DePaul University President Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider, in an unprecedented action, simultaneously notified A.A.U.P. on the same day Dr Norman G. Finkelstein was denied tenure and promotion to associate professor. He spoke by telephone to American Association of University Professors General Secretary Roger Bowen. The president told Dr Bowen he had expected a “reaction” and was calling as a “courtesy.” Apparently there was a discussion on the degree of familiarity that the president had with Professor Finkelstein’s published writings. The president indicated he had read “some” of his work. The DePaul president in response to an inquiry, stated he did not know if Dean Chuck Suchar, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who recommended against the granting of tenure, had read Dr Finkelstein’s work but “expected” that he had.
I have previously reported when I first learned of this tenure process that Dean Suchar’s opposition to the granting of tenure was based on tonality and an alleged lack of collegiality in both Dr Finkelstein’s writings and for apparently a rumoured contemplation of litigation against the university. I also noted that the dean provided a single example of alleged scholarly incivility that appeared to use the same misspelled word as previously used by Harvard Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz.
Currently the American Association of University Professors is having their annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This situation is assuredly to garner great interest at this meeting and possibly will occupy future deliberations.