After caving to outside pressure from Jewish groups and banning (on officially technical grounds) a student-led DeCal course covering Palestine , UC Berkeley was again swayed by outside pressure to reinstate the class. However, the press hasn’t been able to get the inside story of decision-making that led to the reversal, it seems…
Officially, a university dean met with the class facilitator after she determined the course hadn’t been properly reviewed. After the meeting and a few tweaks to the syllabus, the course has been reinstated. Obviously, this is not the full story, but it is the one the university will admit to.
Elsewhere, a university is suing its student newspaper (an incredible story) and beer sales are now seen as a funding savior. But first, more students on UC campuses:
9/22 – UC campuses scramble to make room for thousands more new California students (LAT): The fallout from UCOP’s ‘more in-state students for more money’ deal with Gov. Brown is being felt in ever tighter dorm rooms. This quote sums up the impact on Berkeley nicely: “Overall, Berkeley expects to hire more than 130 new instructors and teaching assistants. The nearly $3.8 million in state funds the campus received for the new students wasn’t enough to cover the extra classes, instruction, housing, tutoring, mental health services, technology, classrooms and housing. Berkeley had to redirect $2.2 million more to pay for them, even though it faces a critical budget deficit.”
Palestine: A Settler Colonial History
Dean of Social Sciences Carla Hesse’s letter about her decision to reinstate the class can be found here.
9/19 – UC Berkeley reinstates class on Palestine following outcry over its suspension (Guardian): A nice overview of reactions from various sides following the reinstatement.
9/20 – Op-Ed: DeCal’s cancellation transpired through unfair shortcuts (DailyCal): Associate Prof. Samera Esmeir argues the universities swift move to cancel the course throws into doubt “the survival of spaces for students to study and debate difficult and politically complex issues facing our world today.”
9/19 – UC Berkeley reinstates controversial course on history of Palestine (LAT): Article questions whether the syllabus was meaningfully changed.
9/22 – Governor signs bills to boost graduation rates at California universities (LAT): Law intended to boost the CSU system’s low graduation rate was signed.
Elsewhere in Higher Ed
9/22 – U. Kentucky is suing its student newspaper, trying to block sexual assault reporting (WaPo): In a truly incredible story, UK went ahead and sued its student newspaper, trying to prevent it from releasing public documents (which the state AG ordered the school to hand over to the newspaper). The newspaper believes the university is seeking to protect itself, as the documents in question concern a professor accused of sexual misconduct.
9/19 – Get Yer Beer Here (IHE): Despite fears of drunk undergrads, public universities are turning to alcohol sales at football games to boost revenue and attendance.
9/21 – CC not free for some Oregon students with heavy course loads (AP): A much-hyped free-tuition plan in Oregon comes with a bit of fine print, to the surprise of some students who will see (admittedly) small bills.