Norman Finkelstein Dumped by DePaul University
Two years ago, DePaul University President Dennis Holtschneider held up Norman Finkelstein as an example of DePaul’s commitment to inquiry. I guess that commitment to inquiry is now gone with Holtschneider seconding Dean Chuck Suchar’s motion in refusing Finkelstein’s tenure.
I’d have to say that I’m less than a fan when it comes to Finkelstein and have to throw myself into the group of skeptics and at some times critics but I find this all rather odd. I have to admit that I do not know enough about seeking comments for tenure but I found it rather strange that DePaul would ask Alan Dershowitz one of his biggest critics to comment on Finkelstein’s application for tenure. It seemed rather clear to me that those comments may be just a tad bit biased but Associated Press elaborates even further with:
“Finkelstein’s most recent book, “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History,” is largely an attack on Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel.” In it, Finkelstein argues that Israel uses the outcry over perceived anti-Semitism as a weapon to stifle criticism.
Dershowitz, who threatened to sue Finkelstein’s publisher for libel, urged DePaul officials to reject Finkelstein’s tenure bid in June.”
Further, Finkelstein’s standing room only class “Equality in Social Justice” allready had a syllabus, a room and the required reading was listed at the bookstore when DePaul cancelled the class and put Finkelstein on administrative leave, straying from the norms of acadamia which require that a Proffessor denied tenure has the right to a final year of teaching. The American Association of University Proffessors which monitors such rights is on the case allready.
DePaul is not commenting in regards to the reasons for denying Finkelstein’s tenure.
Finkelstein though, according to the Chicago Tribune is not going to just accept any of this:
“I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience,” Finkelstein, 53, said in a telephone interview. “If arrested, I’ll go on a hunger strike. If released, I’ll do it all over again. I’ll fast in jail for as long as it takes.”
Additionally, DePaul’s Academic Freedom Commitee (a student led organization) is planning a lecture rally Oct 12 featuring Akeel Bilgrami, Noam Chomsky, Tony Judt, John Mearsheimer, Neve Gordon, and Tariq Ali in support of Academic Freedom.