Following a large demonstration in support of academic freedom this morning, Professor Norman G. Finkelstein met with DePaul University officials and reached a settlement in his tenure dispute. Professor Finkelstein agreed to resign, effective immediately. He reminded the assembled supporters that the denial of tenure to Professor Mehrene Larudee remains “an open wound” at DePaul.
Please write an urgent letter of protest to the DePaul University President (Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider) and Provost (Dr. Helmut Epp) today! We will send a copy of your letter to the DePaul Academic Freedom Committee, a student organization that seeks to preserve academic freedom on campus.
Prof. Finkelstein issued a joint statement with DePaul University, which reads in part:
During my six year stint at DePaul I consistently received among the highest student evaluations in my department. I have published five books to critical acclaim from leading scholars, and they have been translated into 46 foreign editions. I have been recognized as a public intellectual in the United States and Europe and have become an internationally recognized scholar in my academic specialties. Based on that record, I should have received tenure. Indeed, after extensive scrutiny of my academic credentials, my department voted overwhelmingly to tenure me as did the college-level tenure committee, which voted unanimously in my favor. The only inference that I can draw is that I was denied tenure due to external pressures climaxing in a national hysteria that tainted the tenure process. The outpouring of support for me after the tenure denial from among the most respected scholars in the world buttresses this conclusion.
The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about Larudee:
“Our jaws just dropped, hit the floor, when we saw the decision went the other way.”– Michael A. McIntyre, director, DePaul’s program of international studies, in response to denial of tenure to Dr. Mehrene Larudee.
Another professor at DePaul University was rejected for tenure at the same time as Norman G. Finkelstein, and she believes her advocacy for the embattled political scientist may have derailed her career.
“There is no good explanation for why I was denied tenure,” Mehrene E. Larudee, an assistant professor of international studies, said in an interview on Monday. “So one has to look elsewhere.”
Praised as “outstanding” by the dean of her college and recommended unanimously by distinguished faculty peers during the tenure process, Ms. Larudee was 19 days away from becoming director of DePaul’s program in international studies when she learned on Friday of the decision against her.
(Larudee is a member of the Chicago chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.)
For more information on efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy, go to www.muzzlewatch.org.
For more information on the academic freedom campaign at DePaul University, go to www.academicfreedomchicago.org.
To read the published terms of the settlement between Prof. Finkelstein and DePaul University, go here.
Through grassroots organizing, education, advocacy, and media, Jewish Voice for Peace works to achieve a lasting peace that recognizes the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.