NB: One name was not in alphabetical order and was placed seriatim.
“To Know is Not Enough.”
January 12, 2011
Rev. Fr. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M.
President DePaul University
55 East Jackson Boulevard, 22nd floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604-2287
Recently a number of reputable national media outlets have drawn attention to the circumstances surrounding Dr. Namita Goswami’s tenure denial. Much of this attention has focused on the fact that both the University’s Appeal Review Board and the Illinois Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have found that an academic freedom violation has occurred in this case. As has been reported, the findings of the Appeal Review Board have been dismissed, resulting in a failure to implement University procedure. Specifically, the Faculty Handbook states that when the Review Board finds that there has been a violation of academic freedom in a tenure denial the “dean may recommend that another contract be offered or that a review of the case be conducted” (5.1.1). As of now, the Dean has not had the opportunity to make either decision. This failure to follow procedure has the Philosophy Graduate Student Association (PGSA) deeply concerned about the reputations of both the Department of Philosophy and the University.
In not following procedure, the University rebuffs AAUP guidelines for the tenure appeal process. We understand that you have received a letter from the AAUP’s National Office regarding this matter. We fear that as long as procedures are not followed, the negative reputation that both our Department and the University are currently garnering—as a place that violates academic freedom and tolerates such violations—will persist and intensify.
The PGSA unequivocally supports academic freedom. Moreover, we are concerned that the refusal to follow procedure in this instance creates the false perception that both the Department of Philosophy and DePaul University are institutions that violate academic freedom. In light of this perception, we encourage you to suspend your decision so that these procedures may play out as dictated by the Faculty Handbook (5.1.1) and in accordance with AAUP guidelines.
DePaul Philosophy Graduate Student Association Members
Thomas Floyd Wright
Perry A. Zurn