News Release

CSU Professor Who Was Wrongfully Disciplined by CSU Fullerton Gets Reinstated

Following Reinstatement, CSU Faculty Calls on University Presidents to Stand Up and Defend Academic Freedom in Today’s Divisive Political Climate

Long Beach, CA – After an arbitrator overturned CSU Fullerton’s decision to terminate Dr. Eric Canin following an alleged altercation on campus, the California Faculty Association today called on University Presidents nationwide to stand up for academic freedom in today’s heated and divisive political climate.

“Differences of opinion will always be present in an academic setting,” said Jennifer Eagan, President of the California Faculty Association (CFA). “The ability to have a vibrant discourse involving dissenting views contributes to the very essence of higher education, which is why we need leaders of the higher education community to protect academic freedom at a time when the political discourse is so divisive.”

Eagan added, “A political group has no right to censor or target faculty or students who challenge their views, and faculty should not fear losing their careers to unabashed hatred and unfounded assertions. In today’s heated political climate, we need leadership from college and university presidents on protecting its community from such attacks.”

CSU Fullerton terminated Dr. Canin after he had been accused of physically assaulting a student at a demonstration in February 2017, an assertion that CFA stepped in and aggressively challenged.

Arbitrator Jan Stiglitz concluded in her decision that Dr. Canin “…did not engage in anything resembling a fight and did not have any conscious intent to cause any harm to the students in question,” and ordered the university to reinstate Dr. Canin and convert his termination into a two-month suspension.

Dr. Canin is one of several college faculty throughout the country who have found themselves unfairly vilified by right-wing groups like the College Republicans, a national, ultra-conservative youth organization that appears to be growing bolder following the election of Donald Trump.

CFA is urging higher education community leaders to stand up and defend academic freedom on their campuses so that no faculty member has to endure what Dr. Canin has been through.

While addressing CSU Chancellor Timothy White and the CSU Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Dr. Canin stated:

“We are all feeling the political intensity on our campuses, but my colleagues and I are trying hard to focus on teaching, research, and helping advance our students and university. I am grateful my union fought alongside me and successfully protected my career and am looking forward to returning to the classroom this fall.

“I hope you will use this case as an opportunity to encourage your peers around the country to protect faculty, students, and staff from unfair assaults on our freedom to teach, and on our students’ right to learn.”

Eagan added:

“The California Faculty Association is proud to have successfully protected the career and livelihood of a 20-year lecturer at Cal State Fullerton. Working hard on behalf of faculty is at the very core of our mission at CFA, and we will always protect and defend our members, who are the foundation of the California State University system. Our union is strong, and together, we win.”

For more information on CFA’s efforts to protect academic freedom, visit: calfac.org/protect-academic-freedom

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenured and tenure-track instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at www.calfac.org

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