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Academics' Statement of Protest Regarding Dickinson College's Treatment of Professor Crispin Sartwell
Crispin Sartwell, a tenured associate professor of philosophy at Dickinson College, has been removed from his classes and subsequently, he alleges, terminated without any due process, contrary to Dickinson's own Academic Handbook, AAUP guidelines, and the customary standards of tenure.

According to Sartwell, his involuntary removal from classes was prompted by a blog post in which he accused other academics of plagarism and posted a country music video which was deemed by the administration to constitute a threat to the academics accused.

The College maintains that they are not obligated to follow standard procedures for dismissal of tenured faculty because Sartwell resigned his position. They appear to base this on Sartwell's email to the provost on March 8, 2016 and on Sartwell's statements to the student press. None of these statements (produced, Sartwell claims, out of anger, sadness and humiliation at his treatment by the College) constitute a formal resignation. Moreover, the College clearly did NOT consider Sartwell to have resigned in that March 8th email as the provost responded to Sartwell on March 10th with a proposed separation agreement and wrote that it was based on Sartwell's "interest in entertaining an offer from the college that would allow [Sartwell] to retire early."

Further background materials:

AAUP Letter to Dickinson College President Protesting The College's Treatment of Sartwell

Dickinson College Academic Handbook (see Chapter 4, beginning page 26 on procedures for dismissal)

Daily Nous (Philosophy Blog) Post on Sartwell

Leiter Reports (Philosophy Blog) Post on Sartwell

Sartwell's Timeline (including some of his correspondence with the College)

Text of the Statement
We the undersigned, as members of the community of scholars, protest the apparent termination without due process by Dickinson College of Professor Crispin Sartwell, a TENURED associate professor of philosophy, contrary to Dickinson's own Academic Handbook, AAUP guidelines, and the customary standards of tenure.

Unless the College can produce a formal letter of resignation by Professor Sartwell or evidence that he accepted a separation agreement, we call for Professor Sartwell to be reinstated immediately and for the administration of Dickinson College to act in accordance with Dickinson's Academic Handbook and accepted AAUP standards in all subsequent dealings with Professor Sartwell.

Other than standing by the proposition that the presumption ought to be that Professor Sartwell did not resign unless it can be demonstrated to the contrary, we take NO collective position on any of the factual allegations regarding plagiarism, or threats, or any of the like. Whatever else has transpired, unsubstantiated allegations and vague claims of informal resignation in private, personal correspondence as the basis for terminating a scholar with tenure cannot stand.

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