Davis Faculty Association

Letter from DFA Chair Scott Shershow to Provost Hexter and Vice Chancellor Meyer

Dear Provost Hexter and Vice Chancellor Meyer:

I write on behalf of the Davis Faculty Association in consultation with its board to raise several serious objections to the “Demonstration Management Principles and Policies” outlined in your email to the UC Davis community on March 1, 2012.  We particularly wish to raise the following three points:

1.  The first of your principles states that “The campus’s efforts to manage these situations have been, and are, guided by patience and restraint.”  We find such an assertion to be demonstrably untrue, at least with regard to the first clause. Surely you do not mean to suggest, for example, that the pepper-spray incident itself was handled with patience and restraint.

2.  We find it unacceptable that you elected to introduce these new principles just prior to the long-delayed release of the Reynoso report on Tuesday.  Surely the faculty should at least be allowed to see and digest this report about the pepper-spray incident before they are given, or are asked to accept, any new principles for dealing with precisely such situations.  In our view, you are insulting the very process initiated by the administration — the process that was so often declared to be necessary before any judgment of the Chancellor’s responsibility for these events — by introducing these principles just prior to the release of the Reynoso report.

3.  Your letter fails even to mention, and indeed, seems pointedly to ignore, the recently-passed Senate resolution that “demands that police deployment against protestors be considered only after all reasonable efforts have been exhausted and with direct consultation with Academic Senate leadership.” You state that “campus police may be required to help respond to or resolve emergency situations.” This statement does not make clear that you intend to account for and include the specific recommendation of the Senate resolution in the structure of the administration’s decision-making process.

In short, the board of the DFA believes that the principles outlined in your letter are unacceptable, and that they represent an attempt to bypass and ignore the lessons of our recent history.

We respectfully request a specific response to each of the three points detailed above.  We have also decided to make this an open letter: we are sending a copy of it (and any response you care to offer) to our membership, and are also posting it on our website.

Scott C. Shershow
Professor of English
Chair, Davis Faculty Association
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2012 at 6:49 pm and is filed under Calls to Action, UC Administration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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