Article ‘false report’ of professor’s conduct in class

My name is Nicholas D. Summe, a student of Dr. Clinton G. Hewan and a Political Science/History major at Northern Kentucky University.

I am writing this letter because I am appalled at the article I read in the Cincinnati Enquire regarding Dr. Hewan’s teaching at NKU.

Mr. Peter Branson not only wrote a completely false report of Dr. Hewan’s teaching style, but it was a biased account that was not fully investigated.

I would like to address some of the issues the Mr. Branson brought up in his article and give my perspective as a student.

First, let’s address the term “anti-American.”

I do not believe in this wording, and neither should any true American. The U.S. Constitution gives us the right, and we as citizens have the civic duty to criticize any and all governmental policies that are not in the best interest of not only the American citizen, but the citizens of the world.

Sadly, many U.S. Government policies do not meet this basic requirement. Dr. Hewan not only is fully cognizant of this fact, but has the courage to speak the truth about this matter.

Is it wrong to point out the fact that our economic sanctions against Iraq over the past decade have contributed to the death of over a half a million children in Iraq?

Is it against America to speak about our governments past policy of supporting Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran? Especially during a time when Hussein was committing the same atrocities that our government is accusing him of today to justify war.

These, as well as many other issues are policies that Americans should talk and think about.

In response to the statement that Dr. Hewan has a bias against “white America” is in my opinion, as a five time student of Dr. Hewan, completely fallacious.

I have heard this man tell a class full of “white” students that, “believe it or not, at a human level, I love you all,” on more than one occasion.

Dr. Hewan more than likely has a problem with the “white” power structure here in America. Well, so do I and many other intelligent Americans, and our problem is not with the fact that the vast majority of our leaders are “white,” it is with their on going policies.

I would state in a court of law that as a white male, Dr. Hewan has showed me nothing but professionalism and friendship during our teacher-student relationship. God forbid that somebody have an opinion in our present culture.

The statement Dr. Hewan’s class is not objective, fair, or balanced, could not be further from the truth.

During his classes Dr. Hewan does not attempt to force his ideological beliefs on his students and does not try to either suppress or ridicule any view contrary to his own.

In no way shape or form does Dr. Hewan force his ideological beliefs on anybody.

What must be understood about Dr. Hewan is that he is a very smart and is incredibly well read. So if you want to argue with this man on any subject you better know your facts!

Anybody who knows and has befriended Dr. Hewan will attest to the fact that he is not only a kind hearted soul, but a great teacher who cares very deeply about his students.

At the beginning of every class, as well as a few times throughout the lecture, he always pauses to ask the students if they have any questions, and if the information that he is teaching is sitting well with the students.

Also in every class I have ever had with Dr. Hewan, he repeatedly tells the class that if they do not believe what he is saying, that the students should go read and try to prove him wrong.

“Don’t take my word, or anybodies else’s as gospel,” he always says. I think his favorite statement to say in class is, “Go read!”

Dr. Hewan loves to encourage his students to read, and not just what he assigns, but anything and everything that they can get your hands on.

I could dispute everything that Peter Bronson said about Dr. Hewan, however, I think it is better to ponder why a man that claims to be a journalist would take the account of one student, who more than likely is disgruntled, and put a condemning judgment on a man that he has never met.

If Mr. Bronson wishes to discover the real Dr. Hewan, why doesn’t he take one of Hewan’s classes, and then form a well thought out opinion.