An Open Letter to the Linfield Administration

An Open Letter to the Linfield Administration

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Grace DeBiccari started this petition to Linfield University

We plan to publish this open letter, with the list of signatory names, in The Oregonian as a full page advertisement. This is an important step in the #SaveOurLinfield campaign. Please add your affiliation with the university in the comment box (i.e. class of 2012, student, parent, professor emeritus, etc.).

As members of the Linfield community, we have written this open letter to strongly condemn the recent actions of the Linfield University administration.  They mishandled sexual misconduct allegations made by faculty and students against members of the Board of Trustees, silenced and disenfranchised students and faculty brave enough to speak up about these issues, and fired in retaliation faculty whistleblower, Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner.  We urge Linfield to take the following crucial steps to allow the Linfield community to heal and forge ahead in a way that listens to and protects students.

The Linfield Board of Trustees has disenfranchised students and faculty who spoke up for transparency and for better protections against sexual misconduct. Linfield must reinstate the voting faculty and student trustee positions, including their access to executive sessions.  The proposed plan to replace the voting faculty trustee with one faculty-nominated voting member (who cannot be a current faculty member) and three non-voting faculty members is insufficient.  Linfield must also reinstate the faculty assembly and allow the faculty to determine their own governance structure instead of forcing them to use a senate structure dictated by the board of trustees.

Next, mandatory and appropriate sexual misconduct prevention training must be instituted for the Board of Trustees, as well as new bylaws that contain consequences for violating sexual misconduct guidelines that match those required by employees of the University. Linfield’s refusal to adopt these simple measures is deeply disturbing. The stonewalling by the board of trustees to protect their members instead of the students has hurt students and damaged the reputation of Linfield. The mishandled sexual misconduct allegations were an egregious failure of leadership.

Linfield must immediately reinstate Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner to his position as a fully tenured professor and the Ronni Lacroute Endowed Chair in Shakespeare Studies. His firing was clearly in retaliation for bringing his concerns about the safety of Linfield’s students to the public.  Dr. Pollack-Pelzner went public with these concerns only after he had been repeatedly stonewalled, threatened with retaliation, and met with antisemitic sentiments when trying to address these important issues internally.

Finally, Chairman Baca and President Davis must immediately resign, or have their contracts terminated, in order to allow Linfield to heal under the proper guidance of new leadership.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!