Kathy Wyer 0

Return Sluglett and Lenowitz to the MEC

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Robert Newman, Dean of the University of Utah's College of Humanities, removed Professors Harris Lenowitz and Peter Sluglett from the Middle East Center in March 2008 with no warning and little explanation. He then issued a public statement containing baseless allegations of misconduct that had never been presented to the professors themselves. In June 2009, the University's Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights committee concluded that these actions violated these professors' rights as tenured faculty members, were taken without appropriate due process, and caused significant professional harm. Yet the University still refuses to issue an apology or admit that a mistake was made. Professor Lenowitz, the University's only Hebrew professor, came to the University over 35 years ago to join the Middle East Center and was an integral part of the Center until his removal. Professor Sluglett, an internationally-renowned scholar on Iraq, was brought to the University over a decade ago as a Middle East Center Director. Neither of them deserved to be removed in this manner. Over 18 months have now passed, with little progress. It is time for the University to reverse Dean Newman's action and issue an apology. We appreciate your support; if you have a university affiliation, please feel free to include it with your signature.


I spent three years as a graduate student at the Middle East Center and received an M.A. there. I later worked at the Middle East Center for four years while Professor Sluglett was the Director. Professor Ibrahim Karawan, who was Director at the time of the Dean's action and resigned in protest thereafter, was the chair of my M.A. committee. Having spent seven years in the Middle East Center environment, I know that there is no truth to the accusations against Professors Lenowitz and Sluglett.
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