Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Response to My Email from President Hogan of UI and My Response #Catholic

Well, that was quick!

On Jul 13, 2010, at 9:01 PM, President Hogan wrote:

Dear Mary Rose,

Let me begin by thanking you for expressing your concerns. Academic freedom is at the core of our teaching and research missions. It’s vital to our ability to explore new ideas, educate our students, and promote the civil and free exchange of alternative viewpoints in a democracy.

I learned of this action on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus late last week and immediately asked Chancellor Robert Easter, who oversees the campus, to provide me with a briefing on the matter. I want to assure you that the University administration shares my commitment to the principles of academic freedom. At the same time, we do believe it's important to fully investigate all of the details related to this situation. As I'm sure you're aware, it is sometimes the case that public reports may convey only part of the story. I think it important to reserve judgment until I have all of the facts and I hope you'll agree.

We have asked the UIUC Senate’s standing Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure to immediately review this action. This is the mechanism on the campus through which these matters should be vetted. We expect this review to be completed very soon. By using our channels of shared governance and review, we are in the best position to make informed decisions that afford a fair process for all.

Again, I’m grateful to have heard from you and others about this and I’m grateful for the opportunity to respond. It reaffirms the deep commitment that so many have to the University and public higher education and to ensuring that the University of Illinois continues to be a beacon of excellence, as it should be for the state, the nation, and the world.



Michael J. Hogan
University of Illinois

My response:

Dear President Hogan,

Wow. Color me thoroughly impressed and touched. First, what a speedy response! And secondly, a very thoughtful and sound one. I agree about having all of the facts. I know that at times certain tidbits of a situation can leak out and many will jump to conclusions. I admit that I've only read both the original email from Dr. Howell and then the student's email of complaint. I'm not sure what else went on, but the complaint (and subsequent action) seems heavy-handed at this point.

However, you're the president who has to make those inquiries and from your email, it seems like the wheels are already in motion.

I truly appreciate your response and will post it on my blog. (http://www.catholicprodigaldaughter.com)

Thank you and I wish you the best in handling a very difficult situation. I remain hopeful that Dr. Howell will be reinstated.

Respectfully yours,

Mary Rose

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