Talk:Longy School of Music of Bard College

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Tone of recent edits[edit]

This is an encyclopedia article, not an advertisement for the school or an alumni page. Please re-write in a neutral tone, avoiding peacock terms. Also do not use "we". It's unencyclopedic and it strongly suggests a conflict of interest by the authors, which reduces rather than enhances the article's credibility. Thanks, Voceditenore 14:02, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Recent Edits[edit]

Voceditenore, thank you for taking an interest in our project! I did not even think to check the the talk page on here until your name came up in class the other day. I have been working hard to improve the neutrality of my comments, and I figured that simply updating the history would be easy enough. If you have any more suggestions, I'm all ears! Deep-fried twinkie (talk) 18:48, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Most recent edit I'm starting to look at other conservatory wiki pages, so I added the information about the degree programs. Let me know what you think! Deep-fried twinkie (talk) 19:29, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I've fixed the referencing in the article. On the whole, Wikipedia prefers footnotes rather than the embedded links you were using because of the difficulties in associating them with their appropriate full references. I also removed repetitive external links, and moved some to the references section. You'll find this article useful: Wikipedia:Citing sources, especially Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Footnote_referencing for a guide of how to mark up the footnotes. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 02:21, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow, that looks so much better! I knew there was a way to do footnotes, but I hadn't taken the time to learn how to do the code properly. I'll share the links you provided with the others. It's very helpful! Deep-fried twinkie (talk) 19:18, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


The pictures look great! Zoe zelda (talk) 12:59, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Reverting is a blunt instrument[edit]

Reversion is primarily a tool for quickly removing vandalism. Please do not use it for content disputes! At least 3 editors have engaged in this in the last few days resulting in the loss of valuable content including images, as well as the loss of considerable work put into formatting the references properly and copy-editing for neutral tone in interim edits.

There was definitely a problem with the overly promotional tone of some of the text, as I said above. There was also a problem with the unnecessary and uninformative lists of every course taught at the school. However, the way to solve this is to copy-edit the areas which need it - not wholescale reversions. Wholescale reversions are both lazy and destructive.

I have now re-edited the article to restore the photographs of and text concerning the concert hall and the Rey-Waldstein Building. I've reformatted the references, toned down the promotional language which keeps popping up, and restructured the headings. I fully support the removal of the material about mission statements etc. and the endless lists of courses. I have left them out of this new version. Any significant removal of material from now on needs to be explained and discussed on the talk page first. Voceditenore (talk) 07:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Voceditenore for your work. It looks fine now, and preserves some of the additions to the article that did make sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Programs of study[edit]

It can be useful information for the article to cover the programs of study offered, provided it doesn't read like the school's prospectus and avoids repetitiousness. I've now added a concise section on Programs of Study, briefly outlining the types of degrees/diplomas offered and the majors available. The section is referenced to the Longy School's web page which describes the programmes in much greater detail (for readers who are interested). Note also that I have removed the red link on Collaborative piano since red links by their very nature are uninformative and instead linked it to Accompaniment which discusses how the terms 'collaborative pianist' or 'collaborative artist' are increasingly used by music schools to replace the term 'accompanist'. Similarly, in the absence of a specific article on Modern American music. I have linked it to Contemporary classical music (the meaning of 'American' in the context of the phrase can be inferred). Voceditenore (talk) 11:49, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Notable teachers at the Longy School of Music[edit]

An awful lot of names have been added to to this list - virtually the whole faculty. Are they all notable in the sense of Wikipedia's criteria for notability? They are also red-linked. To the editor who added them, are you planning to write articles on all of them in the near future? Do you have enough reliable independent sources to verify their notability in those articles? If not, the names should be removed. The current result is that the faculty looks like a collection of non-notable people. The normal practice for these kinds of lists on Wikipedia is to restrict them to people who already have Wikipedia articles. I'm removing the red-linked names from the article and transferring them to this talk page. When any of them have Wikipedia articles, they can be re-added to the list in the main article. Voceditenore (talk) 05:27, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

List of faculty members who do not have Wikipedia articles[edit]

When they have articles, they should be added to the list of notable faculty in the main article:

Voceditenore (talk) 05:27, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Articles on faculty members needing attention[edit]

The following articles on notable faculty members have problems which should also be addressed:

Voceditenore (talk) 06:18, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality of 2010 crisis section[edit]

