Douglas Wilson's E-Mail Message to Brian Pitcher
University of Idaho's Provost of Academic Affairs


Dear President Michael and Provost Pitcher,

I am sure you are very busy men, and that you have better things to do than put out fires that have been started by your own diversity office. But the fact remains that the "fires" that are contained in the essay by Quinlan and Ramsey fall into two categories as far as the University of Idaho is concerned -- embarrassing and dangerous. This means that they really must be dealt with, and I am sorry that I am the one who has to ask you to do it.

The embarrassing part is easy enough to ascertain. There are at least four factual errors in the first paragraph, and the rest of the essay continues the tradition. Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey make much of the fact that they are professional historians, but the demonstrable fact remains that they are extremely sloppy professional historians. I would rather have no adversaries at the University of Idaho at all, but if I must, I appreciate the fact that their scholarship is of this caliber. I want this controversy to die. But if it does not, I am extremely grateful that it is being waged against me like this.

The dangerous part is of greater concern to you, and involves the current overall situation at the University of Idaho. That concern is financial and political, not legal. Please note that this letter is not threatening a suit for defamation. I have better things to do. But it is to let you know that I have been counseled to consider it, and that the slanderous Quinlan/Ramsey piece does bring the phrase "reckless disregard for the truth" to mind. The central point is to let you know that if the facts of this particular controversy were to find their way into the hands of those who are looking for ways to hammer the University of Idaho, it would be very difficult for the UI to defend itself. In short, the University of Idaho has enough trouble going right now without your diversity office generating more of it for you.

I am a graduate of the UI, as is my wife. I have no desire whatever to be involved in a controversy with the university. I regret the current problems the UI is going through. That is why it astounds me that your diversity office has chosen to start picking new fights.

The Quinlan/Ramsey essay is slanderous, defamatory, inaccurate, sloppy, and, to the point of your concern, unnecessary. I am therefore asking you to see to it the Quinlan/Ramsey piece is pulled from the diversity office web site, and an apology put in its place. I appreciate your consideration of this request. I would be happy to meet with you in person to discuss this further if you would wish.


Douglas Wilson

(Return to Main Page)