Phi Beta Cons

Finkelstein and Klocek

Candace’s item on DePaul professor Norman Finkelstein’s vicious and juvenile attack on Alan Dershowitiz immediately brought to mind a different DePaul Professor, Thomas Klocek.  John has been following Klocek’s story for some time now, and the details of the case (including copies of the relevant documents) can be found at FIRE’s excellent site.  For the uninitiated (or those who don’t want to click), Klocek was an untenured professor at DePaul who was summarily terminated without due process after getting into an argument with pro-Palestinian students at a student activity fair.  Klocek’s more than ten-year career at the school was over.  Why?  Because, according to the university, Klocek had “dishonored” the students’ “perspective” and “demeaned” their freedom.  To be clear, the “perspective” that Klocek allegedly “dishonored” was the radical students’ comparison of Israeli Jews to Nazis.   
It is inexcusable to fire one professor for disputing an arguably anti-Semitic slur against Israeli Jews while a different professor engages — without consequence — in vile and unprofessional rants against an academic colleague.  The solution here is obvious: DePaul should feel free to allow Finkelstein to discredit himself through his own intemperate words, but they should also give Thomas Klocek his job back.  If there is room in academia for the likes of Norman Finkelstein, there is certainly room for  Thomas Klocek — a good and decent man who has been demonized by a university that he served long and well.