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MIT's treatment of Altman embarrassing

(Editor's note: The Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to President Charles M. Vest.)

I am so upset by the firing of China Altman and further outraged by the manner in which she was dismissed that my conscience compels me to bring these matters to your attention.

I have been actively involved in the musical arts at MIT for over a decade, both as a student and alumnus. Over this period, I have personally seen how Altman has excelled in promoting the arts at MIT.

Her unique concern for student participation in the arts at MIT has resulted in increased student membership in arts organizations as well as increased attendance at arts events. In fact, it was Altman's success at raising the visibility of the arts that resulted in MIT's eventual hiring of an associate provost for the arts. It is quite ironic that Altman was fired by this very person.

Not only was Altman fired, she was subjected to dehumanizing treatment by the Office of the Arts after her dismissal. Locking her out of her office, clearing her desk, rummaging through her belongings and removing items all sum up to appalling behavior that is an embarassment to MIT.

I cannot believe that someone who has contributed so much to the Institute can be treated so poorly. Such actions suggest a major abuse of power here.

I am asking you to investigate this matter and take appropriate action to rectify this situation. MIT can not tolerate such behavior.

Altman's reinstatement as director of arts communication, perhaps under the management of the News Office, should be seriously considered. The MIT community cannot afford to lose one of the driving forces behind MIT's rejuvenated commitment to the arts.

Charles R. Marge '84->