On March 1, the CFA Board of Directors approved our members signing on to the National Labor Network for Ceasefire statement. Many of our labor allies are signatories, including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

After the tragedy in Israel and Palestine began on October 7, we made a brief statement in Headlines to address this conflict:

We seek a world where we have the right to self-determination, dignity, and justice. Life is precious and we honor that. All of these things have been grossly violated in recent months. We support our community members who are re-traumatized, who unjustly are experiencing hate and threats. We will continue to work for rights, respect, and social justice.

As this crisis continues, more and more U.S. labor organizations are coalescing to uplift a humanitarian-centered response to the conflict. 

We encourage you to read the statement and consider signing on as a member of CFA. As noted in the statement, we express our solidarity with all workers and our common desire for peace in Palestine and Israel.

The California Faculty Association has traditionally refrained from weighing in on international political issues, instead maintaining a focus on the state which we serve and the cause of higher education more generally. However, the crisis in Israel and Palestine is having an impact on free speech and academic freedom for CSU students and faculty.

There have been several incidents on our campuses in which student and faculty protestors have been retaliated against for their activism.

Recently, two students at Cal Poly Humboldt were disciplined for protesting high administrators salaries and benefits and student tuition hikes. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, police took aggressive action against several pro-Palestine protestors. While we are unclear of all the details at this point, we strongly condemn police brutality and continued repression against student protestors.

In the preamble to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, we have a statement on academic freedom that states:

Academic freedom is foundational to work in the academy. With it, we are able to create and disseminate knowledge, teach difficult and controversial subject matter, and have the voice to explore world knowledge from many perspectives. Today, the rights of academic freedom are glaringly important.

Academic freedom is under attack in our nation.  We are witness to the criminalization of feminist, trans, and critical race scholarship and of reproductive health. Recently there was a mass firing of DEI—diversity, equity, inclusion—professionals at the University of Florida. In the CSU we are witness to repression against members of our campus communities who are protesting for human rights.

We take this opportunity to proclaim again that academic freedom must be the cornerstone of the university. As educational professionals we recognize now, as ever, the critical need for us to defend this crucial right. Our students, our faculty, and our communities cannot function under the repression and brutality we have witnessed on several campuses in recent days. 

As CFA we support faculty and students’ rights to protest free from brutal aggression by police, free from academic retaliation and repression by campus officials, and without being penned into artificially constructed “free speech areas.” The entire university is a free speech area, and we support the right of our colleagues to determine their scholarship, teaching, and service without restriction and without sanction. 

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