Columbia College Defends Academic Freedom: Restores Iymen Chehade Israeli/Palestinian Course

I learned yesterday that Columbia College in Chicago is offering two sections of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict course in their fall 2014 semester offerings. Instructor Iymen Chehade has been in the middle of a major academic freedom case concerning a prior reduction of sections of this class. It is to the credit of Columbia College that they have shown the flexibility and the commitment to academic freedom to restore the offering of two and not merely one section of this heavily enrolled course.

On March 20, 2014, Academic Vice President/Interim Provost Louise Love sent me an e-mail affirming her college’s commitment to academic freedom. I sent her a response today that expresses gratitude for her words and deeds. I am reproducing it below.

Columbia College Chicago Academic Vice President and Interim Provost Love

Acknowledgment of Resolution of Chehade Course Offerings                                                       Tue 4/1/2014 10:37 AM

From: Kirstein, Peter                                                                                                                       To: Love, Louise                                                                                                                                   Cc: jkurland@aaup.org;                                                                                                                       Michael Harkins                                                                                                                            Iymen chehade <ichehade@hotmail.com>;                                                                                     Rima Kapitan <rkapitan@kapitanlaw.net>;

Louise Love, Ph.D.                                                                                                                              Vice President for Academic Affairs/Interim Provost                                                               Columbia College Chicago                                                                                                               600 South Michigan Avenue                                                                                                   Chicago, IL 60605

Dear Dr. Love:

Illinois AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure welcomes the decision to offer Instructor Iymen Chehade the opportunity to teach two sections of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict course for fall, 2014. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and are pleased that your commitment to academic freedom that you so strongly affirmed in your e-mail of March 20 is so evident in these very recent curricular decisions.​

Best wishes,

Peter

Peter N. Kirstein                                                                                                                                Vice President A.A.U.P. Ill.                                                                                                              Chair: Illinois Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure                                          Professor of History                                                                                                                       Saint Xavier University

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