Davis Faculty Association

Archive for January, 2014

Concern about UCD’s proposed response to inquiry about ASA membership

January 30, 2014

Provost & Exec VC Ralph Hexter
573 Mrak Hall
Davis, CA 95616

Dear Provost Hexter:

It has come to our attention that several faculty members have been contacted by Lynette Temple, Director of Legal Affairs. They have been informed that their names have come up in connection with a search of university communications regarding the American Studies Association (ASA). Your office directed Ms. Temple to take these actions in response to a request for information concerning whether “…any UC Davis funds currently support any ASA activity …”

We are deeply concerned about this, and specifically about why the university plans to single out individual faculty members in response to a request which does not appear to ask for that level of detail.

We intend with this letter to take no position either positive or negative about the actions of the American Studies Association. Rather, we are concerned with the obvious threat to academic freedom. To take an analogous example, how would the university respond to a request by opponents of genetically-modified agriculture for information about university relationships with Monsanto? Would individual faculty member’s names automatically be released?

We have two requests:

[1] That the university not provide personal information unless it is specifically demanded to do so, and required by law.

[2] For clarification from you about university policies concerning responding to such requests, and their implication for academic freedom.

Sincerely,
The Board of the Davis Faculty Association

cc: Lynette Temple, UCD Director of Legal Affairs

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