Printing of letter irresponsible

To the Editor:

I am very disappointed in your decision to publish Jeremy Faust’s intemperate letter in our edition of November 9. Especially in the context of our long institutional commitment to restraint and respect in our public discourse, this letter and some previous pieces this fall have been a noticeable, and I must say disheartening, change. As editors of the Record, you have an important responsibility as arbiters of public discourse at Williams, and I would urge you to consider whether publishing writing full of invective, personal insult and vague insinuation is either responsible or useful.

Robert Peck and Carl Samuelson have both had long and distinguished careers at Williams. Neither of them deserves to be publicly impugned, and neither of them is well served by being invoked in scurrilous rhetorical assaults on the other. Both men have announced their retirements, and no one who respects either of them should choose a moment to engage in behavior or statements that flour the fundamental values of this college and shame all of us.

In moments of unrestrained passion, your readers will sometimes write you letters and essays of opinion that they will later come to regret. You would do us all a favor not to abet their embarassment.

David L. Smith

Dean of the Faculty

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