Academic Senate proposal amended to exclude ‘no confidence’ clause

Monday’s special meeting of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate stemming from the police use of force at the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal demonstration will include four proposals, one of which has been amended to exclude an expression of “no confidence” in senior administrators.

In a letter to members of the senate Saturday, the authors of the original proposal, which was the basis for calling the senate’s special meeting, stated that the resolution has been “misconstrued in two important ways” and that it does not aim to solicit the resignations of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande.

While the original resolution stated that the Academic Senate “has lost confidence in the ability of (administrators) to respond appropriately to non-violent campus protests,” the new resolution condemns the administration’s authorization of police use of force and demands that they take responsibility for policing by making an effort to “develop, follow and enforce university policy to respond non-violently to non-violent protests.”

The letter — which was authored by Professor of Political Science Wendy Brown, Professor of Rhetoric Judith Butler and Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies Barrie Thorne — also states that rather than “unqualifiedly defending the Occupy Cal encampment,” the resolution seeks to bring violent police response to peaceful protests to an end and maintains that tents are nonviolent.

A new resolution has also been submitted to the meeting by Professor of Social Welfare Kurt Organista, which calls upon Birgeneau, Breslauer and UCPD Chief Mitch Celaya to issue official apologies for police use of force on Nov. 9. The resolution also calls on the campus to “better train the police to employ nonviolent law enforcement that respects the rights of nonviolent protesters.”

According to Bob Jacobsen, chair of the senate and professor of physics, three other resolutions that have been submitted in addition to the proposal authored by Brown, Butler and Thorne are not on the meeting’s agenda, but are “provided for the information of the meeting attendees.”

The meeting will take place Monday at 3 p.m. in the International House Chevron Auditorium.

Alisha Azevedo is the lead academics and administration reporter.

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  • Old Blue

    Can someone elaborate on the longstanding concept of “Shared Governance” and how it might be applied today.

    Thank you.

    Go Bears!

  • Anonymous

    “…maintains that tents are nonviolent.”
    The Academic Senate is treading on dangerous ground.  What if right-wing protesters decide to pitch a tent inside a classrooms or offices?  Tents are nonviolent, according to the Academic Senate.  UCPD would be powerless to remove the protesters. 

    • TrollSlayer

      Nonsense…the tents have been a central symbol of Occupy since day one. Not true for other groups.

      • Stan De San Diego

        Likewise, burning crosses have been a central symbol of the Ku Klux Klan since the days of Reconstruction. Given that the KKK has as much of a right to free speech as OWS or anyone else, how would you feel if they decided to show up on YOUR front lawn some night and conduct a cross-burning there? Would you be here to defend them because their burning cross is a “central symbol” of their movement, and therefore protected by your interpretation of the First Amendment? Please elaborate on your position here, and tell us why it would be any different from the OWS trespassing and setting up tents as part of their demonstrations.

        I will be curious to see if you can respond intelligently, or will merely throw another tantrum, which seems to be your modus operandi in this forum.

        • TrollSlayer

          How’s does this response do ya?: since you’re obviously a silly kooky little troll constantly trying to provoke a flame war with me and others, I will not waste my time responding to you again.

          • Stan De San Diego

            Evasion noted. You really can’t respond without either refuting your earlier position or looking like a fool, so instead you call me a “kooky little troll” then cut and run, despite the fact that my posts on this issue have been far more substantial than anything you have posted.

            Oh well, I already knew you were a coward and a lightweight when it comes to actually debating the issues. You just confirmed it for anyone else who might be paying attention.

  • TrollSlayer

    Sorry, but at the very least, Vice Chancellor Harry Le Grande needs to go.

    • Anonymous

      It’s always fun to see little Cal kiddies get upset.

      • Stan De San Diego

        TrollSlayer probably goes through one pack of Depends a week, judging by how emotional and out of control he gets when faced with an argument he can’t refute.

        • TrollSlayer

          I know you are but what am I?

          • Stan De San Diego

            Yawn.

