The following sign-on letterr was received on February 5 in response to the ASEEES Executive Committee’s Detailed Clarification statement regarding the Cohen-Tucker Fellowship issue. The letter along with its current list of signatories can also be found HERE. Stephen Cohen’s letter of Jan. 13 and David Ransel’s sign-on letter of Jan. 23 can be found HERE.

February 5, 2015

Executive Committee

Dear Executive Officers,

Thank you for posting your Detailed Clarification Regarding Cohen-Tucker Fellowship Negotiations. While we appreciate your efforts to explain the procedural particulars of the case, the focus of our concern has been the Board’s decision to suggest to the donors that their generous gift supporting graduate fellowships might be welcome if it did not also serve indirectly to honor Stephen Cohen. We were hoping for a more helpful response.

Our aim from the beginning has been to defend the principles on which the ASEEES was founded. The association’s Mission Statement defines the ASEEES as “a private, non-political international professional organization,” and this principle is repeated in your Clarification statement. Yet the Board departed from this principle in its handling of the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Fellowships. It is apparent now from your clarification and from emails provided by those involved that what you regarded as an effort to avoid a split in the membership resulted in a “compromise” proposal that removed the name of an eminent scholar from the fellowship program because some on the Board disagreed with his political opinions.

We urge you to put matters back on their proper footing by asking the Board of Directors to reject the compromise proposal and express its commitment to accept the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Fellowship gift as named. We would ask you then to contact the KAT Foundation and assure Katrina and Steve that if the fellowship offer is renewed, it will be gratefully accepted with the original title. Since the question of the appointment of the fellowship selection committee has already been settled as the responsibility solely of the ASEEES, there would be no further obstacle to implementation of the fellowship program. We believe strongly that this is the only way to bring closure to a matter that now promises to be even more destructive to the association’s wellbeing.

David Ransel, Indiana University

Also signed by 121 signatories (as of Feb. 5)