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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Sherley protests pending MIT closure of his lab

sherley150.bmpJames L. Sherley (in file photo, left), an African-American stem cell scientist who went on a hunger strike in February to protest what he called racism in MIT's decision to deny him tenure, has begun another protest.

About 10 to 15 people joined him in front of MIT's domed building opposite the student center on Massachusetts Avenue at noon today, he said in an e-mail message. The group, which included colleagues from other universities and MIT staff, students, alumni and faculty, passed out about 75 fliers, he said. In a weekend e-mail, he called on supporters to lock arms with him for an hour each weekday in opposition to the administration's plan to close his lab June 30.

MIT was aware of Sherley's planned protest, spokeswoman Patti Richards said in an e-mail today. The university has no further comment, she said, citing an earlier statement that said the tenure decision is final.

"Both before and since his hunger strike, MIT has been committed to resolving its differences with Professor Sherley and has offered repeatedly to engage in professional mediation to facilitate an amicable agreement," the statement said. "With June 30 fast approaching, MIT has continued to urge Professor Sherley to work with the Administration to make appropriate transition plans for his departure from MIT."

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:55 PM
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