Wanted - input on voting for resolutions for the #UCDavis Academic Senate #OccupyUCDavis

Well today I am finally getting around to voting on some UC Davis Academic Senate resolutions relating to the Occupy UC Davis pepper spray incident.  For those not familiar with this - first - I offer you my undying love - second - here are some of my previous posts on the theme:

I wrote a lot about the pepper spray incident here and on twitter - I felt in many ways like I had to report on what was going on for the outside world.  Here are some of my key posts:
And then Winter break happened and things calmed down a bit at UC Davis.  Plus, I got busy and needed to go back to running my lab and doing some work.  Not that nothing happened during this time.  Lots did in fact.  The best place to find out about what happened is the Davis Enterprise which continued coverage of everything going on (see list on the right side of this page).

Catching up to today - now the issue (for me and other faculty/members of the Academic Senate) is that we have to vote on some resolutions regarding the pepper spray incident.

Below are the three for which I am supposed to vote.  I am asking anyone out there for input on these.  All of them seem pretty, well, lame to me and I am inclined to vote no on all of them.  But I am reserving judgement and looking for feedback from others out there.  Any comments / suggestions welcome.



#1 Motion Concerning the Chancellor's Judgment



TO: Professor Linda Bisson, Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate


Dear Chair Bisson


The undersigned members of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate hereby petition you to put the following motion of non-confidence in the leadership of the Chancellor to a vote of the entire membership of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate at the earliest date that is feasible under Senate rules.


Motion:  In light of the events on the quadrangle of the UC Davis campus on the afternoon of Friday November 18, 2011, in light of Chancellor Linda Katehi’s email to faculty of November 18 in which she admitted that she had ordered the police to take action against the students who were demonstrating on the quadrangle and said that she had had “no option” but to proceed in this way, and in light of the failure of Chancellor Katehi to act effectively to resolve the resulting crisis in the intervening days,


Be it therefore resolved that the Davis Division of the Senate of the University of California lacks confidence in the leadership of Chancellor Katehi, and


Be it also resolved that the result of the vote on this motion be communicated to the Board of Regents and the President of the University of California.


Thank you for your attention to this matter.   


Yours sincerely,


View signatories

#2: Five-Resolution Vote of Confidence


To:  The Davis Division of the Academic Senate  
Re: Petition for Ballot on Issues


We, the undersigned members of the UC Davis faculty, petition the Davis Division of the Academic Senate to hold a vote on the issues below.


Preamble
Whereas non-violent political protest, free assembly, and free speech are constitutional rights valued at the UC Davis,


And whereas the response of the UC Davis Police Department to peaceful protestors on November 18, 2011 was appalling,  


And whereas in the UC Davis culture it is customary for representative(s) from the highest levels of the administration to engage in direct dialogue with demonstrators, 


And whereas prior to November 18, 2011 Chancellor Linda Katehi worked diligently to elevate the national and international stature of the Davis campus,


And whereas the presence of an accomplished scholar at the top post has helped UC Davis attract and retain outstanding scholars, including faculty members serving at the highest levels of administration,


And whereas in the last two years, Chancellor Linda Katehi developed a bold plan for campus growth that includes an aggressive fund-raising campaign that will alleviate the burden imposed by ever decreasing state financial support,


And whereas Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized to University community for the events of November 18, 2011,


And whereas Chancellor Linda Katehi publically stated that she will ensure that such events do not recur,


And whereas the events of November 18 transformed Linda Katehi into a Chancellor who engages in a full and open dialogue with students, staff, and faculty,


And whereas Chancellor Katehi moved expeditiously to replace the flawed communications in the two days following the events with a campus-wide dialogue through a series of town hall meetings with students, staff, and faculty,


And whereas a Chancellor with first-hand experience of the horrific events of November 18, 2011 is better qualified to deal with its aftermath,


And whereas dispatching police before engaging in a direct dialogue with protesters, while running counter to the UC Davis culture, does not outweigh the Chancellor Katehi’s impeccable performance of all her other duties,


And whereas Chancellor Katehi’s resignation would have devastating effects on the moral and academic standing of the campus, thereby making it highly unlikely that UC Davis could attract a Chancellor of her stature,


And whereas it is time to promote a constructive healing process rather than risk more harm by pressuring the Chancellor to resign:


Resolution:


Be it therefore resolved that the Davis Division of the Academic Senate:


Condemns both the dispatch of police in response to non-violent protests and the use of excessive force that led to the deplorable pepper-spraying events of November 18, 2011.


Opposes all violent police responses to non-violent protests on campus.


Demands that police deployment against protesters be considered only after all reasonable administrative efforts to bridge differences have been exhausted, including direct consultation with the leadership of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate.


Accepts Chancellor Linda Katehi’s good faith apology.


Expresses confidence in Chancellor Linda Katehi’s leadership and efforts to place UC Davis among the top 5 public universities in the nation.


View signatories

#3: Motion Concerning Police Actions


TO: Professor Linda Bisson, Chair, Davis Division of the Academic Senate


Dear Chair Bisson


The undersigned members of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate hereby petition you to put the following motion to a vote of the entire membership of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate at the earliest date that is feasible under Senate rules.


Motion: 


Be it resolved that that the Davis Division of the Senate of the University of California hereby (1) condemns both the dispatch of police and use of excessive force in response to non-violent protests on November 18, 2011; 
(2) opposes violent police response to non-violent protests on campus; 
(3) demands that police deployment against protestors be considered only after all reasonable efforts have been exhausted and with direct consultation with Academic Senate leadership.


Thank you for your attention to this matter. 


Yours sincerely,


View signatories

7 comments:

  1. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what any of these resolutions actually do. Is any change in policy or leadership being proposed? Are future bad behaviors being constrained by establishing ways of determining bad behavior or negative consequences for engaging in it?

    Is this meant to be a first step somewhere or a symbolic act to dilute strong emotions among students and staff?

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  2. The resolutions were proposed by faculty not the administration ... but all of them seem lame to me

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  3. I am not sure I would use the word "lame." I think "superficial" is better. I think there are deeper issues dividing faculty and students. The applied science and professional faculty see themselves as the prime money makers and see Katehi as the best bet to raising the their reputation and funding. Some of the pure science faculty and humanities faculty see themselves as part of a larger academic conversation abut society and free speech, and Katehi symbolizes what they are fighting against, and she is not educated in a way to engage in that conversation. The undergraduates see high tuition and student loans as a back-braker, and the Occupy movement as the only viable public movement that addresses these concerns, and they see Katehi as part of the move to privatize education (ensuring the tuition problem will not go away).

    I personally think Katehi needs to go. The argument that she is a money-maker and will raise the reputation of the university is just short-term thinking.

    I agree with those calling for her resignation just on the grounds that she should have known better about the possible actions of the police. But I think her greater flaw is that she does not understand the problems that students and society face, and she is not prepared to work these concerns -- in any deep way - into her leadership of the university.

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  4. So, Dr. Eisen: After your posts, the debate, and input about the three proposals, how did you vote? And was your reasoning simply that they were "lame"?

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  5. I noted no on #1 and #2 and yes on #3 --- I neither endorse Katehi's actions nor condemn them nor do I think it is necessary for her to resign.

    That being said, I think Katehi is overall an excellent chancellor - and I do not think there is a need to get rid of her given what I know about the incidents. I await the results of the investigations - though am skeptical a bit of them.

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  6. That is not an argument, since what you know (the premises) are hidden. Stick with science.

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