Tuesday, October 9, 2018

John Cheney-Lippold faces the music

Occasionally, actions have consequences, even for tenured professors.

John Cheney-Lippold, a tenured American and digital studies associate professor at the University of Michigan refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student wanting to study in Israel.    

The University has launched disciplinary proceedings against Cheney-Lippold. In an Oct 3rd letter, published in the Detroit News,  Elizabeth Cole, the acting dean of UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts wrote:

"Your conduct has fallen far short of the University’s and College’s expectations for how LSA faculty interact with and treat students...This letter is a strong warning that your behavior in this circumstance was inappropriate and will not be tolerated."

"In the future, a student's merit should be your primary guide for determining how and whether to provide a letter of recommendation. You are not to use student requests for recommendations as a platform to discuss your personal political beliefs."

According to information obtained through a FOIA request, the Detroit News reported that Cheney-Lippold  

will not get a merit raise during the 2018-19 academic year and can't go on his upcoming sabbatical in January or another sabbatical for two years...  He could also face additional discipline, up to and including dismissal, if a similar incident occurs in the future.

Since then, it has been reported that Lucy Peterson, a graduate student instructor at  the university  also denied a student a letter of recommendation for study in Israel.

2 comments:

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

that's it, hit em in their wallets and purses where it really hurts. some welcomed news given that i'm flying to Detroit next week and i'll be sure to pack my IDF t-shirt and wear it with pride where ever i go. especially in Ann Arbor.

Denise Nussbaum said...

Go, Shlomo! Finally a just outcome. Now this grad student teaching assistant should lose her job. Hopefully this is the first of many victories for our side. Thanks to AMCHA and Tammi Rossman Benjamin!