Purdue profs 'troubled' by Daniels' Zinn comments

Purdue President Mitch Daniels
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A group of Purdue University professors says it is concerned about school President Mitch Daniels' continued insistence that liberal historian Howard Zinn was a "fraud."

Ninety professors wrote an open letter to Daniels on Monday saying they were more troubled by his continued criticism of Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" now than they were by emails about the historian that he sent as governor. Those emails were published last week by The Associated Press and showed Daniels calling for the removal of Zinn's work from teacher preparation courses.

A Daniels spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

The letter comes amid continuing criticism from academics over Daniels' assertions that Zinn was "anti-American" and a teacher training course including his work was "crap."

On Friday, Purdue trustees reaffirmed their support for Daniels despite the recent controversy. They approved a $58,000 bonus for Daniels' performance during his first six months as president. The bonus was written into Daniels' contract.

Meantime the list of people who say they were targets of efforts to silence critics or squelch unpopular beliefs under former Gov. Daniels' administration is growing.

Sociologist James Loewen says the Indiana Civil Rights Commission canceled speaking engagements for him after he wrote an article critical of Honda's decision to locate in Greensburg. The community about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis is one of many small "sundown towns" that drove out black populations in the early 1900s.

Loewen's recounting comes as Daniels defends himself over the Zinn emails. The emails obtained by The Associated Press also show efforts to silence IUPUI professor Chuck Little, a frequent critic of Daniels' education overhaul.

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