August 27, 2007
The circus is coming to town in Chicago
DePaul University wants Norman Finkelstein gone in the wake of denial of tenure. The Professor refuses to go. Scott Jaschick of Inside Higher Education, in an article generally sympathetic to Finkelstein, writes
DePaul is having second thoughts on letting Finkelstein have a terminal year. It has canceled his classes, even though students were registered and excited about them, and the university told him that he cannot have an office. The latest actions by DePaul - which already is being criticized by faculty groups for the initial tenure denial - have added to the anger about the situation. And Finkelstein is vowing to show up, teach and use his old office.In an e-mail interview, he said: "If the university attempts to impede my movements I intend to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and go to jail. If incarcated I intend to go on a protracted hunger strike until DePaul comes to its senses. It is regrettable that I have been driven to such drastic actions to defend basic principles of academic freedom and my contractual rights, upon which DePaul has been riding roughshod for so long."
You can see this one playing out: Finkelstein shows up and starts talking to his cadre of true believers in a DePaul classroom. The police come to pull him out. The students scream in protest. DePaul is going down in flames. The original mistake was hiring Finkelstein, a shrill polemicist and provocateur, but harldy an academic worthy of a tenure track position. .