Topic

free speech

61 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Essex County College Board of Trustees, Calvin Souder, Wesley Jenkins, Jeweline Grimes, Anthony Munroe, Jeff Lee, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

REINSTATE PROFESSOR LISA DURDEN! EQUALITY FOR ADJUNCTS!

#ReinstateProfessorLisaDurden to her position as adjunct professor at Essex County College IMMEDIATELY! ABOUT THE CASELisa Durden, producer, filmmaker, media commentator and professor, appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson on June 6th. Carlson insulted her repeatedly (“demented, separatist, Nazi”) for defending the Black Lives Matter movement’s right to have Black only safe space event for Memorial Day. Professor Durden succinctly and cogently defended her principled position and exposed Tucker’s white male fragility for what it was -- a childish tantrum. Less than 48 hours later, Professor Lisa Durden was summarily suspended by Essex County College (ECC), where she teaches media and effective speech.  Without union representation at the meeting, ECC administrators told her that she was suspended because of her appearance on Fox News. She was told to leave the building and not return. Instead of defending Professor Durden’s right to free speech and congratulating her on standing up to racism and sexism, the administration at the Predominantly Black Institution chose to effectively fire this accomplished media professional and educator. Professor Lisa Durden is a lifelong Newark, NJ resident who has given her time and expertise generously to the youth of the city. She has provided highly competitive internships in New York media for Essex County College students for a decade. She was recently honored by the City of Newark for her outstanding work in media with women and young people. Professor Durden has braved racist death threats from the alt right movement to speak truth to power on national television. Why is Essex County College firing a beloved professor for exercising her First Amendment right? In Trump’s America are Black Women professors not allowed the right to free speech? We demand that Professor Lisa Durden be reinstated to her position and given her full course load (12 credits per semester teaching Mass Communications and Effective Speech classes) that she was assigned for the full 2017/2018 academic year. We demand equality for adjunct, contingent and junior faculty in pay and treatment. Nationwide, higher education administrations have created an apartheid system, paying themselves grandiose salaries of $200,000+ while junior, contingent and adjunct faculty are paid peanuts. Adjunct faculty are often forced to sleep in their cars and go on food stamps because they cannot survive the poverty wages and insecure, short term, “at will” employment that colleges force on them. Administrators pit adjunct and full time faculty against each other and use their disgusting treatment of adjunct labor to scare full time faculty into submission. This diminishes the quality of education for students, even as their tuition skyrockets. We demand full equality in pay and treatment among adjunct, contract and full-time, tenured faculty!

Educators & Students United to Reinstate Professor Lisa Durden
1,487 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Gene Block, Kerri Johnson, Laura E. Goméz, Scott Waugh, Michael S. Levine, Susan Carlson, Janet Napolitano, Greg Bryant, Tim Groeling, Martie Haselton, Francis Steen, PJ Lamberson, Georgia Kernell, Jungseock Joo, Charles Goodwin, Board of Regents, Neil Malamuth, Steve Peterson, UC System Administrators, Campus Administrators, Campus Student Leaders

Open Letter to UCLA Administrators: Keep Professor Fink at UCLA!

We, the undersigned, are deeply repulsed by UCLA’s treatment (or rather, mistreatment) of Keith Fink — one of the most popular and influential professors on campus. In concert with other campus officials, the Department of Communication Studies’ leaders (Chair Kerri Johnson and Vice Chair Greg Bryant) have repeatedly taken actions against Professor Fink that thwart his academic freedom and threaten his continued impact on thousands of UCLA students for years to come. Kerri Johnson and Greg Bryant took the helm of the Communication Studies Department at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year. Prior to ever meeting or speaking with Professor Fink – let alone seeing him teach – Johnson implemented an unprecedentedly-rigid cap on his courses, reversing years’ of past precedent. Her capricious justifications for this are dubious, at best.  Campus Reform explains in detail here. The Department’s most recent actions are even more repulsive. Professor Fink is up for “Excellence Review” (an “up or out” review conducted during a lecturer’s 18th quarter teaching). Johnson and her staff have repeatedly attempted to deprive Fink of the opportunity submit positive material into his Excellence Review file. Such positive information would flatly contradict their mission to have Professor Fink deemed “not excellent” and thus terminated from UCLA.  At the outset of his evaluation, Professor Fink identified three Academic Senate faculty (including Johnson and Bryant) in the Department as “biased,” meaning their preexisting animosity towards Fink would prevent them from being able to objectively evaluate him. Despite their obligation to go to great lengths to avoid having a “biased” faculty member evaluate his course, Johnson nevertheless chose Bryant to evaluate Fink’s teaching. Unsurprisingly, Bryant’s review was negative. On a more sinister level, it is riddled with pernicious lies, deceptively mischaracterizes his course with out-of-context examples, and casts Fink as a radical loose cannon who uses “his role as a lecturer to espouse his own personal legal views.” Nothing could be further from the truth – evidenced in part by the glowing evaluations of almost all of the thousands of students who have taken his courses. Johnson also forcefully and incorrectly misstated the University policy governing the inclusion of positive student evaluation letters in his review file. To this day, she never acknowledged her mistake. Later, in dereliction of University policy, the Department failed to solicit student letters from a list of names provided by Professor Fink — until it was too late. When pressed on the issue and given a new list of names of students from whom letters could be solicited, the department “accidentally” omitted the single best letter from his review file.  These actions are no mistake and certainly not a coincidence. They constitute a series of calculated lies, vindictive decisions, and sloppy coverups to dispose of someone they dislike. The conspicuous amount of dishonesty and injustice targeted at Professor Fink is the antithesis of “Bruin Values” – the same virtues that the administration repeatedly flaunts and exhorts its students to adhere to. UCLA has taught us to fight injustice whenever it rears its ugly head. We will not idly sit by and watch a beloved professor have his teaching career discarded in a politically-motivated and morally-bankrupt fashion by Chair Kerri Johnson, Dean Laura Gomez, and other administrator-bureaucrats within the school’s ivory towers. We demand that the school treat Professor Fink fairly, which includes restoring his academic freedom, removing Johnson’s arbitrary restrictions on his class size, and, most importantly, administering his Excellence Review in a truthful and just manner. Professor Fink is by all outward measures one of UCLA’s greatest, most popular, and influential professors. If the school ignores our plea and continues to endorse the corrupt dealings in the Department of Communication Studies, they will not only lose one of their most valuable and influential professors but also repel thousands of donors (current and future alike) from supporting this institution.

Keep Professor Fink at UCLA
1,246 supporters