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Congeniality vs. Academic Freedom

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DePaul University is standing by its decision to deny tenure to a controversial professor, but critics are suspicious of the school’s reasoning.

Chicago Public Radio’s Shawn Allee reports.

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DePaul University’s Norman Finkelstein decried Israel’s occupation of land claimed by Palestinians.

He aired his views stridently.

DePaul University’s president wrote Finkelstein didn’t deserve tenure because he attacked critics personally.

Advocates of academic freedom say that shouldn’t matter.

St. Xavier University professor Peter Kirstein follows the issue closely.

Kirstein: The issue of collegiality cannot be used as a basis for denying tenure. That frequently is a cover-up by saying we don’t like the tone, we don’t like the ad-hominem attacks. And it’s really a form of censorship.

Kirstein refers to academic freedom guidelines provided by the American Association of University Professors.

That group independent faculty at DePaul should examine the case.

A DePaul University spokesperson says the issue is closed.

I’m Shawn Allee.

Chicago Public Radio.

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