We, the undersigned faculty members from around the world, stand solidly with Professor Thomas Klocek, a Roman Catholic, who was dismissed by DePaul University for allegedly offending Muslim students when discussing Christian interests in Israel, disputing that Israeli treatment of Palestinians was akin to the Nazi treatment of the Jewsand then terminating the discussion when it appeared that the students were more interested in Israel-bashing than discussing the issues.
We believe this case sheds serious questions on the commitment to academic freedom and civility in academic discussion with this egregious termination. We further believe that this action by administration has separated DePaul from the academic community.
It is our understanding that Prof. Klocek alleges:
1) He was never allowed to meet with his accusers.
2) He was never presented with a written list of the complaints or charges against him.
3) He was suspended by the Dean of the School for New Learning in clear violation of the University's own stated Faculty Handbook procedures.
4) He was never given a hearing.
5) A vote by the DePaul Faculty Council affirmed that the same rules that apply for a formal academic hearing apply to all professors, full-time and adjuncts alike.
As a result, we believe that Professor Klocek, a faculty member with a 15-year history of excellent evaluations and no prior complaints, was dismissed without due process and should be reinstated without penalty or prejudice and with back pay, restitution of benefits and compensation for his legal and other expenses incurred as a result of his being improperly terminated.