Sunday, July 3, 2011

Professor Robert Paquette Resigns from His Chair at Hamilton College

This past January, one of the nation's leading historians and one of the history field's few conservatives, Robert Paquette, resigned from his chair at Hamilton College. He continues to teach at Hamilton but gave up his chair in protest.  Professor Paquette had obtained a multimillion dollar grant to set up a conservative leaning institute, but Hamilton College refused to permit it.  Hamilton College is where there was a controversy concerning Ward Churchill's speaking. Churchill had called the 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns" but Hamilton had invited him to speak anyway. After some controversy, the College rescinded the invitation.   I am planning to write a piece for The Lincoln Eagle about Professor Paquette. 

Alan G. Lafley is former CEO of Procter and Gamble. He is a Hamilton alum and chairman of its board of trustees.

14 January 2011
Mr. Alan G. Lafley
3 ..... Street
...., OH 4...

Dear Mr. Lafley:

Enclosed please find the medal that I was awarded some years ago after receiving the Publius Virgilius Rogers professorship.  I am resigning the title and the perquisites that go with it effective immediately. I ask that you convey this information to President Stewart.  I also ask that you convey copies of this letter to every member of Hamilton’s Board of Trustees at the March meeting.

Please know that in the classroom, I will continue as a senior professor to serve the College, as I have always done, to the best of my ability until my retirement in the not-so-distant future.  I regret, however, that I can no longer carry this title in good conscience, given my treatment by College officials over a period of almost a decade. It is sufficient for me at this stage of my career that I bear the title of chief architect of the Alexander Hamilton Institute...

...To date, I have received no explanation as to why officials of this College, including members of the Board of Trustees, after publicly announcing in 2006 that the Alexander Hamilton Center ( my creation) would “not go forward,”  not only attempted to trademark the name “Alexander Hamilton Center,” but did so using language extracted verbatim from a charter I wrote. (One might have thought that Gene Tobin’s serial plagiarism would have made someone thoughtful.)  The College documents, still publicly available on file with the US Patent and Trademark Office,  include a  sworn statement—yes, sir, a  sworn statement—that at the time of the filing Hamilton’s Board of Trustees knew of no competing claim on the name. 

To date, I have received no explanation as to why “administrative sources” informed an FBI agent (Margarita Alvarez) that I was “mentally unstable” when she was performing a routine background check in preparation for my nomination by President Bush for a prestigious seat on the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The delay that ensued before President Bush forwarded my name to the United States Senate in 2008 quite possibly cost me that position during an election year that resulted in a change of party in the presidency...

Cato the Younger, a favorite of the founders as well as one of my personal favorites, refused to accept an award from his commander after the defeat by slaves of a Roman army of which he was a part. His honor would not permit it.  Honores mutant mores.


Robert L. Paquette
Department of History


AD said...

Mr. Langbert,

Your statement that "Hamilton College is where Ward Churchill called the 9/11 victims 'little Eichmanns'" is in error. I wanted to alert you to this before you submitted your piece to The Lincoln Eagle or otherwise continued to write about Hamilton College.

If memory does not serve, then even a quick web search will help you and others recall that Ward Churchill never spoke at Hamilton, and his remark about the 9/11 victims came in a piece entitled "Some People Push Back," published on September 12, 2001, years before he was to come to Hamilton.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Thanks for the pointer. I've changed it.