Professor Finkelstein Denied Tenure Due to Alleged Lack of Collegiality in Published Research

DePaul University President Dennis H. Holtschneider’s statement of denial can be accessed at Professor Norman G. Finkelstein’s website.

The vote of the University Board on Promotion and Tenure was 4-3 to deny the professor promotion and tenure. Kudos to the three academicians who did not abandon their professional responsibility to protect the dissenter; to protect the scholar who defies the canon; to protects the students from dismissal of a superior teacher.

Having read the reverend’s statement, it appears to be virtually a political manifesto that Dean Chuck Suchar first advanced in his non-recommendation for tenure. It lacks substance; it lacks specific bona fide reasons to sustain the prevention of tenure and promotion. There is no doubt that the U.B.P.T. and the president are willing to deny tenure to a professor whose writings are controversial without demonstrating misconduct: I have seen no charges of plagiarism, no charges of falsification of sources and no charges of repeated error. In fact an exhaustive investigation by the Political Science Department Personnel Committee rejected any academic misconduct in the course of Professor Finkelstein’s research.

The university’s decision to deny tenure is basically a repetition of the Suchar Memorandum’s charge of inappropriate tone, collegiality and manners. I think this case will continue to be examined by national organizations that exist to protect professors from such arbitrary and egregious display of contempt for controversial research that may offend some but on its merits represent significant and valuable scholarship.

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