I just want to express my agreement with Bob about this. I also think it was
especially inappropriate for Tom to forward an email message addressed to
him by Sheldon to the entire list.
> I think that it *was* an inappropriate use of the list, though I
> don't think that it was as serious as Sheldon Kovitz thinks. We need to
> recognize that although labor activists are predominantly left-of-center,
> not all of us on the list are, and some of us who are may dissent from
> portions of the leftist "package" (to the extent that there is one). If
> the issue in question is not related to contingent faculty welfare or
> rights, it's a distraction, and ought to be avoided.
> Bob Rosenfeld
> U.Mass.-Boston and
> Suffolk University
> On Tue, 18 May 1999, thomas conroy wrote:
> > Dear members of the P/T faculty list,
> > Yesterday, as you recall, I posted a message regarding an upcoming
> > visit by Henry Kissinger to my school, Boston University. As I
> > willingly admitted, the content of my message was not directly about
> > issues of part-time faculty. Nevertheless, I sent the message out in
> > because I thought that my topic had something to do with the
> > ethics and politics of academia - certainly areas of concern for this
> > list. I also posted so as to both ask for information from those who
> > might have such requested information to share, and to inform
> > the list about a possible event - i.e., a political protest, for which
> > there might be some interest. I was not trying to do anything beyond
> > this. I was certainly not trying to impose my views on anyone who would
> > not be receptive to them.
> > Having done this, I have now been charged by Sheldon Kovitz, of this
> > list, with having abused this list, and have been charged with this by
> > him in a series of messages, the tone of which are entirely dismissive
> > (and I believe distortive) of what I had done. I am forwarding one such
> > message below. Sheldon had objected earlier today to my initial post,
> > had, in doing so, referred to Kissinger as a "distinguished American"
> > added that "a majority of part-time faculty would be very pleased to
> > participate in a demonstration honoring him." My political disagreement
> > with Kovitz aside, when I then sent to him, and to him only, a series of
> > news items on Kissinger (i.e., on Kissinger's ties to human rights
> > etc.), he then accused me of posting my "nonsense" to the part-time
> > faculty at UMass, and again, of "abusing" the list. He has, thus far,
> > refused to discuss any of this with me in a collegial way; apparently,
> > is blinded by some combination of his political views and/or personal
> > pettiness. Somehow, he has appointed himself the police officer of
> > this list.
> > I thus leave it to the rest of this list to decide; have I abused the
> > list by doing what I did? If so, I will certainly apologize to the list
> > and promise not to use this list in the way that I did. What are the
> > discussion limits of this group?
> > Sincerely,
> > Tom Conroy
> > [log in to unmask]
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 14:17:02 -0400 (EDT)
> > From: Sheldon Kovitz <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Cc: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: RE: query on Henry Kissinger's politics (fwd)
> > You had absolutely no right morally, ethically, or legally to
> > use a mailing list created for the purpose of union activity
> > related to part-time faculty to go off topic.
> > I do not wish to debate with you.
> > Please cease the abuse of our mailing list.
> > Thank you.