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Take note of Shirvani's history

CSUS President Ham Shirvani
CSUS President Ham Shirvani Modesto Bee

The Bee's Dec. 6 editorial about California State University, Stanislaus', turmoil implied that faculty members are dupes of the California Faculty Association, and that the budget crises triggered the divisions between President Hamid Shirvani and themselves. Neither is true.

The CFA did not impact the vote of no confidence. Also, many among the 91 percent who voted no confidence were non-union faculty. Furthermore, his supporters trumpet that he raised the university stature. Faculty scholarship was well pronounced before the president arrived and it is they who continue to produce. Finally, the president's "brash manner" was understated and has a history.

He left the University of Colorado at Denver "under duress" following an "adversarial" relationship with the faculty. While at Chapman University, the school newspaper there described his management style as "dogmatic and inflexible." Does this sound familiar? Here, since September he has yet to meet with the academic senate or general faculty.

The head of a public university, where dialogue is encouraged, has an ethical duty to work in a transparent manner with the faculty. If he is unwilling or, worse yet, incapable of doing so, how can any responsible person tout his ability to lead?


professor of history, California State University, Stanislaus