U California President Yudof Says Political Advocacy Is a Problem

Ashley Thorne

University of California president Mark Yudof appeared at the Chico Chamber of Commerce this Tuesday to hold a press conference and promote the University. He spoke to a group of businesspeople and the press concerning the "top ten myths" about UC. At the end of his talk was a question and answer time. Charles Geshekter, chairman of the California Association of Scholars and one of the authors of the new report A Crisis of Competence, asked President Yudof to describe what he sees as the difference between freedom of speech and academic freedom. 

The Oroville Mercury-Register published an account of this exchange in "UC President: Faculty Should Educate, Not Proselytize." Though Yudof was dismissive of the report's claim that politicization in the classroom is linked to academic decline, he agreed that ideological bias is a problem. According to the Mercury-Register:

Yudof said there is some truth in the charge of faculty proselytizing. He said he doesn't want to see classes "politicized."

"Professors are there to educate — not to rouse the troops for a cause," he said. They should not put on their websites that everyone should be pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian, for example.

The problem of inappropriate political advocacy by faculty aggravates him, Yudof said. But it's difficult to do much about it, he added.

Dr. Geshekter commended the UC president on his articulate answer and asked him to support it:

Geshekter told Yudof he was pleased to hear that he recognized the problem. He asked the president if he couldn't send a memo to all the UC campus chancellors condemning inappropriate political advocacy.

"I could do that," Yudof said. "I don't know that it would do much good."

  • Share

Most Commented

September 5, 2014


Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

"[PTSS] provides an evidence-proof explanation that lifts away moral responsibility from those engaged in self-destructive, anti-social, and criminal behavior."...

September 21, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....

April 9, 2018


How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

Download an updated PDF that lists all of the Confucius Institutes in the United States, along with information on who to contact if you have concerns....

Most Read

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...