Below is the text of Professor Geoff Raymond’s talk at the CDAF-UCSB sponsored forum on academic freedom that took place on May 21, 2009. Check back soon for video of all the panelists’ talks.
In Defense of Academic Freedom: Some notes on the Academic Senate’s handling of the case against Professor William Robinson
Department of Sociology
Speech delivered 5/21 as part of a panel on Academic Freedom:
I have been asked here tonight to talk about the specifics of the Robinson case because I became involved in it through various departmental and senate positions I held when the complaints emerged. I am director of undergrad studies in Sociology, and a member of the Academic Senate’s committee on committees. I mention this because I think it is important to know from the start that I am active member of the academic senate, and a faculty member committed to the teaching mission of this university. I participate in the academic senate because believe it offers one of the few genuine instances of participatory democracy one can find in contemporary American life; and the shared governance in which participates has been vital the UCs success as a vibrant – and open – intellectual community. As I hope this brief statement makes clear, I believe in the work of the Senate, and it is my disappointment in its processes on this occasion that has prompted me to speak out.