UCR Chancellor White Withdraws Protest Guidelines

In response to overwhelming protest (including an open letter from the SDFA), UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy White withdrew the Protest Guidelines posted earlier this month on the UCR Dean of Students page, which he characterized as a “draft” document.

However, this small victory may only be temporary; Chancellor White has directed a “review [of the policies] conducted by a task force consisting of students, faculty, and staff, who in turn will be asked to consult widely before making their recommendations.”

Below is a copy of the email transmitted broadly on the UCR campus.  Also see the links to:

From: Chancellor <chancellor@ucr.edu>
Subject: Removal of Assembly Guidelines
Date: December 14, 2011 1:09:35 PM PST
To: ucrfacultyandstaff@lists.ucr.edu” <ucrfacultyandstaff@lists.ucr.edu>, “students@lists.ucr.edu” <students@lists.ucr.edu>

Members of the UCR Community,

I have directed that the draft “protest guidelines” recently posted on our web pages be removed.

It is clear that the document does not accurately reflect UC Riverside’s demonstrated commitment to free expression and peaceful, non-violent protest.  We were in error to post guidelines that neither comport with our values nor reflect the realities of how the campus exercises the right to free speech.

We fully understand that most protests and demonstrations are spontaneous, and are in response to current events. At UCR, we have a long history of accommodating such demonstrations, most recently last month, when I engaged with several hundred students, faculty, staff, and community members at the Bell Tower to publicly discuss the “occupy movement.”

In an open letter sent yesterday, I announced the formation of a task force to review and rewrite our rules of assembly as appropriate for an institution committed to free speech and devoted to the discovery and sharing of knowledge and ideas.

I regret any confusion and discontent caused by the document. The document and its posting were not worthy of this great university.  We will move forward in the open, collaborative manner that has been the foundation of our campus throughout its history.


Timothy P. White