A University professor has resolved a long process to clear his name of
bias charges. Adjunct sociology professor Douglas Card recently settled a
libel lawsuit against New York Post columnists Daniel Pipes and Jonathan
Schanzer. Card said the terms of the settlement are confidential.
Card said he feels like, “I got the weight of the world off my shoulders.”
Card filed the lawsuit in 2003, after Pipes and Schanzer published an
article in June, 2002 titled “Extremists on Campus,” that claimed Card had
made anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements in his “Social Inequality”
Card said he tried to get the columnists to retract their statements before
he filed the suit. Several members of the campus and the local Jewish
communities also spoke out in Card’s support.
But Pipes and Schanzer initially stood by their statements, stating in a
2002 letter to the Jewish Review, a Portland newsletter, that Card had not
fulfilled their requests to warrant a retraction. One of the requests was
providing them with a copy of the contentious final exam”¦
Card said the charges troubled him especially when he was accused of
forcing students to agree with him.
“That’s really frightful,” he said. “They don’t have to agree with anything
He said even when facts are presented in controversial issues, people may
disagree on the details. However, professors must try to obtain objectivity
at all times in the classroom.
“The key thing is to stick to the facts and show both sides,” he said.
In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is vital to examine
both groups’ position fairly, he said.
In his classes, Card said he goes so far as to bring in guest speakers to
present different views.
“We are professors, and a professor’s job is to be objective,” he said.
Card also stressed the need for academic freedom, saying faculty should not
feel intimidated about speaking on controversial issues.
“I think that the issue of academic freedom during this time of political
crises is extremely important,” he said