How we handle protests

In light of the just-released Robinson-Edley report about how UC campuses respond to protests, I’m happy to say that I think UC Santa Cruz is already doing pretty well in terms of the “best practices” outlined in the report. Campus Provost/EVC Alison Galloway and Police Chief Nader Oweis work well together, and they’ve done a great job of engaging students. Still, it’s valuable for the UC system to go on record on this. The incidents at Berkeley and Davis that prompted the report reflect on all of us. It will benefit all of us to take a systematic approach to protests, both in terms of policy and a higher level of training and professionalism.

This month’s Regents meeting in San Francisco was dominated by a retreat, and I was glad to see the Regents really working on issues. I was proud to see UCSC students speaking up during the public comment period. SUA Chair DT Amajoyi and others are really participating, and that’s a good thing.

UC Provost Aimée Dorr led a discussion about hiring more teachers who aren’t researchers to save money. I see how it could help with the budget, but the downside is that these teachers wouldn’t advance our research, wouldn’t bring in external research funding, and wouldn’t contribute to new knowledge. Ultimately, at the University of California, our teaching function isn’t separate from our research function. As Manny Ares, a UCSC professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, once said, “Research is indivisible from teaching, because as soon as you discover something, you’re going to tell somebody else about it. That makes you, instantly, a teacher.”

It’s been a busy week. Looking forward to seeing Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s production of Twelfth Night at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga tomorrow night.