Update: DePaul University Norman G. Finkelstein Case

I have learned that DePaul University President Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M. notified the American Association of University Professors that he had denied tenure to Professor Finkelstein. He called them at approximately 12:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time as a “courtesy.” Perhaps to ward off a possible A.A.U.P. investigation, I understand that the president stated that he did not reverse any decision of DePaul’s University Board on Promotion and Tenure for any faculty member. Therefore I am assuming, with great confidence but consternation, this university-wide panel did not recommend the granting of tenure to Professor Finkelstein.

President Holtschneider informed Dr Finkelstein et al. of a denial of tenure and promotion.

I believe they, the University Tenure and Promotion Committee, voted on May 11, 2007. DePaul’s handbook requires that candidates be notifed at each stage of the deliberations and my understanding is that Professor Finkelstein was not notifed until today. He was to be notified before, according to the Handbook, the U.B.P.T. decision was sent to the next stage, the president, by Provost Epp. I have seen the handbook and see below for relevant excerpts and there appears to be little ambiguity in the notification-by-stage provisions.

In any event, DePaul’s president is trying to get in front of the curve in this matter by attempting to indicate he was just following a university-wide decision. It is not insignificant but I have a feeling this process is far from over.

The DePaul University handbook describes four stages (department, College, University Board and President):

“Review of qualifications for promotion and tenure is in four stages. At each stage:
. The numerical vote of the reviewing body must be reported to all subsequent levels;
. Minority or other reports will be filed with the next higher level only when the candidate has had the opportunity to review such reports in order to respond appropriately. Minority and/or dissenting reports must provide explicit explanation and rationale;
. All documents considered at any level shall be passed on to subsequent levels;
. The candidate shall be informed by the departmental chair and/or academic dean of the decision, numerical vote, and all grounds for the decision before moving on to the next level;
. Applicants for promotion and/or tenure may continue to the next stage of deliberation, regardless of the recommendation(s) at any prior stage;
. Any reversal of this decision of a prior level shall be reported promptly to the department chair and/or academic dean of the prior level along with the reasons for the reversal.

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