Jewish Scholars, ADL Condemn Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Honoring Holocaust Denier
A group of prominent American Jewish scholars and advocates is prevailing on Arkansas Tech University to cancel a scholarship that honors a history professor who taught antisemitism and Holocaust denial in the classroom.
In a letter sent to Robin Bowen — president of Arkansas Tech — on Thursday, the group highlighted the scholarship “in honor of former Professor of History Dr. Michael Link, who taught at Arkansas Tech for over fifty years until the time of his death in 2016.” The group said that the “administration of Arkansas Tech deemed it appropriate to honor Dr. Link despite being presented with compelling evidence that, throughout his tenure, Dr. Link repeatedly espoused Holocaust denial and antisemitism to his students and in his writing.”
The signatories of the letter, coordinated by the the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), include Prof. Leslie Morris, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota, Prof. Susannah Heschel, chair of the Jewish Studies Program at Dartmouth College, and Holocaust denial expert Prof. Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University. The letter was also signed by Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO.
News of the scholarship was announced by Arkansas Tech last December, in a publicity release that stated, “Multiple generations of Arkansas Tech University students learned history from Dr. Michael Link.”
The university said that the scholarship “was endowed by a gift of $190,900.68 from Link’s estate.”
In their letter to Arkansas Tech President Bowen, the scholars pointed out that the “evidence against Dr. Link includes antisemitic passages in his written work, testimony from former students and colleagues, and a well-documented 2005 incident in which Dr. Link presented antisemitic, neo-Nazi published texts in a graduate seminar as though they were legitimate historical works.”
The group said that this evidence had been “reviewed by the Anti-Defamation League, leaders of the Jewish Federation of Arkansas, and international and national scholars in the field of Holocaust Studies. All have found it credible and convincing, and all agree that Dr. Link presented hate-filled, non-factual, antisemitic misinformation to his students as though it offered a historically-valid point of view.”
The group told Bowen that by “simultaneously honoring and seeking to conceal the antisemitism of Dr. Link, the university has become complicit in his hate.”
“We call upon Arkansas Tech University to immediately remedy this situation,” the letter concluded.