Saturday, February 27, 2010

RE:Statement of UC President Mark G. Yudof, the Chancellors of the ten UC campuses, and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Universitywide Academic Senate

As a UCLA graduate student (current FMF intern), I received this in my inbox today, Friday, 2/26/10 at 5:15 pm.

After reading it, all I'm left with is questions.

  1. What took them so long?
  2. Is this all the response the despicable events at UCSD merit?
  3. Is it good enough to counter "bad speech" with "good speech"?
  4. Are there structural issues that are not being addressed?
  5. Are the "principles and values" that the UC system stand for unbiased, and therefore good enough to be put forth to "confront behavior that violates them"?

The statement:

UCLA Office of the Chancellor

To the Campus Community:

Today I joined UC President Mark Yudof and all the other UC chancellors in signing the following statement:

Statement of UC President Mark G. Yudof, the Chancellors of the ten UC campuses, and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Universitywide Academic Senate
February 26, 2010

As leaders of the University of California, we are deeply disturbed by recent events at a few of our campuses. We condemn all acts of racism, intolerance and incivility. Regardless of how such offenses are rationalized, or what free speech rights they purport to express, the acts we have witnessed are unacceptable. The actions of these individuals reflect neither our principles nor our values, nor the sentiments of the University of California community. We will not allow the actions of a few to speak for this University. We denounce them.

Each of our campuses is committed to promoting and defending a learning environment that values and supports each student, faculty and staff member in an atmosphere that is open, civil, fair, caring and respectful. These values are enshrined in the "Principles of Community" each campus adheres to and that clearly outline our expectations for behavior on our campuses. We expect that all members of our university community, including our visitors, will be respectful of differing views, opinions, experiences, and background.

When violations occur, it is incumbent on us, as leaders and as stewards of free speech on our campuses, to push back. We have a responsibility to speak out against activities that promote intolerance or undermine civil dialogue. As always, the remedy for bad speech is good speech. For that reason, we call on all members of the UC community – students, faculty and staff – to affirm and defend the values of the University of California. We are speaking out and ask that you do the same whenever, wherever and however you confront behavior that violates the principles and values of this University.

Mark G. Yudof
University of California
Henry Powell
UC Academic Senate
Daniel Simmons
Vice Chair
UC Academic Senate

Robert J. Birgeneau
UC Berkeley
Linda P.B. Katehi
UC Davis
Michael V. Drake, M.D.
UC Irvine

Gene Block
UC Los Angeles
Steve Kang
UC Merced
Timothy P. White
UC Riverside

Marye Anne Fox
UC San Diego
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
UC San Francisco
Henry T. Yang
UC Santa Barbara

George Blumenthal
UC Santa Cruz

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