Earlier this month, President Yudof sent an open letter to the UC community regarding policies of tolerance. However, while focus was placed on hateful speech and actions on our Jewish and Israeli students and colleagues, no mention was made of comparable attacks that have been made on community members of other faiths and, especially, community members of color. Professor of Sociology Charles Thorpe and the SDFA board has sent the following letter to Chancellor Fox, asking for clarification on Yudof’s comments and as to assure that all minority members of the community are properly considered when it comes to principles of community.
Dear Chancellor Fox,
On March 8 of this year, President Yudof sent an Open Letter to the UC Community regarding issues of tolerance in the UC system. California Scholars for Academic Freedom have raised concerns about President Yudof’s letter, citing “apparent bias regarding the right of free speech and dissent on UC campuses, and a stated reliance on advice from two organizations that lack credible experience in dealing with academic freedom.” UC San Diego Faculty Association shares these concerns regarding the letter and supports the statement by California Scholars for Academic Freedom. We are writing to request clarification of what President Yudof means when he says “We also are working with the Museum of Tolerance and the Anti-Defamation League to improve campus climate for all students and to take full advantage of our marvelous diversity.” Please could you provide us with a detailed account of how the university (both UCSD and UC-wide) is working with these organizations and what role the university envisages for these organizations, including what information the university has shared or envisages sharing with these organizations. We would also be interested in an explanation as to why the administration thought it necessary to bring in organizations external to UC to deal with these matters, how these organizations were selected for this role, and whether any other organizations were considered. Further, we would like to know whether President Yudof’s letter means any change in policy at UCSD toward speech and protest.
Professor Charles Thorpe, on behalf of the Board of Directors, UC San Diego Faculty Association.
March 10, 2012 Letter by California Scholars for Academic Freedom: http://www.usacbi.org/2012/03/california-scholars-for-academic-freedom-protest-uc-presidents-apparent-bias-regarding-the-right-of-free-speech-and-dissent-on-uc-campuses/
March 8, Open Letter to UC Community, President Mark Yudof, http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/27279