Brandeis University in Hard Times: No Better Time to Heal Free Speech Wounds
February 3, 2009
Brandeis University's administration is in quite a pickle trying to maintain the trust of faculty members and students as it takes action to survive the economic downturn. The most controversial action has been the announced closing of Brandeis' Rose Art Museum in order to sell off approximately $350 million of the museum's holdings. In these times, one would think that President Jehuda Reinharz would be doing everything he can to heal the wounds that have made it difficult for faculty members and students to trust his administration. Perhaps the most important such wound involves the case of Professor Donald Hindley, who after almost 50 years of teaching was subjected to a classroom monitor and a finding of guilt for racial harassment because he had critiqued the term "wetbacks" in his Latin American Politics course. Brandeis needs to put an end to more than a year's worth of sustained faculty and student outrage over the treatment of Professor Hindley.