Dear Dean and Executive Vice Chancellor Edward Macias,

Every year since 2000 I have received my one-year appointment letter from you, labeled "personal and confidential." This year your letter arrived with no such label, still personal but no longer confidential. We can discuss this in public now, and we should.

The tone of your communications has always been curt, bordering on rude. Perhaps this is for "legal" reasons, perhaps this is just your style. Either way, rude behavior is inexcusable.

In your response to my letter protesting the termination of my contract, you contend that your decision, not "made lightly," is in accord with the Lecturer's Policy. However, the Lecturer's Policy purports to describe a career path for full time college teachers here, and to give us reasonable job security. Please, honor your policy.

Your letter implies that terminating my contract is in the best interest of the Religious Studies Program, the best way to meet its "research and teachiing" needs, listed in that order. You state that "the length of my service" entitles me to one year's notice. As you should have known, and as I believe you know by now, I am entitled to much more than what you are giving me. The quality of my service entitles me to keep my job and be promoted. There is no case against me, and there never was, as I hope you know by now.

It is interesting that you do not even pretend to be "upgrading" my position. Although you "do not expect me to like it," you wish me the best of luck in my next job. You might just as well have said, "You have a year to leave campus."

It would have been so easy to do the decent, honorable, and smart thing. I have given so much to the Washington University community, and ask for nothing but the right to keep on doing it. By any rational standards, I am a bargain for Washington University. As you know, I will stay here no matter what you do. If you expected me to "cut and run," you mis-underestimate me.

Please upgrade Religious Studies to a full Department, so we will finally be able to fill the Catholic Studies chair. Please grant the Religious Studies Department a Senior Lectureship in South Asian and Comparative Religion (my position), before you proceed any further with the search for an Assistant Professor in South Asian Religion. I should not have to do all the work, and the many students who wish to study South Asian, American, and comparative religion should have more choices. Please do not hire an anthropologist to teach South Asian religion; that Department is big enough already. (Why not put an anthropologist in the Catholic Studies chair, that would make just as much sense). Please stop pretending that there is some good reason to get rid of me. And please give someone else back her job, too. I know you know to whom I refer, and why.

Please, do the right thing, and set a good example for our students. You cannot afford to do otherwise.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Jerome Bauer

Still a proud member of the Washington University community

PS. Please let's bring back the "Ethics and Values" requirement, this University needs it.