The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

An Open Letter to President Alivisatos and Provost Baicker Concerning the Pro-Palestine Encampment

End the Encampment to Protect the University’s Mission
Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon

Dear President Alivisatos and Provost Baicker,

Allowing the continued encampment of protesters on our main quad imposes the following significant costs on the University:

  1. Time, Place, and Manner (TPM) restrictions are put in place to ensure that expression furthers the goal of intellectual exchange in the pursuit of truth. Flagrant violations of TPM restrictions undermine the purpose of the University.
  2. TPM restrictions are not being applied equally. If the University continues to allow TPM violations by these protestors, while enforcing TPM restrictions on other groups, it is effectively violating the principle of institutional neutrality outlined in the Kalven report.
  3. It prevents us from hearing opposing viewpoints since these protestors have repeatedly ripped down and removed posters, flags, and banners they disagree with and shouted down speakers they disagree with.
  4. It provides an incentive to engage in TPM violations and encourages future encampments. We risk chaos and the collapse of our ability to function as an institute of higher learning.  

This flagrant violation of our academic values is not going to end unless you take decisive action to remove and sanction these protestors while firmly rejecting their demands.



Dorian S. Abbot, Professor of Geophysical Sciences

Peggy Mason, Professor of Neurobiology

Callum F. Ross, Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy

Rick Shweder, Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Comparative Human Development

Steve Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor, Booth School of Business

Jerry Coyne, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolution

Micah T. Prochaska, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Sam Peltzman, Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Economics Emeritus

Casey B. Mulligan, Professor of Economics

Juan I. Collar, Professor of Physics

Rachel Fulton Brown, Associate Professor of Medieval History and Fundamentals

Andrew Aronsohn, Associate Professor of Medicine

Gautham Reddy, Associate Professor of Medicine

Adam Cifu, Professor of Medicine

Elliot S. Gershon, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Classics

Lawrence Grossman, Professor Emeritus of Geophysical Sciences

David Zarfes, Clinical Professor of Law

Emily Underwood, Associate Clinical Professor of Law

Kevin M. Murphy, George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics Emeritus

John Reinitz, Professor of Statistics, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology; and Ecology and Evolution

László Babai, Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics

Dario Maestripieri, Professor of Comparative Human Development

Shmuel Weinberger, Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics

Alexander Razborov, Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Robert H. Topel, Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Distinguished Service Professor of Economics

Leslie Kay, Professor of Psychology

Allan Drummond, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

George Glauberman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics

Russell D. Cohen, Professor of Medicine

Steven J. Davis, William H. Abbott Distinguished Service Professor of International Business and Economics Emeritus, Booth School of Business

Anil Kashyap, Stevens Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Finance

Jing Chen, Janet Davison Rowley Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine

Lisa Bernstein, Wilson-Dickenson Professor of Law

Josh Avratin, Clinical Professor of Law

Benson Farb, Professor of Mathematics

Laurie Zoloth, Margaret E. Burton Professor of Religion and Ethics

Harald Uhlig, Bruce Allen and Barbara Ritzenthaler Professor of Economics

David Martinez, Associate Professor of Classics and the Divinity School

Richard Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Law 

Greg Kaplan, Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics

Dennis W. Carlton, David McDaniel Keller Professor of Economics Emeritus

Simeon Chavel, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Divinity School

Ross M. Stolzenberg, Professor of Sociology

Fernando Alvarez, Charles F. Gray Distinguished Service Professor in Economics

William Landes, Musser Professor of Law and  Economics, Emeritus

View Comments (6)
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About the Contributor
Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon
Nathaniel Rodwell-Simon, Deputy Photo Editor, News Reporter
Nathaniel is a first year in the college studying history and Education and Society. He is a News Reporter and Deputy Photo Editor for the Maroon.
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Comments (6)

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  • P

    PhD Candidate / May 5, 2024 at 9:18 pm

    These faculty are simply intellectually bankrupt, blinded, and not committed to either humanism or inquiry. Shame on you all

  • M

    Mark / May 4, 2024 at 10:45 am

    Not sure what they’re talking about. There’s been numerous Israeli stands and exhibitions.

    The encampment literally has posters up that says to not damage other installations.

    The counter-protestors on Friday seemed to get their point across just fine.

    Free Speech doesn’t depend on who signs a letter…

  • U

    UC Faculty Member / May 3, 2024 at 1:23 pm

    This entire argument rests on item 3. Pro-Israel posters are being ripped down, but there is no evidence that the protestors are the ones responsible. If there was evidence of responsibility, the President would have shared it.

    Nor is there any evidence of anyone being “shouted down.” Who, pray tell, are these speakers who have been unable to speak? Please give specifics. Noise pollution in classrooms do not constitute “prevent[ing] us from hearing opposing viewpoints.”

    You know what’s a flagrant violation of academic values, the Chicago principles, and institutional neutrality? Arresting a bunch of peaceful protesters for “disruption” that fails to go beyond mild inconvenience and annoyance.

    • J

      Jay Tanzman / May 3, 2024 at 3:24 pm

      A very brave comment, “UC Faculty Member.”

      • L

        Lawrence Rothfield / May 5, 2024 at 11:35 am

        How about addressing the argument rather than the name of the person making it?

    • R

      Robert Gonzalez / May 3, 2024 at 7:02 pm

      Clear evidence of what’s wrong with allowing this to continue.

      Twitter @austinzeglis