Excellent analysis of the entire Dr. Ore arrest by Dr. Boyce Watkins. Please take a few minutes to watch this as it is an extremely good analysis of the situation and the laws in question in this arrest.


This video was originally found at the website for the interviewed officer Ken E. Williams

As a group of current and former graduate students, we are writing to attest to the value that Dr. Ersula Ore provides to Arizona State University. After the incident of May 20, 2014 many of us heard of Dr. Ore’s situation via the local and Associated Press news accounts. We were immediately concerned for Dr. Ore not just because this is surely a trying time for her, but also because we are concerned that this incident could overshadow the excellence she provides ASU in terms of graduate education and mentoring.

Dr. Ore is an exceptional educator who brings intellectual rigor to the classroom and elevates the standard of the university. Dr. Ore’s graduate classes are carefully planned and thoroughly demanding. She expects her students to interact with texts that challenge their theoretical perspectives, academic knowledge, and worldviews. Dr. Ore’s intellectual rigor is matched by her dedication to student success. She consistently provides timely feedback on weekly assignments and regularly meets with students to continue conversations from previous classes, plan presentations, and discuss final projects. Additionally, she provides the kind of extensive feedback on final papers and suggestions for pursuing future research that is all too uncommon.

Not only is Dr. Ore a strong educator, but an active mentor as well. She encourages her students to professionalize by presenting their work to the academic community. She actively assists students in revising work for presentation at professional conferences and helps students network in order to put together panels for conferences. In this way, Dr. Ore helps her students in the process of professionalization and works to showcase the exceptional work produced by Arizona State University’s graduate community. Her intellectual excellence and strength in mentorship is evidenced by the high number of students who have presented the work created in her classes at national conferences. Many students have also pursued publication of articles or book chapters under her mentorship.

As a committee member or committee chair Dr. Ore provides the guidance and commitment to her students. Not only does she contribute in-depth and thoughtful commentary that helps refine and professionalize student work, but she maintains a level of accessibility that is unmatched. She is consistently available to her mentees for editing, questions, and advice. A testament to her strength as a mentor, she currently serves on several dissertation committees and has guided a multitude of students through the thesis and dissertation process.

Outside of formal mentorship roles, Dr. Ore has also cultivated an informal discussion group with female graduate students. The group meets regularly throughout the school year to discuss intellectual projects as well as issues graduate students deal with such as committee selection, communication with the department, teaching, and work/life balance. Dr. Ore’s willingness to discuss her successful journey from graduate school to landing a tenure track position at an acclaimed research institution and her advice on how to navigate academia is an absolutely invaluable resource for graduate students. She regularly gives advice and guidance to students seeking admission into doctoral programs.

Dr. Ore’s excellence as a mentor and educator at ASU is matched only by her contribution to its intellectual standard. She was awarded a 2013-2014 IHR fellowship for her work, “Lynching and the Making of a National Community: A Rhetoric of Civic Belonging.” She regularly presents her research at ASU and at national conferences; has been involved in training seminars for Graduate Teaching Associates; commonly attends graduate groups and clubs as a guest speaker or supportive faculty member; and actively encourages the growth of a strong, supportive academic community at ASU. For example, Dr. Ore has been one of the strongest supporters and most frequent participants of the Americanist Reading Group and the Rhetoric Society@ASU’s Burkean Parlor events, both of which are graduate student and faculty groups within the English Department. She also participated in a two day seminar helping new Graduate Teaching Associates navigate through difficult issues in the classroom.

The graduate students in the English Department at ASU are proud to have Dr. Ore as a faculty member and mentor. She provides expertise and support for graduate students and is essential in their success in graduate school and as productive members of the academic community. Her research and service contributes to the prestige of the University and should be celebrated and protected.





