No-confidence proposal revised by faculty authors

The faculty authors of a resolution of no-confidence in top campus administrators announced in a letter over the weekend that they have “chosen to exercise our authorial prerogative” by scaling back their proposal, and are now asking the Academic Senate instead to oppose “all violent responses to nonviolent protest” and to demand that administrators take concrete steps to ensure “free expression and assembly” on the UC Berkeley campus.

Prompted by the Nov. 9 campus confrontation between police and Occupy Cal protesters, 47 Berkeley faculty members initially asked for a special meeting to vote on a resolution of no-confidence in Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande. On Saturday, the authors of that resolution — political science professor Wendy Brown, gender and women’s studies professor Barrie Thorne and rhetoric professor Judith Butler — said it had been “misconstrued,” and that their intention was mainly to bring violent police responses “to an immediate end.”

Separate resolutions offered by other faculty since the meeting was announced call on Berkeley administrators to immediately implement recommendations made by the campus Police Review Board in the wake of 2009’s takeover of Wheeler Hall, to better train police “to employ nonviolent law enforcement that respects the rights of nonviolent protesters” and to set explicit limits on the use of police force in response to nonviolent protests involving Berkeley students.

“This is how the faculty gets together to deliberate on significant issues,” said Senate Chair Bob Jacobsen, “and I encourage faculty to come and take part.”

The resolutions, as well as other details of the special meeting, are posted on the Academic Senate website. The session is set for Monday, Nov. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Chevron Auditorium at International House.