Throughout the controversial war against Iraq, Edsforth continuously spoke out at Dartmouth to criticize the actions of President George W. Bush, according to The Chronicle. Edsforth revealed his commitment to protesting the war a number of times by organizing various forums and debates regarding the war.
According to The Chronicle, students are citing the fact that Edsforth’s replacement is a supporter of the war as evidence that the Dartmouth administrations failure to re-appoint Edsforth was motivated by his political views. “Michael Mastanduno, associate dean for social sciences, decided to replace [Edsforth] with Allan C. Stam, an associate professor of government who has defended the war,” according to The Chronicle. Administrators announced that in addition to taking Edsforth’s faculty position, Stam will begin teaching Edsforth’s course, “War and Peace Since 1900.” This is especially inflammatory among Dartmouth students because the course is currently the core of the War and Peace Studies program.
In protest of the administration’s move, student government President James Marton ’04 plans to present Dartmouth President James Wright with a petition encouraging College officials to retain Edsforth. According to The Chronicle, Marton called the College’s decision to replace Edsforth with Stam “suspicious.”
A group of professors is also trying to convince the College to keep Edsforth on the faculty.
According to The Chronicle, Mastanduno said that there was no political motive involved with the replacement of Edsforth. He said that he believed it was likely that Edsforth would step down from his position. The history department decided that it had no longer had any classes for Edsforth to teach. According to The Chronicle, Mastanduno argued that Edsforth was a visiting professor, and “the status of visitors, even popular ones, is always inherently vulnerable.”
Dartmouth officials made the decision not to re-hire Edsforth while he was on leave from the College. According to The Chronicle, Edsforth has not made a statement, but he is in the process of sending his resume to other institutions.