Greg — Petition on behalf of Norman Finkelstein & Susan Greene

Topic(s): Academic Freedom? | Comments Off on Greg — Petition on behalf of Norman Finkelstein & Susan Greene

These are two cases, one academic and another art, in which the individuals who attempt to present a critical relation to Israel or an affirmative relation to Palestinians come under attack by Zionist supporters. -gdr
a. Norman’s Petition
b. Muralist Susan Greene asks your support
a. Norman’s Petition
for more info:

April 2, 2007
The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., Ed.D.
President, DePaul University
55 East Jackson Boulevard, 22nd Floor
Chicago, IL
Phone: 312/362-8000
Fax: 312/362-6822
E-mail: president@depaul.edu
Dear Rev./Dr. Holtschneider:
As scholars and teachers in various institutions throughout the U.S.
and abroad, we are writing to inquire about Dr. Norman Finkelstein’s
tenure case. We have seen a memo, dated March 22, 2007, from Chuck
Suchar, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to the
University Board on Tenure and promotion, recommending against tenure
for Dr. Finkelstein, despite favorable votes at two levels of faculty
review. Dean Suchar justifies his recommendation on the ground that
Dr. Finkelstein’s scholarly work, though sound in its content, is
often uncivil, disrespectful, mean-spirited, inflammatory, and so on,
in its tone. We object to this weighting of criteria, especially when
a scholar’s polemical style is cited as evidence that he lacks “values
of collegiality.” The American Association of University Professors
has explicitly challenged the use of criteria such as “collegiality”
in tenure and promotion evaluations, precisely because these terms are
subject to a wide range of interpretations. The AAUP rightly notes
that criteria of this sort are often used to mask retribution as well
as disciplinary or other biases. We note that they often stand in for
political disagreement. The likelihood increases, in our view, when
the criteria are couched as vague institutional principles, such as
“personalism” and “Vincentian values.”
As scholars in various disciplines, ranging from political science,
history, literature, women’s studies, ethnic studies, we know that any
teaching and writing about culture, and politics can seem
controversial. This is especially so in fields such as Latin American
studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, and Middle Eastern studies.
In such areas of intense debate, a polemical tone is not unusual, and
does not discredit the underlying scholarship. Tenure exists precisely
to allow scholars the pursuit of candid intellectual inquiry, even the
most controversial fields, without fear of retribution. To challenge
the status quo of Zionist historiography in the U.S., as Finkelstein
has done in his scholarship, most certainly ignites controversy; but
his ability to address the subject with thorough documented evidence
that encourages readers to see the subject of Palestine and Israel
anew is precisely why scholars around the world value his work. While
researchers-like diplomats and heads of state-cannot avoid appearing
polemical given the highly charged nature of fields such as Dr.
Finkelstein’s-it is imperative that we, as scholars and
administrators, protect the right of research scholars and teachers to
work in this field unhindered by fears of retribution.
Faculty specialists are the most reliable judges of a peer’s teaching,
research and service contributions. Dean Suchar’s overriding of
faculty assessments, using malleable and subjective criteria, is a
clear violation of the principle of intellectual freedom that is a
hallmark of higher education. Without the protection of this valued
principle the integrity of higher education is irreparably harmed.
The professional reputation of DePaul University also stands to
suffer, if an internationally recognized and reputable faculty
member’s tenure is denied on such reasoning.
As fellow academics, we respectfully request that you investigate the
matter at hand to intervene into Dean Suchar’s dangerous precedent
that, inevitably, sends the signal that arts and sciences is now
endangered at DePaul University and in the American academy in
general. In this tenure case, there appear to be gross violations of
very basic professional protocol (e.g., such as the Dean’s decision to
reference to a possible lawsuit as further evidence of Dr.
Finkelstein’s lack of “personableness”). Many academics are following
this case and are legitimately interested in the outcome as our own
careers, and the very mission of the academy, also rest in the
Academics for Intellectual Freedom In Support of Dr. Norman
Mohammed Abu Nimer
International Peace and Conflict Resolution
American University
Sandra Adickes, Professor Emerita
Winona State University
Dr. Sami Adwan
Bethlehem University
Department of Education
Bethlehem, Palestine
Hamid Algar
Professor of Islamic Studies
Department of Near Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
Evelyn Alsultany
Assistant Professor
American Culture Program
University of Michigan
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Ph.D.
Professor of Italian and Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Joshua Andresen
Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy
American University of Beirut
Robert Bahruth
Department of Education
Boise State University
Mona Baker,
Professor of Translation Studies,
University of Manchester, UK
Ian Barnard, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of English/Teachers for a New Era Faculty
California State University, Northridge
Munir Bashshur
Professor of Education
American University of Beirut
Marc Becker
Associate Professor of History
Truman State University
Dr. Tarunjit S. Butalia
Research Scientist
The Ohio State University
Norma Cantú, Professor
Department of English, Classics and Philosphy
University of Texas at San Antonio
Ward Churchill
Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado-Boulder
Dana L. Cloud
Associate Professor
Department of Communication Studies
University of Texas
John Crawford
University of New Mexico
Nabil Dajani
Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Bucker Dangor
Emeritus Reader and Senior Research Investigator
Physics Dept
Imperial College London
Gregory Dawes, Professor
Latin American Literatures and Cultures
Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures
North Carolina State University
Riad Dimechkie
Director, Executive MBA Program
Olayan School of Business
American University of Beirut
Barbara Foley, Professor
Department of English
Rutgers University
Moira Ferguson
Professor Emerita
University of Missouri, Kansas City
Lilia Fernández
Assistant Professor
Department of History
Ohio State University
Victoria Fontan
Director, International Peace Studies Programme
University for Peace
San Jose, Costa Rica
H. Bruce Franklin
The John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies
Rutgers University-Newark
Grover Furr
Montclair State University
Hala Gali-Muhtasib, Chairperson
Department of Biology
