Monday, January 9, 2012

UC Davis Faculty to vote on Katehi February 7 #UCDavis #OccupyUCDavis #Katehi

The UC Davis Academic Senate today released the full text of three proposed resolutions about Chancellor Katehi and the events of November 18.  On February 7, members of the faculty will receive on-line ballots and statements supporting and opposing the resolutions.  The resolutions are the same as those in my earlier posts: A expresses a lack of confidence in Katehi, B condemns police violence against protestors and expresses confidence in Katehi.  C condemns police violence against protestors.   One difference is that Resolution B now includes a long list of "whereas" statements.  Supporters of Resolution A (those wishing to express "no confidence" in Chancellor Katehi) introduced Resolution C in order to ensure that Resolution B did not syphon off support for their resolution by condemning police violence.  I analyzed the rationales and prospects of these resolutions here.  You can comment on the resolutions and see the list of signatories here

Resolution A

In light of the events on the quadrangle of the UC Davis campus on the afternoon of Friday November 18, 2011, in light of Chancellor Linda Katehi’s email to faculty of November 18 in which she admitted that she had ordered the police to take action against the students who were demonstrating on the quadrangle and said that she had had “no option” but to proceed in this way, and in light of the failure of Chancellor Katehi to act effectively to resolve the resulting crisis in the intervening days,

Be it therefore resolved that the Davis Division of the Senate of the University of California lacks confidence in the leadership of Chancellor Katehi, and

Be it also resolved that the result of the vote on this motion be communicated to the Board of Regents and the President of the University of California.

Resolution B

Whereas non-violent political protest, free assembly, and free speech are constitutional rights valued at the UC Davis,

And whereas the response of the UC Davis Police Department to peaceful protestors on November 18, 2011 was appalling,  

And whereas in the UC Davis culture it is customary for representative(s) from the highest levels of the administration to engage in direct dialogue with demonstrators, 

And whereas prior to November 18, 2011 Chancellor Linda Katehi worked diligently to elevate the national and international stature of the Davis campus,

And whereas the presence of an accomplished scholar at the top post has helped UC Davis attract and retain outstanding scholars, including faculty members serving at the highest levels of administration,

And whereas in the last two years, Chancellor Linda Katehi developed a bold plan for campus growth that includes an aggressive fund-raising campaign that will alleviate the burden imposed by ever decreasing state financial support,

And whereas Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized to University community for the events of November 18, 2011,

And whereas Chancellor Linda Katehi publically stated that she will ensure that such events do not recur,

And whereas the events of November 18 transformed Linda Katehi into a Chancellor who engages in a full and open dialogue with students, staff, and faculty,

And whereas Chancellor Katehi moved expeditiously to replace the flawed communications in the two days following the events with a campus-wide dialogue through a series of town hall meetings with students, staff, and faculty,

And whereas a Chancellor with first-hand experience of the horrific events of November 18, 2011 is better qualified to deal with its aftermath,

And whereas dispatching police before engaging in a direct dialogue with protesters, while running counter to the UC Davis culture, does not outweigh the Chancellor Katehi’s impeccable performance of all her other duties,

And whereas Chancellor Katehi’s resignation would have devastating effects on the moral and academic standing of the campus, thereby making it highly unlikely that UC Davis could attract a Chancellor of her stature,

And whereas it is time to promote a constructive healing process rather than risk more harm by pressuring the Chancellor to resign:

Be it therefore resolved that the Davis Division of the Academic Senate:
  1. Condemns both the dispatch of police in response to non-violent protests and the use of excessive force that led to the deplorable pepper-spraying events of November 18, 2011.
  2. Opposes all violent police responses to non-violent protests on campus.
  3. Demands that police deployment against protesters be considered only after all reasonable administrative efforts to bridge differences have been exhausted, including direct consultation with the leadership of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate.
  4. Accepts Chancellor Linda Katehi’s good faith apology.
  5. Expresses confidence in Chancellor Linda Katehi’s leadership and efforts to place UC Davis among the top 5 public universities in the nation.
Resolution C

Be it resolved that that the Davis Division of the Senate of the University of California hereby

(1) condemns both the dispatch of police and use of excessive force in response to non-violent protests on November 18, 2011; 

(2) opposes violent police response to non-violent protests on campus; 

(3) demands that police deployment against protestors be considered only after all reasonable efforts have been exhausted and with direct consultation with Academic Senate leadership.

1 comment:

  1. It appears from Professor Halfmann's resolution that he and others have judged that Chancellor Katehi has undergone a conversion and a dramatic change of attitude. Was it merely to keep her job? Was it all window dressing? Does she really now see how her apparent indifference to the First Amendment rights of the students put her as odds with American traditions of free speech? I am not convinced, even though Professor Halfmann make a quasi-persuasive case, based, I suspect on his willingness to forgive a fellow professor. Infighting among faculty members can be brutal, and I suspect Professor Halfmann might believe Chancellor Katehi has suffered enough and has come around so she should not be punished for her egregious dereliction of duty, based on ill-formed opinions having little to do with American constitutional values. An administrator who "got religion" under the pressure of losing her job might be a valuable defender of First Amendment rights if the old saw that says no one is a stronger "true-believer" than a convert. She has proved herself to be stubborn and dedicated when she had to fight to keep her job. It will be interesting to see if she really is a convert and not just a good actress, once her personal crisis passes. For her the stakes are high, indeed. For American democratic traditions, the stakes are just as high -- but more of us will be affected. It's unlikely she'd commit the same errors again, but how much has she learned?