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Higher Education

Democratizing Universities Would Supercharge Pro-Palestine Divestment

The pro-Palestinian divestment movement has erupted across the country, after over a decade of bubbling and stirring under the guidance of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine. Students have built encampments, led walkouts and passed student government resolutions demanding that their universities cease investing their endowments in companies that uphold Israel’s genocidal apartheid system. Some student governments have even passed resolutions preventing their own budgets from being used to benefit Israel’s regime in any way. University of California Davis was the first to do so, blocking off its $20 million budget from genocide-supporting companies.

Announcing The Launch Of The Online Popular University For Gaza

As the death toll rises in the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza, San Francisco State University (SFSU) has once again decided to cancel its only Palestine course that Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi was scheduled to teach during this summer school. This abrupt and irrational decision seeks to criminalize the Palestine curriculum while dismissing and ignoring popular student demand to learn a critical Palestinian perspective that has been absent on U.S. college campuses. Over the last month, hundreds of students, academics, community leaders, and organizers called on SFSU administrators to urgently reverse their decision to cancel Dr. Abdulhadi’s popular and unique course.

Professor Says She Was Suspended Over Her Palestine Activism

Last month Sang Hea Kil, a justice studies professor at the San Jose State University, was placed on a temporary suspension. The school claims that Kil violated Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreement between the school and the faculty union, but she believes she was suspended over her Palestine activism. Kil stepped down as co-chair of the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim Caucus of the California Faculty after the school placed her under an investigation for allegedly disruptive activities. “i am resigning now as co-chair and from all committees in pam. it was an honor to fight side by side with you all against the tragic and painful silence around the genocide we experienced at our campuses,” said Kil.

Columbia Law Review Website Put Offline To Censor Palestinian Scholar

The Columbia Law Review (CLR) board of directors has taken down the publication’s website in response to its editors publishing a lengthy article about the Nakba by a Palestinian legal scholar, The Intercept reported on 4 June. The CLR publishes scholarly articles, essays, and student notes and is edited by Columbia Law School students. Five months ago, editors of the CLR had reached out to Palestinian human rights lawyer Rabea Eghbariah, asking him to contribute an article establishing the “Nakba” as a formal legal concept. Palestinians use the word, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic, to refer to the expulsion and dispossession of 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1948.

Professor Resigns Over School’s Involvement In Palestine’s Genocide

My name is Z Williams. I am an alumni of the Sturm College of Law and currently a professor at the Graduate School of Social Work. Today, I am announcing my resignation from the University of Denver on the basis of the school’s ongoing involvement in the US-funded genocide against the Palestinian people. Israel is dropping 2000 pound bombs with surgical precision on refugees living in tents. We have seen their photos — charred bones, headless children, entire generations flattened. Those bombs are funded by US tax dollars, financed by US institutions, and manufactured less than a hundred miles away from Denver. The military and the government behind those bombs are funded by elite private institutions such as the University of Denver.

Open Letter By Gaza Academics And University Administrators

We have come together as Palestinian academics and staff of Gaza universities to affirm our existence, the existence of our colleagues and our students, and the insistence on our future, in the face of all current attempts to erase us. The Israeli occupation forces have demolished our buildings but our universities live on. We reaffirm our collective determination to remain on our land and to resume teaching, study, and research in Gaza, at our own Palestinian universities, at the earliest opportunity. We call upon our friends and colleagues around the world to resist the ongoing campaign of scholasticide in occupied Palestine, to work alongside us in rebuilding our demolished universities, and to refuse all plans seeking to bypass, erase, or weaken the integrity of our academic institutions.

Congress Trains Academia To Deny Genocide

“Do you think Israel’s government is genocidal?” That’s the question that Rep. Bob Good, a Republican of Virginia, fired at Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, last week in a U.S. House committee hearing. Holloway, a scholar of African American history who has been steadily climbing the ladder of administrative positions at top-tier schools, looked stunned. “Um sir, I don’t … have an opinion on Israel’s um …in terms of that phrase.” Good: “You do not have an opinion as to whether Israel’s government is genocidal?” Holloway: “Uh, no sir, I think Israel has a right to exist and protect itself.” Good: “Do you think Israel’s government is genocidal?” Holloway: “I think Israel has a right to exist and protect itself, sir.”

