Sunday, April 26, 2009

another one 

Some days I'm really glad I didn't go into academia:

Toward the end of February 2009, Sociology and Global Studies Professor William Robinson received notice from the Academic Senate’s Charges Committee that two of his students had filed charges against him. The students alleged that an email forward he’d circulated to his class, criticizing Israel’s then-ongoing siege on Gaza, comprised anti-Semitism. Professor Robinson also received a letter from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to this effect. The student complaints (Complaint 1 & Complaint 2) included claims and rationales that exactly mirrored those included in the ADL letter.


After receipt of the two student complaints, the Academic Senate Charges Officer requested a formal written response to the allegations from Professor Robinson. According to the formal complaint procedures as set out by the Campus Procedures for Enforcement of the Faculty Code of Conduct, upon receipt of a complaint, the Charges Officer is simply to notify the accused faculty and then to form an ad hoc Charges Committee to initially assess whether the complaint is frivolous or unfounded. If the ad hoc Committee determines the complaints are frivolous or unfounded, the charges are to be dismissed immediately without further involvement of the accused faculty member. Only in the event that the ad hoc Charges Committee’s investigation cannot conclude the charges are frivolous should the professor be asked for a written response. In this case, Professor Robinson was asked for a written response before such ad hoc Committee was even formed.


Professor Robinson discusses his case briefly with Doug Henwood here.


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