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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 24, 2008 / 24 Elul 5768

Brandeis University dishonors its name

By Nat Hentoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For years, I have reported on many cases of college and university administrators infected with "political correctness," punishing students and faculty members for allegedly prejudicial and otherwise "offensive" remarks — as if there were a constitutional right not to be offended. I have now found the most outrageous case of all.


At Brandeis University in Massachusetts, professor Donald Hindley — on the faculty for 48 years — teaches a course on Latin American politics. Last fall, he described how Mexican migrants to the United States used to be discriminatorily called "wetbacks." An anonymous student complained to the administration accusing Hindley of using prejudicial language — the first complaint against him in 48 years.


After an investigation, during which Hindley was not told the nature of the complaint, Brandeis Provost Marty Krauss informed Hindley that "The University will not tolerate inappropriate, racial and discriminatory conduct by members of its faculty." A corollary accusation was that students suffered "significant emotional trauma" when exposed to such a term.


An administration monitor was assigned to his class. Threatened with "termination," Hindley was ordered to take a sensitivity-training class. With no charges against him, no evidence of misconduct given him and no hearing, he refused — in the spirit of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, for whom this university is named.


A passionate protector of freedom of expression in a series of seminal Supreme Court opinions, Brandeis wrote in "Whitney v. California" (1972): "Those who won independence believed ... that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are ... indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth."


The Brandeis Faculty Senate — joined by Brandeis's Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities — objected to this assault on elementary fairness and academic freedom. So did the Massachusetts affiliate of the ACLU, and in what would have greatly pleased Justice Brandeis, so did the university's student newspaper, "The Hoot," declaring:


"The administration's instant punitive response made Hindley's guilt a foregone conclusion. ... With this kind of an approach, how will the University attract the high caliber professors who will be able to give the incoming classes of students the education they deserve? How will it draw students who want a free and open academic environment?"


Hindley tells me that despite the response of the faculty Senate and the committee on faculty rights, individual tenured members of his department, though outraged, would not stand up publicly on his behalf. One of them explained to him, "I'm about to retire." He and others fear retaliation.


I first heard about this dishonoring of the name of Brandeis University from FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, where I'm on the board of advisers but never have time to attend any meetings. FIRE has advocated, and sometimes litigates for, the free-speech rights of students and professors across all ideologies and beliefs — showing, as Justice Brandeis said, that "sunlight is the best disinfectant."


Notwithstanding the indignation on campus, and elsewhere, on how this university, despite its name, has harassed Hindley as if he were a danger to what Provost Marty Kraus accusatorily describe as "the welfare of the University's students," the administration remains certain it is acting in the best interests of its students — present and future.


Indeed, this January, Krauss actually wrote Hindley — not with a pledge to give him a fair hearing, let alone an apology, but with this imperial statement: "I trust (by now) you understand your responsibilities regarding the University's policies on nondiscrimination and harassment. The University now considers this matter closed."


No, it isn't. Says Adam Kissel, director's of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program: "Brandeis has yet to explain how administrators could have so grossly misinterpreted normal classroom speech as 'harassment.' FIRE will pursue this matter until Brandeis finally applies basic standards of academic freedom and fair procedures to Donald Hindley's case."


So will I. Before writing this column, I left a message for Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz (781-736-3001) asking for his response. My call has not been returned. If Louis Brandeis were still here, I am sure he would call Reinharz instantly — and would get a response. How I would like to hear that conversation!


Said Justice Brandeis: "It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears." And from undereducated college administrators?


Are any of the trustees of Brandeis University at all concerned with restoring its good and once-honored name? FIRE has written to each of the 45 trustees. There has been only one response, saying that the matter is being handled "competently."

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Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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