Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sit-in to Defend Professor who advocates Palestine human rights

"DePaul U. Students and Alumni Stage Sit-In to Protest 2 Tenure Denials"


June 12, 2007

On the Web at:

A group of students and alumni of DePaul University have spent more than 24 hours in a conference room near the president’s office and say they won’t leave until he agrees to grant tenure to two professors.

“We don’t have anything specific planned yet,” said Matt P. Muchowski, who graduated last June from DePaul with a degree in political science. “At some point, we’ll have to meet with the president again, and, you know, quite frankly, we hope that it will be to accept his retraction of the denial of tenure and to offer tenure.” Mr. Muchowski said he was one of about a dozen students in the conference room now.

The two professors denied tenure are Norman G. Finkelstein and Mehrene E. Larudee. Ms. Larudee, an assistant professor of international studies, believes she did not receive tenure because of her active support of Mr. Finkelstein, an assistant professor of political science. Mr. Finkelstein is known for his strong advocacy of Palestinian rights and an escalating war of words with Alan M. Dershowitz, a law professor at Harvard University and an impassioned defender of Israel, who openly tried to influence Mr. Finkelstein’s tenure case.

About two dozen students waited in the conference room starting on Monday morning and met with DePaul’s president, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, that afternoon. He told them that he would not grant tenure to the two professors, a spokeswoman said. She declined to comment on the university’s decision to allow students to continue to occupy the conference room.

—Sierra Millman

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