Letter to Dean Owens

Posted: May 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Dean Owens,

This letter is in regards to your consistent failure to fully support the ethnic and gender studies departments and programs under your administration at the University of California, Davis.

While you have stated and continue to maintain that you act as an advocate for underrepresented and marginalized students on campus, your actions have said otherwise. For example, you have claimed that the ethnic and gender studies departments and programs are not at risk of being consolidated into a single department. At the same time, you have, in your official capacity as dean, been planning for the merging of the duties of administrative staff in Hart Hall. This is the first step to the stripping of distinctive community identities and amalgamation of the various, unique ethnic and gender studies departments and programs into a single department.

While it is understandable that the current economy has necessitated tough budget cuts, these cuts have disproportionately affected historically underrepresented and marginalized communities on campus. Since you have assumed your position over five years ago, the ethnic and gender studies departments and programs here in Davis have had their operating budgets drastically slashed and faculty and staff positions have not been sustained. You have made many of these decisions BEFORE the economic downturn. Your utilization of the economic budget crisis as a scapegoat to justify the decline in funding and reduction in the allocation of resources to ethnic and gender studies departments and programs on campus is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It is important for you to note that the marginalized communities on campus refuse to stand by while you continue to make decisions that have had, are having and will have severe, adverse effects on ethnic and gender studies departments and programs on campus.

As a result of the actions you have taken while appointed as dean, a list of demands has been created and a rally has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 26 at 12PM in front of Hart Hall with the goal of raising the awareness and consciousness of the greater student body to the threats perpetrated by current university administration to underrepresented students here on campus. We expect that you will join us to schedule a meeting with yourself and Chancellor Katehi to discuss our demands. Please be advised that the failure of university administration to schedule a meeting will result in further action. Please also find a list of our demands attached.

c/s

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