As my regular readers (and others) know, I have been employed as a part-time teacher at the University of California at Irvine Extension teaching English as a second language since 1998. This morning, I notified my office that I have decided to leave my part-time position and become a full-time retiree.
During the past 10 years I have written often about events at the UCI campus as well as other campuses in the University of California system. Most of the time, my postings were critical since I believe that UC campuses-as well as other universities around the nation- were allowing pro-Palestinian activist students to get away with outrages that often crossed the line into anti-Semitism. This was an issue I became deeply involved in and will continue to be involved in. Rest assured that with this blog as a vehicle I will continue to monitor the events at UCI and other UC campuses.
At the same time I want to reiterate a couple of points: First, I am still confident that 99% of the students at UCI and other campuses have no involvement with anti-Semitism. It is a small minority-yet a minority that is loud and has damaged the reputation of virtually every campus in the UC system. I still believe that university administrators have acted in a cowardly fashion in not confronting campus anti-Semitism. The Israeli-Palestinian issue has captured way too much attention on university campuses and Jewish students have suffered as a result.
This in no way has impacted my work in the UCI-Extension. My relationships with my colleagues and superiors have been excellent because I have not involved my office in my activism-which, I might add, I never took into the classroom. The UCI Extension has never been part of the issues that I became involved in.
UC Irvine, which was only founded in 1965, is in almost every respect a great university with a wonderful student body and many notable academic achievements. It is regrettable that a small minority of activist students and an even smaller minority of leftist professors have detracted from UCI’s reputation. However, UCI is hardly alone in that respect.
I also want to thank the UCI administration as well as the presidents of the University of California past and present. I have criticized them greatly over the years. Yet they have always respected my right of free speech. Not once has there been any blow back for things that I have said or written on this site, in university settings, or the campus newspaper. When you look at what has happened to other teachers at other universities around the nation, this is notable and worthy of respect.
I will continue to be involved in matters pertaining to academia especially as it pertains to anti-Semitism. Our Jewish students deserve to be protected and public awareness is vital. I will also continue to speak out against the absurd political correctness, which is reaching new heights.
Community involvement is vital in the life of a university-especially a public one. In this respect, transparency is vital. That is why I have been so active in reporting events at UCI and other universities. Our universities are in serious trouble, and with public awareness, hopefully, we can make them better institutions of learning. I intend to continue to try and make a contribution in that effort.