The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 26th, 2015
Alice Dreger doesn’t usually pull punches. So it’s no surprise that her resignation letter is more, shall we say, direct than the average two weeks’ notice.
Ms. Dreger resigned this week from Northwestern University, where she
was a clinical professor of medical humanities and bioethics, a
nontenured gig she’d had for the past decade. In her letter, she writes
that when she started at Northwestern, the university vigorously
defended her academic freedom. Now, she contends, that’s no longer the
What prompted her departure was the fallout over an article
by William Peace, who at the time was a visiting professor in the
humanities at Syracuse University. Mr. Peace wrote an essay for an issue
of the journal, Atrium, that Ms. Dreger guest-edited. The
essay is a frank account of a nurse who helped Mr. Peace regain his
sexual function after he was paralyzed.