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Subject: Update on Columbia

Update on Columbia

From: Charlotte Brown <c_brown>
Date: Wednesday, June 6, 1990
 Date: 6 Jun 90
 From: Stephen Ferguson <0629212 [at] pucc__bitnet>
 To: Charlotte Brown <C_BROWN [at] FANDMLIB__bitnet>

 Here's yesterday's message from Terry B[elanger].

 ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
 The Trustees of Columbia University voted to phase out SLS over the
 next several years at their meeting Monday afternoon, 4 June.

         Wedgeworth has sent G G Michelson, chair of the Board, a letter
 which reads in part:

 ``The Faculty of the School of Library Service is confident that its
 programs are outstanding in its field and that is is progressive in its
 vision. The Report of the Provost, which was released to the public
 without the courtesy of a review by the SLS Faculty, distorts and
 misrepresents our programs as well as our professional discipline. It
 also impugns the reputations of the members of our faculty on the basis
 of unsubstantiated allegations and hearsay. In the last several weeks
 we have been compelled to respond to this major report while conducting
 final exams and preparing for commencement. When we reached out for
 qualified assistance to help prepare a final response we were denied
 that counsel.

         ``Since the Report of the Provost lacked both self-assessment
 and peer review as elements of the process we cannot allow this attack
 on our reputations and our profession to go unchallenged. Therefore, we
 will request that the major professional and scholarly organizations
 with interests in our field nominate reputable and knowledgeable
 members to a committee to review the circumstances under which we were
 reviewed and the resulting documents. The outcome should be an
 independent report to be released to the public. We are compelled to
 take this action in order to protect the integrity of the School and to
 prevent misguided actions that may be proposed for our sister programs
 in other universities based on events here at Columbia. We also believe
 that illumination of the review process we have endured will be
 instructive to other programs at Columbia that may find themselves in a
 similar position.

         ``...Our request is that the School of Library Service be
 allowed to move or transfer to a more hospitable environment in another
 research university along with certain assets that are important to the
 field. We have received several tentative inquiries toward this end.
 Specifically, we would like to transfer the Melvil Dewey Chair and its
 endowment, the Book Arts Press, the memorabilia associated with the
 history of the field, those parts of the SLS Library that exceed
 Columbia's interests, and miscellaneous items of equipment and software
 that are essential to pedagogy in our fields....''

 The University issued a press release on the phasing out of the School
 this afternoon [the Provost's office had the effrontery to telephone
 Wedgeworth on FRIDAY to ask him to check the release for accuracy], and
 we expect a story in the Times, &c., shortly. The faculty of the School
 will be releasing its own press release, probably on Thursday.

 Stay tuned.


                   Conservation DistList Instance 4:2
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 13, 1990
                        Message Id: cdl-4-2-001
Received on Wednesday, 6 June, 1990

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