HANOVER, N.H. — More than 100 active faculty at Dartmouth College are condemning a statement issued last week by college President Phil Hanlon that sought to distance the school from comments by a visiting scholar who specializes in the anti-fascism movement.
In a letter dated Aug. 23, supporters of Mark Bray cast Hanlon's statement as an attack on academic freedom, signaling to future professors that they might not have the college's support during times of crisis.
They also said Hanlon appeared to be reacting to right-wing websites that the professors said "distorted" Bray's comments and characterized him as supporting violent tactics used by "antifa" protestors against white supremacists.
Shorthand for anti-fascists, antifa is used to describe far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations and other events.
"There is nothing that professor Bray has said that is in violation of Dartmouth's stated free speech and academic freedom policies," the letter from the professors, including history professors Bethany Moreton, Annelise Orleck and Margaret Darrow, said.
The faculty letter calls for Dartmouth to remove the statement, apologize to Bray and initiate a review to recommend procedures on how to best handle similar situations in the future.
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