UC Leaders Delay Vote on Proposal to Limit Faculty’s Airing of Political Views

UC Leaders Delay Vote on Proposal to Limit Faculty’s Airing of Political Views

Palestinians carry bags of flour they grabbed from an aid truck near an Israeli checkpoint, as Gaza residents face crisis levels of hunger amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City, on Jan. 27, 2024. (Hossam Azam/Reuters)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

3/28/2024

Updated: 3/28/2024

University of California leaders delayed voting on a controversial policy March 20 that would ban faculty from asserting their political views on university websites.
The proposal would prohibit faculty from using department website homepages to make comments on local, regional, global, or national issues unrelated to the departments’ operations.
UC’s 19-member Board of Regents were to vote on the policy last week, but voted to delay the decision until May to collect more input from the university’s Academic Senate—a regent-appointed board of faculty members—and faculty.
“People will submit their issues that they have. ... We’ll hear everyone’s point of view,” regent Jay Sures, one of the regents responsible for bringing the proposal forward, said at the meeting.
UC President Michael Drake also supported delaying the vote, emphasizing that the university “needs to get it right” before moving forward.
Regents supporting the proposal said it’s needed to separate faculty opinions from the university.
However, some have said they’re concerned the proposal violates their First Amendment right to free speech.
The issue comes after UC’s Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib, along with Mr. Drake, issued a statement Oct. 9 condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel. The statement was criticized by members of the UC Ethnic Studies Faculty Council, which represents over 300 faculty members.
The council condemned the UC leaders’ statement in an Oct. 16 letter sent to the Regent board for calling Hamas “terrorists,” saying it “rejects recent UC administrative communications that distort and misrepresent the unfolding genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and thereby contribute to the racist and dehumanizing erasure of Palestinian daily reality.”
Mr. Sures, the UC Regent, responded to the faculty council’s letter with his own Oct. 31, saying that he found the group’s stance “appalling,” adding that it is “rife with falsehoods about Israel and seeks to legitimize and defend the horrific savagery of the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7.”
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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