On Prof. Hindley

So you may have noticed that we here at Innermost Parts haven’t been talking much about the Professor Hindley situation.

That’s by design. There’s no point commenting until we have something useful to contribute to the debate. I will say that, at this time, I generally agree with the sentiment expressed here:

Rather than taking an objective approach to determining whether Hindley’s comments were discriminatory, the administration appeared to begin the process with a judgment already in mind. Due process was ignored, and the administration instant punitive response made Hindley’s guilt a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, this is not the first event in recent years in which the administration has been criticized for failing to protect freedom of speech rights. While increasingly more competitive students matriculate at this University, the administration continues to exercise its ability to censor speech.

This seems to be part of a troubling trend of hamhanded authoritarianism on part of the Brandeis establishment. If we understand the accounts of the University correctly, it seems clear that the University has not been acting honestly in this case, with it’s own Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities finding that

Brandeis’s investigation had “lacked thoroughness and impartiality” and “concluded that decisions made by Provost Marty Krauss to threaten termination and place a monitor in Hindley’s classroom ‘should now be entirely withdrawn.'” The committee’s report also faulted the university administration for its vague standards on allegedly offensive speech and its relation to allegations of discriminatory harassment, noting that the standard for true discriminatory harassment involves far more than merely offensive speech.

Most tellingly, it seems the University has been flouting its own rules, threatening to fire a tenured professor, denying him some due process rights, etc.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wrote a concerned letter to President Reinhartz. He never replied, but Provost Marty Kruass wrote that she considered the case “closed”.

When the ACLU makes a stand, we pay attention. We here at Innermost Parts do not consider this issue closed at all. We don’t know why the Administration has such animosity towards Professor Hindley, but it seems that the he is in the right.


3 thoughts on “On Prof. Hindley”

  1. First off, even assuming that Hindley did wrong, it’s important to note that the University broke it’s own rules in dealing with the situation. Not cool. It’s all about due process. Hindley was denied due process.

    “innocent until proven guilty”, and the administration did no proving, only accusing.

    Secondly, and I mean “of secondary importance” here, As far as I can tell, he didn’t do anything wrong. He commented that other people use a derogatory word to refer to Hispanics.

    Lastly, the committee that is set up to take care of these sort of things recommended that all charges be dropped etc.

    I mean, cmon. The University threatened to sack him. He’s tenured; they can’t do that!

  2. sahar, do clarify. Why do you choose to defend Hindley? Freedom of speaech do not warrant any figure to use profanities in an inappropriate manner in any situation in which their words are representative of the university and it’s aims.

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