Statement from M. Gail Hamner, Professor of Religion
I deeply regret the embarrassment the decision I made and my poor choice of words have caused my department, my colleagues and my fellow faculty.
Overly concerned about how others would react, my email to Shimon Dotan stressed my fears of sparking activism on campus over a highly complex and emotional Middle East issue, settlements on the West Bank. That email triggered media coverage that questioned my own and my university’s commitment to academic freedom, and also led me to overstate concerns expressed by some of my colleagues. I was equally concerned at the time that I had not viewed Professor Dotan’s film yet, which I realize now is standard protocol. These mistakes were the result of bad judgement and my inexperience planning conferences.
I allowed my own fear of controversy to rule over good judgment and good teaching. This was a valuable learning moment for me – both professionally and personally.