Jeez. Even we are sick of this story — and that’s saying a lot.
But apparently some folks think, despite the endless navel-gazing and handwringing over the (canceled) visit of Dr. Li-ann Thio to NYU Law School, that there is more to be said here.
The following letter, from the NYU Law School chapter of the ACLU, was sent by email to Dean Revesz last night.
NYU LAW SCHOOL ACLU — LETTER TO DEAN RICHARD REVESZ
Dear Dean Revesz,
We the board of the New York University School of Law American Civil Liberties Union write to express our support for a town hall meeting to discuss the visiting professorship of Dr. Li-Ann Thio.
Although Dr. Thio has cancelled her visit to the Law School, her appointment remains a very serious issue for many in the Law School community. We were gratified to learn that the Law School had agreed to host a town hall meeting to discuss the appointment. We think it important that the meeting still occur. We believe that such a meeting will provide an appropriate forum in which the community can come together to discuss hate speech, academic freedom, and the role of law schools and legislators in society. We do not think that the need for such a discussion has been satisfied by the individual exchanges among students, faculty, and members of the administration that you referenced in your July 22, 2009 statement regarding Dr. Thio. In addition, we hope that holding this meeting sends a message that the community’s concerns merit an open discussion, particularly for those in the community who were shocked and hurt by Dr. Thio’s appointment.
We also write to echo OUTLaw’s grave concerns about Dr. Thio’s appointment, and to join OUTLaw and other student groups in condemning Dr. Thio’s reprehensible statements about the gay community. We call on the Law School to condemn in the strongest terms possible Dr. Thio’s statements and actions supporting state-sponsored oppression as antithetical to the values of the New York University School of Law, something the Law School has not yet done. We do not believe that the Law School would compromise its commitment to academic freedom by making such a statement.
We understand that Dean Pascale Walker was to be arranging the town hall meeting to discuss this issue. We have copied her on this letter and would like to be included in the town hall meeting’s planning, which we hope very much will go forward.
A hard copy of this letter will follow by mail.
The NYU ACLU board