University of Virginia Library

Students Protest Failure To Promote Vidal


A group of 16 graduate and
undergraduate students of the Spanish
Department have written a letter
protesting their faculty's decision not to
recommend Herman Vidal, an assistant
professor of Spanish, for promotion to
Associate Professor.

The letter was sent to Mr. Lester
Crocker, acting chairman of the Spanish
Department, last Wednesday and was
presented at a faculty meeting on
Thursday, Mr. Crocker pointed out that
the letter was read to the faculty "as a
matter of information" only, as the full
faculty could take no action.

A copy of the letter was also received
by Mr. Dexter Whitehead, dean of the
faculty. The letter read in part: "It is
with great... dismay that we have received
the news of the non-renewal of Mr.
Vidal's contract. We can only ask
ourselves the reason for this decision..."

The students said they feel "that the
Department has made a mistake in this
action" and that they wished to present
their concern "in hope that it will be

Mr. Vidal (who has been teaching at
the University for five years) was
informed of the decision of the
department's executive committee on
Friday, February 18.

He said the reason given him for the
denial was that he had failed to publish a
book. However, Mr. Vidal added that he
has written a book which is now under
consideration by several publishing

One graduate student described Mr.
Vidal, a specialist in the Latin American
novel, as "the best teacher I've had
anywhere." Mr. Vidal will be permitted
to continue teaching at the University
next year, after which time he will have
to leave.


Photo By Jay Adams

Herman Vidal, Associate Professor Of Spanish

Sixteen Of His Students Protest Executive Committee Decision