Skip to comments.Free speech under fire at DePaul-(Thomas Klocek Update)
Posted on 04/07/2005 9:10:18 PM PDT by Land_of_Lincoln_John
During his 14 years at DePaul University, Thomas Klocek dwelled in adjunct-professor purgatory, quietly coming and going times a week from his Loop classroom and his home on the citys Southwest Side. His evalutions from students in the universitys School of New Learning were consistently positiveand that, apparently, was enough for his bosses because nary a supervisor visited his classroom.
Kloceks invisibility ran out, however, one day in September when he got caught up in a heated debate at a student activities fair on the schools downtown campus. He stopped at a table where two student groupsStudents for Justice in Palestine and United Muslims Moving Aheadwere distributing literature likening the Israelis current treatment of Palestinians to Hitlers treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.
Klocek recalls telling the eight students present that technically speaking, there is no such country as Palestine. An impassioned exchanged followed, culminating in Klocek scoffing at the students literature and thumbing his chin in a way they interpreted as an offensive hand gesture.
I said that the term Palestinian was a fairly newer phrase that came into vogue in the 1970s, with Yassar Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, whereas people from that part of the Middle East previously identified themselves as Arabs, he says.
The students complained to the university, and within 24 hours Kloceck was called into the office of his dean, Susanne Dumbleton, and asked to withdraw from his fall class with pay.
Kloceck, who has been working on his PhD at the University of Chicago while teaching, felt his free speech had been violated and sought out a lawyer, John Mauck, who specializes in First Amendment and free-speech issues. Since then, the matter has received attention nationally on conservative talk radio and the New York Post, but not much in the local news.
Mauck said he decided to take the case after reading an October 8 letter from Dumbleton printed in the schools newspaper, The DePaulia, after Dumbleton advised Klocek not to speak to the press. Mauck took particular umbrage at a passage that focused on the content of Kloceks speech rather than his conduct toward the students:
No students anywhere should ever have to be concerned they will be verbally attacked for their religious belief or their ethnicity, Dumbleton wrote. No one should ever use the role of teacher to demean the ideas of others or insist on the absoluteness of an opinion, much less press erroneous assertions.
Says Mauck, Thats what got me going, he said. This was about content, not conduct.
Speaking on behalf of DePaul, Denise Mattson, assistant vice president for public relations, disputed that Dumbleton was addressing the content of Kloceks speech. Many people have quoted the phrase and its an erroneous assertion, Mattson says. What she was talking about there, was he was using his power as an instructor to insist to the students that he was correct, that he was the more educated one.
Klocek said the only time he identified himself as an adjunct instructor at DePaul was when he was leaving the students tabled, and a student pressed him, asking him whether he was affiliated with the university.
Mattson says she was not aware exactly when Klocek identified himself, but claims that Kloceks role as a professor was implied because of his age. He is clearly an older gentleman, and the majority of people at this event are traditional-age college students.
DePauls School of New Learning is geared toward non-traditional, returning students.
Mattson says Klocek would not have been treated any differently had he been a tenured professor at the university, rather than a part-time adjunct instructor.
We have to have civilized non-threatening atmosphere to allow academic freedom to exist, she says.
Mattson says the university has offered to allow Klocek back in the classroom if he hears out the Palestinian student groups in a meeting and apologizes to them.
Klocek, however, says the university has changed its tune on the matter: that he was initially invited back to class if simply he met with his supervisors and then agreed to unscheduled classroom observationsa letter dated Nov. 8 to Klocek to Dumbleton backs that up.
Klocek sayys he agreed to the class visits and the supervisory meeting, but after he agreed was told he would have to apologize as welland thats when he sought out a lawyer. Once you make an unconditional apology, you close the door on any legal action, he says.
Mauck says he expects to file suit against DePaul in the next few weeks on behalf of Klocek unless DePaul should turn around and say were sorry and were going to make it right.
PC is right out of Mao's Little Red Book.
