Northwestern University is home to Arthur Butz, a proponent of Holocaust-Revisionist theories, and a tenured faculty member of the Engineering Department. Protests against Butz's placement of statements espousing his views on the non-existance of the Holocast on the NWU network server have been ineffective. The NWU administration supported his "academic freedom" to place Holocaust-Revisionist material on the university's computer. The appropriate use statement of the university includes the paragraph:
An adjunct professor in the department was incensed over this situation and vowed to counteract Butz's arguments in his own way. Prof. Sheldon Epstein, a member of the jewish community whose family had been severely affected by the Holocaust, volunteered to teach a course in Engineering where ethical issues in modern science were to be taught. He developed a curriculum that examined scientific ethics and how the scientific community was involved in events during WW II. The course was supported by a web site containing the syllabus, homework assignments, and other reference materials. As part of the syllabus he developed a homework assignment, to be followed by a class discussion, on the subject of genocide with the following objectives:
(5 points) What makes these two cases different?
(10 points) How can the Dean justify condone the publication of a radical viewpoint by one faculty member while firing the other for teaching a more commonly accepted view?
(10 points) Does any organization (such as a university) have the right to limit constitutionally protected "Freedom of Speech" within their own community?
(10 points) Give an example of such a proposed limitation, and justify your position above.
Last updated 99/04/28
© J.A.N. Lee, 1999.