Kenneth Ladenburg  Crystine Miller Brent Chappelow
Sam Estabrooks Holly Fulton Yazmin Lazcano-Pry
Joseph Kubiak Tracey Hayes Ryan Shepherd
Travis Franks Sarah Jackson  Kent Linthicum
Abby Oakley Sebastian Terneus Emily Churg
Ben Ambler  Sarah Ashlock Susie Poole Anderson
Andrea Severson Kathleen Fisher  
Jessica Boykin Paulette Stevenson  
Casie Moreland Matt Henry  
Shersta Chabot Michael Springer  
Ian Johnson Lakshami Mahajan  
Jordan Loveridge Devori Kimbro  
Shannon Lujan Megan Fredericks  


Reproduced from this PDF

Dr. Ersula J. Ore is an Assistant Professor of English at t Arizona State University-Tempe. She teaches courses in rhetoric and composition, contemporary rhetorical theory, and critical race theory. She received her bachelors in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. After taking two years to teach high school in Towson, Maryland, Ersula went on to pursue terminal degrees at Penn State University. There she received a Dual-Degree Masters in English & Women's Studies, and a PhD in English, Rhetoric and Composition. As Ersula often explains, rhetoric is the ability to discern the available means of persusasion during a moment of social interaction.

Ersula's graduate work a Penn State was often recognized. She was the recipient of several fellowship and research awards, and selected as 1 of 10 graduate students to receive the prestigious Penn State Alumni Dissertation Award in 2011. The Alumni Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding achievement among a graduate student and is considered the most prestigious Penn State award. 

Ersula's scholarly interests include contemporary rhetorical theory, critical race theory, and communication. In her first book project, tentatively titled Lynching: A Rhetoric of Citizenship, Ersula marries these fields of study to map the legal arguments and social logics informing civic belonging in America. Ersula argues that the logic informing American lynching likewise informs citizenship practices.


Statement released by ASU on June 28th

ASU authorities have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the arrest and have found no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved. Should such evidence be discovered, an additional, thorough inquiry will be conducted and appropriate actions taken.

Because the underlying criminal charges are pending, there is not much more we can say at this time. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare.

Statement released by ASU on June 30th 

Arizona State University authorities have reviewed the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the arrest of assistant professor Ersula Ore and have found that the officer involved did not violate protocol and no evidence was found of racial motivation by the ASU Police Department officers involved.

However, the ASU Police Department is enlisting an outside law-enforcement agency to conduct an independent review on whether excessive force was used and if there was any racial motivation by the officers involved. In addition, although no university police protocols were violated, university police are conducting a review of whether the officer involved could have avoided the confrontation that ensued.

According to the police reportASU Police initially spoke to Ore because officers patrolling the area nearly hit her with their police vehicle as they turned the vehicle onto College Avenue to investigate a disabled vehicle. Officer Stewart Ferrin had no intention of citing or arresting Ore, but for her safety told her to walk on the sidewalk. When Ore refused to comply and refused to provide identification after she was asked for it multiple times, she was subsequently arrested.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has independently reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare. The charge of assaulting an officer is based on the fact that Ore kicked the officer as is shown on the video and as she admitted in her recorded statements to the police.

Letter sent by ASU to Faculty members

Dear Faculty,

I am sure that many, or most, of you are aware of the events that took place the evening of May 20, 2014 between one of our faculty, Professor Ersula Ore, and the University Police. I am also sure that those of you who observed the video and audio recordings of the incident were equally shocked and disappointed that this took place in our community. We ended up with an outcome no one wanted and should never have happened.

Professor Ore is a valued faculty member at ASU. She is an outstanding teacher and mentor. The university remains supportive of her. The entire matter is being reviewed and a further statement from ASU is forthcoming. In the meantime, I want to assure everyone that the behavior displayed in this incident does not reflect in any way the values and principles by which ASU operates. We are privileged to be part of an academic community where diversity, inclusion, tolerance, and respect are central to all we are and do. This is special. We all contribute to this set of values. I very much appreciate all that you do and, like you, hope for a positive resolution to this matter.
Rob Page
University Provost

Statement released by ASU on July 2nd

Arizona State University has placed ASU police officer Stewart Ferrin on paid administrative leave.

A preliminary review by ASU PD of Ferrin’s arrest of ASU assistant professor Ersula Ore found that Ferrin did not engage in racial profiling or use excessive force. However, as part of its ongoing review of the incident, the university has asked the FBI to determine if there were any civil rights violations