The Spreading Virus, Claremont Update (3)

It’s pretty clear that Claremont’s Dean of Faculty, Peter Uvin, belongs out on the barricades with the student protesters. Having helped push Dean of Students Spellman out the door, yesterday he sent the following email to Claremont faculty letting them know that re-education camp is in their future, as well as the corruption of the curriculum:

Dear members of our community,

Yesterday afternoon, a large group of faculty met for a discussion of your Call to Action. At that meeting, a petition was brought forward, written by a group of faculty, for endorsement. Given that many faculty had to teach at that time and hence were unable to attend, we decided to give people some time to endorse the petition electronically.

As of 1pm this afternoon, this statement has been endorsed by 102 members of our faculty; that number may still rise. Please find the statement below.


Statement of Support from Concerned CMC Faculty

Early this morning, many of us received directly via email the Call to Action: Marginalized Students Demand Institutional Support.  This Call to Action has since been forwarded to all members of the faculty by the Dean of Faculty Peter Uvin.

We read this call to action with heavy hearts and a profound commitment to promoting inclusion, engagement, and success for all members of our community.  We are collectively sorry for incidents of bias that students have experienced in our classrooms and on our watch.  We will strive to do more to attend adequately in our course curricula to race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and privilege.

We recognize that we have not previously done enough as a faculty to make these issues a priority.  And we pledge to do better going forward.  We hereby make a commitment to pursue concrete strategies to address the concerns that have been raised.  In particular,

–    We endorse and pledge to work towards the immediate creation of staff positions dedicated to diversity/inclusion issues.

–    We endorse and pledge to work towards the creation of an on-campus resource center dedicated to the needs of students of marginalized identities.  Until permanent space can be found, we endorse and pledge to work towards the immediate re-allocation of other existing space.

–   We endorse and pledge to work towards the need for diversity training for faculty as soon as possible, and ideally as soon as next semester.

–    We endorse the need to re-evaluate our curricula, and we pledge to conduct such a re-evaluation to be sure that a CMC education adequately addresses issues of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and privilege.

–   We pledge to continue our longstanding commitment to engaging students in critical discourse.

The Call to Action aptly states:  Do not tell us you stand with us. Show us.  We intend to do just that.


Peter Uvin, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of the Faculty, Claremont McKenna College

Meanwhile, at this point it seems to me that perhaps conservatives ought to join the protesters in demanding the ouster of spineless college presidents and administrators. And then pick their successors from the phone book.

They could hardly be worse than CMC’s president Hiram Chodosh. In my previous post, I noted how the student mob had shut down an Asian student for departing from script, right in front of the supine Chodosh, who did nothing. Here’s the account of The Daily Beast this afternoon:

Claremont McKenna College President Hiram E. Chodosh was ambivalent about this exchange and did not denounce the students who sought to quiet their peer.

“On the one hand, I feel very uncomfortable when anyone in the community is precluded from saying what they want. On the other hand, I would be equally uncomfortable when a group of students organized a particular message and counter messaging, from their view, disrupted their ability to provide that message,” Chodosh told The Daily Beast.

“I think there was an ambiguity in the nature of the forum that took place. I think that if the forum were clearly an expression of protest by students who wanted to voice their pain and their self-empowerment through a certain point of view than obviously voices that are dissident to those are disruptive.

“If the purpose was an open forum where anyone was able to speak, the dissuasion or the elimination of any particular voice would have been inappropriate,” Chodosh explained.

CMC’s trustees should fire Chodosh immediately.