          • Troll Slayer

            OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD I’M FUCKING RETARDERED

          • Stan De SanDiego

            Ok, I want to come clean about why I’m so into the Daily Cal
            comment boards. Decades ago, I applied to Cal and was denied admission. In
            fact, I applied 10 times!  Cal made a monumental mistake by rejecting me,
            so hopefully I can rectify the situation here with my superhumanly logical
            comments that are heads and shoulders above these Cal morons. After all, I am a
            member of Mensa AND the Triple 9 Society. After the imbeciles in Cal admissions
            rejected me, I attended the prestigious ITT Technical Institute of San Diego
            and majored in Computer studies. Must I reiterate my great qualifications and accomplishments
            for you? I became a top world expert at configuring, among other things, the
            2-wire RS485 MODBUS system, specializing in getting the AC drives and position
            encoders to communicate with a PLC used to run a 2-axis solar tracker. Unlike
            you Cal retards, I am now also a world expert in enabling technology to reduce
            the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power by tracking the sun more
            accurately and making the cells work more efficiently. So as you can see, Cal
            made a MONUMENTAL mistake by not admitting me. Not that I care.  

          • Stan De San Diego

            Nice job, troll. You pretty much confirmed that you lost the argument.

          • Stan De SanDiego

            And another thing, troll, I’d like to reiterate this very important point for a third time: I’d like to see YOU do my job of configuring 2-wire RS485 MODBUS systems getting the AC drives and position encoders to communicate with a PLC used to run a 2-axis solar tracker instead of being a retarded Cal student. Loser.

          • Stan De San Diego

            Given that you’re merely parroting what I was discussing, it’s clear that you have no idea what any of it means.

          • Contempt Costanza

            Impersonating someone else’s account because you can’t win an intellectual debate?

            Wow, you’re not a TrollSlayer, you ARE a troll.

  • CalGrad

    Mot people on campus don’t want Birgeneau to resign.  The first faculty resolved was way too strong.  Maybe the hot-heads in the faculty got the message from the rest that they’d gone too far.

    • TrollSlayer

      “Mot[sic] people on campus…”

      And how would you know what the faculty want, trolltard?

      • CalGrad

        Thanks for the typo correction.  Love the rest of that reasoned response. (“Mo(s)t” referred to “people”, though, not faculty; no points for that part)

        Why do I think most people don’t want Birgeneau to resign?  That’s what I hear from people I talk to.  They’re mostly against him resigning over this.  They’re not happy with him, but they don’t expect another Regent appointee to be better. Or they appreciate what he’s done for the DREAM act.  Or they think it’ll just make the Occupy people behave even crazier.  I mostly hang out with social science and ESPM people, more graduate students than undergrads, but the undergrads in my sections seem to think about the same thing.

        What do you hear?  And who do you talk to?

        • TrollSlayer

          “What do you hear?”

          I hear that Birgeneau is a perennial rubber stamp for the true culprits: UCPD, student affairs and Harry Le Grande.

          • Guest

            You are exaggerating the role of VC LeGrande; he has much less power than the Executive VC and Provost (Breslauer) and the VC Administration and Finance (Wilton, formerly of the World Bank) in influencing the upper-level decisions, even though they like to send him to talk to the students on behalf of the admin.    Furthermore, if LeGrande was to go the most likely replacement would be Dean of Students Poullard, who was most directly involved in the use of student conduct against protesters in the past (we haven’t heard much of him because he was on vacation during the whole OccupyCal events).

          • TrollSlayer

            Le Grande and Poullard BOTH should go. They are the ones behind all the repression of the last several years. I’m not exactly sure what Breslauer’s role was (yet).

          • TrollSlayer

            And if I may add, Birgeneau and Breslauer are academics. They are not specially trained to deal with “extracurricular” activities like these. Likewise, they are not specially trained to interface with the police over these issues. Harry Le Grande is (so is Poullard). In fact, he got his masters degree in student administration/student services. So what’s the problem then? If anything Le Grande should be held to a higher standard.

          • Stan De San Diego

            A Masters in “student administration/student services”? Good luck getting a real job in the private sector with THAT on your resume.

          • TrollSlayer

            Hey Stan from San Diego…that’s one of the few things we agree on! lol
            Good luck Harry Le Grande, M.A. Maybe your private-sector buddies that you hired as “consultants” can hook you up with a nice gig.

