and Co-Editor, SPME Faculty Forum (2002-2010)
I am stepping back for two reasons.
First, I believe that the organization and our mission and results can only grow when leadership is developed, cultivated and given a chance to grow. Our challenges will not end in my lifetime. This is a team marathon and while I have run the first laps of this race, the marathon has only just begun. Given academic processes and the amount of scholarship that is necessary, I wanted to build an organization that would far outlast me and continue the important work of handing the narrative of this important area affecting all of us in academia either directly or indirectly. To this end, I surrounded myself with the best and the brightest colleagues I could find and have slowly turned over the reigns and am watching the evolution of the organization to the next stage of growth and development. I don’t want to see SPME go in the direction that the highly successful, but now defunct American Professors for Peace in the Middle East went. Our work will be a challenge in perpetuity and this organization must grow to increasing levels of the production of credible academic scholarship and networking so that we are never again having to hide in fox holes with our commitment to academic integrity, honest debate, academic freedom and academic accountability with respect to the narrative in the Middle East. Unfortunately there is a permanent need for SPME far beyond our working lives. I hope I have planted the seeds for that permanency with my stepping back and divesting responsibility to younger more talented, energetic and productive faculty.