Genshaft to meet with grad students

A group that represents 20 graduate student organizations will hold a forum Wednesday at which USF President Judy Genshaft will speak about her decision to fire tenured professor Sami Al-Arian.

The Graduate and Professional Student Organization, which counsels graduate students on academic, social and cultural issues, organized the meeting after representatives from the provost’s office relayed to GPSO’s president, Patrick Cannon, that it was important for Genshaft to speak to graduate students about her decision to fire Al-Arian.

“I want to get a sense of where grad students are based on Wednesday’s meeting,” Cannon said. “Then we can digest the information and figure out whether or not we will consider taking a position (for or against Genshaft).”

Cannon said he was impressed that Genshaft is following through with a promise made last week in some media reports that she would consult students, faculty and staff on the controversial issue before rendering a final decision regarding the employment of Al-Arian.

He said the forum will aide both Genshaft and the students; Genshaft will be able to gauge the reaction of the graduate students by the questions they ask her, and graduate students will be able to get a better sense of what their concerns are after listening to the president’s responses.