How Can I Help?

You can contribute to the campaign to defend academic freedom at UCSB and Professor Robinson by signing a petition and sending a letter of support to the Chancellor and the Academic Senate (see below).  Please note that it is more important to send the letter.

The petition can be accessed by clicking here.

Please send a letter supporting Professor Robinson and academic freedom to the administration.  Below, you will find a generic letter and addresses to which you should send it.  Feel free to adapt the message; you are urged to include any personal experience with or knowledge of Professor Robinson, the case, or the political issues at stake.  Of course, a letter written in your own words is preferable.

The e-mail should be addressed to UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang and cc’d to the following faculty and administrators involved in the case. Please copy and paste the addresses.

Their email addresses (including the Chancellor’s) are:



Their names and positions -if you are interested- are:

  • Martin Scharlemann, Academic Senate Charges Officer
  • Gene Lucas, Executive Vice-Chancellor
  • Melvin Oliver, Dean of Social Sciences
  • Susan J. Mazer, Chair, AS Committee on Committees
  • Joel Michaelson, Chair, Academic Senate
  • Sarah Fenstermaker, Chair, AS Privilege and Tenure Committee
  • Alison Butler, Chair, AS Committee on Academic Personnel
  • Vickie Scott, Chair, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Helen Callus, Member, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Steven J. Gaulin, Member, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Sven Spieker, Member, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Susanne Stemmer, Member, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Jenn E. Caselle, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Kostas Goulias, Member, AS Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom
  • Paul E. Amar, UC Academic Freedom Representative
  • Stephanie Smagala, member, AS Charges Advisory Committee
  • Aaron Ettenberg, AS Charges Advisory Committee
  • Hua Lee, AS Charges Advisory Commitee
  • Marianne Mithun, AS Charges Advisory Committee
  • Frances Zok, AS Charges Advisory Committee
  • Professor Patrick Fox, Chair, University of California Committee on Academic Freedom


To Whom It May Concern,

I am a dismayed [undergraduate/graduate/alumna/faculty member] at [your university] writing you to express support for Sociology and Global Studies Professor William I. Robinson.  As you may know, Professor Robinson and academic freedom have come under recent attack on the UCSB campus.  Toward the end of February 2009, Professor Robinson received notice from the Academic Senate’s Charges Committee that two of his students had filed charges against him.  The students alleged that course material Prof. Robinson had circulated to his class via the course listserv, criticizing Israel’s then-ongoing siege on Gaza, comprised anti-Semitism.  These charges are patently absurd and should be dismissed out of hand before further damage is done to the university’s purpose and reputation.

I demand the immediate dismissal of all of the charges against Professor Robinson as frivolous, unfounded, and malicious.  Any further consideration of these baseless attacks is unacceptable.  I join other students and faculty in pledging that we will not accept any resolution of this matter that is unfavorable to Professor Robinson and academic freedom.

I also insist that the attack on Professor Robinson’s academic freedom, one that ominously recalls similar campaigns against other critical academics across the nation, be publicly condemned.  This condemnation is essential to preserve full and fair discussion within the most important of the U.S.’s civic institutions.  Any genuine consideration of these absurd attacks will have a severe chilling effect on the production and dissemination of scholarly research in all disciplines.  Further, the attacks must be condemned to protect faculty and students from wasting valuable time and energy defending themselves against frivolous allegations and political repression.

In fact, a critique of the Israeli state, its policies, and the leaders responsible is not and should not be considered an affront to Jewish people as a collective, the Jewish religion, or Jewish heritage.  Conflating the state of Israel with the Jewish people essentializes the assorted political opinions of a diverse religious group by reducing them to the set of policies espoused by the prevailing regime.  The charge of anti-Semitism is made in bad faith; its real purpose is to automatically vilify and stifle any honest critiques of the state of Israel’s policies and practices.

[Insert personal message]


[your name and contact information]

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