Faculty Have Political Freedom Regardless of Tenure

To the Editor:

Rebecca Blank argues that the University of Wisconsin should retain tenure in part to protect professors from being fired for political views (“Why State Lawmakers Must Support Tenure at Public Universities,” The Chronicle, June 24). Tenure is not needed for this purpose at a state university. Supreme Court precedent prevents state universities or state officials from disciplining scholars on the basis of politics. Even in the absence of such case law, any university can contract …

New GED Test is an Asset, Not a Barrier, to Student Success

To the Editor:

The reality of today’s global economy is that fewer and fewer jobs require only a high-school diploma or, for those students who don’t complete high school, a GED credential. But the author of the op-ed criticizing the new GED test (“To Get More College-Ready Students, Drop the GED,” The Chronicle, June 10) misses the point: If his goal is to help more students avoid remedial education and earn a college degree, then the new GED test should be viewed as an asset, not a barrier. Th…

Essay on Arabic Studies Condemns the Victims But Not the Perpetrators

To the Editor:

Brian T. Edwards’ essay,  “To Make the World a Better Place, Teach Arabic,” (The Chronicle, May 11) does not need to be a political treaty. In fact, Edwards’ interpretation engages in inaccurate historical analysis rather than concentrate on the importance of teaching another language, in this case Arabic. His severe criticism is symbolic of the professoriate that is quick to condemn the victims but not the perpetrators. In their view, the reaction of the terrorist attack of 9/1…

Office for Civil Rights Urges Colleges to Respect First Amendment

To the Editor:

Much has been made of the recent internal complaints filed at Northwestern University involving Professor Laura Kipnis, including considerable vitriol directed at the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. Writers have attributed Northwestern’s handling of the matter to the requirements of Title IX, to mandates issued by OCR, and to federal overreach generally. However, in 2003, OCR issued a Dear Colleague Letter (still in effect and still on OCR’s websi…

More Funding for Federal Research Program Would Benefit Nation

To the Editor:

“As they Slice NSF’s Budget, House Republicans Seek to Expose Research Misconduct” (The Chronicle, May 20) describes an array of issues, one of which is the funding for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), labeling it “affirmative action for state research,” but to place all the issues under the chosen title is misleading.

The use of “affirmative action” in this article is surprising given its normal context. Affirmative action is a powerful too…

Movement to Reinstate Football at UAB About Much More Than Sports

To the Editor:

Your recent article about the reinstatement of football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (“Inside the Decision to Reinstate Football at the U. of Alabama at Birmingham,The Chronicle, June 3.) misleads. The grassroots “#FreeUAB” movement supporting reinstatement has been about much more than sports, identifying four issues central to the UAB story that are also at the heart of American higher education:

1.    shared governance;
2.    institutional autonomy;
3.    fis…

Colleges Should Urge Sexual-Assault Victims to Contact Police

To the Editor:

College women who become victims of sexual assault are directed to contact — or encourage their peers to contact — a campus health center, local hospital, counseling or a school administrator. Why are collegiate women not also being encouraged to contact law enforcement when it comes to sexual assault?

As a professional counselor in a correctional setting, I have met many men and women who have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives. When providing counsel to thes…

Cover for Diversity Supplement Was Baffling

newdiversity

To the Editor:

I just received my latest electronic version of The Chronicle (May 20). I couldn’t believe that for an issue on Diversity in Academe, you picture a white male (it seems) on the cover (alone, no less). What were you thinking!

Nancy DiTomaso
Professor of Management and Global Business
Rutgers Business School — Newark and New Brunswick

Students and Faculty Critical of Israel Face Extensive Intimidation

To the Editor:

“Israel-Boycott Debate Spurs Fight Over Definition of ‘Anti-Semitism’” (The Chronicle, May 18) highlights an important issue on U.S. campuses. We appreciate The Chronicle’s coverage of an initiative by Jewish Voice for Peace urging the State Department to change its definition of anti-Semitism to prevent it from “being misused to silence critics of Israel,” but there is an important part of the story that needs a closer look.

The Chronicle’s focus on the views of Israel advocacy g…

Don’t Criticize Guaranty Agencies for Following the Law

To the Editor:

In “How Ending the Two-Tiered Student-Loan System Would Help Struggling Borrowers” (The Chronicle, May 15), Ben Miller, formerly with the New America Foundation, criticizes guaranty agencies for following the law that collection costs are to be paid by the defaulted borrower rather than the taxpayer. While the article states that it is part of the paper’s “Proof” series, it ignores important facts.

Mr. Miller first makes the inaccurate claim that there is a “two-tiered system”…