Response from John Bassett to April 23, 2009 letter

Reply received April 29, 2009

Dear Professor Aksan,
Thank you for your two letters.  Professor Finkelstein did speak on the Clark Campus on April 27, only four days after the students had originally hoped he would speak.  I am not into banning speakers of any persuasion.  I did tell the students that the planned timing might seem a violation of common courtesy, given the nature of his attacks on the work of many of the speakers at a major conference scheduled on the 23rd and 24th.

What did not come out in stories, moreover, was that the students were still in the process of raising money for the talk. I did not cancel a contracted talk but intervened in a process that struck me as not being well scheduled.

When cooler but still free heads finally did prevail, the conference took place and a few days later Norman Finkelstein was able to be heard by people on the Clark campus. Clark has a long tradition of very diverse speakers being heard. That will not change on my watch.
John Bassett


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