We have received a PDF copy of a third statement from the administration of Southwestern College regarding last Thursday’s campus rally and subsequent banning of three professors from campus. Highlights:
The statement appears over the signature of Nicholas C. A. Alioto, who is identified within it as SWC’s “Acting Superintendent/President.” Alioto, a Certified Public Accountant, is a recent hire at SWC — he was named as the college’s Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs in July.
The statement says that the primary protest on October 22 “was conducted in accordance with Policy 5550.” Policy 5550 is Administrative Policy 5550 of the Southwestern Community Colllege District, and can be found here. It is based on, and promulgated in accordance with, Section 76120 of the California Education Code.
Note that Section 76120 and Policy 5550 regulate the conduct of students, not faculty.
The statement expresses the administration’s “concern” about events that took place when a “group of individuals left the free speech area” after the rally. It says that three faculty members are being investigated because of “concerns” that “center around three areas” — “[a] Incitement of students to move outside the free speech area and to violate College policies, [b] Disregard for warnings and directives of police officers, and [c] Physical confrontation with police officers.”
According to the statement, these areas are concern are being explored by “an outside investigator” who is not named or otherwise identified. That investigator has been conducting interviews, and his or her investigation “is expected to be concluded in the very near future.”
The statement denies that the three faculty were suspended. Rather, it says, they were “placed on paid administrative leave” and notified of “withdrawal of consent to be on-site.”
The faculty in question have, according to the statement, requested administrative hearings regarding their non-suspension suspensions. The next passage of the statement is worth quoting in full:
“In the interests of being as transparent as possible, administration offered to conduct the hearings in public; however, legal counsel for the three individuals declined that offer.”
Finally, the statement declares that “in order to provide due process,” the administration “must refrain from commenting further until the investigation is concluded.”