University of California Committee on Academic Freedom Rejects Efforts to Suppress Palestinian Advocacy

The Chair of the University of California's Committee on Academic Freedom  (UCAF) wrote to the University of California's Academic Senate urging the University to reject concerted efforts to pressure the University to enact restrictions on the free speech rights of campus organizations and individuals advocating for the interests of Palestinians.   Read the full letter hear. The letter notes that "the majority of UCAF (there was one dissenting vote) urges that the [Academic] Senate take a strong position rejecting any efforts (whether originating outside the University or inside it) that would limit free expression by supporters of either the Israeli people or the Palestinian people. Vigorous debate is a core function of the great university, and must be unfettered.  On controversial issues like Middle Eastern politics, many people have strongly held views which are deeply offensive and upsetting to some. Be that as it may, no one has a right to a campus free from expression they find offensive or even insulting. What people on our campuses do have, on the other hand, is the right to present counter-arguments and analyses of their own. "

In the system of shared governance at the University of California, UCAF and the Academic Senate play important roles to determine policy.