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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
MIT faculty say Sherley process conducted "fairly"
Members of the MIT biological engineering faculty who reviewed the decision to deny tenure to African-American stem cell scientist James L. Sherley said the process was conducted fairly, according to a statement supplied by MIT yesterday.
"We state with certainty and a clear conscience that race did not play any role in the decision that resulted in Prof. Sherley's tenure case not being taken forward," according to the Feb. 5 letter signed by 20 professors.
Sherley, who began a hunger strike on Feb. 5, has demanded immediate tenure, redress for what he says was racism in his treatment, promotion of minority faculty, and censure for the provost involved in his case.
MIT has said his tenure case was assessed and decided on its merits.
Read the faculty statement below:
February 5, 2007
A statement from the MIT Biological Engineering faculty regarding James Sherley's tenure case
Dear Colleagues and Friends
Undoubtedly it has come to your attention that Prof. James L. Sherley is protesting his tenure decision. Out of respect and concern for our colleague Prof. Sherley, until now, no public statements have been made by his colleagues in the Biological Engineering Division.
We state with certainty and a clear conscience that race did not play any role in the decision that resulted in Prof. Sherley's tenure case not being taken forward. As in all tenure and promotion decisions, there was a thorough consideration of Prof. Sherley's accomplishments in research and teaching, of the many letters of evaluation received from experts in Prof. Sherley's research areas, and of his service to MIT and to broader science and engineering communities. We believe in our hearts that, as in all tenure cases in our department, it was a fair and honest process executed at the utmost level of integrity and ethics. It is our collective view that Prof. Sherley was treated fairly.