LTTE: An open letter to President Kaler and Provost Ward

Dear President Eric Kaler and Provost Joy K. Ward,
We, the undersigned faculty, are concerned by the university administration’s decision to suspend the undergraduate Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organization. This decision strikes us as a form of collective punishment and appears at odds with the university’s stated commitment to free expression. The decision to withdraw recognition necessarily impacts many innocent students that have done nothing more than join together with peers who share their viewpoints and concerns about events in Israel and Palestine.

We are further concerned that the administration’s decision lacks the requisite due process and reasonable proportionality essential to the fair administration of student misconduct adjudications. Even if individual members of the organization were involved in misconduct—and it is unclear whether even that is true—punishing an entire organization without concrete evidence of concerted organizational involvement is, at best, unnecessarily heavy-handed. Students associated with the organization who may not have engaged in any prohibited conduct are being punished. This approach to managing discipline issues at this critical time in the life of our university serves only to alienate members of our community and chill speech. To the extent this is not the administration’s intent, we urge the suspension of Case Western Reserve University’s SJP be lifted without delay.

We understand that there are differing viewpoints regarding the current war in Gaza. We also understand that as an institution of higher education, we owe a unique duty to all of our students. Central to that duty is our ability to direct and assist students along their learning journey in a way that does not exclude those with dissenting views or inhibit free discourse. We stand firm on the principle that disciplinary processes must be fair and proportional to any duly identified and investigated student conduct violations and that collective punishment for individual actions is inappropriate.




Jonathan H. Adler

Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law


Michael Benza

Professor of Practice and Associate Director, Financial Integrity Institute


Atiba Ellis

Professor of Law and Laura B. Chisolm Distinguished Research Scholar


Victor B. Flatt

Professor of Law, Coleman P. Burke Chair in Environmental Law and Associate Director, Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law


Ayesha Bell Hardaway

Professor of Law

Director, Social Justice Law Center and Criminal Justice Clinic


Raymond Ku

John Homer Kapp Professor of Law


Andrew Pollis

Professor of Law


Betsy Rosenblatt

Professor of Law, Oliver C. Schroeder Jr. Distinguished Research Scholar and Associate Director, Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology and the Arts

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