How Tens Of Thousands Of Graduate Workers Are Organizing

It’s the biggest organizing wave the U.S. labor movement has seen in decades. Graduate workers are unionizing in huge numbers, winning drive after drive with 90 percent support or more. What’s more, the workers are in the driver’s seat of these campaigns, with little help from union staff. Most union organizing these days relies on a staff-heavy approach that’s tough to scale up. But the grad worker upsurge offers a sketch of a worker-led model that could help reverse labor’s decline. The United Electrical Workers (UE) alone has organized close to 30,000 graduate workers over the past year and a half. We’ve won elections at eight major universities, including MIT and the University of Minnesota.

The ‘Blurred Lines’ Of Columbia’s Task Force On Anti-Semitism

On May 16, as Columbia University’s Spring semester ended, the school newspaper published an Op-Ed from the “Task Force on Anti-Semitism” appointed by President Minouche Shafik last November. The Task Force, made up of pro-Israel faculty, announced at its inception its goal of making “ambitious changes” to the University’s “policies, rules, and practices,” and has already released one report supporting increased restrictions on student protests. While it has made a point of refusing to define what it means by “antisemitism,” its latest communication indicates that Columbia faculty and students critical of Israel and Zionism may well be in real danger should the Task Force deliver on its currently-stated goals.

A Historic Ruling: NCAA Ordered To Pay Student Athletes

A historic working-class victory was achieved on May 23, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bosses agreed to settle three federal antitrust cases that were filed by three student athletes. The agreement will allow schools to directly pay student players for the first time in history. In what is known as the “amateurism model,” college athletes have traditionally been excluded from receiving any compensation for their athletic talent, name recognition and labor. The recent settlement is expected to change that super-exploitative practice. The NCAA Board of Governors, as well as the parasitic leaders of its five “power conferences” — the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Pac-12 — agreed to pay more than $2.8 billion in back pay and damages over the next 10 years to both past and current athletes.

US Undergrads Are Getting A Crash Course In Labor Organizing

When Grinnell College wanted to begin compensating community advisors (CA), who work to provide students living in residence halls with programming and support for personal and academic issues, on an hourly basis, undergraduates at the private liberal arts school in Iowa took collective action. They went on strike at the end of the spring semester in 2023. Hannah Sweet, a third-year student at the school who works as a CA, opposed the change because it would have amounted to a substantial pay cut given the 24/7 nature of the job. “One of the main things we did was we performed ‘structure tests’ leading up to the strike date,” said Sweet, who’s now co-president of the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW), which now represents all undergrad labor on campus.

Universities As Tentacles Of The Police State

The recent Congressional hearings leading to a bloodbath of university presidents brings back memories from my teen-age years in the 1950s when everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV broadcast of the McCarthy hearings. And the student revolts incited by vicious college presidents trying to stifle academic freedom when it opposes foreign unjust wars awakens memories of the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War and the campus clampdowns confronting police violence. I was the junior member of the “Columbia three” alongside Seymour Melman and my mentor Terence McCarthy.

Administrators Are Trying To Strip Decision-Making Power From Faculty

The 2023-2024 academic year has already been very challenging for institutions of higher learning. In the midst of college closures, the firing of tenured faculty members, politically motivated bans of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices and programs, academic program cuts at public universities, attacks on faculty and students protesting the war on Gaza, and attacks on Black faculty members for anonymous claims of plagiarism and research misconduct, there is an additional trend which is contributing to the erosion of higher education as we know it: reducing or eliminating shared governance.

Revolt In The Universities

Achinthya Sivalingam, a graduate student in Public Affairs at Princeton University did not know when she woke up this morning that shortly after 7 a.m. she would join hundreds of students across the country who have been arrested, evicted and banned from campus for protesting the genocide in Gaza. She wears a blue sweatshirt, sometimes fighting back tears, when I speak to her. We are seated at a small table in the Small World Coffee shop on Witherspoon Street, half a block away from the university she can no longer enter, from the apartment she can no longer live in and from the campus where in a few weeks she was scheduled to graduate.

Colleges And Universities Collaborate With The State To Silence Protests

As we have seen over the past few months, colleges and universities across the United States have shown a dangerous willingness to punish their students for speaking out for Justice for Palestine on their campuses. The very institutions that claim to be the centers of intellectual rigor, freedom of thought and expression, and developers of critical thinking skills for America’s post-secondary school development, even claiming to be the groomers and shapers of America’s future generations of leaders, are today the institutions that call the police on student protesters.
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