Both I and user:MarcLorra have recently had a dispute over the content in this section with anon ip I have already made some attempts to balance the presentation of this crisis which seem to not be challenged. However, one way in which I feel the coverage is still skewed is that there is no mention of the financial problems at Longy which have been well reported. The million dollar budget deficit in the annual budget should be mentioned as it was in the television reports of the firing. Even if the school president didn't out right blame the firing on the money problems, it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots between the two events. I suspect the spresident was trying to not blame the firing on the money issues in order to keep up appearances for PR reasons related to the merger. Anyway, as long as we avoid OR conclusions in the article, I think the deficit should be mentioned in the crisis section to put the firing in context.4meter4 (talk) 19:35, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I think it is fine to mention the deficit somewhere, and if geniuses or non-geniuses want to connect dots, they can do so in the privacy of their own thoughts when reading the WP page - just as they can when reading the newspaper article. Your personal suspicions concerning why the school president did not blame the firings on the previous deficit might be right, or they might be wrong. But to enshrine your hunch in the WP article would be OR, which is why I think it doesn't belong there - and it is definitely wrong to attribute it to the Boston Globe article.
My view is the following. The newspaper article and the video interview in the Boston Globe, plus the open letter posted at the faculty union website, are the only information sources we have right now. The Globe quotes from President Zorn assert a link between the proposed Bard takeover and the previous deficit, but not a link with the layoffs. That is what WP should reflect, until there's another newspaper article or something similar available to us. (talk) 19:47, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
By the way, can you clarify why you see this as a neutrality issue? (talk) 19:51, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I certainly can agree with talking about the deficit in connection with the merger and not the firing. The sources support that and I think that is a fair presentation. Not mentioning it, however, is biased. In my mind, without the financial info it makes Karen L. Zorn look like a monster and the fired faculty members look like poor victims. But in the light of the financial woes that changes. Zorn's actions then appear more rational and, while still controvercial, possibly justified.4meter4 (talk) 20:00, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it is not the job of WP to protect Zorn's image (nor to tarnish it). It's to represent verifiable sources accurately, let the chips fall where they may. When a verifiable source appears in which the layoffs are attributed to the deficit, WP can cite it (indicating that is someone's opinion, of course). (talk) 22:16, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I certainly agree with your summation. I'm just pointing out a glaring ommission in the article's current presentation of facts. I'm not wanting to indicate anything beyond the sources, just wanting all of the pertinent facts included in the article. The budget deficit should be mentioned. Otherwise, the whole state of affairs at Longy is not accurate.4meter4 (talk) 22:55, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

As long as this section is titled "2010 crisis" it seems to me that entire section is biased. As someone who knows the organization fairly well, I see no way to construe this as a crisis. "2010 crisis" implies a circumstance that threatens the vitality or existence of the organization. The Globe article represents the potential new relationship with Bard as a positive opportunity, not as a crisis. (The only time it used the word crisis is in reference to the deficit in 2007.) Most of the Board, staff and faculty at Longy feel the same way. And while it may be that some of the 37 teachers who have not been renewed are upset about this situation, the fact is that collectively they taught only 30 students – most taught one or two hours per week, some had no students at all. Bottom line - to call this "a crisis" is a complete misrepresentation. And the inclusion of the quotes from the Mass AFT president is grossly biased -- how can the non-renewal of faculty who taught less than 3 percent of the students be “scandalous”? At the very least, this quote from the union should be balanced with a response from Longy leadership.

If the article is going to talk about crisis, I think you would have to title the section “2007 crisis” and talk about the million dollar deficit created by the previous administration that threatened the existence of organization at the time when the current president took office, but which has now been resolved.

Specific comments:

  1. “In March 2010, President Zorn laid off 37 of Longy's 188 teachers” – is “laid off” accurate when most of these teachers taught only one or two hours per week?
  2. “including many of its most senior staff.” No staff have been affected – only faculty. I think “including a number of long-tenured faculty members” would be more accurate as I don’t believe there is a junior-senior hierarchy of faculty
  3. “and the Boston Globe reported that some teachers said the timing is "suspect", coming only months after the faculty’s union vote in January.” Again I think this sounds biased. How many of the non-renewed faculty members were union? What’s the connection? The sentence suggests that the non-renewal is a retaliation of some kind, but it’s not clear how it could be retaliation if most of the faculty are not union.
  4. “Clayton Hoener, former chair of the string faculty, was quoted in the same article as saying that ‘the union was formed because the faculty felt its voice was not being heard by the administration.’” This is a non-sequitir in the logic of the article now – this section isn’t about why the union was formed.
  5. “Commenting on the recent mass dismissal of faculty in an open letter, the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Federation of Teachers labor union called the actions ‘horrifying’ and ‘scandalous’.” I’m sorry, but this just seems an egregiously biased inclusion, using only the most salacious adjectives from the open letter. If this were truly to be an unbiased report, the line would say something like “The non-renewals were protested by the AFT in an open letter…” etc.

user:MarcLorra —Preceding undated comment added 21:02, 2 April 2010 (UTC).

