Kenneth L. Marcus To Head SPME Legal Task Force

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Kenneth L. Marcus has consented to serve as SPME’s Legal Task Force Chair and to help form an international panel of academic attorneys to work with SPME. Looking at issues of hate speech and incitement, academic responsibility and accountability, freedom from intimidation, fabrication and falsification and other challenging issues of academic freedom, Prof. Marcus will be working with the SPME Board of Directors to develop action strategies for faculty members. The Task Force will not provide legal advice, but it will serve as an important resource for SPME’s work in the field of law and policy.

Professor Marcus is the L illie and Nathan Ackerman Visiting Professor of Equality and Justice in America at CUNY’s School of Public Affairs at Baruch College and Director of the Initiative on Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism in American Education at the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. Prior to joining Baruch College and IJCR, Prof. Marcus was the Staff Director of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. As Staff Director from 2004 to 2008, he served as the agency’s chief executive officer, responsible for providing leadership and direction to the agency’s staff. It was at this position, that he was responsible for the writing and dissemination of the Commission’s findings and recommendations on combatting anti-Semitism on campus. From 2002 to 2004 Mr. Marcus was delegated the authority of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights and also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for Enforcement. As head of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Marcus oversaw the resolution of approximately 10,000 civil rights cases through OCR’s twelve enforcement offices. At OCR, Marcus issued policy guidance establishing OCR’s jurisdiction in cases of anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Marcus worked in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Before entering public service, Marcus was a litigation partner in two major law firms. In the co urtroom, he was known for his successful representation of individuals who had been denied constitutional and civil rights, including rights protected under the First Amendment. A graduate of Williams College, magna cum laude, and the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), Marcus and his wife and daughter live in Leesburg, Virginia.

Marcus will be the next featured speaker in the SPME Conference Call Presentations Series on April 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time. He will be speaking on action strategies to address hate speech and hostile campus environments.

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Kenneth L. Marcus To Head SPME Legal Task Force

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Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit [501 (C) (3)], grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.

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