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July 24, 1997


To the editor:

The purpose of this letter is to apologize for my incorrect characterization of the University of Pennsylvania as having jumped on the "bandwagon of civility worshipers," as I put it, in my May 15, 1997, letter in the University Times, in which I castigated "The Pitt Promise," but first here is some background.

In the above letter, I said, inter alia, that the "…specter of 'The Pitt Promise' — and let the University of Cincinnati, the University of Akron, the University of South Carolina, and yes, even the University of Pennsylvania make fools of themselves by hopping aboard the bandwagon of civility worshipers like a gaggle of sycophants–is embarrassing." A highly placed and indisputably authoritative spokesperson for the University of Pennsylvania, having seen my letter, protested that "…I must object somewhat strongly to your characterization of the University of Pennsylvania. We certainly have not jumped on any 'bandwagon of civility worshipers' and the work of the Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community extends far beyond the rather limited issue of incivility with which some of the press have chosen to erroneously link it. We certainly do not see ourselves as part of any 'civility movement,' and I would appreciate your taking cognizance of that fact." I hereby take cognizance of that fact and apologize to the University of Pennsylvania community for having erroneously linked it with any "civility movement.'"

Robert Perloff

Professor emeritus

Katz Graduate School of Business

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