The following e-mail was sent by Dean Lenhardt to all students this afternoon.

September 23, 2004

To the Williams Community,

I am writing to update you on the matter of the sanctioning of a faculty member, as I reported to you in my letter of September 10.

At yesterday’s faculty meeting I announced that a discrimination grievance has been filed regarding the matter and the procedure for resolving it has begun.

Since that meeting, Aida Laleian, Professor of Art, has asked me to make public three things:

First, that she is the faculty member who made the remark.

Second, that she is identifying herself in order to free her colleagues from being the subject of any further speculation.

And third, that there is more she would like to say about this matter but that the College Administration has asked her not to do so at this time, so as not to jeopardize the internal procedure underway.

As I also said at yesterday’s faculty meeting, the College’s policies call for such procedures to be conducted as confidentially as possible and I ask all in the College community to honor that intent.


William J. Lenhart
Acting Dean of the Faculty &
A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Computer Science


1) So, now everyone knows what the readers of EphBlog knew four days ago. Kudos to Professor Laleian for clearing the air. It was a stand-up thing to do and should count in her favor.

2) EphBlog needs more source(s) at faculty meetings! Back in the day, these were open to the public. You couldn’t say anything, but you could sit in the back and watch. I went to one or two and found them interesting. If you’re an undergraduate interested in how Williams works, you ought to check them out.

3) So, there is a grievance procedure underway, just as we speculated. Close followers of the scandal — that means you, Record reporters — will want to study appropriate section of the faculty handbook.

4) I am sensitive to the College’s desire to conduct a confidential process, especially if it does so quickly. So, although I actively sought out leads and sources on the scandal before (especially since we were all told that the internal process was complete), I don’t feel a need to do so for the grievance procedure that is now under way. I still plan on commenting on the public pronouncements made, but won’t seek out the inside story on the actual deliberations of the committee. If you have rumors on those deliberations that you want to see in EphBlog, send them to a different author.

5) Thanks as always to all our sources, anonymous and otherwise. I wonder if this announcement would have been made were it not for EphBlog?

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