Messages on the November 18th Incident

December 5, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I wish to thank those of you available to attend the Special Meeting of the Representative Assembly on Friday, December 2, 2011.    We estimate the audience at approximately 300 including 69 voting members of the Representative Assembly. The discussion of the action on November 18, 2011, was frank, constructive and important.  

I wish to apologize to those of you who waited in line and were unable to speak before we ran out of time. I also apologize for the visible presence of the Cal Aggie Hosts, and the posting of a notice to be courteous to the facility. I agree with the speakers who complained that they were absolutely not necessary. However, those responsible for the Mondavi Center asked for such measures to protect the facility. We refused many of their requests but did acquiesce to some. It is standard practice for the facility to ask the audience to be courteous before each performance meaning to shut off cell phones, not bring food into the auditorium or large bags that may block an aisle.

I called the meeting to allow the faculty to address the Chancellor in a candid and direct manner, as well as to hear from each other. Our colleagues asked tough questions and raised significant concern for our students and community overall in light of the action on November 18th. We also had a chance to begin discussing how to move on, radically change our policies and practices and how we can begin working together with our students to strengthen the campus and focus on assuring access to affordable public education.

The resolution passed unanimously by the Representative Assembly to commend our students is available here. Additionally, there are links to recent communications associated with this event and we will keep you informed.

Finally, the Special Committee reviewing the police action on November 18, 2011, will be announced this week.

Linda F. Bisson, Chair
Davis Division of the Academic Senate

November 26, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday we sent all of you a link to the Faculty Code of Conduct that includes on page three a statement of academic freedom rights. The Davis Division of the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility unanimously voted to issue the following statement:

The UC Davis Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (CAFR) condemns violence as well as directives and policies that are likely to lead to it. The role of a university in society is to serve as a beacon of compassion and tolerance to foster thoughtful discourse. Academic freedom is the pilot light protecting knowledge production and should protect all members of the university engaged in civil discourse without fear or threat of coercive retaliation or physical harm. In light of an emerging pattern of policies and behaviors counter to these principles, we call on all University of California administrators to undergo training in the importance of academic freedom and how to protect and foster it against financial, political, and social pressures. We also plan to review recent events in order to assess to what degree academic freedom rights were violated and to make policy recommendations to safeguard academic freedom at University of California campuses. - unanimously agreed by CAFR members

Linda F. Bisson
Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate Professor, Viticulture and Enology

November 23, 2011

The Divisional Chair and members of the Executive Council were invited to a meeting today with members of Occupy UC Davis. We were pleased to meet with these students who have been involved with a call for a general strike on Monday, November 28. The call can be found here. The general strike has been called in conjunction with a meeting of the Board of Regents to be held in part on the Davis campus on Monday. A link to the meeting call can be found here

In making their decisions concerning their instructional activities on November 28, faculty should be aware of the contents of the Faculty Code of Conduct, which can be found at here.

November 20, 2011

The Executive Council of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate issues the following statement:

The Executive Council, on behalf of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, strongly supports the right of all campus citizens to assemble and protest peacefully. It is totally unacceptable to use excessive force against peaceful protesters. The UC Davis administration must assume full accountability for the actions taken on Friday, November 18, 2011. We must assure a campus environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and fosters freedom of expression. We are in full support of an investigation into recent events and a public accounting of all findings.

The Executive Council also approved the formation of a Special Committee to investigate in a thorough and timely manner the events leading to the use of force on Friday, November 18, 2011. A Special Meeting of the Representative Assembly will occur on Friday, December 2 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.