Eisenstein to be “reprimanded” for unprofessional comments
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012 20:03
Associate Professor of Political Science Maurice Eisenstein was recently cleared by PUC of over nine separate formal complaints of harassment, but apparently still faces some potentially challenging hurdles if his current demeanor continues.
On March 1, Eisenstein was informed by letter indicating that he will receive “a formal reprimand for an act of retaliation” against History and Political Science Professor Miriam Joyce. The act of retaliation was in the form of a comment Eisenstein allegedly made to Joyce just days after the filing of an initial complaint of harassment against him.
Joyce said her first complaint against Eisenstein, filed on Nov. 21, 2011, was for a violation of the Universities Anti-Harassment Policy, which to her surprise was rejected by the university. Joyce said the complaint was on behalf of her students, who were upset by repeated harassing comments Eisenstein allegedly made. Her second complaint was filed on Dec. 20, 2011, after Eisenstein allegedly greeted her in passing with a comment regarding the suicide of her son.
“The following day or so, I passed him (Eisenstein) in the hallway. I said hi, and he stopped and said to me, ‘now I know why your son committed suicide’,” Joyce said.
Purdue University procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination and harassment, Section IX, indicates that retaliation is prohibited. The policy states, “Overt or covert acts of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation or harassment against an individual or group for exercising rights or performing duties under these procedures will be subject to appropriate and prompt disciplinary or remedial action.”
The letter addressed to Eisenstein further states that “any additional findings of a violation of University policies by you will result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
A PUC professor, who wished to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation, said the issue is “no longer whether or not Eisenstein is a bigot, it is whether or not the university will continue to allow his conduct.”
Joyce said the school does have boundaries and that she saw the letter as a “ray of light.” She said students should be able to study in a comfortable environment where they should not be afraid of harassment.
“Recently, he (Eisenstein) is following his own path, which is extremely difficult for others in his department. It’s over my head. I’m sorry I didn’t go to law school; you need to carry a lawyer around with you wherever you go nowadays.”
Harassing comments continue
Although he has been formally cleared of certain claims of alleged harassment, new complaints are piling up from those who oppose his views and feel wronged by his remarks.
In a March 5 blog posted on http://speakingtruthtopower.blogs.com, Eisenstein wrote, "Purdue Social Justice Club -- An anti-American, Marxist group that considers American soldiers "angels of death." Adviser is and has been Prof. Alan Spector.”
PUC Social Justice Club Treasurer Thomas Dahn viewed the comment as harmful to the student organization. Dahn said, although Spector is a great teacher, he is not their advisor. Dahn said Akili Shakur, who also advises the Veterans Enlisted Student Association and serves as program director for From Boots To Books, advises the SJC.
“At first I thought it was kind of funny when he called the SJC “Marx’s Playboy Club.” It stopped being funny when he started making stuff up that could hurt the SJC and its members,” Dahn said.
“It would be one thing if anything he said were actually true, but it’s not, everything Professor Eisenstein said about the SJC was fabricated.” We are not anti-American, are not a Marxist group and would never consider U.S. Soldiers “angels of death."