Finkelstein to Return to Teach: *
*Students Rally in Support and Protest DePaul Administration *
CHICAGO, IL, Aug. 31, 2007 -DePaul University, in direct violation of their contractual obligations, has cancelled the classes of eminent Middle East scholar Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein last week for the upcoming 2007 fall quarter. Finkelstein, after a controversial decision last June to deny him his tenure, was given a one year’s notice by DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider, and was expected to return to teach in the 2007-08 academic year for his stipulated terminal year. Finkelstein has stated, “I will return to my office. I will teach my classes.”
Today approximately 40 students and community members joined over fifteen DePaul professors in protest during the university’s convocation. Students carried posters and banners in support of Finkelstein and his tenure. Both students and professors wore T-Shirts that said: “We are all Professor Finkelstein.” The protest was carried out in front of President Holtschneider, Provost Helmut Epp, and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean Charles Suchar, among various university faculty members.
The DePaul Academic Freedom Committee, a group of students and faculty formed to combat the injustices perpetrated by this administration against academic free speech, has rallied in support of Finkelstein. On September 5, 2007, Finkelstein will return to DePaul for the first day of classes. We will be *holding a press conference * at the entrance to the DePaul University Quad on the *Lincoln Park** campus at 8:30 AM* at the corner of Fullerton Avenue and Seminary Ave. At 9:00 AM Professor Finkelstein will begin teaching his classes, off-campus.
Students and community members will begin protesting/picketing outside of 990 W. Fullerton at 10:30 AM, in support of Professor Finkelstein. Over 100 students, from a variety of schools, are expected to be in attendance, accompanied by many Chicago organizations who have taken issue with the monumental violations of academic freedom at the university. The 990 W. Fullerton building contains the PoliticalScience Department, where Finkelstein is forbidden from accessing his own office, and the office of Dean Suchar, who is responsible for the attempt to bar Finkelstein from DePaul. Suchar requested that Finkelstein be banned from campus and it was he that told Prof. Finkelstein that he would not be able to use his office.
Students are calling for the resignation of both Dean Suchar and President Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, for Finkelstein to be allowed to return to teach this year, and for both Prof. Finkelstein and Prof.Mehrene Larudee to be granted tenure immediately.