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HWS professor suspended after essay on Israel-Palestine conflict

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  • Staff Report 

Jodi Dean, a distinguished professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, has been placed on leave pending an investigation into her remarks about the October attacks in Israel.

Dean described the attacks as “exhilarating” in an essay, leading to apparent backlash and concerns about student safety on campus.

This suspension marks a significant action against a tenured professor and has sparked a debate over academic freedom at colleges.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The investigation into Dean’s conduct is ongoing, according to a statement from HWS President Mark Gearan. “Not only am I in complete disagreement with professor Dean, I find her comments repugnant, condemn them unequivocally, and want to make clear that these are her personal views and not those of our institution,” he said. “One of my priorities as president is to build an intellectually vibrant and relationship-rich campus community. Our faculty and staff have worked earnestly in the months since October to do just that. With the leadership and expertise of faculty in International Relations and Religious Studies, we have created spaces for conversation, exchanged ideas, sought common ground, and engaged in dialogue across difference. This is difficult but worthwhile work and I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and hopeful of what more we can do.”

Gearan’s comments continue, noting that as result of the piece, “There now may be students on our campus who feel threatened in or outside of the classroom.”