The Middle East Studies Association has asked Yale University to investigate whether alleged government spying on the scholar Juan Cole played a role in Yale's decision to deny him a faculty position. In a letter sent Tuesday to campus officials, MESA said it was making the request in response to a recent New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of illegally spying on Mr. Cole, a critic of its policies, to try to discredit him. The letter urges Yale to establish an investigative committee, with members drawn from the faculties of Yale and other universities, and give it "unrestricted access to all relevant records." MESA had sent Yale a letter soon after the university denied Mr. Cole the job, in 2006, asking whether it had bowed to political pressure. Mr. Cole is a past president of MESA and remains a member of its committee on academic freedom.