A body representing US academics has protested against a university's treatment of a controversial lecturer.
The American Association of University Professors wrote to the president of DePaul University in Chicago, opposing the decision to put Norman Finkelstein on paid leave and take away his university duties after rejection of his tenure bid. The AAUP pressed for Professor Finkelstein to be allowed to return to academic duties, or for a hearing of the elected faculty to determine whether there was adequate cause for the suspension. In a previous letter, it said that the professor should be allowed to appeal against being turned down for tenure.
Professor Finkelstein has disputed the accuracy of some histories of Israel and the Israel-Palestine conflict and has said that some critics of Israel were wrongly labelled anti-Semites. The university said its move was prompted by "unacceptable behaviour on campus" in June, but his supporters say Professor Finkelstein was punished for his views.
In response, the university said it had told the professor of his status "well in advance of the fall quarter" and that he was offered but declined an opportunity to challenge the leave. It said it had not failed to fulfil contractual obligations.
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