Our Goal Is Not ‘to Shut Down Open Discussion’

To the Editor:

The Title VI reform movement is all about including diverse perspectives. You correctly report that 10 national organizations, including my own, are urging Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and universities themselves to assure a diverse range of perspectives in outreach programs funded under Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (“Supporters of Israel Say Programs in Middle East Studies Misuse U.S. Funds,” The Chronicle, September 17). Amy W. Newhall, executive director of the Middle East Studies Association, speculates that our “real goal … seems to be to shut down open discussion of issues of public concern. …” In fact, we urge the opposite: accountability systems to ensure that these programs offer the diversity of perspectives that existing law requires. If Professor Newhall’s association defends the status quo against diverse perspectives, then it is they who are trying to shut down debate.

Kenneth L. Marcus
President & General Counsel
The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law

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