In a letter sent today to Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Chancellor Charles R. Bantz and others, FIRE calls on IUPUI to clarify the university’s official stance regarding the racial harassment charge against Keith John Sampson.
As we have discussed on The Torch recently, IUPUI Director of Media Relations Rich Schneider has engaged in publicly smearing Sampson to the press, stating that the racial harassment finding against Sampson was based not on his reading the book in question, but rather some undisclosed harassing behavior. Schneider has refused to reveal the nature of this alleged behavior. In light of the vague, unsubstantiated statements made by Schneider, it is perhaps not very surprising that Sampson’s case continues to generate plenty of press coverage.
In today’s letter, FIRE calls on IUPUI to set the record straight once and for all:
[D]oes IUPUI believe that Sampson has engaged in any harassing or not? If so, due process demands you let him know what he is being charged with and by whom, but if not, you should inform Mr. Schneider that baseless accusations of such a serious nature should not be made against students or employees. It appears that almost all parties in this case wish it to be resolved, and we hope that everyone can finally move on.
It is indeed our hope that this matter will soon be behind us. That, however, is up to the IUPUI administration.