June 6, 2009
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.
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May 28, 2009
GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA
23 MAY 2009,
THESE ARE THE REMARKS GIVEN BY PROF. WILLIAM I. ROBINSON FOR THE SEVENTH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AL-AWDA CONVENTION, THE PALESTINE RIGHT TO RETURN COALITION. IN HIS SPEECH HE ADDRESSES THE CURRENT CASE AGAINST HIM AT UCSB. YOU CAN WATCH VIDEO EXCERPTS OF THE SPEECH POSTED AT THE END OF THIS POST.
ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS UNDER ATTACK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. I AM UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE UNIVERSITY – AND I FACE POSSIBILE SANCTIONS – BECAUSE OF MY VOCAL CONDEMNATION OF THE NEARLY ONE-MONTH LONG ISREALI INVASION OF GAZA THAT BEGAN LAST DECEMBER.
THIS CAMPAIGN AGAINST ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS NOT JUST AN ATTEMPT TO PUNISH ME. MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT AIMS TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF FEAR AND INTIMIDATION IN WHICH ANY CRITICISM ON ISREALI POLICY IS SUBJECT TO SANCTIONS AND CENSORSHIP. Read the rest of this entry »
May 20, 2009
UC-Santa Barbara professors circulate petition to halt proceedings against William I. Robinson and reject “outside pressures”
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Date: May 19, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A group of about 20 professors at the University of California at Santa Barbara have launched a campus-wide petition to get professors, department chairs and deans to join them in protesting the Academic Senate’s investigation of sociology professor William I. Robinson.
The petition, sent on May 16 to faculty throughout the university, says the Senate Charges Committee has directly violated Robinson’s rights by mishandling student complaints against him.
“These procedural improprieties have already produced a substantive injustice with respect to Professor Robinson,” reads the petition. “Moreover, we are concerned that external pressures may have influenced the way this case is managed.” Read the rest of this entry »
May 18, 2009
Investigation of sociology professor is frontline in nationwide campaign to silence criticism against Israel on college campuses
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May 18, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Noam Chomsky is no newcomer to harassment by pro-Israel organizations.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) once compiled a 150-page dossier on the famous author and linguistics professor, apparently to find information it could use against him, Chomsky said in an interview in late April.
An ADL insider sent Chomsky the file, which included conversations, correspondence and other materials. Chomsky said it read like an FBI file.
“It’s hard to nail this stuff down in a court of law, but it’s clear they essentially have spies in classrooms who take notes and send them to the ADL and other organizations,” Chomsky said. “The groups then compile dossiers they can use to condemn, attack or remove faculty members. They’re like J. Edgar Hoover’s files. It’s kind of gutter stuff.” Read the rest of this entry »
May 18, 2009
American Association of University Professors and other scholarly organizations weigh in on UCSB proceedings
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May 14, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The decision by the Academic Senate at the University of California at Santa Barbara to open a formal investigation into “anti-Semitism” charges against sociology professor William I. Robinson has garnered worldwide attention.
Print and broadcast media nationwide have published numerous stories about the issue, and the Associated Press released an article that appeared in most major papers in the U.S. and others countries.
At the same time, scholars and academic organizations worldwide have sent hundreds of letters to UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang and the Academic Senate condemning the investigation as a violation of academic freedom and demanding that it be dropped. Read the rest of this entry »
May 18, 2009
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May 14, 2009
Israel advocacy group “Stand With Us” pushes university administrators to investigate sociology professor
May 13, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. The international pro-Israel organization “Stand With Us” is spearheading an aggressive public campaign to push administrators and faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara to investigate sociology professor William I. Robinson for “anti-Semitism.”
The organization has set up a Web site to rally other pro-Israel organizations and individuals to pressure UCSB officials through public statements and letters to the chancellor and the Academic Senate. The group has recruited UCSB donors to write letters, some of which threaten to withdraw support for the university.
The Web site and letter campaign comes on top of direct pressure from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose national director, Abraham Foxman, met in March with university officials and faculty to demand that administrators censor Robinson for introducing materials critical of state Israeli policies in a course on global affairs in January. Read the rest of this entry »