I think you are arguing out the issues that Longy's adminstration, faculty and union will have to resolve, not arguing about what should be reported in a WP article. The Boston Globe article called these teachers "laid off", and the WP article reflects that. Faculty are generally included in the term "staff", but if you want to change the wording to "senior faculty", that would be fine. The quotes from the Globe article are quotes from the Globe article. You may disagree with what the faculty are reported as telling their reporter, or with Hoener's quote -- but that's what the Globe reports, so it's verifiable information for WP to include. If, say, the Boston Herald later reports something different, it would be appropriate to add that as well. The AFT letter is something whose contents you clearly disagree with, but that too is a verifiable source. If Longy issues a press release disputing the letter, by all means add that to the WP article if it seems relevant.
I respect your strong opinions, even where I might disagree with them. But neither your opinions nor mine belong in the WP article. (talk) 21:11, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that neither your opinions nor mine belong in the WP article. But in using "Crisis" in the title of the section and in quoting only the words "scandalous" and "horrifying" from the AFT letter, you (or the original writer) are clearly inserting bias. MarcLorra (talk) 21:25, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
MarcLorra, do you have any suggestions for a better title? It might help if we had some alternative headings to discuss rather than just throwing around accusations.4meter4 (talk) 21:46, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I think the quotes from the AFT letter belong in the article, because at present they are a relevant part of the record. On the other hand, the section heading is our choice. I've tried changing it to "Events of 2010". Have a look. Whatever get's decided on, it will be clear to the reader that something serious has taken place, but that is (unfortunately) correct. I believe "Crisis" is an appropriate description, but if changing it to "Events" or something similar settles this dispute, I'm fine with that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
It's a bit vague of a title for my tastes. I've changed it to "Financial problems, merger discussions, and the March 2010 faculty dismissals". I'm open to other suggestions. I think this title is good though. We could start with a discussion of the financial issues and them move into merger discussions which have been linked in the press to the financial problems. We can then talk about the faculty dismissals (better word perhaps than firing or laid off since it's commonly used to refer to either). Linda Cutting's quote clearly links the dismissals to the merger and the financial issues. It therefore seems like everything would fit well under one heading. 4meter4 (talk) 22:55, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Some suggestions and advice...
Unfortunately, these issues are common to many colleges and universities today. But when you're personally involved, as I suspect at least two of these editors are, it's sometimes hard to keep this in perspective.
  1. Don't use Wikipedia to "slug it out". It's inappropriate and it's obvious from a mile away to a neutral observer. It only makes whatever is written appear less credible.
  2. Don't give the issue undue weight. Remove the "crisis" heading, in fact any separate heading, and simply make that paragraph part of the history of the college. If you do that, the issues about the budget deficit (now cleared) can be added to the preceding paragraph. See also #5 below.
  3. The only information which is verifiable is from one Boston Globe article. Make sure that nothing goes in this article which cannot be verified by it or other published, reliable sources. "On the ground" knowledge has no place here. For example, nowhere in the BG article does it say the unionization drive was "successful". It merely says "On Jan. 20 the faculty voted, 51 to 32, in favor of forming a union." In other words about 60/40 of the staff who voted. Stick to the facts without the evaluative adjectives. Read WP:Verify for more about how Wikipedia works in this respect. I'd also be wary of using the video itself as a source. Better to stick to what was actually printed, as it's more easily verifiable, a more permanent record.
  4. Readers aren't stupid. Obviously a trade union official would say lay-offs are "horrifying". Big deal. He'd say that about lay-offs of any of his members. That's his job. It would be a lot more significant if a major figure in the classical music world said it was "horrifying". It's OK to quote him, just as it's OK to quote the others. But for editors who want to present the current situation as "horriying" and "scandalous", it actually backfires.
  5. Longy has a long and fascinating history. Spend your time developing the article to reflect and document this rather than devoting literally half of the history section to the layoffs of 37 part-time teachers out of the 188 at the school.
PS. I have no connection with Longy apart from my fond memories as a student passing it every day as I walked down Garden St. from Radcliffe College to Harvard Yard in the late 1960s. I have also helped guide some of the students on this Longy project in the articles they created and edited. Voceditenore (talk) 23:11, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you voceditenore for a very wise piece of advice. I am in 100% agreement with what you have just said on all points.4meter4 (talk) 23:42, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, voceditnenore, for your suggestions. I'm not an employee, but know a great many faculty and staff at Longy and am an "interested party." My personal preference would be to leave this information off the web site, as I feel its purpose is only to harm an institution that I am fond of (the rest of the WP article is very general and this particular section seems out of place). But if the writer is going to insist on including it, I feel bound to ensure neutrality.
I'm proposing a version that mirrors the Globe article in terms of emphasis. MarcLorra (talk) 01:41, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
MarcLorra, what you just did was substitute a dramatically whitewashed version for the report that was there before, which presented both sides. That is not proper editing. There is a serious dispute at Longy, reported in the Globe, and the text needs to make that clear - which it does in its current form. I accepted the section title you suggested and the additional quote from the union letter, but otherwise reverted to the previous version. (talk) 02:10, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but your version is clearly biased toward the faculty union POV. You mention a '"between the lines" insinuation of the Globe report' - I have no idea what you mean, and between the lines insinutation don't belong in a WP article. I know for a fact that of the 37 faculty who were non-renewed only 7 were union members, so you statement that "it was the pro-union faculty who were singled out for firing" is clearly not true. Please stop trying to air your grievances with the organization in Wikipedia. I hope that other non-partial editors will come to my assistance here. My only intention is to present an unbiased version of events here, and I don't believe that is your intent.MarcLorra (talk) 02:26, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
The paragraph in question in its current version has 7 sentences in it. Sentence 1 just states facts that we agree on, I think. Sentence 2, 4 and 7 contain comments that disagree with Zorn's actions. Sentences 4, 5 and 6 contain comments that favor Zorn's actions. That's three sentences on one side, three sentences on the other side. How can you call that biased? I can't imagine a more balanced presentation. (talk) 02:35, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, bad math. It has 9 sentences. Sentences 1-2 are facts. 3, 6, 9 disagree with Zorn. 4, 5, 7, 8 present her side (7 and 8 are one quote). Same point. (talk) 02:40, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
A balanced article isn't a matter of how many sentences for and how many sentences against. It's a matter of tone and intent. You clearly have an agenda and it's coming through in your writing. If you don't feel my version is unbiased, how about we just delete this section? MarcLorra (talk) 02:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I came to this task with no agenda except reporting, though I will admit that your conduct has made me pretty frustrated by now. Your first actions here were to just delete the section, repeatedly. Now you have twice produced a version that exclusively presents the school administration side of this two-sided dispute, both sides of which were just reported in the Boston Globe. This borders on vandalism. Your best current suggestion is now to delete the whole thing for a third time. I am resisting all temptation to guess at your intent or agenda over the past day, and will continue to do so, because I consider it inappropriate.
The previous version of this section was balanced, pure and simple. It presented both sides, and did so mostly through quotations. So any tone was inherited from the sources, which is how it should be. Maybe you liked some of the quotations but not others, but that is also how it should be when two sides of a dispute are being presented. So please, have faith in the ability of readers to look at both sides and make their own minds up. Restore the version that you have replaced with your own. And if you wish to edit it moving forward, do not turn it into a one-sided presentation, but try to preserve the even-handedness that the other editors have been working towards. Thank you. (talk) 03:03, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
You say “I came to this task with no agenda except reporting…” but I don’t believe you. You used the term “whitewashed” when referring to my version, which suggests you have a vested interest in communicating a specific point of view that my version did not.
My version has 9 sentences as did yours.
Sentence 1 leads with the potential Bard acquisition, as did the Globe article.
Sentence 2 deals with the facts of the “layoff”.
Sentence 3 includes both information about the long tenure of some faculty, as well as the fact that this 20 percent of the faculty only taught 3 percent of the students. That seems to represent both sides – “facts”, as you put it.
Sentence 4 suggests disagreement with Zorn’s actions.
Sentences 5 &6 are from your version, concerning Linda Cutting.
Sentences 7 & 8 are also from your version.
Sentence 9 – I end with the AFT’s protest, just as you did, but I chose to characterize it as protest rather than using the terms “scandalous” and “horrifying”, which again, give away your bias.
I admit I am biased. I have many friends at this institution. I care about it deeply. You, on the other hand, do not admit your bias, though it is clearly evident in your writing. You insist on including content on this page that incongruous with the rest of the article. You wish to publicize a current event within an article that otherwise takes a very general and long-term view of the organization. As such, your motivation for your contribution is suspect. MarcLorra (talk) 03:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Query/Comment:, are you editing this article and talk page under multiple IPs? So far there are edits from at least 8 anonymous IPs all beginning with 18.100.0... and all originating from MIT, including the article's section's creator, If you are all the same person, it would be helpful if you registered and logged in. You don't have to use your real name or reveal any personal information about yourself, but it's much easier to keep track of who said what or made which edit. Not being logged in and using multiple IPs also gives a false impression that there are multiple different people that share your view. It also makes it impossible for other editors to communicate with you on your talk page. If you "came to this task with no agenda except reporting" and indeed you are the article's section's creator, then I have to say that to any outside observer the original version, was clearly written to a certain agenda, although probably not consciously. Having said that, MarcLorra, edit-warring and blind reverting isn't helpful either. I'd like you both to cut it out and read the section below. Voceditenore (talk) 10:43, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Neutrality issue: a way forward[edit]

