DECal in the news! (I was director of DECal my senior year at Berkeley, back in early 1980s). DECal classes have a history of politically active classes; some of the administrative oversight referred to in the article was put into place back in 1970s when students were getting course credit for organizing protests against nuclear proliferation at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I hope this is not a setback for the program overall; the whole point of DECal is to bring different points of view and different learning opportunities, ORGANIZED BY STUDENTS, that they are not getting from main campus classes. It operates under the bureaucratic framework of "independent study," where the students take the classes sign up for independent study with a faculty member who has signed off on the course content. In this case, the decision of the Ethnic Studies faculty member to sign off on the independent studies is being called into question by the administration, which is a scary precedent. Academic freedom? Yep. As long as you don't do anything that somebody might disagree with...
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