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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, May 14, 2007

Sherley disputes MIT departure deadline

MIT's provost today disputed statements by Prof. James L. Sherley about the agreement they reached after Sherley ended his hunger strike in February.

"He has claimed the existence of agreements with MIT that do not in fact exist, and he has revealed that he has made no plans to leave MIT when his faculty appointment ends" June 30, Provost L. Rafael Reif said in an e-mail sent to faculty.

sherley150.bmpSherley, a stem cell scientist who is African-American, went on a hunger strike to protest what he called racism in the university's decision to deny him tenure. In a statement e-mailed to news organizations last week, Sherley (at right in this February file photo) said that the Feb. 16 agreement he reached with MIT administrators to end his hunger strike made the deadline void, as did MIT's public disclosure of the deadline, which he called a violation of personnel guidelines.

"The administration has not acted in good faith on the agreement we made," Sherley said in an interview today. "Most important, it kept tenure on the table."

Reif repeated previous statements that MIT's tenure decision is final.

"There was no agreement to review his tenure case again, nor did MIT agree to conduct any further review of his allegations that had been considered in his grievance process," his e-mail said.

On Feb. 16, MIT and Sherley released statements in which they agreed to work to resolve their differences.

Sherley's faculty appointment ends on June 30, a date he called his "scheduled forced eviction" in last week's e-mail.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:39 PM
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