Students Sit In at DePaul, Call for Reversal of Decision to Fire Finkelstien

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing to give you an update on the Norman Finkelstein bid for tenure. As many of you have heard a denial letter was issued to Dr. Finkelstein on Friday June 8, 2007. Due to the efforts of students and alumni, on Monday June 11, 2007, the DePaul President, Fr. Holtschneider, met with the us for an hour and half. Demands were issued, namely calling for the President to reverse the tenure decision of both Dr. Finkelstein and Dr. Larudee, an international studies professor who was denied tenure with no clear explanation as to the reason and a glowing review from all levels of the tenure process, however she has been an avid supporter of Finkelstein throughout this whole ordeal.

None of the students demands were met and as a result they are sitting in the President’s office indefinitely. Many student spent the night there last night and will continue to do so until their demands are met. This level of dedication and courage requires tremendous support from the community at large.

This is clearly an academic freedom issue, but additionally, it is an Israel-Palestine issue. The University is attempting to suppress and silence these professors and their ability to reach students year in and year out, simply because they have stood up for the right of Palestinians to attain justice and criticized the state of Israel.

Tomorrow, Wedneday June 13, 2007, the Faculty Counsel at DePaul is meeting with the Vice President of DePaul in order to discuss the option of an appeal, something the University has denied is available to either Professor. There will be a rally outside the building where the students are sitting in and the meeting will take place.  The rally is scheduled to begin at 11am at the south-east corner of Jackson and Wabash in the loop, 55 E. Jackson.

All parties involved are aware that this will be an ongoing effort and if you are unable to come tomorrow we encourage you to come throughout the week. As indicated the students have no intention of making a major compromise and leaving the President’s offices.

A number of articles have been written in national publications about this issue.  I encourage you to read the two most recent in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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