ADL Disappointed in Panel's Decision Not to Discipline UC Professor for Anti-Israel E-Mail Message Sent to Students
Santa Barbara, June 25, 2009 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed strong disappointment at the decision by the University of California Santa Barbara Charges Committee that did not find probable cause to undertake disciplinary action in the matter of Professor William Robinson.
Professor Robinson had been accused by two students of abusing his academic position and inappropriate intimidation of them by his sending an e-mail to his class comparing Israeli behavior in Gaza to Nazi treatment of Jews.
Cyndi Silverman, Director of the ADL Santa Barbara Tri-Counties Region, issued the following statement:
Unfortunately, this matter was portrayed as a question of protecting academic freedom when, in fact, the issue was when does academic freedom cross the line into behavior that violates the academic rights of students.
Not pursuing this issue by conducting a further investigation, as the Committee decided, sends a disturbing message that only the rights of faculty are to be respected, not the rights of individual students.
If students who are understandably feeling intimidated and excluded by actions such as these by a faculty member -- this was not a mere difference of opinion about what happened in Gaza -- conclude that there is no recourse for their concerns, it will create a climate in which true academic freedom will not be able to endure.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.