This dispute reminds me of another one over Kathleen Battle's dismissal from the Metropolitan Opera a few years back, an event which ended her career at that opera house and was widely reported in the press. One editor at first didn't want any mention if it all. Other editors then over-compensated by making it a big deal in the article complete with a separate sub-heading Firing from Metropolitan Opera. What ensued was a "battle of the quotes". In an effort to achieve "balance", more and more pro and con quotes were added until the there was a huge paragraph, completely out of proportion to the rest of the article and her career. Not to mention lengthy edit wars which resulted in the repeated loss of referencing and formatting, much ill-will and a massive waste of time for non-involved editors in sorting it out.

MarcLorra, and (I'm assuming you are the same person editing this article under a series of IP addresses that begin with 18.100... and originate from MIT), both of you need to stand back from this issue and stop reverting each other. You are both edit-warring and are in danger of getting blocked. This edit completely removed the referencing and formatting to boot.

I've been bold and rewritten the paragraph to simply report what happened, in the order in which it happened. I have left out all quotes from involved people, both pro and con. In the great scheme of things, these are unneccessary detail and the Boston Globe article is available if readers want to pursue this. There has been no strike or any other industrial action. The negotiations with Bard are still in an early stage. There will a lot of water under the bridge before next autumn. The level of minutiae that had been included was inappropriate. I've also removed the sub-heading completely which I also consider inappropriate, for the reasons I've outlined above.

I'm going to ask you both to to reflect on my version and lay-off monkeying with it for at least 48 hours. I'm also going to ask you both to propose any changes to it on the talk page, before you add them to the article. You both feel strongly about the school and its future. But edit-warring, badly written, overly detailed accounts (both of which were skewed to a particular angle and fell into the trap of WP:Recentism) and a great big ugly tag disputing the article's neutrality are not the way to go. It reflects poorly on both sides, and on Wikipedia. How about if you both go off, do some research and collaborate on writing a badly needed article on Georges Longy, the school's founder, instead. [1], [2], [3].

