The "Emory University Statement Regarding Racial Language Incident" that
appears on the Emory website raises very serious issues concerning
academic freedom and individual rights. This statement and the
article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov.
6, report that Professor Carol Worthman used a "racial expression" during
a department panel discussion, a complaint was filed with the university's
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, and now sanctions have been
to the newspaper article, Professor Worthman used the expression
as a metaphor for the way her own field is regarded by some anthropologists. Professor
Worthman's remark is clearly protected under the principle of academic
freedom. The imposition of sanctions for her protected speech is
not only a violation of academic freedom, it is a grave threat
to academic freedom on this campus. In this regard, it must be
said that the University's Policy Statement on Discriminatory Harassment
is inconsistent with academic freedom and with an atmosphere of
free and open exchange of ideas. This episode should serve as a
call to re-examine the policy with a view to repealing it.
statement on the website also indicated that "mandatory diversity
training" is to be conducted within the Anthropology Department.
This is a violation of academic freedom and the rights of individuals.
Georgia chapter of the National Association of Scholars urges you
to lift these sanctions, reaffirm the University's commitment to
academic freedom and the rights of individuals, and initiate a
review of the Discriminatory Harassment Policy.
President, Georgia Chapter, National Association of Scholars,
and professor of philosophy
Juan Del Aguila,
associate professor of political science
Eleonore Raoul Professor of the
Paul H. Rubin,
Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics and Law