BREAKING: Faculty Council to vote on resolution condemning Jason Hill

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BREAKING: Faculty Council to vote on resolution condemning Jason Hill

Protestors in Arts & Letters Hall on April 24 calling for DePaul to censure Professor Jason Hill for his article in The Federalist.

Protestors in Arts & Letters Hall on April 24 calling for DePaul to censure Professor Jason Hill for his article in The Federalist.

Danaka Katovich | DePaul College Democrats

Protestors in Arts & Letters Hall on April 24 calling for DePaul to censure Professor Jason Hill for his article in The Federalist.

Danaka Katovich | DePaul College Democrats

Danaka Katovich | DePaul College Democrats

Protestors in Arts & Letters Hall on April 24 calling for DePaul to censure Professor Jason Hill for his article in The Federalist.

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The DePaul University Faculty Council is expected to vote on a resolution condemning professor Jason Hill’s article on the “moral right of Israel” to annex Palestine during its May 1 meeting.

According to Faculty Council President Scott Paeth, the resolution is “not in any formal sense a motion of censure.”

“It’s intended to express our support for the principle of academic freedom generally speaking and particularly in the case of Jason Hill,” Paeth told The DePaulia. “On the other hand, it is intended to express our condemnation of the content of what was written in that article.”

The resolution itself, scheduled to be debated and voted on during the council’s meeting at 4:10 p.m., states that “Faculty Council nevertheless affirms that Professor Hill’s article failed to exercise adequate concern for accuracy, restraint, or respect for the opinions of others[…]As such, this article represents an abuse of his academic freedom.”

“I have no idea whether or not this will pass tomorrow,” Paeth said. As president, Paeth will only vote in the event of a tie.

The resolution was in part inspired by the reaction of the DePaul community to Hill’s article. A petition asking DePaul University to censure Hill, started by a student coalition made up of organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine and DePaul Democrats, has reached over 3,300 signatures as of Tuesday.

“As I read it, the resolution is not about limiting academic freedom — or stifling debate,” said DePaul political science professor Scott Hibbard. “[B]ut, rather, calling out a faculty member for shoddy research and for not living up to his responsibilities as [a] member of the academic community.”

According to Paeth, members of faculty council saw “the fact that students felt strongly about this and that for many of them this was not an abstract moral principle, but how they as Muslims, Arabs, Palestinians felt about this.”

“We needed to do these two things: say, ‘yes he has a right to say this, no we don’t agree with it,’” said Paeth. “And we wanted to express our solidarity with the student perspective recognizing the fact this is a complex issue and that they justifiably felt personally attacked.”

The vote will be occurring at the same time as a rally in Arts and Letters Hall advocating for the condemnation of both Hill and hate speech. The rally is organized by the same student coalition responsible for the original petition.

The text of the resolution also reads that “Faculty Council urges Professor Hill to seriously reconsider his positions on these issues, to take cognizance of the perspectives of other scholars on these issues, as well as the real harm his words have caused to students and other members of our community, and to refrain from abusing his freedom as a scholar in writing on controversial issues in the future.”

“I was surprised at the language in the resolution, and the strong condemnation it contained,” said Hibbard in an email. “The resolution offers a fair assessment of the flaws in the article, and why so many find it inflammatory.”

The full text of the resolution is available on the Faculty Council website behind a DePaul-affiliated Campus Connect login.

Paeth also said that if a tie does occur and he has to act as the tie-breaking vote, he intends to vote in favor of the resolution.

The full text of the resolution is also available here:

Agenda 9 – Faculty Council Resolution on Academic Freedom and Responsibility

 

This article has been updated with additional quotes from Dr. Scott Hibbard since first being published.