  • Fer Cryin Out Loud

    “misconstrued in two important ways” and that it does not aim to solicit the resignations of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau,…

    This business of “misconstrued” is a bunch of malarkey.
    A statement of no confidence is just what it sounds like: it is stating that, in your opinion, some person cannot meet the obligations of their office. The logical conclusion is that they have to step down from that office.

    Attn. Academic Senate: Please grow a pair.

    • TrollSlayer

      Why should they have confidence in a rubber stamp?

      • Calipenguin

        This is really upsetting.  After all the harm done to students on Birgeneau’s watch, the faculty can’t even say that they have no confidence in his ability to respond productively to protest.  While statements of no confidence often lead to resignation, one does not necessarily follow from the other, and the faculty must know this.  If the faculty do not want Birgeneau to resign, they should both write a statement of no confidence  regarding his particular actions but also specify that they do not want or expect a resignation.  

        • TrollSlayer

          Birgeneau’s *first* statement after the police brutality should speak for itself (and Birgeneau’s leadership — or lack thereof):

           “It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by
          linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from
          gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil
          disobedience.”

          Then in statement #2, he gave the sorry excuse that he hadn’t had a chance to review the evidence of police brutality before issuing “premature” statement #1.

          And this is just the tip of the iceberg. What about how he handled the equally repressive actions of UCPD and student affairs in 2009? Huh? Is he going to claim that he didn’t have a chance to review the evidence on that?

          • Calipenguin

            Oh I agree the letter should call for his resignation.  But even the faculty’s reasoning about why they don’t use the “no confidence” term doesn’t make sense — concerns about the phrase “no confidence” as equaling a call for resignation.  You can’t just write “We don’t want a resignation, but we have no confidence in his ability to handle shit without thorough review of blah blah blah.” 

            The other reason why the faculty aren’t calling for his resignation are because they think he’s actually not a bad guy, just spineless and getting terrible advice from Breslauer and LeGrande, and it’s likely his replacement would be worse.  Who knows whether this is true, but I thought one of the major points of this movement was to wrest enough power from the administration that, no matter who is in office, s/he has to act in response to demands from faculty ,students, and workers, and represent us to the Regents — not be the handpuppet of the Regents, ordering the repression and financial destruction of the students at the Regents and their associates’ benefit!

          • Calipenguin

            sorry that should have read, ”  You can’t just write “We don’t want a resignation, but we have no
            confidence in his ability to handle shit without thorough review of blah
            blah blah”???? 

          • Anonymous

            The reason you can’t go back and edit your changes is because you are posting as a guest.  Try using a real nickname.

          • TrollSlayer

            I know what Le Grande’s role in this is. He’s really one of the bad guys. What’s Breslauer’s role?

          • TrollSlayer

            I can understand their relucatance in stopping short in calling for Birgeneau’s resignation. But why would they now stop short of calling for Le Grande’s resignation?

          • Rrguffydd

            you are so right.   Face it, he’s a dangerously  incompetent buffoon, same with LeGrande.  They both need to go and they needed to go before this incident even took place.  The idiotic statements and actions coming from these two is a very long list.  I have many inside stories that would make you scratch your head until the scalp came off. 

          • TrollSlayer

            I’d LOVE to hear these inside stories. You should go public with them.

    • TrollSlayer

      Birgeneau isn’t fit to lead when there are forces in power that can do real harm to the students and community. These forces are the UCPD and the predatory/punitive wing of student affairs. Time and time again, Birgeneau has proven to be a rubber stamp for UCPD/student affairs. He may otherwise be a good chancellor, but not when it comes to managing UCPD, Harry Le Grande and student affairs. So here’s an idea: how about we get rid of these harmful departments and keep Birgeneau. Deal?

      • Anonymous

        I’d like to see Birgeneau step down not because of the protesters, but because of him admitting so many out of state students.  However, we absolutely need UCPD.  Either that or contract with the city of Berkeley to use city cops on campus.  There are far too many mentally ill bums, sex offenders, and computer thieves on campus.  We also need a way to preserve the freedom of speech of unpopular guests such as abortion activists, Muslim scholars, Jewish politicians, and assisted-suicide doctors.

        • TrollSlayer

          Fine…lose UCPD and contract with Berkeley PD. Sounds good to me.

          • TrollSlayer

            Maybe even give BPD their own little outpost on campus like Stanfurd does with santa clara county sheriffs.