Language Like Salaita’s Creates Risk for Any University

To the Editor:

Forgotten in all the hype about the Steven G. Salaita issue is this: Why does a Board of Trustees of any university have final say on a tenure appointment? It is part of their fiduciary responsibility.

Granting tenure to a professor is a major financial commitment because it guarantees a salary until the professor retires, leaves, or dies. Depending on how long the professor serves, a tenure appointment becomes a multimillion-dollar commitment.

If a person is hired who brings dish…

Instead of Fighting Online Bookstores, Colleges Should Work With Them

To the Editor:

While reading “Rise of Online Booksellers Brings Complaints From Campus Bookstores” (The Chronicle, September 5), I couldn’t help but think of my students. I am an academic advisor for a college-outreach program that serves low-income, potential first-generation college students from their freshman to senior year in high school, all the while preparing them for college through SAT prep, exposure to college campuses, and the like. Part of the work that I do with my seniors involv…

Alcohol’s Role in Sexual Assault Should Not Be Ignored

To the Editor:

Alcohol should not be a taboo when talking about sexual assault. As “Why Campuses Can’t Talk About Alcohol When It Comes to Sexual Assault” (The Chronicle, September 4) expresses, the type of clothes a female wears as well as the amount of alcohol she consumed should not be used as causes for her being sexually assaulted; however, in many cases, alcohol was involved in an assault and should not be ignored. I do not believe that there is malice intended when asking whether or not …

A Note From the Letters Editor

The Chronicle is changing its letters policy: We continue to welcome correspondence from readers about our articles and about topics we have covered, but we will no longer publish letters longer than 350 words. Letters will continue to be edited to conform to our style. Most letters appear in our web site’s letters section; some may also appear in print.

Send letters to Please include a daytime phone number and tell us what institution you are affiliated with or what city …

Our Goal Is Not ‘to Shut Down Open Discussion’

To the Editor:

The Title VI reform movement is all about including diverse perspectives. You correctly report that 10 national organizations, including my own, are urging Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and universities themselves to assure a diverse range of perspectives in outreach programs funded under Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (“Supporters of Israel Say Programs in Middle East Studies Misuse U.S. Funds,” The Chronicle, September 17). Amy W. Newhall, executi…

Organizations Have ‘Serious Concerns’ About the Teach Act

To the Editor:

It is unfortunate that Kyle Shachmut misconstrued the impact of the Teach Act (formally the Technology, Equality and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act) and misrepresented the American Council on Education’s position on the legislation in his essay (“A New Obstacle for Students With Disabilities,” The Chronicle, September 12).

There are good reasons why ACE and 20 other higher-education organizations, representing nearly every college and university in the country, …

Search Firms Have Wider Networks Than Trustees or Faculty Members

To the Editor:

Milton Greenberg makes the point that “You Don’t Need a Search Firm to Hire a President” (The Chronicle, September 1). While a search firm is not a requirement for a presidential search, based on my experience as a former college president, a trustee of several colleges, and a long-term faculty member, I think a search firm can often help a college or university get a better president. The key advantage of using a search firm is that search firms are often likely to be able to en…

Friends Don’t Let Friends … Get in Trouble at Frat Parties

To the Editor:

We can put our heads in the sand and pretend that drinking on campus and sexual assaults are unrelated, but it would be a big mistake. While drinking is no excuse for sexual assault, it often brings out loutish, or worse, behavior in some people. This is when the intended victim should demonstrate good judgment. If someone accepts a car ride with a driver who is obviously drunk, we would shake our head and mutter, “What was he thinking by accepting that ride?” after an accident oc…

Goucher’s Video Applications Further ‘Inclusion and Social Justice’

To the Editor:

Goucher College launched the Goucher Video Application and was featured in an article in The Chronicle (“At Goucher College, Applicants Who Send Videos Need Not Send Grades,” September 4). Many high-school teachers, counselors, and others in education have welcomed our creative rethinking of the stressful college application process. Others have raised questions.

The traditional college admissions process is based on the premise that students who did well academically in high scho…

Facts Go Adrift in Article on New Book

To the Editor:

Your article on Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates (“Do Americans Expect Too Much From a College Degree?” The Chronicle September 2) begins: “In times like these, data points get wielded like cudgels. Student-loan debt tops $1-trillion. As many as half of recent graduates are out of work, earn trifling wages, or have jobs that don’t require college degrees. Clearly, such numbers suggest, college isn’t worthwhile.”

I hate to use a cudgel, but all o…