Best wishes, Voceditenore (talk) 09:46, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Dear Voceditenore, thanks for being the voice of reason on this and for taking the time to draft this paragraph. I'm in agreement with your comments, especially about recentism and excessive detail. I'm still not sure that the events of recent months warrant an inclusion in this article that otherwise takes a long-term and mile-high view of the institution, but I am fine with what you have written and would agree to have the neutrality warning lifted. MarcLorra (talk) 10:53, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes thank you voceditenore. I think the changes you made were the right thing to do.4meter4 (talk) 12:56, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Your re-edit is mostly fine with me, and thank you for your help. One serious quibble though. Your version states "37 of its 188 teachers (all of whom are part-time) being laid off or re-assigned", but I do believe the Globe article states that all 37 were laid off - none was merely reassigned. I can make that change, but if you do it, it may be more peaceful. Thanks again. (talk) 13:09, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I've made the change – 37 staff were actually laid off (confirmed here). I've also removed the neutrality tag. I think the 2010 developments are worth including, briefly and neutrally, as part of Longy's history. The merger and restructuring constitute a fairly big step in the institution's evolution. I hope that both of you, who appear to be new to Wikipedia editing, will decide to stay on and help develop this and other articles in the future. You might also want to check out Wikipedia's Classical Music Project. We need editors with expertise in classical music and related subjects. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 13:48, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Labor dispute (November 2010)[edit]

Please read the above discussions and do not use this article to document every aspect of this labour dispute, particularly from one point of view. Per WP:Undue weight and WP:Recentism, this is entirely inappropriate. If it gets out of hand, I'm going to take a red pencil to it. This school (to which I have no affiliation whatsoever, apart from having walked past it every day when I was at Radcliffe College) has a long and very interesting history, which is as yet poorly documented in this article. Wikipedia still lacks an article on the school's founder, Georges Longy. I suggest editors focus their energy on remedying this rather than using this article to score points in a labour dispute. Wikipedia exists to serve its readers, not its editors, particularly those with agendas. Voceditenore (talk) 23:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Addendum I have scaled down the excessive detail in the latest edit [4]. Voceditenore (talk) 01:07, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Excuse me, my edit wasn't an attempt to "document every aspect of this labour dispute, particularly from one point of view" and I don't know what "red pencil" you think you wield nor what right you have to act as policeman here. My edit reported a finding by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, an agency of the US government. I think that is a noteworth and Wikipedia-worthy development. It represents "one point of view" only insofar as the NLRB has indeed found that one side in the dispute has merit. Sorry if you don't like that, but it's what happened. So I'm reverting. Now if you want to add content about the "long and very interesting history" of this School, go ahead and do it. It's not an either/or, you know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Muzikant68 (talkcontribs) 03:31, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm not a policeman. I'm an editor, and any editor can take a red pencil to the text here. As the Five Pillars say, "all of your contributions can and will be mercilessly edited." And no, it's not a question of either/or. It's a question of both. What else have you contributed to Wikipedia so far? What else do you plan to contribute? Are you here to build an encyclopedia or are you interested only in gaining a wider audience for one side in a particular dispute? Are you editing with the goal of benefitting Wikipedia's general readership or of advocating for a particular group? If you are editing with the former goal, then you will work to make this article more complete and balanced, covering important aspects about this subject in depth, and you will not give undue weight to any of them.

Conflict of interest takes many forms, and this is one of them. Read Wikipedia's guidlines on this, and you'll see why editing under those conditions is strongly discouraged here. It never results in a good article, and believe it or not it usually detracts from the reputation of the group being advocated rather than enhancing it. Voceditenore (talk) 20:44, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

I am not interested in "gaining a wider audience for one side in a particular dispute". The NLRB finding is probably one of the most significant events in the history of the school in the past 50 years and belongs in the article. Anyone interested in the school's current state would find this noteworthy. Are you perhaps sailing under a false flag of neutrality here? What makes your interest so strong that you insist on deleting accurate information (what the NLRB General Counsel determined did happen) in favor of inaccurate generalities? Muzikant68 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:13, 12 November 2010 (UTC).
Note: My reply below was to this version of Muzikant68's message, which he subsequently significantly refactored [5]. Voceditenore (talk) 11:37, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes I have read the WP article and the document. The finding was that there was a case to answer and the NLRB filed a formal complaint setting out the violations of the law allegedly committed by the respondent. The General Counsel is basically like a District Attorney. They bring a case to trial because they are convinced that the defendant is gulity. However, the mere fact that they have done so does not make the defendant gulity. If at the scheduled hearing in December which will adjudicate the matter, the complaint is upheld, then it will be an important event—not now.

I'm sorry if you consider it an ad hominem attack to point you to the guidelines about conflict of interest after your declaration that you aren't interested making any other contributions to Wikipedia apart from this one. But I stand by what I said. I'd say the same thing if someone from the Longy administration (or someone in sympathy with them) had edited the article from particular perspective rather than a neutral disinterested one. Incidentally, I have been accused of "sailing under the flag of neutrality" as you put it, in just about every article where this sort of stuff happens. In the four years I have been editing on Wikipedia, I have been variously accused of being clandestinely on the side of a particular baroque ensemble, Cornell University, people out to get a particular opera singer, people protecting another particular opera singer, etc. etc. etc. Voceditenore (talk) 23:35, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

