Remember University of Michigan professor and BDS-hole John Cheney-Lippold, who refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student wanting to study abroad in Israel?
At the time, I wrote the University of Michigan’s response seemed about as flaccid as I suspect Cheney-Lippold is. Turns out that may have been a premature castigation.
The University of Michigan is disciplining the professor who sparked a global controversy after he refused to recommend a student for study in Israel because of his support for Palestinians, according to a letter obtained by The Detroit News.John Cheney-Lippold, a tenured American and digital studies associate professor, 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, according to the letter signed by Elizabeth Cole, the interim dean of UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
He could also face additional discipline, up to and including dismissal, if a similar incident occurs in the future, Cole wrote in the letter, dated Oct. 3.
“Your conduct has fallen far short of the University’s and College’s expectations for how LSA faculty interact with and treat students,” according to Cole’s letter, which The News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. “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.”
No merit raise? I guess there are now even less chances of him getting a haircut.
But seriously, this is a positive development and should make him and his fellow BDS-hole professors think twice before allowing their morally bankrupt views to impact their students.
Speaking of which, another one has raised her ugly head.
Jake Secker is a 20-year-old junior from Great Neck, N.Y., majoring in economics and minoring in entrepreneurship. His father is Israeli, and Secker has made five trips to the nation he considers his “home away from home.” But since he was a young boy, he has longed for something more — actually living in Israel for a stretch of time. This winter, a semester abroad at Tel Aviv University could fulfill that aspiration, he hopes.
As part of the application process, Secker sought a reference from a teaching assistant, known at Michigan as a graduate student instructor, or GSI.
“Hi Lucy!” he wrote Monday, Oct. 1, to his GSI from an introduction to political theory course from last year. “Hope you had a great summer!”
“I am in need of an academic letter of recommendation to study abroad next semester and if you can do that for me that would be greatly appreciated,” he explained.
She replied the same day. “Totally! I’d be delighted,” wrote a teaching assistant he identified as Lucy Peterson who, according to her Facebook profile, is a political theory student at the university.
According to an email provided by Secker, Peterson inquired: “What program are you applying to? Send along whatever information I need, and I’ll let
you know when I submit it.”
“I’m so sorry that I didn’t ask before agreeing to write your recommendation letter, but I regrettably will not be able to write on your behalf,” she explained. “Along with numerous other academics in the US and elsewhere, I have pledged myself to a boycott of Israeli institutions as a way of showing solidarity with Palestine.”