UW–Madison Professor Asks American Physical Society to Come to the Aid of Jun Xiao

By on January 9, 2008

Marshall Onellion, a longtime Torch reader and professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, forwarded us this e-mail he sent to the American Physical Society:

Dear Dr. Franz:

My name is Marshall Onellion. I am a member of the American Physical Society. I have been following the injustice handed out to Dr. Jun Xiao (Ph.D. neuroscience; postdocs at MIT and Columbia) by Saint Louis Community College. The details are available at: http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/8785.html. Briefly, Dr. Xiao has been treated in a way that grossly violates both his civil rights and his academic freedom. I have written to President Paul Pai on this matter and, as you might expect, have been ignored. Since any of us, or any of our students, could be treated in the same way, I believe it is in all of our interests to speak out in this case. I should add that I do not know Dr. Xiao personally at all—I would literally not recognize him if I saw him—so I am making this request mainly for us and our students. 

I request that this item be added to the next APS Executive Council meeting, and that the Council consider issuing a public condemnation of President Pai and St. Louis Community College for their flagrant misbehavior and denial of fundamental legal and civil rights and academic freedom. If you wish additional information, the best source is Ms. Samantha Harris (samantha@thefire.org), although I can provide a little information. I believe this is an important matter to speak out on and I look forward to hearing your decision on whether you will honor my request. Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Marshall Onellion
Professor of Physics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
 

Thank you, Professor Onellion. The public advocacy of even a handful of devoted supporters of basic rights on college campuses can make a huge difference in FIRE cases. Readers who are outraged by this case should contact President Pai to explain how Saint Louis Community College’s behavior violates the basic standards of due process and free speech.