A letter by Karen Hurvitz, an attorney who taught law at Boston University Law School, to BU president Richard Brown about BU’s imminent hiring of a fake academic who literally makes things up and publishes them, is a bombshell.
In these times of rising anti-Semitism, I have just learned that Boston University is considering appointing Sarah Ihmoud, a terrible anti-Semite to a tenure track position in its sociology department. I understand that letters of concern and alarm submitted to the president, provost, and others have been met with a “none of your business” type of response, together with assurances that the process is being handled “based on peer evaluation of a candidate’s scholarly and professional achievements within the appropriate discipline and according to established disciplinary criteria… consistent with our established criteria and processes.” The quote is from a form letter being sent out by President Brown.
In point of fact, I have learned from colleagues on the law school faculty, where I taught in the BU Defenders Program, that nothing about this potential hire is being handled in accordance with established criteria and processes. The hire is being considered as an accommodation to a recent law faculty hire — Ihmoud is his wife. The position was not advertised, and there was no applicant pool, as required by BU’s established — and written — practices and processes.
What is worse is that her “scholarly” achievements are works based on viciously defamatory and easily refuted assertions about Israel. For instance, she writes in In the Absence of Justice, a report she co-authored with Shaloub-Kevorkian, another rabid anti-Semite who claims that Israelis sell Palestinian body parts, do medical experiments and test weapons on Palestinian children — see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/23511, that
Existing studies on gendered aspects of military occupation in East Jerusalem reveal that even in times of death, women are stripped of dignity and security, and their safe burial is jeopardized by the militarized regime (Shalhoub-Kevorkian 2013). Women are prevented from safely reaching health professionals and finding a safe place to give birth, and face humiliation in Israeli hospitals during treatment, operations, giving birth, miscarriages and more (ibid.). Gendered violence was also apparent when examining the effects of surveillance over women, mainly in relation to the immense security devices and cameras in and around homes, schools and streets (Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 2015). Sexual and psychological abuse and harassment of women at checkpoints, by Israeli soldiers was also another factor affecting women. harassment by Israeli soldiers, including being made to undress when crossing checkpoints, was found to have increased women’s sense of loss of their bodily integrity and added to their humiliation and oppression (ibid., p. 63).
In the Absence of Justice, Embodiment and the Politics of Militarized Dismemberment in Occupied East Jerusalem, Ihmoud and Shaloub Kevorkian, 2016
What should be apparent to anyone — not just a sociology professor — is that she and her co-author are citing themselves! Not only is this echo-chamber readily apparent, the “research” on which it relies is unverifiable because it is based on interviews with Palestinian women whom the researchers refuse to name, citing vague security concerns (and adding to the idea that no one is safe from Israelis). In fact, as the article at the website I provide above points out, these assertions are false. Her other articles contain similar outrageous propaganda.
Boston University has strict policies on academic integrity. Boston University is actually holding a workshop on Academic Honesty today! Take a look:
This interactive workshop explores the importance of academic integrity in higher education, and addresses the following important questions: What is academic integrity? Why is academic integrity important? What are some of the values associated with academic integrity? Why is integrity important in the realm of higher education? How does the concept of academic integrity transition into environments outside of higher education?
1:00pm on Thursday, November 7th, 2019
100 Bay State Road, Room 545A
Boston University is also a member of the International Center for Academic Integrity
But all these standards and workshops mean nothing if Boston University is considering hiring Sarah Ihmoud. If Boston University expects its students to have academic integrity, it must demand the same of its faculty. If Boston University wants to have good standing in the community of scholars, it must enforce rules of scholarly integrity. Please don’t make this shameful hire.
This is now a major scandal. The email that the BU president is sending out to people complaining about Ihmoud now looks even more like a cover-up for shoddy hiring standards and nepotism. Here it is:
I have received your email expressing your concern about Dr. Sarah Ihmoud, who is being considered for a faculty position in Boston University’s Department of Sociology.
I am disappointed that what should be (for a long list of sound reasons) a judicious and confidential process has been turned into a public controversy that produces a variety of harmful side effects. In this case, as in all cases involving review and assessment of candidates for faculty positions, our evaluation and hiring process is based on peer evaluation of a candidate’s scholarly and professional achievements within the appropriate discipline and according to established disciplinary criteria.
I acknowledge your disapproval of some of Dr. Ihmoud’s rhetoric and positions she has advocated. But it is the University’s obligation to both recognize the authority of the faculty, relevant deans, and academic leaders to make an informed decision, and to respect any decision that is made consistent with our established criteria and processes.
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