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Open Letter to Tim Marshall, Dean of Parsons NY

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To Tim Marshall, Dean of Parsons The New School of Design Dear Sir, In the past few months a number of faculty from Parsons Paris School of Design, an affiliate of the Parsons the New School of Design, were dismissed from their teaching positions on the grounds of the \"abuse of the right to free expression.\"�� The dismissed professors were long standing, highly qualified members of staff and include half of the total number of Ph.D.\'s in the school. This charge was related to expressed criticism of Parsons Paris hiring practices. Such an accusation is not only ludicrous, since there can be no abuse of free speech, but it clearly violates the standards set by the guidelines of the American Association of University Professors and may also constitute a violation of the faculty First Amendment rights, guaranteed by the Unites States Constitution since Parsons Paris is a US ACCREDITED institution, employing many U.S. citizens. Responsible for these accusations are Serge Guarino, Parsons Paris president and Bridget O\'Rourke, Parsons Paris Academic Director. Your claims that New York has no leverage over Parsons Paris contradicts the fact Greggory Spence, former Council General of the New School and its current professor, remains one of the three members of the governing board of Parsons Paris. Recent statement by Deborah Kirschner, The New School\'s Associate Director of Arts Communications points in the same direction as according to Mrs. Kirschner, Parsons the New School for Design is \"exploring different ways of supporting the continuation of this school (Parsons Paris) as \"it offers an important option to Parsons students who are interested in studying abroad.\" Similar statement was made by James Murtha, the New School\'s Chief Financial Officer. We believe that no respectable academic institution should limit in any way its faculty rights to free speech. Administrative abuse and limitations of academic freedom are antithetical to the principles of American education. The reputation of the New School University and Parsons\' School of Design in New York is seriously endangered by an institution that pertains to represent them in Europe, yet shows complete disregard for the accepted norms of American academic management. We urge you, as Dean of Parsons the New School of Design, to take immediate actions against those responsible for blatant violation of Parsons Paris faculty rights.


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