UM disciplines prof over Israel letter controversy

John Cheney-Lippold, a tenured American and digital studies associate professor, will not get a merit raise during the 2018-19 academic year and can't go on his upcoming sabbatical in January or another sabbatical for two years, according to the letter signed by Elizabeth Cole, the interim dean of UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

He could also face additional discipline, up to and including dismissal, if a similar incident occurs in the future, Cole wrote in the letter, dated Oct. 3.

That's a start.

"Your conduct has fallen far short of the University’s and College’s expectations for how LSA faculty interact with and treat students," according to Cole's letter, which The News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. "This letter is a strong warning that your behavior in this circumstance was inappropriate and will not be tolerated."

"In the future, a student's merit should be your primary guide for determining how and whether to provide a letter of recommendation. You are not to use student requests for recommendations as a platform to discuss your personal political beliefs."

But we know that for many tenured professors around the country, their classroom is their platform for inflicting their twisted, sometimes insane beliefs on their students. Especially the Israel hating profs seem to think it's their job to indoctrinate students who have come to them expecting and paying for an education. A lot of housecleaning should be done. This academic swamp should be drained.

Cheney-Lippold's discipline comes as a second UM student has reported being denied a letter of recommendation to study in Israel, with the instructor also citing an academic boycott aimed at protesting the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians.

According to the Washington Post, Jake Secker asked Lucy Peterson, a graduate student instructor, for a letter of recommendation to study in Israel. But she denied the request, citing a pledge to boycott Israeli institutions in support of Palestinians.

Academics be damned! Politics (especially anti-Israel politics) come first.

Besides outlining disciplinary action, Cole's letter chided Cheney-Lippold for writing two letters previously for students who wanted to study in Israel because he didn't have tenure. Cole also criticized him for using class time in two courses he is teaching to discuss his views on the Palestinian-led BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement and his decision to not write a letter for Ingber.

Can we correctly accuse Cheney-Lippold of cowardice? After all, most bullies are cowards.

"You did not honor your responsibility to teach your students the material on your syllabus related to your field of expertise," Cole wrote. "Although this material was discussed in only one session, an entire class period represents a significant portion of your total contact hours with students over the semester. This use of class time to discuss your persona] opinions was a misuse of your role as a faculty member."

The letter also said Cheney-Lippold violated Ingber's privacy in some statements he made to media outlets and "cast a national spotlight" on her.

"Your actions throughout this entire series of events has harmed your students and has caused significant disruption to the Department of American Culture. the College, and the University as a whole," Cole wrote.

We expect Lucy Peterson to be dismissed. As a graduate student instructor she has no tenure, but refuses to perform her academic duties in order to discriminate against Jewish students. Anti-Semitism has been allowed to fester and grow for too long at U of M. Part of the blame goes to Jews for refusing to condemn the hatred. Now that the haters at U of M have become comfortable enough to openly discriminate against Jewish students and put their anti-Israel animus ahead of the education of their students, we'd better speak up. Nobody else is going to do it for us.