Rescinded Invitation Debated at Tufts

March 26, 2009

Tufts University withdrew an invitation to an aide to Sen. Charles Grassley to speak at a campus forum, saying that university administrators couldn't appear at the forum along with the aide, The Boston Globe reported. The reason cited was that Senator Grassley (and the aide) are investigating possible conflicts of interest in federally supported research, including that of at least one professor at Tufts. At least one organizer of the Tufts event says that the situation raises academic freedom issues, although Tufts officials have stressed that anyone may speak at the university, and that the issue is simply whether administrators will appear at the same event. The aide in question is Paul D. Thacker, a former reporter who previously worked at Inside Higher Ed. Grassley's press secretary told the Globe: "These issues merit more discussion and less circling the wagons. It's too bad a reform perspective has been removed from the program."

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