Sent but a minute ago-

Dean Winnie Brownell, Provost Donald DeHays, President David Dooley,

I write in support of Prof. Erik Loomis. Prof. Loomis is a brilliant, insightful, and talented writer and thinker whose extra-academic pursuits have contributed to the greater flourishing of knowledge in our society. Over the last few days he has been targeted by a purely political smear campaign because he is an easy target for an extremist political movement raging against a moment of helplessness. I strongly encourage you, as leaders among the guardians of the flame of the academy and caretakers of a venerable institution of public learning, to support Prof. Loomis in this hour. While Loomis’ extra-academic activities are not technically within the bounds of his duties as a professor, the erudition and incisiveness of his writings, his broad audience, and his critical acclaim bring credit upon the University of Rhode Island, and are precisely the emerging forms of increased engagement with a broader audience that the academy, especially the public academy, should be encouraging. Academic freedom is not a laissez-faire institution; it requires those charged with ensuring it to wield their shield proactively, to not merely acknowledge the security of intellectuals to pursue ideas but to vigorously affirm them, including and especially at difficult hours. I hope you will use this opportunity to do so.

Thank You,
-[SR]

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