Douglas Feith (LAW ’78) may not have devised an exit strategy for the U.S. occupation of Iraq, but according to the former Bush administration official, a group of Georgetown professors apparently had no trouble coming up with an exit strategy for him.

The distinguished practitioner in national security policy in the School of Foreign Service will not be returning to teach at Georgetown next semester after the university chose not to renew his two-year contract.

“Technically I was appointed for two years and there was no extension of the appointment,” Feith said in an interview. “My understanding is that there were some members of the faculty that didn’t want me on the faculty.”

Before coming to Georgetown in 2006, Feith served as under secretary of defense for policy from July 2001 to August 2005 under President Bush, playing a pivotal role in planning the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

SFS Dean Robert Gallucci said that there was already an agreement in place between Feith and the university that his contract would be limited to two years and was not expected to be renewed.

“I announced it was a two-year contract, and it was widely understood,” he said. “I decided to stay with my statement that the contract was only two years and that was the prudent thing to do.”

But Feith said he got the sense that the reason his contract was not extended was because of political views and past work that generated controversy among many faculty members.

“I think it is the only reason,” Feith said.

When Feith was first hired in May 2006, several SFS faculty members objected to him joining the faculty. At least 35 professors signed a letter criticizing Feith’s role in planning the Iraqi invasion, saying that his actions “constitute war crimes . which the most sympathetic [person] would have to think a highly dubious grounds for further employment.”

Since his appointment, Feith had been teaching on topics relating to the national security policy of the Bush administration in the SFS.

At a lecture he gave earlier this month, a group of students from Georgetown Peace Action protested Feith’s alleged support of certain interrogation techniques. Georgetown Peace Action has sharply criticized the university’s decision to hire Feith.

Other students are have come to Feith’s defense, however, by starting an online petition last Wednesday asking Gallucci to allow Feith to continue to teach at the university. The petition had collected 46 signatures as of last night.

“It is gratifying to know that students appreciate the teaching that I have done. I’ve had a diverse set of students and I’ve had very good relations with all of them,” Feith said.

Gallucci also defended Feith’s record at Georgetown, which he said was not a factor in the decision not to renew the contract.

“The decision to stay with the original plan does not reflect anything negative about Doug’s performance,” Gallucci said. “His teaching is excellent. . He really got excellent reviews.”

If Feith had been asked to come back next year, though, he said he would have taken the offer into consideration.

“I certainly would have considered it. I have enjoyed teaching at Georgetown a lot,” he said.

Feith is now considering what to do next as he says good-bye to the Hilltop. He was the third in line to the secretary of defense as deputy under secretary of defense for policy, but Feith said he would probably not return to the public sector after Georgetown.

“I’m considering a number of things,” he said. “At the moment, I’m just focusing on all the interviews that have resulted from the publication of my book.”

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