[Milton-L] Deja vu all over again

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Wed Apr 21 05:49:30 EDT 2004

Dear Milton-L colleagues,

Just a quick update on the horrors at our school.  There is a hearing before the
University Advisory Committee on Wednesday and Thursday next week for my two
senior tenured colleagues whom the president is trying to fire following their
quite reasonable investigation into the academic qualifications of our vice
president for research (and economic development).  The president had been
pushing for a quick hearing and a media circus from the gitgo--with all the spin
possibilities appertaining thereto--but now that an impartial judge has been
appointed to conduct the hearing (former state supreme court justice), my
colleagues have agreed to an open hearing.  As you know, this assault on tenure
and academic freedom is huge news--CNN is apparently planning to be there.

The greatest reason that the hearing can now be fair is the sustained outcry
from outside the campus.  We are still not out of the woods, nor after a fashion
is any professor anywhere, as these situations tend to set precedents.  Despite
the time constraints we're all under this time of the semester, it would greatly
help us--and finally you--if you would take the time to look at the AAUP website
<http://www.aaup-usm.org/> and also consider signing the No Confidence Petition
linked to the AAUP site but also at
<http://www.petitiononline.com/usmtruth/petition.html>.  In addition, there's a
grassroots website of particular interest to Miltonists at
<http://www.geocities.com/fireshelby/>, as it captures as nothing current I've
ever seen the tract wars of the early 1640s.  Having lived in this mess at least
gives me a new appreciation for what Milton must have felt at the time.  

Please help.  The president is possessed of a massive PR machine, and we only
have the time that we can squeeze out from schedules made well-nigh unworkable
by the continued assaults of our unreasonable and insulated administration.


Jameela Lares
Associate Professor of English
The University of So. Mississippi
118 College Drive #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
+601 266-6214 ofc
+601 266-5757 fax

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