UCSB Faculty Letter to Academic Senate

During the campaign to defend academic freedom at UCSB, a large group of faculty at UCSB  signed a petition, addressed to Academic Senate Chair Joel Michaelson, expressing their concerns about the procedural mishandling of the case against Prof. Robinson.  Here is the petition, with all the signatures collected as of June 4th, 2009.


Date: May 16, 2009

To: Academic Senate Chair Joel Michaelsen, University of California, Santa Barbara

We the undersigned faculty members at UCSB are concerned that improper procedures seem to have occurred in connection with the case of Professor William I. Robinson.

In particular, we are concerned that:
1.    the procedures adopted by the Charges Officer significantly diminished the transparency of the formal complaint process, effectively excluding Professor Robinson’s participation in it; and,
2.    the procedures adopted by the Charges Officer directly violated Professor Robinson’s  rights as they are described in the Faculty Code of Conduct.

These procedural improprieties have already produced a substantive injustice with respect to Professor Robinson. Moreover, we are concerned that external pressures may have influenced the way this case has been managed.

We therefore ask that, at its next meeting on June 4, the Academic Senate disclose the process by which its Charges Committee decided to initiate a formal charges process against Professor Robinson.

In particular, we request that the Academic Senate:
A.    explain why the students who filed the complaint against Professor Robinson were not encouraged to take their concerns to the Chair of the department and/or relevant dean, and why Professor Robinson has not been informed of the steps taken by the Charges Committee;
B.    make public all communications between Academic Senate leaders, external organizations or individuals, and the Administration regarding this case;
C.    clarify the procedure for handling complaints by students who disagree with course content and materials presented or distributed by their professor;
D.    immediately correct any procedural mistakes made in this case, conduct inquiries into the reasons why these mistakes were made, and, if necessary, take disciplinary measures against those responsible for them; and,
E.    reaffirm the importance of academic freedom at UCSB as defined by the Academic Personnel Manual – 010.


1.    Claudio Fogu, French and Italian
2.    Nancy Gallagher, History
3.    Dick Flacks, Sociology
4.    Kevin Anderson, Sociology
5.    Bishnupriya Ghosh, English
6.    Bhaskar Sarkar, Film and Media Studies
7.    Geoff Raymond, Sociology
8.    Lisa Hajjar, Law and Society
9.    Kathleen Moore, Law and Society
10.    Hilal Elver, Global & International Studies
11.    Richard Falk, Global & International Studies
12.    Laurie Monahan, History of Art and Architecture
13.    Harold Marcuse, History
14.    Eileen Boris, Feminist Studies
15.    Lisa Parks, Film and Media Studies
16.    Eve Darian-Smith, Law and Society
17.    Swati Chattopadhyay, History of Art and Architecture
18.    Nuha Khoury, History of Art and Architecture
19.    Verta Taylor, Sociology
20.    Leila Rupp, Feminist Studies
21.    Barbara Tomlinson, Feminist Studies
22.    Cristina Venegas, Film and Media Studies
23.    Richard Appelbaum, Sociology and Global & International Studies
24.    Juan Vicente Palerm, Anthropology
25.    Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Global & International Studies
26.    Giles Gunn, Global & International Studies
27.    Nelson Lichtenstein, Department of History
28.    Pei-te Lien, Political Science
29.    Scott Marcus, Music
30.    Claudine Michel, Black Studies
31.    Scott Cooper, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
32.    Wolf Kittler, Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies and Comparative Literature
33.    Elizabeth Weber, Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies
34.    Mustafa Khammash, Mechanical Engineering
35.    Didier Maleuvre, French and Italian, and Comparative Literature
36.    Dick Hebdige. Film and Media Studies
37.    Edward Branigan, Film and Media Studies
38.    Francesco Bullo, Mechanical Engineering
39.    Bassam Bamieh, Mechanical Engineering
40.    Daphne Bugental, Psychology
41.    Susannah Scott, Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry & Biochemistry
42.    Jorge Luis Castillo, Spanish & Portuguese
43.    José Ignacio Cabezón, Religious Studies
44.    Mark Jurgensmeyer, Sociology and Global & International Studies
45.    Juan E. Campo, Religious Studies and Global and International Studies
46.    Richard Wittman, History of Art and Architecture
47.    Sydney Levy, French and Italian
48.    W. Patrick McCray, History
49.    Sarah Cline, History
50.    Paul Spickard, History
51.    Abigail Solomon-Godeau, History of Art and Architecture
52.    Jon Snyder, French and Italian
53.    Suzanne Levine, Spanish and Portuguese
54.    Silvia Bermúdez, Spanish and Portuguese
55.    Kip Fulbeck, Arts
56.    Ulrich Keller, History of Art and Architecture
57.    George Legrady, Arts and Media and Technology
58.    Bradley R. Hacker, Earth Science & Institute for Crustal Studies
59.    James J. Childress, Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
60.    Barbara Herr Harthorn, Feminist Studies
61.    Stanley M. Awramik, Earth Science
62.    Cathy Busby, Earth Science
63.    Thomas Pettus, Chemistry
64.    Casey Walsh, Anthropology
65.    Omer Egecioglu, Computer Science
66.    Sabine Fruhstuck, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
67.    Mario Garcia, Chicana/o Studies
68.    Simon Williams, Theater and Dance
69.    Christina McMahon, Theater and Dance
70.    Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, Chicana/o Studies
71.    Joao P. Hespanha, Electrical and Computer Engineering
72.    Esther Lezra, Global & International Studies
73.    Samuel Sweet, Ecology, Evolution, Marine Biology
74.    Russell J. Schmitt, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
75.    Douglas H. Daniels, Blacks Studies and History
76.    Sarah Fenstermaker, Sociology
77.    Harvey Molotch, Sociology
78.    Simoneta Falasca-Zamponi, Sociology
79.    Carolyn Pinedo Turnovsky, Sociology
80.    Tatiana Ginsberg, Art
81.    Ellie Hernandez, Feminist Studies
82.    Laury Oaks, Feminist Studies
83.    George Lipsitz, Black Studies
84.    Rita Raley, English
85.    Francis A. Dutra, History
86.    Yunte Huang, English
87.    Stephanie Lemenager, English
88.    Carl Gutierrez-Jones, English
89.    Janet Walker, Film and Media Studies
90.    Constance Penley, Film and Media Studies
91.    Charles Wolfe, Film and Media Studies
92.    Anna Everett, Film and Media Studies
93.    Edwina Barvosa, Chicana/o Studies
94.    Roger A. Freedman, Physics
95.    Kevin Falvey, Philosophy
96.    Enda Duffy, English
97.    Peter Bloom, Film and Media Studies
98.    Michael O’Connell, English
99.    Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, History of Art and Architecture
100.    Petar Kokotovic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
101.    Jeffrey B. Russell, History (emeritus)
102.    Christine M. Thomas, Religious Studies
103.    Dorota Dutsch, Classics
104.    Stuart Tyson Smith, Anthropology

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