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He's got tenure, but I think CSAIL really ought to have a conversation about whether Sussman's sponsorship of Stallman was a benefit to the lab or not. I don't think there's much to be gained by kicking Sussman out (as far as I've heard, Sussman himself is not the problem, and as a former student I can say he taught classes just fine), but I think there's very much to be gained with a "blameless postmortem," so to speak, of what happened and how we can prevent it from happening again. In particular, given the stories coming out about both students and faculty going out of their way to ward off RMS, could the lab have picked up on him being a problem earlier and gone through some well-defined process? (Consensus is that he was an annoyance 10+ years ago when I was there, was he more than that / could we have established consensus that he was an actual problem?) What should the procedure / norms be to review sponsorship of a lab visitor? How did he get an office when the lab was pressed for space for actual paid researchers, and why was he allowed to have a mattress there?

(If you're applying standard SRE philosophy, someone resigning after a media firestorm is absolutely the sort of atypical and unwanted event that merits an unconditional postmortem. Whether or not you agree with them leaving, it's clearly not the right outcome: either they should have stayed or they should have left before the firestorm.)




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