BLM and Teacher's Union Demands BLM Leader be made Dean at California State University System

The California State University (CSU) system has 23 campuses and 430,000 underclassmen. BLM and the California Faculty Association, a labor union that represents 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, and other staffers are demanding that LA BLM president Dr Melina Abdullah become the new Dean of Ethnic studies for the CSU.

Abdullah was interviewed for the position but for whatever reason, she was not selected. Surely being too radical couldn't stop you from getting a job in extremely radical California. If anything, I would think that would be a resume enhancer.  At least in such a deep blue state nit is.

The BLM coalition has made 15 demands on the CSU system:

1. Appoint Dr. Melina Abdullah as the inaugural dean of the College based on the collective demand of students, faculty, staff, and community. We believe she is the only person capable of leaning into the role of Dean on day one to help stabilize the fledging, new College of Ethnic Studies. Melina has the humility, integrity, and visionary insight necessary to navigate the CoES during the global COVID-19 pandemic, budgetary crisis, and nationwide uprising against police violence. The College urgently requires a leader who will be responsive to the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community, and who will contest the entrenched manifestations of academic neoliberalism and anti-Blackness so prevalent at Cal State LA.

Defund The Police and Reimagine Campus Safety:
Meet the demands of the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus:
2. Disarm and divest from Cal State LA campus police and replace it with non-punitive forms of accountability, including restorative and transformative justice, trauma-informed crisis teams, and other community-led public health and safety programs.

3. Redirect the resources from policing toward racial and gender justice teaching, research, anti-racism training for campus employees, and community initiatives, as well as increased material support to hire more Black mental health counselors, faculty (this includes resources for increased hiring and retention), staff, and students workers on campus. More specifically, some of those resources should be allocated to the creation of a Center for Black Student Success and to provide scholarships for Black students who balance outstanding academic records and commitments to addressing current social issues. A committee of faculty experts in Pan-African Studies and other departments, as well as Black students, staff, and workers will develop the plan for the redirection of both immediate and ongoing resources.

4. End all contracts between Cal State LA and local, county, and state police, federal police departments, and security agencies, including but not limited to LAPD, the LA Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Alhambra Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and ICE. As part of this demand, we want a public accounting of all existing contracts, memoranda of understanding, and other agreements with such agencies.

Student Admissions and Empowerment:
5. Make Cal State LA an open admissions campus, beginning with the removal of “impacted” campus status.

6. Declare a “state of emergency” for Black students that funds and enables the Department of Pan-African Studies to outreach to and directly admit a minimum of at least 500 students per year.

7. Fully support and fund the Halisi House, with autonomy over residential requirements and programming in coordination with the Department of Pan-African Studies.

8. Expand the number of counselors to the number required for on-demand student counseling services, placing all counselors on the tenure track, and prioritizing the hiring of Black counselors and counselors of color.

9. Give students the power to vote on and veto the hiring of campus administrators and establish a student-driven process for the removal of administrators.

Ethnic Studies:
10. Give the College of Ethnic Studies autonomy over its own undergraduate and graduate student admissions process, with unlimited admissions.

11. Provide each Department within the College of Ethnic Studies a minimum of twelve tenure-line faculty.

12. Impose no restrictions on the number of courses offered by the College of Ethnic Studies and fully fund faculty to cover courses.

13. Defer on all Ethnic Studies requirements and courses to the College of Ethnic Studies.

14. Support AB 1460 to make Ethnic Studies a CSU graduation requirement and withdraw support for the Chancellor’s proposal to undermine Ethnic Studies by watering down its definition.

15. Guarantee and support a maximum 3-3 teaching load for research-active and community-engaged tenure-line faculty and 4-4 for lecturer faculty.


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