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University Statement Regarding Scheduled Fall 2002 Class Titled "The Politics and Poetics of Palestine Resistance"
10 May 2002

Editor's note: Also see May 21, 2002 update

The 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, national 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."