American University of Beirut
Philip Gasper
Professor of Philosophy
Notre Dame de Namur University
Rich Gibson
Emeritus Professor
San Diego State University
Dr. Robin Truth Goodman,
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Florida State University
Alvin Greenberg
Howard Hastings
UM, University College
Heidelberg, Germany
Janet Holmes,
Department of English
Boise State University
Virginia Husting, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Boise State University
Ibrahim Imam
Associate Professor
Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department
J.B.Speed School of Engineering
University Of Louisville
Pranav Jani
Assistant Professor, English
The Ohio State University
Paula Jay
Retired School Teacher
Louis Kampf
Professor Emeritus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Persis Karim
Department of English
San Jose State University
Christine Karatnytsky
Scripts Librarian
Billy Rose Theatre Division
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Patricia Keeton
Professor of Communication Arts
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Jamil Khader, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
The English Department
Stetson University
Keith Kilty
College of Social Work
Ohio State University
James Robin King
Graduate Student,
Columbia University
Gautam Kundu
Associate Professor of English
Deptartment of Literature and Philosophy
Georgia Southern University
Paul Lauter
Allan K. & Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature
Trinity College
Ann Lesch
Dean – School of Humanities and Social Sciences
American University in Cairo
Maria Lima,
Associate Professor
Department of English
SUNY Geneseo
Bill Lyne, Professor
English Department
Western Washington University
Robert W. McChesney
Research Professor
Institute of Communications Research
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Sophia A. McClennen
Associate Professor
Comparative Literature, Spanish, and Women’s Studies
Graduate Director, Program in Comparative Literature
The Pennsylvania State University
Leerom Medovoi
Associate Professor of English
Director, Portland Center for Cultural Studies
Portland State University
Gregory Meyerson
Department of English
North Carolina A & T University
Ali Mili,
New Jersey Institute of Technology,
Newark New Jersey
Bronwyn Mills
Department of English
Kadir Has University
Istanbul, Turkey
Bill V. Mullen, Professor and Director
American Studies Department
Purdue University
Robert Myers
Department of English
American University of Beirut
Mona Nasrallah,
Department of Internal Medicine
American University of Beirut
Robert Niemi, Ph.D.
Coordinator, American Studies Program
St. Michael’s College
Marcy Newman, Visiting Professor
Center for American Studies and Research
American University of Beirut
Samuel Noumoff
Retired, McGill University
Hilton Obenzinger
Associate Director of Undergraduate Research
Stanford University
Ben V. Olguín, Associate Professor
Department of English, Classics and Philosophy
University of Texas at San Antonio
Richard Ohmann
Dr. Jemima Pierre
Department of Anthropology
Center for African and African American Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
James Phillips
College Language Immersion Program (CLIP)
Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
Martin Orr
Department of Sociology
Boise State University
Wendy Pearlman
Ph.D. candidate
Political Science Department
Harvard University
Michael Vicente Perez
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Anthropology
Michigan State University
David K. Pitts, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Wayne State University
Kamala Platt, Ph.D., Lecturer
University of Texas Pan American
Edinburg, Texas
Vijay Prashad
George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History, Professor and
Director of International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, Ct.
Gautam Premnath, Assistant Professor
Department of English
University of California, Berkeley
Aneil Rallin
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition
Soka University of America
Bruce Robbins
English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University
Aliya Saidi
Professor, Center for Arab and Middle East Studies
American University of Beirut
Natsu Taylor Saito
Professor of Law
Georgia State University
Basel Saleh
Director, Initiative for Middle East Policy Dialogue
Department of Economics
Radford University
George Saliba
Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science
Columbia University
Rosaura Sánchez, Professor
University of California, San Diego
Ala’ Sharara, M.D., FACP
Professor of Medicine
Head, Division of Gastroenterology
Director, Endoscopy Unit
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Associate Consulting Professor
Duke University Medical Center
Jim Smethurst
Afro-American Studies
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Julia Stein
Brian Stross
Professor of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Steven W. Thomas
English Department
Penn State University, University Park
Mary Thomas
Assistant Professor
Departments of Geography and Women’s Studies
Ohio State University
George Wolfe
Professor of Music
Ball State University
Samar Zebian
Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences
American University of Beirut
b. Muralist Susan Greene asks your support:
Please lend your support to Olympia Rafah Sister City Project
As many of you know I (Susan Greene) have been working with Rachel Corrie’s family, the Olympia Rafah Sister City Project, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, and Break the Silence Mural project to produce at least two collaborative murals that will involve Palestinians from Rafah in the Gaza Strip. I am writing to ask you to consider emailing the Olympia City Council at citycouncil@ci.olympia.wa.us and lend your voice in favor of this creative project for peace and justice.
The Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project (ORSCP) finds its origins in the aspirations of Rachel Corrie, a young human rights activist from Olympia, Washington who was killed while attempting to protect a family’s home from demolition in the Gazan city of Rafah on March 16, 2003. ORSCP’s goal is to form lasting friendships between people in Olympia, and Rafah, Palestine. Through mutual concern, respect and understanding all obstacles can be overcome.Rachel’s family and community in Olympia has been working to keep this dream of Rachel’s alive.
On Tuesday, 4/17, the Olympia City Council will vote whether or not to formally recognize the Olympia Rafah Sister City Project. There has been much national opposition to the Sister City Project and our friends and allies in Olympia have asked for support.
Many thanks! Please let me know if you have any questions!: Susan Greene
For more information please see: http://www.orscp.org/
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice: http://www.rachelcorriefoundation.org/
and Greene;s Break the Silence Mural Project http://www.breakthesilencearts.org/