You have no right to assume that because I added an item of news that you dislike, I have a conflict of interest or an agenda. It doesn't matter whether you "stand by what you said" or not. It's false, and you have no right to derail the discussion by personalizing it. And even less right to make stuff up about me. What on earth is this "declaration" that I supposedly made, that I am "not interested making any other contributions to Wikipedia apart from this one"? Just what declaration was that exactly? Can you point me to it? You know, if, as you say, you keep getting accused of "clandestine" partiality at article after article, maybe it's not everyone else's fault all the time.
Be that as it may, that comment of yours did send me to your "Talk" page, and there I saw something rather curious, given your claim here that your only connection to the Longy school was "having walked past it every day when I was at Radcliffe College". Could you, um, please explain then the "Thanks from Longy" section that appears on your Talk page with a 2008 date, and in particular the posting by a Longy instructor (I visited his talk page) that reads "Your reputation in Longy's 2008 Future of Classical Music class preceded you even before you made your debut yesterday. I appreciated your welcoming the new contributing students and pointing them in the right directions." So what is the real story of your connection with this School, what is *your* agenda in repeatedly deleting my two sentences on the NLRB findings, and what was this "reputation" of yours at the Longy School for which you were thanked so nicely in 2008?Muzikant68 (talk) 03:01, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
First of all I haven't "repeatedly" deleted your two sentences. I revised them once (in 3 successive edits). You reverted my changes and I have not edited the page since.[6] Secondly, You didn't have to go to my talk page. All you had to do was read the the previous discussions at this talk page where I said above "I have also helped guide some of the students on this Longy project in the articles they created and edited." That was appropos of two single purpose accounts (on opposite sides of the fence) who were edit-warring over the description of the labor dispute back in March.

The very first exchanges on this page are with Isaiah Jackson's students who were editing Wikipedia as part of a their class project in 2007 and got themselves into a bit of a tangle with the articles they were editing. I monitor the list of newly created classical music/opera articles daily and that's how I found them. My help consisted and consists of giving them advice on how to write better articles (starting in 2007) which you will find at User talk:Ijmusic/Futureclass (periodically updated). Since 2008, I also send welcoming messages to each new cohort of Longy students pointing them to the advice page, e.g. here and as well as the ones in Jackson's class at Berklee, e.g. here. As you can see here, I also helped Professor Jackson sort out the problems with the various class project pages he had created as well as cautioning him about the students revealing too much personal information on their user pages, and closely paraphrasing copyright text in their articles.

When you said to me above: "Now if you want to add content about the "long and very interesting history" of this School, go ahead and do it.", and the fact that you have made no other edits anywhere else in Wikipedia either before or after I said that, I drew the somewhat obvious conclusion that you have no intention to do so. I hope you prove me wrong. We can use a lot more editors in classical music. Conflict of interest arises every time an editor has strong feelings about a particular issue and edits articles dealing with that issue, which is why Wikipedia recommends that they avoid doing so, and particularly recommends that they avoid editing solely on that issue. It's up to you whether or not you take that advice. I've copied below the two versions of the text under contention so editors can discuss their relative merits. Voceditenore (talk) 10:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Well, what is crystal-clear now is that you are the one who has a professional relationship to the school covered by this article, even as you accuse me repeatedly of unspecified "conflict of interest". The most charitable interpretation I can put on this exchange is that because you value your relationship with this Longy School class and its faculty, and because you evidently have spent a lot of time on this Wikipedia article and monitor it for changes, you feel a proprietary interest in both the institution and the article. I appreciate the intensity of your efforts, and I'm sure your friends at the Longy School do as well, but even that does not entitle you to bully another editor for merely reporting a piece of negative news about the institution, nor to speculate wildly about that editor's motivations in an attempt to discredit the edit, nor to misrepresent that editor's comments on this talk page, nor to revert the edit in the sole interest of softening the bad news. You might also think a bit about your patronizing and insulting tone, which started with you very first response on this Discussion page and has never stopped. You are not my parent, my teacher or my boss. If I were to reply in kind, I would ask you to bear in mind something you seem to have forgotten: that constructive work on Wikipedia means having respect for those whose views and tastes differ from one's own - "Assume Good Faith", Wikipedia's Golden Rule. You have been violating this rule quite spectacularly, from the get-go. Be that as it may, my edit was accurate and relevant, a significant news item for anyone interested in the Longy School, unflattering perhaps, but that's how the chips fall. The text is not mine, but written by a government agency. Please refrain from censoring it yet again. Muzikant68 (talk) 16:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
If you want to construe me helping new Wikipedia editors, particularly students (who often get a rough deal here) learn the ropes as a "professional relationship" with Longy, fine. In that case, I also have a professional "relationship" with every other school whose students I've helped or advised here (at least three others). Voceditenore (talk) 17:29, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Note to Muzikant68. Please do not significantly alter your comments once you have made them. If you wish to retract what you have said, use strike-through by surrounding the text in question with <s>sample text</s> which produces sample text. Otherwise, the subsequent replies from other editors appear to have no context. My comments above re the interpretation you put on the findings of the NLRB and the accusation that I had made ad hominem attacks on you were in reply to this version of your comment, which you subsequently significantly changed as I was writing my reply casusing an edit conflict. What appears to have happened is that you wrote a comment [7]. Then an anonymous IP significantly altered and expanded it to the version I saw and responded to [8]. You subsequently removed a substantial amount of that text, and added new text [9]. Either the IP was you accidentally editing while logged out, or some other editor familiar with the labor dispute changed your comment. In any case, you need to make it clear when you have significantly refactored a previous version. You'll find more guidance on this at WP:TALK. Voceditenore (talk) 12:34, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

