Rosebush is a raw and emotional issue to many people on both sides of the issue surrounding reports in the media  about his background and alleged beliefs. Regarding those concerns, here is what we’re doing to address them:

– Although we have great confidence in our personnel and hiring processes, we are reviewing our hiring procedures to ensure they are legally sound, equitable, and unbiased.

– We are reviewing the hiring process ultimately bringing Dr. Rosebush aboard in 2009.

– To our knowledge, there are no complaints against Dr. Rosebush since he arrived in 2009 and he has effectively performed the duties required by his position for the Academy, but we are also reviewing our complaint systems to make sure that nothing was missed.

Regarding Dr. Rosebush’s role here, there are many reports out speculating on his role. To be clear, Dr. Mike Rosebush is an Operations Research Analyst for the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development.  He analyzes data to evaluate the effectiveness of USAFA’s “Character & Leadership 101: Foundations of Honorable Living – MOSAIC Personalized Coaching Experience” course.

He is not, as has been reported, the point man for building “character” and  “leadership” here. That is a team effort and the person who leads that effort is Air Force Col. Joseph Sanders, Permanent Professor & Director, Center for Character & Leadership Development.

Under Col. Sanders, Dr. Rosebush is part of the team that allows cadets to explore and commit to their own personal development around ethical values/virtues, and his specific role in that capacity is to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of USAFA’s “Character & Leadership 101:  Foundations of Honorable Living – Mosaic Personalized Coaching Experience”  course — he provides technical guidance on the overall program and part of that is to help ensure the quality of coaches who conduct the coaching of cadets. He does not personally coach cadets.

Our brand is our cadets. This program helps them grow as confident, competent, humble leaders who can earn the respect of those who work for them and those for whom they work. Cadets self-select one of the 11 Air  Force virtues they want to strengthen. The program, and the professional coaches supporting it, helps the cadets articulate the behavior she/he is excited about and committed to strengthen, and that ultimately helps develop stronger leaders of character.

Our cadets will one day be lieutenants for our Air Force and leaders for our Nation. By fostering a culture of dignity, respect and inclusion for all we continue to positively mold these young men and women and properly prepare them to defend our Nation’s freedoms.

Also at the Colorado Springs Independent, the Military Times, OneNewsNow, and the Stars and Stripes,