FIRE Continues to Protest Injustice at CIIS
July 21, 2006
by Tara Sweeney
protest CIIS’ conclusion that van den Daele’s assignment was inappropriate. Instead of seeking a balanced account of the situation and considering van den Daele’s explanation of his assignment, CIIS responded to student upheaval by hastily deciding that van den Daele’s assignment warranted official action. As a result, CIIS has not only cast van den Daele as guilty of promoting racism in the classroom, but has sent a clear message that professors do not deserve the freedom to assign materials or teach their subject matter as they see fit. Your overreaction to this situation has proven that appeasing unreasonable student outrage outweighs fundamental fairness at CIIS.
CIIS must understand that the denial of academic freedom to van den Daele erodes the rights of its existing students and faculty, degrades the institute’s “spirit of healthy inquiry,” and sends a chilling message to faculty and students across the disciplines that consulting or assigning certain academic articles is unacceptable at CIIS. CIIS has charted a dangerous course in choosing to censor controversial works and publicly castigate their authors rather than promote an atmosphere where different points of view can be addressed and openly, responsibly discussed.