E-mail message of 21 December 2004 from J. Hillis Miller.

Dear Peggy and Geoff:

Here is my testimony:

I care a lot about making the UCI Derrida Archives available to qualified people. I think it would be important for the immense task of guarding and diffusing Derrida's intellectual legacy. I care even more about respecting Jacques' wishes. I hope these may not be incompatible.

I had, along with many others, written a strong letter to the Chancellor last summer [...]. In the last phone conversation Jacques and I had, about three or four weeks before his death, we talked a lot about this issue, along with other things, of course. He expressed a strong sense of outrage at the new rule and about the way it had been applied to our colleague, a sense I share, though without having full knowledge of the facts of the case. When I asked him whether he intended to do anything further, he said his letter had stated his position. He did not specify in detail what would satisfy him, but stressed his belief that the UCI faculty had not done enough. After that call I went to work to arrange a telephone conversation with UCI's Chancellor, Ralph Cicerone. He and I talked for a long time. I expressed as forcefully as I could my concerns and Derrida's. The Chancellor was sympathetic and said he would support a substantial change in the new policy [...]. He stressed that faculty action through Senate committees would be appropriate and effective. I tried to call Jacques to report this conversation in detail, along with what I knew of the various faculty actions, as evidence that there was indeed an ongoing "significant show of solidarity and protest."  I knew he was in the hospital and had thought of waiting until he got home, but finally decided to call anyway. Unhappily, I called on the very night he died, so I lost forever the chance to report my talk with the Chancellor and the other things the faculty were doing. You will know in more detail about these from [others]. A faculty committee, with which I am working at long distance, is making official efforts to protest the rule and to make recommendations to the Faculty Senate and its committees. Protests have been made at Berkeley and I believe to the Office of the President. These efforts will continue. I have talked once to Marguerite by phone, a couple of weeks ago, but we did not discuss this issue. I just wanted to express my sorrow and to find out whether I could help her in any way. I shall of course be glad to call her about this if you decide you want me to do so, or to do anything else you suggest.

yours, Hillis