Wednesday, January 20, 2010

UCB Administration's Official Response to Kroeber Makeover

Email sent out this afternoon at 3:15 pm:
With the Spring semester's beginning, we write jointly to remind the university community that use of our common resources -- our classrooms, labs, offices, and public spaces -- is subject to rules aimed at protecting the liberty of each of us to teach, learn, work, live, and engage in political expression. Rights of protest and demonstration are both protected and governed by rules of appropriate time, place, and manner, crafted collaboratively by faculty, students and administration, in accordance with First Amendment law.

In particular, we remind all that the following campus rules are fundamental to our respectful and vigorous life as a community diverse in beliefs, interests, and activities. These rules will be enforced as we embark on a season of renewed discussion and debate concerning the path forward for Berkeley and higher education. We expect the full compliance of faculty, staff, and students.

From the Campus Regulations Concerning the Time, Place, and Manner of Public Expression (, Secs. 300ff:

311. The University has a special obligation to protect free inquiry and free expression. On University grounds open to the public generally, all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech and assembly. Such activities must not, however, interfere with the right of the University to conduct its affairs in an orderly manner and to maintain its property, nor may they interfere with the University's obligation to protect the rights of all to teach, study, and freely exchange ideas. These regulations purport to assure the right of free expression and advocacy on the Berkeley campus, to minimize conflict between the form of exercise of that right and the rights of others in the effective use of University facilities, and to minimize possible interference with the University's responsibilities as an educational institution.

312. These regulations provide authorization for certain uses of University facilities, and establish procedures for such authorized uses. Such uses must conform to these regulations, Berkeley campus and University policies, and state and federal laws that may protect or regulate matters of public expression on the Berkeley campus.

321. All individuals on University property or in attendance at an official University function assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the University's responsibilities as an educational institution. This means that all persons are responsible for complying with applicable University and Berkeley campus policies, including but not limited to the listed prohibitions.
No person on University property or at official University functions may:

(a) block entrances to or otherwise interfere with the free flow of traffic into and out of campus buildings;

(b) have unauthorized entry to, possession of, receipt of, or use of any University services; equipment; resources; or properties, including the University's name, insignia, or seal;

(c) engage in physical abuse including but not limited to sexual assault, sex offenses, and other physical assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person;

(d) obstruct or disrupt teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities;

(e) engage in the production of amplified or non-amplified sound that disrupts campus activities;

(f) exhibit disorderly or lewd conduct;

(g) participate in a disturbance of the peace or unlawful assembly;

(j) possess, use, store, or manufacture explosives, firebombs, or other destructive devices;

(k) possess, use, store, or manufacture a firearm or other weapon.;

(l) engage in the theft of, conversion of, destruction of, or damage to any property of the University, or any property of others while on University premises, or possession of any property when the individual had knowledge or reasonably should have had knowledge that it was stolen;

(m) fail to comply with the directions of a University official or other public official acting in the performance of his or her duties while on University property or at official University functions; or resisting or obstructing such University or other public officials in the performance of or the attempt to perform their duties;

(n) camp or lodge on University property other than in authorized facilities;

(o) climb up or rappel down any tree, building, or structure on University property;

331. The Sproul Plaza and Lower Sproul Plaza have traditionally been designated as areas for public expression. These areas are open to the public generally between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight. Between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., these areas are generally closed to all activities except coming and going to a University building or crossing the campus. During open hours, Sproul Plaza and Lower Sproul Plaza may be used without reservation for discussion or public expression which does not require or involve sound amplification equipment. Space in both areas may be reserved through the Center for Student Leadership for use by recognized campus organizations or non-University groups in accordance with facility use regulations and established office procedures. However, use of these areas for discussion or public expression may be limited when such use interferes with the orderly conduct of University business or authorized events.

Christopher Kutz
Chair, Faculty Senate

Fiona M. Doyle
Vice Chair, Faculty Senate

Robert J. Birgeneau

George Breslauer
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost


  1. There is some serious debate about the constitutionality of some of these laws, especially, since the University claims to be a public space.

    As far as "m" is concerned on that list, when do administrators ever perform their "duties"?

  2. This is excellent! Another opportunity to righteously escalate the movement.

    We've been formally reserving rooms, and scheduling the events to end well before the building closes each night. And despite our well intentions, however, the Berkeley administration has taken an aggressive, confrontational stance toward the action.

    It is another point on our side to attract people to our actions.

    And since when _protests_ and insurgent assemblies need to follow all the laws (or any) designed by the people who are destroying the commons of our communities?

    A permit to protest. Safer nuclear weapons. University Police... the "Unison" (University-Prison) at its best. Is this the UC Oxymoron?

    I love that now we have a full list on how to do civil disobedience ;-) Let's create more win-win scenarios to escalate satyagraha.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." M.K. Gandhi

    In radical love,

  3. The Academic Senate's problem is UCB Chancellor Birgeneau Loss of Credibility, Trust
    The UCB budget gap has grown to $150 million, and still the Chancellor is spending money that isn't there on expensive outside consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the "innovative thinking, expertise, and new knowledge" the consultants would bring.

    Does this mean that the faculty and management of a world-class research and teaching institution lack the knowledge, impartiality, innovation, and professionalism to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from interviewing faculty and the UCB management that hired them; yet solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor were doing the job HE was hired to do. Consultant fees would be far better spent on meeting the needs of students.

    There can be only one conclusion as to why creative solutions have not been forthcoming from the professionals within UCB: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility and the trust of the faculty as well as of the Academic Senate leadership that represents them. Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants' recommendations - disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy - the underlying problem of lost credibility and trust will remain.