June 09, 2007

Finkelstein denied tenure at DePaul University

Bad news from across the pond. I got a comment to the effect that DePaul University has denied tenure to Norman Finkelstein. I checked his site. At the time of writing, nothing. I googled I can't remember what but I got to Wikipedia and the news was there with a link to the Chronicle of Higher Education report on the matter. This is it in full:

DePaul Rejects Tenure Bid by Finkelstein and Says Dershowitz Pressure Played No Role

Norman G. Finkelstein, the controversial political scientist who has been engaged in a highly public battle for tenure at DePaul University, learned today that he had lost that fight. In a written statement released to The Chronicle, the university confirmed that Mr. Finkelstein had been denied tenure.

Mr. Finkelstein’s department and a college-level personnel committee both voted in favor of tenure, but the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences wrote a memorandum against it, and the University Board on Promotion and Tenure voted against granting tenure. The final decision rested with the university’s president, the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, who said in the statement that he had found “no compelling reasons to overturn” the tenure board’s recommendation.

“I played by the rules, and it plainly wasn’t enough to overcome the political opposition to my speaking out on the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Mr. Finkelstein said in an interview. “This decision is not going to deter me from making statements that, so far as I can tell from the judgment of experts in the field, are sound and factually based.”

Mr. Finkelstein’s case has excited widespread interest, in part because of the involvement of Alan M. Dershowitz, a professor of law at Harvard University. The two scholars have sparred repeatedly in public. Last fall, Mr. Dershowitz sent members of DePaul’s law and political-science faculties what he described as “a dossier of Norman Finkelstein’s most egregious academic sins, and especially his outright lies, misquotations, and distortions.”

Informed of the news this evening, Mr. Dershowitz said, “It was the right decision, proving that DePaul University is indeed a first-rate university, not as Finkelstein characterized it, ‘a third-rate university.’ Based on objective standards of scholarship, this should not have even been a close case.”

In the DePaul statement, Father Holtschneider decried the outside interest the case had generated. “This attention was unwelcome and inappropriate and had no impact on either the process or the outcome of this case.” —Jennifer Howard

Posted on Friday June 8, 2007 | Permalink |
The site accepts comments and yet despite being published yesterday only three have appeared. They all support Finkelstein.

Now we shouldn't assume that the tenure has been denied because of his stance on such issues as holocaust "compensation," zionism generally and, of course, Professor Alan Dershowitz in particular but it does seem rather odd that Dershowitz has a prestigious seat at Harvard and Finkelstein can't get tenure at DePaul. It's like zionists have some special influence in US academia but they can't have, can they?


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