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Our Letter to the State Board of Higher Education

Immediately Rescind the PhD of Paul W. Lewis.
State Board of Higher Education
Marcia Stuart
PO BOX 3175
Eugene, OR. 97403-0175
Dear President Lorenzen:

We are writing with disappointment that our concerns are passed about glibly by the staff of the University of Oregon and the State Board of Higher Education. We have had to contact no less than five different offices or individuals to find an answer to our concerns thus far.

In 1978 Paul W. Lewis was awarded a PhD. for his thesis about a pogrom of sterilizations that he developed in Thailand to be carried out on hundreds of Akha women. Mr. Lewis was stopped. But the pogrom of sterilizations that Mr. Lewis pioneered by his own admission for the Thai Government, because "there were too many Akha people" continues on to this day, given full permission by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.

The lives of Akha women were savaged by these coercive sterilizations conducted far from view by Mr. Paul W. Lewis, and their lives continue to be savaged by Thai doctors who continue to sterilize Akha women after they give birth, without their Full, Prior and Informed Consent. We have witnessed such sterilizations as they continue to this day in Thailand.

We are asking that the State Board of Higher Education take the following actions:
1. The State Board of Higher Education immediately rescind the PhD. of Paul W. Lewis.
2. The State Board of Higher Education make a formal, public and written published apology to the Akha people for the sterilizations of Akha women that were conducted as part of this "research" and that have continued to this day as a result of the permission that was extended to the Thai Government.
3. The State Board of Higher Education make it clear that they will in no way support education research that is racist, coercive or discriminatory in nature.
4. The State Board of Higher Education make a written statement to the Government of Thailand, presented to the Thai Ambassador to the US, Mr. Krit Garnjana-Goonchorn, that the State Board of Higher Education for Oregon revokes any approval or consent for the sterilizations of indigenous women in Thailand under any conditions that fail to meet the requirements of Full, Prior and Informed Consent according to International Standards of Human Rights Law, further asking the Thai Government to respect and protect the rights of the Akha people.

If the State Board of Higher Education fails to take these actions, then we consider that all diplomas which have been issued by any school in Oregon which falls under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Higher Education to be worthless.

We further consider that under this precedent established with the thesis and PhD of Paul W. Lewis, which was awarded and approved by the State of Oregon Board of Higher Education, for acts and research conducted far from the public view of Oregonians, it is ok to sterilize any group of women without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent regardless of their race or social economic standing, and receive a PhD. from the State Board of Higher Education for this work until the time that the State Board of Higher Education for Oregon rescinds this PhD.

We find it no less troubling, that the Vice-Provost of the University of Oregon, Marian Friestad, finds no problem with the research and acts of sterilization Paul W. Lewis pioneered against the Akha people, or that the University of Oregon gave him a PhD. in reward for this racist work against Akha women.

For the Akha people of Myanmar, Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam who have been affected by these sterilizations which were approved by the State Board of Higher Education,

Matthew McDaniel
Michu Uaiyue
The Akha Heritage Foundation

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