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 — who was one of the most popular and influential professors on campus. In concert with other campus officials, the Department of Communication Studies’ leadership (Chair Kerri Johnson, Vice Chair Greg Bryant, and MSO Jane Bitar) and the former Dean of Social Sciences (Laura Gomez) have repeatedly taken actions against Professor Fink that thwarted his academic freedom and have resulted in his termination. 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 was up for “Excellence Review” (an “up or out” review conducted during a lecturer’s 18th quarter teaching). Johnson and her cronies had repeatedly attempted to deprive Fink of the opportunity to 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 as one of our beloved professors has his teaching career discarded in a politically-motivated and morally-bankrupt fashion by Chair Kerri Johnson, 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 from her position of power, and, most importantly, reinstating Fink as a continuing lecturer. 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 permanently lose one of their most valuable and influential professors but also repel thousands of donors (current and future alike) from supporting this institution.
Petition to UCLA
Start a Think Tank for Millennial Philanthropists at UCLA
Proposed: An organisation that will promote philanthropy amongst millennials, ideally functioning as a “think tank” that utilises the diversity of its members to solve problems at UCLA and in Los Angeles My goal is to create a member body of students and possibly alumni that function with the purpose of utilising their collective interests, experiences, and abilities to find and solve problems within the UCLA community and ideally in Los Angeles. The advantage of having members that are students is that there will be new students, every quarter, from all over the world bringing in new ideas based on their unique experiences. The benefits of this kind of collaboration are twofold, firstly, members have the opportunity to discover their interest in philanthropy – primarily through the donation of their time and dedication – and get in touch with the community around them. Secondly, it will provide members with the chance to network with other students, and through the diversity of the member body learn different approaches to problems. My hope with this organisation is that it will increase diversity in philanthropy whilst allowing millennials to actively engage in the problems of today to make their tomorrow better. Additionally, I want to promote the ideology that diversity is a strength to be encouraged and celebrated, and that only by utilising our differences will we find a different outlook and consequent solution to our problems.
Petition to Mothers of Color in Academia de UCLA
Support Reproductive Justice for Mothers at UCLA
On behalf of the Mothers of Color in Academia de UCLA, parenting students, allied faculty, staff, and academic community, we write this petition to voice our concerns over the lack of support for parenting students, specifically mothers on this campus. As parenting students, mothers, fathers, queer and non-gender conforming parents, we experience a hostile campus culture of neglect and marginalization. As graduate student parents, we work as TA’s, Tutors, GSR’s, RA’s, and find that UCLA is not compliant with labor laws that insure good working conditions for breastfeeding mothers. There is not enough access to UCLA’s Early Care Education (ECE) to enroll our children and we are not afforded any leverages for obtaining child care, leaving us unsupported because of 1.5 to 3 year long waitlists for subsidized daycare. As graduate students who moved to Los Angeles from other cities and states to attend UCLA, many of us lack the family support or economic resources to pay for reliable childcare. We want a university where we feel supported and visible as parent-scholars. By signing this petition you express support for us in 1) securing proposer lactation rooms on campus, 2) advancing accessible childcare for parenting students on campus, 3) developing holistic reproductive support sources on campus. Please read our entire petition on the following link or on our Facebook page for specific demands.Petition link:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PsN86DaCyzQEDmB3iV2DYg1CH6EhAlpyp2l1bQ3t650/editFacebook link:https://www.facebook.com/groups/MOCASdeUCLA/
Petition to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Regents of the University of California
Save the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden
A place of natural beauty and quiet retreat in the Los Angeles community of Bel-Air, the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is modeled on the gardens of Kyoto. The beautiful hillside garden was designed by noted Japanese garden designer Nagao Sakurai in 1959 and constructed between 1959 and 1961. It is recognized as one of the finest examples of Japanese gardens in America and was donated to the University of California in 1964. Sadly, the garden is now closed to the public and its survival is threatened. In November 2011, UCLA announced plans to sell the garden, citing rising maintenance costs, deferred maintenance, and the lack of attendance due to limited parking. The garden was donated to UCLA by the Carter family with a promise that the garden would not be sold. The garden was listed for sale in March 2012, after the University removed valuable art objects that are integral to the design of the garden. Please help us save the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden by signing this petition! Supporters include: The Garden ConservancyLos Angeles ConservancyCalifornia Preservation FoundationCalifornia Garden and Landscape History SocietyThe Cultural Landscape Foundation American Society of Landscape Architects National Trust for Historic Preservation North American Japanese Garden AssociationAmerican Public Gardens Association (partial list)