MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXVIII No. 2
November / December 2015
The Wisdom and Process of Creating a MicroMaster's Credential
The Tragedy of Forced Migration
and What MIT Can Do About It
After the Earthquakes: MIT's Nepal Initiative
A Response to President Reif's Announced
"Plan for Action on Climate Change"
MicroMaster's Pilot: An Experiment in Educating Professionals
Reflections: My Years at MIT
A Frog in Water
Part II: The Long-Term Consequences of Imperceptible Change
Improving the Way MIT Handles
Sexual Assault Complaints
Gender Imbalance in MIT
Admissions Maker Portfolios
In Guarding the Well-Being of MIT Students
We Should Emphasize Prevention
The Alumni Class Funds Seek Proposals
for Teaching and Education Enhancements
Publishing Political Views in the FNL
Master's Degrees Per Faculty (2006-2015)
Master's Degrees (2006-2015)
Printable Version


Publishing Political Views in the FNL


To The Faculty Newsletter:

The publication of this essay [“Iran and the P5+1 Pact,” by Noam Chomsky, MIT Faculty Newsletter, Vol. XXVIII No. 1, September/October 2015] is outrageous and harmful to the collegiality I have experienced in over 50 years as a faculty member at MIT. Not only is the FNL no place for a political attack on the U.S., but giving a well-known Israel antagonist a platform for what seems to some of us outright anti-Semitism is so outside the boundaries of the FNL that it demands an apology. What’s next, an attack on Republicans? The FNL is not a place for presentation of one’s political views, it is for discussion of issues critical to MIT. I demand a statement of the Board explain the boundaries of this aberration. What’s next, a recommendation on how to vote?

Steven R. Tannenbaum
Underwood Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemistry, and Toxicology

Faculty Newsletter Editorial Subcommittee Responds:
Though we respect the intensity of Prof. Tannenbaum’s views, editorial decisions follow the guidelines articulated in the Policies and Procedures of the MIT Faculty Newsletter. These state that faculty and emeritus faculty have access to the pages of the Faculty Newsletter on topics of their choice. Prof. Chomsky has served on the MIT faculty for more than 40 years and is an Institute Professor. 

We are sensitive to and observe libel laws with respect to references to individuals and groups, but do not censor expressions of political viewpoints with respect to MIT, national, or international policies. 

The FNL covers a wide range of issues, not limited narrowly to MIT affairs. For example, Vol. XXVII No. 4, March/April 2015, also carried an article by Prof. Aron Bernstein on the Iran negotiations; the issue with the article Prof. Tannenbaum objected to also carried an editorial describing the international activities of Prof. Ernie Moniz, Dr. Jim Walsh, and Assistant Professor Scott Kemp; the current issue carries an article on the international migration crises.

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