Letter Protesting Dickinson’s Treatment of Sartwell


Joel Pust (Delaware) and Eric Winsberg (South Florida) have authored an open letter in regards to philosopher Crispin Sartwell’s employment status at Dickinson College: “Academics’ Statement of Protest Regarding Dickinson College’s Treatment of Professor Crispin Sartwell.” They invite philosophers and other academics to sign. (For some context, see this post.)

From the statement:

sartwell statement text image

You can sign the full document, which includes some background on the story, here. A list of the current signatories is here.

 

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Philippe Lemoine
Philippe Lemoine
5 years ago

That’s a very good initiative, I hope a lot of people will sign. Prof. Sartwell also set up a GoFundMe account (https://www.gofundme.com/freeprofcrispy) to get help with his legal expenses. He just needs a little bit more money to reach his goal, so please consider making a donation if you haven’t done so already.Report

Fritz
Fritz
5 years ago

What does “apparent termination without due process” mean? Was he apparently terminated? Was there apparently no due process? It’s odd that the letter goes on to chastise “unsubstantiated allegations”, while the basis of the letter, apparently, comprises just those, drawn from the blogosphere. Report

Eric Winsberg
Eric Winsberg
Reply to  Fritz
5 years ago

Exactly what unsubstantiated allegations does the letter make, Fritz? We tried very hard to keep it free of any. As far as I can tell it makes the following factual claims:
Sartwell no longer works at Dickison. Their explanation is that he resigned. He denies that he resigned. They have produced no letter of resignation. Are any of these facts in dispute? That “appears” to us to be a termination without due process. If we are wrong, Dickinson can easily clear up the misunderstanding by either producing the letter of resignation, or by providing evidence of a hearing, etc.Report

D.C.
D.C.
Reply to  Fritz
5 years ago

“Apparent termination” apparently means Dickinson stating they were accepting his resignation when no such resignation was proffered. Considering the circumstances, “apparent termination” seems the best term.Report

Fritz Warfield
Fritz Warfield
5 years ago

The above “Fritz” isn’t me — so those who have contacted me about that comment have contacted the wrong person. My posts will include my last name. Report

Aaron Garrett
Aaron Garrett
5 years ago

I just noticed that Jobs for Philosophers accepted an advertisement for what is clearly a fill-in for his position. I’m surprised, given the clear violation of protocols involved, that the posting was accepted.Report

Anominal
Anominal
Reply to  Aaron Garrett
5 years ago

Given the total lack of jobs in that area, that the ad is up, and that Sartwell has no interest in teaching any longer, is it wrong for job seekers to apply? It’s clearly a shitty move on Dickinson’s part, but is this the kind of thing that will be held against job seekers?Report

The Doctor
The Doctor
Reply to  Anominal
5 years ago

I doubt that Aaron was suggesting it would be wrong for job seekers to apply. I am guessing what Aaron was suggesting is that the Jobs for Philosophers not post the ad at all. Not posting the ad would be unorthodox, since the site already employs a mechanism alerting job seekers to schools that have a history of violating tenure. For those who do not know, the JFP site uses a dagger symbol next to ads posted by schools that are officially censored by the APA or the AAUP. I do not know if Dickinson has been censored for this action–so that really would have to be the first step if we wanted to have the ad marked with a dagger. Blocking the posting of the ad, however, seems an unnecessarily extreme measure.Report

Aaron Garrett
Aaron Garrett
Reply to  The Doctor
5 years ago

Thanks. Yes the job market is terrible, in particular in aesthetics and I certainly wouldn’t criticize anyone who applied for it. I am suggesting that the APA treat it as it does institutions under censure. That wouldn’t stop Dickinson from posting it elsewhere.. Report

Aaron Garrett
Aaron Garrett
Reply to  Aaron Garrett
5 years ago

At least until the situation is clarified.Report

Aaron Garrett
Aaron Garrett
Reply to  The Doctor
5 years ago

Sorry your point didn’t sink in! Now I see. Yes, I guess don’t post it until it can be determined whether it has a dagger. I wasn’t aware of that. I think ads should not be posted by the APA for institutions under censure and so I was projecting my hopes onto the actual practices! Report

Eric Winsberg
Eric Winsberg
Reply to  The Doctor
5 years ago

Is there a formal criterion of AAUP censure? The AAUP did write a letter of concern about the situation.Report

Matt Weiner
Matt Weiner
Reply to  Eric Winsberg
5 years ago

This link describes the AAUP’s censure process:

“The AAUP follows a careful process in considering whether the action by an administration in a specific case warrants censure. When efforts to resolve a case remain unsuccessful, the AAUP’s general secretary may, upon the advice of the AAUP’s staff, authorize appointment of an ad hoc committee to investigate and prepare a report…. [lots more stuff snipped] Committee A, during its spring meeting, considers the reports of investigating committees that have been published during the past twelve months, and may recommend that an institution be placed on the list of censured administrations. The responsibility for imposing censure rests with the AAUP’s annual meeting of members and delegates, normally convened in June.”Report