Less than a week after Observer contributor Abraham H. Miller exposed “Cal Berkeley’s Latest Effort to Erase Jewish History From Israel,” the university has “suspended” the class in question, “pending completion of the mandated review and approval process.”
An email sent to Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Director the of the anti-Semitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, on behalf of UC Berkeley (UCB) chancellor Nicholas Dirks stated:
“The facilitator for the course in question did not comply with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review and approval of proposed courses for the Decal program. As a result, the proposed course did not receive a sufficient degree of scrutiny to ensure that the syllabus met Berkeley’s academic standards before it was opened for enrollment to students.
Dirks’ representative continued:
“For that reason, approval for the course has been suspended pending completion of the mandated review and approval process. It should also be noted that the Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science is very concerned about the offering of any course, even a student-run course, which espouses a single political viewpoint and/or appears to offer a forum for political organizing rather than an opportunity for the kind of open academic inquiry that Berkeley is known for.”
Early this morning, the UCB chancellor received a letter from Rossman-Benjamin, signed by the heads of 43 Jewish, civil rights and education advocacy organizations, stating they were “deeply concerned” about a student-taught, credit-bearing course entitled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” that is currently being offered as one of the academic senate-approved DeCal courses at UC Berkeley this semester.