BREAKING NEWS: Abraham Foxman pushed UC-Santa Barbara to investigate professor

April 28, 2009

Anti-Defamation League’s national director personally pressured UCSB representatives to act against faculty member

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman held a confidential meeting in early March with University of California officials on campus to pressure them to investigate charges of “anti-Semitism” against sociology professor William I. Robinson.

The meeting included Dean of Students Michael Young, a second dean, and at least seven faculty members.    Read the rest of this entry »

Scholars condemn attack on academic freedom at UC-Santa Barbara

April 28, 2009

Noam Chomsky and international scholars demand dismissal of “anti-Semitism” charges against sociology professor

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SANTA BARBARA — Internationally renowned author and linguistics professor Noam Chomsky has added his voice to a campaign by dozens of scholars worldwide to demand that the University of California at Santa Barbara cease its investigation of “anti-Semitism” charges made by the Anti-Defamation League against sociology professor William I. Robinson.

Noam Chomsky and international scholars demand dismissal of “anti-Semitism” charges against sociology professor

Noam Chomsky and international scholars demand dismissal of “anti-Semitism” charges against sociology professor

Robinson introduced materials critical of Israeli state policies in a course on globalization in January. They included a photo essay that he forwarded to students from the Internet and that had been circulating in the public realm. The photos compared images of Israeli abuse against Palestinians during the recent military invasion of Gaza with Nazi abuses during the holocaust. Two students took offense at the images and withdrew from the course, prompting the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to demand that the university investigate Robinson for “anti-Semitism.” Read the rest of this entry »

Noam Chomsky supports Academic Freedom at UCSB

April 26, 2009

The UCSB administration has been flooded with letters of support from faculty, students, and community members from across California, the US, as well as from across the globe.  Letters have been pouring in from Australia, Germany, Canada, England, as well as from across the United States.  We have posted some of the letters of support including one from Prof. Chomsky, the editorial board of Race and Class, California Scholars for Academic Freedom, and others.

We are thankful to all of you who are eager to get involved in this case by voicing your support for Academic Freedom!  Please continue to send letters to the administration and signing our petition.

Please make your voices heard.

Update: We need you!

April 20, 2009

We need you to write an email and sign the petition.  PLEASE NOTE:  It would be helpful to have letters sent by all of you – even if you’re not at UCSB.  Letters from anyone (whether academics or not) would help to signal to the administration that a large audience is watching this situation unfold and will hold the administration accountable to principles of freedom and justice.  On our first day of the campaign, we’ve already seen support letters from journalists, lawyers, activists from other countries, and faculty and students from across the US.  So all are urged to write!

We have begun circulating the email below.  Please read it, and circulate it to all those who support academic freedom!


Dear colleagues,

UCSB has become the latest front in the war against Academic Freedom.
Read the rest of this entry »

Update: UCSB Chancellor Responds to Prof. Robinson

April 17, 2009

On April 15, 2009, Professor William I. Robinson emailed the UCSB Chancellor and called on him  “to come out in public defense of academic freedom and to immediately suspend these charges proceedings.”

The Chancellor has responded with a bureaucratic response so far avoiding responsibility.  Moreover he has yet to take a stance on clear skirting by the Academic Senate of its own procedures, as outlined by a letter written by Prof. Raymond.
Read the correspondence here.


April 15, 2009

April 15, 2009.  The Academic Senate’s Committee on Committees (CoC) has decided to go forward with this case, ignoring the proposal by CoC member, Professor Geoff Raymond that, since the investigation has been compromised by the Charges Officer’s egregious procedural violations, the process begin anew.  The CoC is now in the process of convening an ad hoc Charges Committee to consider the charges against Professor Robinson.


April 14, 2009

…to the website of the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UC Santa Barbara.  Please use the tabs above to navigate our site.  You will find information about our organization (“About Us”), the campaign to smear and silence Professor William I. Robinson (“The Robinson Case”), efforts to defend him and academic freedom more broadly (“How Can I Help?”), and general information about nation-wide attempts at political repression (“Academic Freedom in the News”).