Note on the Faculty Petition

In the previous issue of the Tech, we published a private letter that ~150 professors wrote to President Rosenbaum. The letter, which was not intended to be shared outside the faculty, expressed dissatisfaction with recent undergraduates’ academic performance and argued to end the Admissions Office’s standardized testing moratorium.

Our purpose in publishing the letter was to ensure that students were included in this conversation, because it was clear that the faculty had no intention of doing so otherwise. It is regrettable that the letter was the way in which their perspective was ultimately publicized; probably all parties would agree that its writing quality and presentation of information were ironically subpar and ineffective. Again, the letter was a private communication not intended for publication. However, the Tech was met with silence when we reached out to the letter’s five authors back in February requesting a summary of arguments or a public statement. Professors John Dabiri and Paul Asimow graciously shared their own angles on the letter (see January 16th and February 6th issues of the Tech), but the full text unfortunately remains the best available representation of all the signatories’ perspectives. The person who shared the letter with the Tech asked us not to print the list of signatures or the appended comments from individual professors; this issue is bigger than any one of us, and calling out specific people would be counterproductive.

That said, of course, the letter featured data from two required classes in the Electrical Engineering option, EE44 and EE55. Specifically, it contained (anonymous) exam scores and grade statistics from the past two years of the courses. In hindsight, especially given the small class sizes in the EE major, it was irresponsibile of us to publish this content without censoring the class names or asking the permission of the students implicated. On behalf of the Tech, I’d like to publicly apologize to the students in those classes for this lapse in judgment. I’m very glad that some of them were able to put together a response to the letter, which can be found in this issue. From my conversations with them, it sounds like we were indeed successful in initiating meaningful dialogue between students and faculty, at least in the EE department.

To you, dear reader, thanks for bearing with us as we learn from our mistakes. It’s an honor to represent the astonishing diversity of voices throughout the Caltech campus — if you want to make yours heard, whether to the Tech’s editorial team or to the entire community, please feel encouraged to drop us a line at, or on our new feedback form at We’d love to hear your thoughts on how to communicate your thoughts!