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Thursday, September 08, 2005
[ed. note: the following article recapitulates the main details of the Bradford tenure story; new details are located towards the end and are in bold]
First year and transfer students at IU Law-Indy may be unfamiliar with the controversy that has unfolded regarding one of the school's faculty, Professor William Bradford.
In April, numerous students signed a petition that urged the school to grant Bradford tenure, who has been a professor at the school for three years. Some argued, on ILN and elsewhere, that granting tenure after three years defies precedent and would be premature, while others, including Bradford himself, argued that his scholarship was more than sufficient for tenure.
Then, on June 26, the story took a turn when the Indianapolis Star published an article by Ruth Holladay that quoted a claim by Bradford that IU Law-Indy had failed to act on his application for tenure-- due to his political leanings. Five of the faculty members on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, in charge of recommending tenure to the school's trustees, voted against Bradford in an earlier straw poll regarding tenure and confidence of his continued employment.
In a statement published on ILN, Professor Bradford elaborated, "The real reason for the votes of 5 tenured colleagues not to renew my contract, as best I can tell and based on what little has percolated down to me, was that I defend the war on terror ... and won't sign letters in support of Ward Churchill's assertion that the victims of the 9/11 terrorists are the moral equivalents of the architect of the Jewish Shoah."
Professor Florence Roisman, a tenured faculty member at the school, claimed her negative vote on the Promotion and Tenure Committee and denied Bradford's assertion, in an e-mail to ILN: "My conviction that you are not deserving of or likely to earn tenure here is not based on any political views you may hold, and I have made that clear in every statement."
Professor Roisman and other members of the Promotion and Tenure committee have been contacted by ILN for comment, but thus far none beyond Roisman have given reasons for the 'no' votes, and Roisman has declined to elaborate on her previous statements.
On July 3, the Indianapolis Star ran a letter by IUPUI Vice Chancellor William Plater, who stated, "Professor Bradford has not presented his case for tenure. He is not yet eligible. There has been no vote on tenure."
However, in an interview via phone, Indiana Rep. Jeff Thompson stated to ILN that IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz told him that Bradford was eligible for tenure and that no formal time commitment exists in the university's tenure policy. ILN's reading of the policy confirms this. Furthermore, ILN has obtained e-mail correspondence from Professor Bradford to Associate Dean Tom Allington, the chairman of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, which shows that Bradford signaled his intention to seek tenure for the 2005-2006 academic year.
Vice Chancellor Plater has been contacted by ILN on several occasions to retract or clarify his statement to the Star, but he has failed to respond. ILN will soon be contacting the Star to inform them that a correction is needed.
Currently, both Professor Roisman and Professor Bradford have ethics complaints pending against one another before a faculty review board, the members of which are Professors Jerry Bepko, James White, and Angela McBride.
Professor Bradford has also filed a complaint before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Professors Roisman and Mitchell. That complaint is also under investigation.
ILN will publish the results of these ongoing complaints as the investigations conclude.
For additional news on this matter, check out David Horowitz's FrontPage Mag which has run several articles and commentary pieces.