This week, CFA members filed an Unfair Practice Charge with California’s Public Employer Employee Relations Board (PERB) over Cal Poly Humboldt administration’s decision to close the campus for the remainder of the spring semester. Management took the extraordinary step of closing down the campus last month in response to students protesting the war in Gaza when other campuses around the country have remained open despite fairly large actions and police responses. At Cal Poly Humboldt, students and a faculty member occupied a campus building for several days before being forcibly removed and arrested on April 29.

Despite the end of the building occupation, the campus President, Tom Jackson, Jr., decided to keep the campus closed for the remainder of the academic year. We filed the charge because CSU management should have bargained over the decision to close the campus, especially in light of the fact that the Cal Poly Humboldt community questions the need at this point.

We concur with an open letter from the American Civil Liberties Union to Jackson stating among other things that, “Whatever may have happened previously, it is difficult to see how any such emergency currently exists that could justify the complete closure of the entire campus, including its designated public forum spaces.”

The harm from depriving faculty access to campus will be long-lasting, impacting faculty in their current and future work performance, evaluations, and overall sense of safety and academic freedom. While not the subject of the PERB charge, the impact on students is profound as well.

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