Letter to the editor: 8-4-10

Dear Editors,

While the University of Illinois’s decision to reinstate Professor Kenneth Howell — who had summarily been dismissed after a student anonymously complained about an email he had sent — marks a step in the right direction, the university still has a long way to go to ensure the intellectual climate on campus is open to the free exchange of ideas.

As we noted in a letter to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, sent before the reinstatement had been announced: “the decision to terminate Professor Howell’s employment marks the latest in a series of disturbing episodes in which UIUC [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] administrators have demonstrated a disregard for free speech and intellectual diversity.”

ACTA’s recommendation that the Board “undertake a systematic review of university policies and practices regarding free inquiry, free speech and academic freedom” still stands.

Cordially,

David Azerrad

Senior Researcher

American Council of Trustees and Alumni