No idea what you're talking about but it hardly seems worth the time to figure out. Muzikant68 (talk) 16:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I'll show you, because it really is very important not to significantly refactor comments on a talk page without making clear that this has been done. This is what your comment looked like at the time I wrote my response to it:[10]
beginning copied comment
"I am not interested in "gaining a wider audience for one side in a particular dispute". The NLRB finding is probably one of the most significant events in the history of the school in the past 50 years and belongs in the article. What the issuance of a complaint means can be read here. As you will see there and in the NLRB's own documents, the issuance of the complaint is a finding of fact. The NLRB has already heard from both sides and investigated and reached a conclusion about what happened. The purpose of the hearing is now to determine whether the facts enumerated in the complaint also violate law. Anyone interested in the school's current state would find the NLRB's findings of fact noteworthy. So it belongs in the article.
As for the ad hominem parts of your reply, they do not deserve a reply. Shame on you. Muzikant68 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:13, 12 November 2010 (UTC). "
end copied comment
This is what you later changed it to: [11]
beginning copied comment
"I am not interested in "gaining a wider audience for one side in a particular dispute". The NLRB finding is probably one of the most significant events in the history of the school in the past 50 years and belongs in the article. Anyone interested in the school's current state would find this noteworthy. Are you perhaps sailing under a false flag of neutrality here? What makes your interest so strong that you insist on deleting accurate information (what the NLRB General Counsel determined did happen) in favor of inaccurate generalities? Muzikant68 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:13, 12 November 2010 (UTC). "
end copied comment
Voceditenore (talk) 17:29, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Note to Musikant68 - "The NLRB finding is probably one of the most significant events in the history of the school in the past 50 years" - this is preposterous and clearly aligns you with the faculty union. This information does not belong in a Wikipedia article that should have an historical and objective tone. If you want to spout blatanly biased information about Longy, why don't you create a Longy Faculty Union page where you can be as biased as you wish?

Note to Voceditore - thank you for being the voice of reason in previous disputes. Can you help wth this? I am not a savvy Wikipedia editor but as a friend of many Longy employees, I find this attempt by the Longy faculty union to hijack the Wikipedia article intolerable. My understanding is that the NLRB action was not a decision but a charge, which will be settled through a hearing. It hardly seems appropriate for the history section of this article and seems a blatant attempt by a faculty union member to promote the union at the expense of the school.

MarcLorra (talk) 02:40, 23 November 2010 (UTC)MarcLorra

Well yes, "one of the most significant events in the history of the school in the past 50 years" shows a certain lack of perspective to say the least, or perhaps, I should say, shows a very particular perspective, which I think is not lost on an uninvolved reader, even in the revised wording. The NLRB complaint is analagous to a decision to prosecute in a criminal trial, not by any means an indication that the allegations are true, only that the "prosecutor" thinks they're true. The wording could make that even clearer, but frankly it's not worth the wrangle. In the great scheme of things, it's not going to make a blind bit of difference to the outcome of the hearing or to Longy's reputation as a music school. Just about every higher education institution goes through this at one time or another when staffing cuts have to be made.
When the results of the hearing are announced it will have to be re-written regardless of whether or not the complaint is upheld. I'd suggest leaving as it is and waiting for the hearing outcome. Possibly it will be picked up by the Boston Globe at that point. They didn't seem to have found the NLRB counsel's "findings" sufficiently earth-shattering to have written an article about them when they came out earlier this month. Like I said last spring, the best way to put the present kerfuffle in perspective is for someone to write a detailed and proper history of the school. I haven't got the time at the moment. I'm up to my eyeballs in other articles, but I may do an article on Georges Longy this spring. My previous "opus" was Olga Averino. – Voceditenore (talk) 18:29, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Reply to MarcLorra - Sorry, but my *only* connection with Longy is lessons and classes my children took there a decade ago, and occasional attendance at concerts in their auditorium. I am not employed by Longy, never was employed by Longy, have no family members or friends employed by Longy, and have no other link to the Institution. I'm not even in touch with my children's former teachers there. I do have some abiding affection for Longy, and good memories of it - and lots of interest in the overall health of classical music in the Boston area, but that's it. I'm not even a union member, though I do believe in workers' right to organize. (Oh, does that disqualify me?) Why am I here? I read the newspaper reports, was shocked, did some searching on the web to learn more, read the NLRB complaint - and decided I cared. Sorry if you can't get your head around that. Muzikant68 (talk) 04:31, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Reply to Muzikant68 - I think it's your feeling that the NLRB's complaint is the most significant thing that has happened at Longy in the last 50 years that causes me to doubt your objectivity. MarcLorra (talk) 23:45, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Lucky for me, that's not what I wrote.Muzikant68 (talk) 23:52, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
My apologies. "The NLRB finding is probably one of the most significant events in the history of the school in the past 50 years..." It still pegs you as either someone who is closely aligned with the Longy Faculty Union or someone who has a strong bias toward organized labor. My understanding is that this is a complaint and not a ruling. Why wouldn't you wait for a ruling before insisting on a change to the Wikipedia article? If the ruling goes agaisnt the union, will you be equally interested in publishing that information? And why, as someone with "abiding affection for Longy," wouldn't you seek to write about the elimination of the deficit that threatened the school's viability, the record enrollment or many of other positive developments at Longy? (Full disclosure: I have many friends who work at Longy and am the parent of a child who has studied there.)

