DePaul University in Chicago announced today that it has denied tenure to Norman Finkelstein, not a scholar, not really a rational person and certainly not a model of honesty and integrity for students. The political science department had voted to approve a permanent appointment for him. But that department is a center of political extremism on the left, frozen in time if not in age at the high point of the sixties revolution that, as it had to, simply petered out. Still, there are remnants of its spirit casting about in politics, anthropology, "critical studies," "cultural studies," even literature departments ... and their aim seems to be to wreak revenge on the truths that defeated them.
DePaul's tenure process is rather cumbersome. From the department an affirmative vote goes to the Personnel Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences, which approved the department's recommendation but had certain caveats that were conveyed to the dean. The dean turned down the appointment and his decision was upheld by the University Board on Promotion and Tenure. Then the president acted. No, said Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, which was the important thing, but in a mealy-mouthed pronouncement, big on verbiage and without reference to the fact that Finkelstein is a man gone amok. A propagandist, a bigot, and a liar.
I've posted on Finkelstein and Professor Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School wrote a Diarist about how he got entangled with this weird and unbelievably vulgar man. Finkelstein is nearly 60. Given the fact that even DePaul, the largest Catholic university in the country but not exactly a star in the intellectual firmament of American Catholicism, has denied him a tenured position, it's hard to imagine that any institution of higher learning, of whatever low standing, will. He can make a living, of course, by being an itinerant speaker for pro-terrorist propaganda organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or lower still. But even he may be an embarrassment to these pretenders.