Clutching blankets, pop bottles and signs saying "Just Grant It," two dozen students protesting the tenure denial of a popular but controversial professor were forced to leave a 22nd-floor conference room outside DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider's office Wednesday.
The students were threatened with penalties including expulsion if they didn't leave after they spent nearly three days in the room.
"This is going to be a long battle," said student Evan Lorendo, 22. "DePaul will be embarrassed by this activity."
Several floors below, nearly 150 faculty attended a special meeting of the Faculty Council to discuss the tenure denials of Norman Finkelstein and Mehrene Larudee. Larudee publicly backed Finkelstein despite outside pressure against him. Many faculty took DePaul to task for overruling early approvals of both candidates' tenure bids by their faculty colleagues. But Provost Helmut Epp said proper protocol was followed and the president had affirmed the decisions of a universitywide faculty committee to deny tenure.
On Wednesday, the Faculty Council voted to affirm a right for the professors to appeal the denials -- a right that a university lawyer said didn't exist, in an e-mail to council President Anne Bartlett. Bartlett said Wednesday she was "terribly concerned" correct procedure was not followed.