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.