following is a statement addressing questions raised about
a course scheduled for the fall 2002 semester titled, "The
Politics and Poetics of Palestine Resistance."
There was a failure of oversight on the part of the English
Department in reviewing course proposal descriptions for
the reading and composition sections. This failure is in
the process of being addressed. Structures will be put in
place to ensure all course descriptions will be developed
in accord with the Faculty Code of Conduct, specifically
that courses not exclude or discourage qualified students
on grounds other than lack of preparation.
In this particular case, the English Department will immediately
revise the course description to ensure open access. In
addition, the department chair will provide oversight for
this class to ensure that it is conducted in accordance
with the Faculty Code of Conduct. Among the code's requirements
is that there be no "discrimination, including harassment,
against a student on political grounds, or for the reasons
of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin,
Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl stated: "I am concerned that
this failure of oversight has occurred and I am pleased
that the English Department is acting immediately to remedy
it. Universities should not avoid presenting controversial
material, and we do not. It is imperative that our classrooms
be free of indoctrination - indoctrination is not education.
Classrooms must be places in which an open environment prevails
and where students are free to express their views."