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An Open Letter to the President and Provost of the University of Chicago: Save Our School

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Originally sent direct by email Wednesday, January 12, 2022, from Professor Rachel Fulton Brown, Department of History, The University of Chicago.

Dear Paul and Ka Yee,

The mainstream narrative is starting to shift. We are going to lose our brand if it shifts and we are not in front of it. WE are the University of Chicago. WE ask the Big Questions and risk being out on the edge of scientific research. WE are the scholars who do not simply follow the trends, but set them. 

We have embarrassed ourselves for too long—ever since we fell in step with everyone else over the fear. WE should have been the ones with faculty publishing op-eds calling for transparency in testing, not the ones locking our students in their dorm rooms. WE should have been the ones signing the Great Barrington Declaration and siding with SCIENTISTS and DOCTORS who have been willing to risk their careers rather than let their patients die because they wouldn’t treat them except at the government’s direction.

NOW is the time. NOW is the time for US, the University of Chicago, to stand out. Or be buried in the avalanche of lawsuits that is surely coming. 

Some things you could do IMMEDIATELY: 

1. MAKE PUBLIC that you have granted exemptions to those of us who refused to consent to being part of a giant experiment which from the beginning has been compromised by politics and haste. 

2. MAKE PUBLIC which of our faculty were courageous enough to sign the Great Barrington Declaration and stand for SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY over POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING.

3. MAKE PUBLIC that we have students intelligent enough to see through the gaslighting and fear to the real questions we should be asking about what it means to be a great school.

PLEASE. SAVE OUR SCHOOL. THIS IS UP TO YOU. Trust me, I have been on the receiving end of protests from our alumni. They don’t pull punches.

Rachel

P.S. If you doubt me, this op-ed from one of Emily’s field colleagues in Tel Aviv makes the argument better than I could.

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