27 May 2010
To the Board of Governors:
I spearheaded an earlier protest on the part of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, regarding the proposed elimination of the philosophy department at Middlesex University. I and many others considered this to be a deeply mistaken action on your part — one that showed callous disregard for the broad value of a philosophical education in today’s complex world.
Your new action of suspending several professors and students as a result of their sit-in at Middlesex is a wholly unexpected and unnecessary outrage. You here abrogate rights of free association among members of your own faculty and student body, and you insinuate that a peaceful demonstration of disagreement with administrative decisions is unacceptable to the governing body of your university. This verges on a prohibition of free speech on the part of members of your community.
You should be aware that this new action of your administrators will bring the opprobrium of academics world-wide. It will put your university in a disrepute from which it is unlikely to recover anytime in the near future. Moreover, unless you swiftly rescind this ill-considered action, you are likely to be subject to a massive international academic boycott that will irreparably damage your university.
Written with grave concern,
Edward S. Casey, Ph.D.
President, American Philosophical Association (Eastern Division)
Distinguished Professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook