In a letter sent yesterday, Brandeis alumnus and Central Connecticut State University professor Jay Bergman called upon Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz to immediately clear the record of Professor Donald Hindley, who was found guilty of racial harassment for using the term "wetback" in his class. Bergman writes:
I urge you now, as I have in the past, to drop the university’s finding of guilt in the matter of Professor Hindley, who did nothing wrong.
Furthermore, as a way of acknowledging the egregious violation of Professor Hindley’s academic freedom that occurred as a result of the unconscionable conduct of your provost and senior vice-president for academic affairs, I urge you as well to make a public apology to him on behalf of Brandeis University.
The reputation of the university, and your own reputation for upholding the principles of fairness and free expression on which it was founded, depend on it.
This isn’t the first time Dr. Bergman has expressed his anger over the lack of due process accorded Professor Hindley. Last January, shortly after FIRE publicly exposed Brandeis’s shoddy treatment of Hindley, Bergman wrote to Provost Marty Krauss that
Your handling of the Hindley Case is a disgrace to the good name of the Supreme Court Justice after whom the university is properly named. In light of the thought control you evidently believe is appropriate for Professor Hindley, perhaps Brandeis University should be renamed the University of North Korea.
Ouch. As Dr. Bergman’s words demonstrate, Brandeis University today is unworthy of its namesake, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who was a true champion of free speech. That is why FIRE has named the school to our Red Alert list, a compilation of the "worst of the worst" when it comes to respecting fundamental rights on campus.
Come on, President Reinharz. Do the right thing.
Schools: Brandeis University