MarcLorra (talk) 00:43, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

My point is, if this is meant to be an objective, encyclopedic article about Longy, does the NLRB complaint really meet the threshold of critical importance? My feeling is no. MarcLorra (talk) 01:45, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Text discussion[edit]

Both versions are referenced to Brian P. Nanos, "Hearing scheduled for Cambridge's Longy School of Music labor dispute", Cambridge Chronicle, October 25, 2010 and National Labor Relations Board, Amended Complaint and Notice of Hearing.

Original version
On October 15, 2010, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against the Longy School, including a finding of "reasonable cause" to conclude that Zorn had "implicitly threatened employees with unspecified reprisals if they supported the Union and were not loyal to Respondent" (i.e. Zorn). A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for December 2010.
Revised version
In October 2010, the National Labor Relations Board found reasonable cause to hold a hearing on whether the Longy School of Music had failed to negotiate with its employees union before it terminated the contracts of some teaching staff and changed the job descriptions of others. A hearing on the complaint was scheduled for December 2010.

Voceditenore (talk) 10:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Looking back on your comments above, it suddenly struck me that you have actually not given one single reason for preferring your version over mine. Can you give one? If you can, it might be possible to reach a compromise, don't you think? Muzikant68 (talk) 16:45, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
  • There are three problems with the original version which led me to revise it.

    Firstly, putting "(i.e. Zorn)" after Respondent is both incorrect and misleading. This makes it look as if Zorn was talking about loyalty to her personally rather than to the school. It also makes it look as she is the Respondent in the case. The Respondent in this case per page 1. of the NPLB document is "Longy School of Music". Zorn is one of six individuals listed as "Agents of the Respondent" on page 2.

    Secondly, the document details well over 20 separate complaints from the union, but only the one above was singled out rather than what seems to me is the far more important complaint, the one which I assume the union is primarily seeking to address, and the one which is talked about in the lead paragraph of the Cambridge Journal article: a number of faculty were dismissed or had their job descriptions changed by the management without negotiating with the union. In fact the document concludes with the two requests for redress: that the Respondent bargain in good faith with the union and pay interest on any sum awarded to the union if the hearing finds in its favor.

    Thirdly, nowhere in the NLRB document does it state that the Acting General Counsel had "reasonable cause to conclude" anything. It repeatedly refers to the various complaints as "the unfair labor practices alleged above" and that on that basis called a hearing to determine whether the unfair labor practices had indeed occurred and labor law had been violated. The Cambridge Journal did use the phrase "reasonable cause" but not in the way implied in the original Wikipedia version. It said: "The National Labor Relations Board has found it has reasonable cause to hold a hearing on whether Cambridge-based Longy School of Music failed to negotiate with its employees union before it terminated staffers and changed the job descriptions of others."

    Voceditenore (talk) 18:59, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

OK, thank you for the constructive and useful reply. Here is what I think:

  • On point 1, after re-reading the relevant part of the NLRB document, I think you are correct. "Respondent" here means "Longy", not Zorn personally. That should be corrected.
  • On point 3: I am amenable to alternative phrasing for "reasonable cause to conclude", and to taking it out of quotes, since it is coming from the newspaper article (and is not exactly their wording either), not from an NLRB document. However, NLRB's own description of the circumstances under which a complaint is made indicates clearly that the sense of my phrasing and the newspaper's is correct. See Basic Guide to the National Labor Relations Act, p. 35: "Such a complaint will issue only after investigation of the charges through the Regional Office indicates that an unfair labor practice has in fact occurred."
  • Returning to point 2, it is a judgment call as to which of the points made in the NLRB complaint are worthy of inclusion. Your opinion differs from mine, but I do not stand alone here. The point that I highlighted was also the point chosen as the capstone in the Cambridge Chronicle article (which is what prompted my edit to Wikipedia). I would be perfectly willing to make both points, yours and mine, but not willing to omit the one that I chose. It seems important, as a sign of the current state of affairs at the school.

Proposed new text: In October, 2010, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against the Longy School, indicating its conclusion that an unfair labor practice had occurred. The basis for the NLRB's complaint included claims that Zorn had "implicitly threatened employees with unspecified reprisals if they supported the Union" and that the school had failed to negotiate with its employees union before it terminated the contracts of some teaching staff and changed the job descriptions of others. A hearing on the complaint was scheduled for December 2010. Muzikant68 (talk) 19:55, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

(I have deleted the phrase "and were not loyal to Respondent" (i.e. Zorn)" as inaccurate, while awaiting your response the fuller proposed revision.) Muzikant68 (talk) 20:08, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

This seems fine to me—much more accurate and balanced. My only suggested would be to make "an unfair labor practice" plural, i.e. "unfair labor practices". Voceditenore (talk) 19:40, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Done, thank you. Muzikant68 (talk) 20:21, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Notable teachers[edit]

Lists of notable faculty/students in Wikipedia university articles are meant to contain only the names of people who already have articles on Wikipedia or who are so unambiguously notable that they should have an article. I have removed the recently added name of Peter Cassino from the list. My initial search indicates that he would be unlikely to pass the criteria at either WP:MUSICBIO, WP:PROF, or WP:GNG and the article has already been deleted once. Anyone contemplating re-creating such an article should read those guidelines carefully. I note that the editor who added Cassino completely removed Jonathan Cohler. If Cohler is no longer a faculty member, then he should be moved to the list of past teachers, not removed completely. I have re-added him to the list of past teachers. Voceditenore (talk) 07:58, 27 March 2013 (UTC)