Brandeis Faculty, Administration Still at Odds

By September 11, 2008

Last Friday, Alison Channon, News Editor for The Brandeis Hoot at Brandeis University, wrote an update on the case of Donald Hindley, the professor who was found guilty of racial harassment and had a monitor placed in his classroom after he critiqued the term "wetbacks" in class. As many readers know, FIRE has been heavily involved in the case.

The article notes that English Professor William Flesch was appointed the new chair of the Faculty Senate, which has been a strong defender of Professor Hindley’s rights and has gone toe-to-toe with Provost Krauss, who has attempted again and again to justify her administration’s actions by invoking legal responsibilities that she has never explained. This past May, the Senate issued a resolution stating that Provost Krauss and the Brandeis administration had "violated Professor Hindley’s faculty rights, including the right to academic freedom and the right to be treated fairly under University policies." This resolution added, "We regret that this recent case has damaged the collegiality of our University, its academic and intellectual function, its faculty governance procedures, and its public reputation."

As Adam has noted previously, the Faculty Senate has been joined by the Senate Council and the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities in supporting faculty rights and condemning the actions of the Brandeis administration.

Channon ends her article by quoting Krauss’s recent e-mail to the Hoot: "I seek, with Prof. Flesch, and whomever is the next chair of the committee on rights and responsibilities, a reasoned and appropriate resolution on outstanding issues." We here at FIRE do as well, although we worry, like many at Brandeis, that they are not likely to get such a resolution under the current administration.

Schools: Brandeis University Cases: Brandeis University: Professor Found Guilty of Harassment for Protected Speech