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The Mail


To the Editors of the Crimson:

January 12's article on the case of Michael J. Parenti at the University of Vermont showed a distressing lack of research and failed to touch on the major points of the issue.

Firstly, the President of the University is Edward C. Andrews, not Edward C. Sanders, as reported in your article. Secondly, Parenti's Illinois conviction was, at least as of a few weeks ago, still on appeal; it has been one of the tenets of American law that a man is innocent until proven guilty. The state trooper on whose evidence Parenti was originally convicted had explained his injury twice before without mentioning Parenti as the cause.

But these are relatively minor points. The real issue at hand is that Parenti was dismissed ALTHOUGH HE HAD THE APPROVAL OF THE UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND STUDENTS AS WELL AS THE UNANIMOUS SUPPORT OF HIS OWN DEPARTMENT FOR HIS REHIRE. The December 4 action of the Trustees puts the very existence of UVM in danger: the University--i.e., the Trustees--is on probation under the State Accreditation Board because of a similar unwarranted dismissal in the early '50's. At that time, the Trustees agreed to follow certain rules in the hiring of faculty and staff which they have grossly neglected in their action in the Parenti case. This neglect could very well cost UVM its accreditation and with it the federal funds on which parts of the University, such as the Medical School, are predominantly dependent; the University soon comes up for examination by the Board, the period of probation being almost over.

It is that thorough disregard of the feelings of the University community, their own regulations, and the interests of the University itself that makes the Trustees' action so inexcusable. This is by no means merely a case of "another" radical professor's dismissal.

President Andrews' announcement is by no means to be taken as condoning the action of the Trustees; it merely recognizes the fact that they do "have final authority for the appointment of all faculty and staff." Whether or not the action was justified is an entirely separate legal question.

A follow-up article by the Crimson that even presented some of the facts as well as the present situation at UVM as regards the Parenti case might be in order. Ray Huesey '74

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