Saturday, August 25, 2007

Extract of Letter Submitted by Prof. Simon Stander to UPEACE

Mr. Simon Stander, Associate Professor, Media, Conflict and Peace Studies Programme, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, resigned from his post at UPEACE in July 2007. Professor Stander felt that Mr. John Maresca's record as a proponent of US foreign policy and spokesman for US corporate interests, as a UNOCAL vice-president and as a leading figure in the Business Humanitarian Forum, made him an unsuitable candidate for the post of Rector of UPEACE and explained why this was so in a detailed letter. Here is an extract from his letter:

"Will you (Maresca) protect academic freedom, avoiding any attempt by any method to censor the content of courses or what Faculty may say or write in public? Will you refuse to defend Guantanamo’s outrageous human rights record where individuals have been imprisoned for years without trial, reminiscent of Gulag conditions under the former Soviet regime? Will you refuse to back Harken to get back a drilling contract? Will you refuse to be a spokesman for US backed CAFTA? Will you argue for a dismantling of the huge US industrial-military complex? Will you call for an end to the illegal [1] war in Iraq? Will you refuse to support Southern Command and the School of America’s in public debate? Will you refuse to hold up funding to UPEACE until courses and programmes have been adjusted to suit the needs of business? Will you work quickly and effectively toward the establishment of an endowment fund that would operate with absolutely no conditions attached other than those that clearly benefit students? Will you defend yourself in person when students, as they inevitably will, criticise your personal history, your association with businesses with unsavoury human rights records and US policy in open forums?"

[1] See Peter Danchin (Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law), “Is the war in Iraq Justified Under International Law?”

Peter Danchin was visiting professor in International Law at UPEACE

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