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Douglas Statement on Resignation — June 4, 2007

I would like to make it very clear that the issue for me is not, and has not been, whether Professor James Sherley should be given immediate tenure or not. I cannot judge that and would not even presume to do so. I have absolutely not attempted to determine whether Professor Sherley is correct in his allegations or the Institute is right in its posture, because I do not have enough information nor context to make such a judgment.

My concern has been much larger than Professor Sherley's case individually. The issue is one of process and environment: why has this great institution not been able to find an elegant, mutually acceptable solution for a problem that affects not only Professor Sherley, but potentially can impact every present and future minority faculty member? It seems to me that a great institution like MIT should be able to find an exemplary and mutually acceptable solution, particularly in a case that has been so publicly argued. As a human being and a minority, it is difficult for me to accept such an environment.