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The Naughty Professor

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To the editors:

It was with sorrow bordering on despair that I read Hot Type in the Chicago Reader of June 24, 1994--sorrow, because Northwestern University has a reputation as one of the country's great universities, and despair, because if Northwestern is not willing to stand up for the First Amendment and academic freedom, then who, in heaven's name, will?

I don't know Mr. Hafferkamp, but I do know Libido. In fact, I have a subscription, and can report that the magazine deals with an area of human experience, sexuality, that many of us find embarrassing, difficult to talk about, and sometimes disquieting to deal with. Libido treats the subject with intelligence, humor, grace, and above all, sensitivity. Surely, the ability to take a difficult subject, explore its complexity and then make that accessible to one's readers is a talent that should be valued in a teacher of journalism! Does Northwestern really wish to limit its faculty's choice of subject matter, especially when that choice is exercised on the faculty member's own time?

I know that these are difficult budgetary times, but I also know that budgets make convenient excuses. If Mr. Hafferkamp has been doing a good job of teaching, then Libido would argue for keeping him rather than letting him go.

Sondra Rosenberg, PhD

N. Monticello

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