Wednesday was supposed to be the day of the big showdown at DePaul University. Instead it turned out to be the day of the big compromise. DePaul and Norman Finkelstein, the professor to whom it had denied tenure, announced that he was resigning immediately. The university and Finkelstein even managed to say some nice things about one another. But while Finkelstein will be leaving, some at the university and elsewhere believe that significant academic freedom issues raised by his case are very much alive.
The statements issued by the university and Finkelstein did not contain details of their agreement and they reiterated some of the main arguments in the dispute: Finkelstein's view that outside groups had inappropriate influence in the process and the university's insistence that the tenure denial was fair.
In his remarks, Finkelstein blamed the outcome on "external pressures climaxing in a national hysteria that tainted the tenure process." But he went on to note ways in which DePaul had backed him up.
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