advice re finals, the Black experience at UCI, and 27.4% of BAs

Bill Maurer
Wednesday June 3 17:33:17 PDT 2020

  Dear social sciences faculty, staff, grad students and lecturers,

  Many of you are aware that recent events have put an incredible strain
  on our students (not to mention, on all of us, as well!). The associate
  deans and I are going to be strongly advocating for options like "no harm"
  finals (which are added into a student's overall grade only if it boosts
  it), optional finals, streamlined or abbreviated finals and other ways to
  address this burden. We'll get that message out as soon as we are able,
  with some specific recommendations, but I wanted to put it on your radar,
  as many of us have been hearing from our students a lot right now.

  If you have not seen it, I recommend this powerful and painful
  video compiled by UC Irvine undergraduate student Iyanna Blackburn
  in association with Anteater TV, on the Black student experience at
  UC Irvine.

  And I've received requests for readings lists, pedagogical tools and
  the like especially for teaching white people about race and racism in
  America. There are many such lists, but this one is nicely comprehensive
  and also contains material for white parents to use when teaching their
  kids (I saw that Sesame Street is holding a town hall on Saturday, too).

  Of course, there's a ton of work to be done. Above all, right now our
  students want to know that we hear them. I'm doing what I can, but I am
  one person whose fingers can only type so fast and who can only arrange
  so many Zoom meetings. Many of you are already doing a lot of teaching,
  listening, and sharing (and thanks again to Prof. Sabrina Strings for
  today's forum, and in advance for the next one)--but the burden is for
  all of us to carry, not just our colleagues of color. Thanks to everyone
  in advance for helping our whole community in these times.

  In case we needed any reminding: the announcement of Commencement
  ceremonies only drives home Social Sciences' significance to that
  community, and the campus culture and climate. This year, Social Sciences
  accounts for 27.4% of all bachelors' degrees to be awarded. (And it was
  nice to see this make it into the official press release for a change!)

  Finally, the systemwide Faculty Senate has called for a minute of silence
  to be observed throughout the entire University of California, tomorrow,
  Thursday, at 11am. I'll post the announcement below for those who may
  not have seen it.

  More updates tomorrow -- and -- welcome to the world, Baby Roselin! May
  we all make it a little bit better for you (and congrats, Jin Chae
  and family!).


A Moment of Silence and Reflection

The Academic Council of the University of California (UC) Faculty Senate expresses our grief and anger at the murder and brutality directed against Black people by the police. On May 25, George Floyd was murdered at the hands of Minneapolis police. This pain is felt by many and is exacerbated by the recent deaths of James Scurlock, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among too many others. This is a reflection of the systemic anti-black racism and institutional violence in our society.

To honor the memory of George Floyd and other victims of police murder and brutality, we ask all members of the UC community to observe a minute of silence and reflection at 11am Pacific time on Thursday, June 4. We have selected 11am because this is the time that George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis is scheduled to start.

On all UC campuses, we must listen and, crucially, do more to combat systemic oppression, including anti-black racism. Our campuses have to work harder to be inclusive of, and welcoming to, Black students, along with other groups who have historically been and continue to be victims of police assault and harassment.

Kum-Kum Bhavnani, UC Santa Barbara
Chair, UC Academic Senate

Mary Gauvain, UC Riverside
Vice Chair, UC Academic Senate

Andrew Baird, UC San Diego
Chair, Committee on Research Policy

Ramesh Balasubramaniam, UC Merced
Chair, Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs

Henning Bohn
Chair of the Santa Barbara Division of the Academic Senate

Eddie Comeaux, UC Riverside
Chair, Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools

Maripat Corr
Chair of the San Diego Division of the Academic Senate

John Gilbert, UC Santa Barbara
Chair, University Committee on Academic Personnel

Tom Hansford
Chair of the Merced Division of the Academic Senate

Kristin H. Lagattuta
Chair of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate

Kimberly J. Lau
Chair of the Santa Cruz Division of the Academic Senate

Mona Lynch, UC Irvine
Chair, University Committee on Affirmative Action, Diversity, and Equity

Sharmila Majumdar
Chair of the San Francisco Division of the Academic Senate

Sean L. Malloy, UC Merced
Chair, University Committee on Planning and Budget

Michael Meranze
Chair of the Los Angeles Division of the Academic Senate

Oliver M. O’Reilly
Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate

Dylan Rodriguez
Chair of the Riverside Division of the Academic Senate

Jean Daniel Saphores, UC Irvine
Chair of the University Committee on Faculty Welfare

John Serences, UC San Diego
Chair, University Committee on Educational Policy

James A. Steintrager
Chair of the Irvine Division of the Academic Senate