LETTER: Jefferson isn’t infallible

The open letter sent by a portion of the University faculty to President Sullivan has spurred considerable discussion, and rightly so. Critics of this letter claim it represents a concerted effort to constrain speech on Grounds. Some go further and suggest it carries “Orwellian” overtones.

Such charges are baseless. The letter merely questions the idea that Jefferson’s words can always be relied on to generate unity during confusing or divisive times. The students I have been privileged to teach at the University understand that their school’s founder was no more infallible or omniscient than they are. I expect many can quote passages where Jefferson admits as much!

I hope your readers will be able to look past the media furor and see this disagreement between faculty and administration for what it is: a reasoned exchange of contrasting views about our University’s history and its relevance for interpreting recent political events.

Sincerely,

Paul Morrow

Lecturer, Political Philosophy, Policy and Law

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