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.