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Syracuse University offers full-throated defense for a professor targeted for her views about Sept. 11, prompting other academics to wonder why more institutions don’t defend even divisive scholars in this way. Jenn Jackson

Jenn Jackson

Syracuse University on Monday rejected demands that it fire a scholar who made controversial comments about the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The university also condemned ongoing personal attacks against the scholar, Jenn Jackson, an assistant professor of political science.

“Recently, one of our professors shared thoughts on 9/11 on social media,” Kent Syverud, chancellor, and David Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, said in a joint statement . “These comments have been the subject of much scrutiny and vehement disagreement by critics. That is their right, just as our professor has the right to free speech, however uncomfortable it may make anyone feel.”

The statement continues, “What cannot be tolerated are the harassment and violent threats that we have seen in response that have been directed at this professor. Our Department of Public Safety is in contact with the professor and has engaged the support of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.”

In addition to threats, some have asked […]

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