The treaty referred to a region--The Palatinate. People who lived there were Arabs, and I agree with former post that Yassar Arafat
brought "Palestinian" into common usage. To my knowledge, there is not now nor ever has been a country that is boundaried and named Palestine with a unique currency, citizenship, etc.
About 70% of Palestinians (Arabs formerly inhabating the Palatinate region) are presently in Jordan. While the jordanian rulers have been friendly to us in recent history, they have to walk softly because of the 70 percent of their citizens who are called Palestinians, who hate Israel and by proxy, the US. These make up the fanatic rabble that take to the streets shooting off weapons and yelling their hate for Israel and the West.
If someone knows of an error here, enlighten me. I live to learn--that is one of my conservative traits.
He wasn't their teacher in a classroom, upon whose good graces they would have to rely for grades. This was a private conversation, and apparently it wasn't until it was done that he revealed his profession.
Besides which, he WAS the more educated one. Don't the administrators at DePaul WANT their teachers to be more educated than the students, even when conversing outside the classroom?
That's true, however, up until Arafat and the PLO hijacked the term in the 1960's many from that area referred to themselves as Palestinians. I think what the professor was trying to ge across is that there is no peoplegroup called Palestinians. There is no Palestinian history, art, coinage, language ... etc. It would be like me saying I'm an ethnic Buckeye (some would argue - grin). Palestine is a holdover from 1st century when a Roman leader (can't remember name) tried to force Roman culture on the Jews by renaming Judea to Phillistia (Latin for the land of the Phillistines - Israel's number one enemy). The prof is correct. There are no ethnic Palestinians other than in the minds of Arabs (or other ethnic semites from the region) that call themselves the PLO. Its Madison Ave. propaganda.
I am quite familiar with the School of New Learning at DePaul. DePaul is a very liberal, allegedly Catholic university that has some fine academic programs, but not much Catholic spine. Their School of New Learning is a hotbead of Leftists of all stripes. It fits in with the moribund Vincentian philosophy, much like many Jesuits, that the world is a much better place than the Church, and that New Learning (sic) is better than 2,000 years of rigorous thought and tradition. Like so many other liberal Catholics, they chose to gain the whole world and lose their soul. Not a bad bargain if you don't consider eternity.
While not a Catholic, my own Protestant denomination has taken a swing to the far left. None of them who lead this falling away from the Gospel, it seems, ponder eternity much, if at all. They mistake trendiness for truth, as if truth was a matter of consensus--condoning homosexuality, for example, even though it's explicitly and consistently condemned throughout both Old and New Testaments. A friend of mine once pointed out that most folks professing even a nominal faith forget that we're only physical beings for an infinitesimally short period of time, for only so long as 'time' has meaning, when in fact we're spiritual beings for the whole of eternity.
Oh, sorry. I guess that qualifies as a rant.
Exhibit A: Palestine currency
Exhibut B: Palestine postage stamp
The above are usually considered two clear evidences that a country exists.
Thanks, John Locke. I shall have to revisit the situation.
I still think it was a region and never an incorporated state because the people referred to as Palestinians are all citizens of the other
area states or are in what is referred to as the territories and supposedly looking to become a state.
Weren't both of these produced by the British who ruled the area known as Palestine? There wasn't a nation of Palestine but a region that was part of the British empire known as Palestine. All govermental functions of Palestine region were British. Notice the English print on both items.
Suzanne Dumbleton needs to be FReeped bigtime!
Of course, the term Palestine was originally used by the Romans to describe the area ... After the sacking of Jeruselm and the diaspora of the Jews in 70 AD, the term was used to try to destroy the identity of Judea by renaming it. (If I recall correctly, the term was tied back to the period of the Philistines who lived along the coast of the Med.)
So to claim the term is relatively new - then that's true, if relatively new is only 2000 years old.
Both of these refer to the British Mandate in PAlestine for the Creation of a Jewish state.
There was a Palestian Symphony Orchestra there as well in 1939, the same year that 500 mils note was printed. It was an all Jewish orchestra.
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