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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Harkins Iymen chehade <email@example.com>; Rima Kapitan <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
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.
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