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Final Report and Recommendations to the President
from the President's Task Force on Inter-group Relations:
Initial Focus on the Effect of Middle East Issues on Campus Life


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December 16, 2002


Original Charge of the Task Force

List of Current Task Force Members

Letter from the Chair

Executive Summary of Recommendations

Appendix I: Sub-Committee Reports:

Appendix Ia: Codes of Conduct
Appendix Ib: Community Relations Advisory Board
Appendix Ic: Employment Practices
Appendix Id: Curriculum

Appendix II: Task Force Methodology

Appendix III: Sources of Information Utilized

Appendix IV: Preliminary Status Report

Original Charge of the Task Force

*President's Task Force on Inter-group Relations with a Focus on Jewish/Palestinian Communities

This presidential task force will examine inter-group relations at San Francisco State University and advise the University on immediate and long-term strategies for improving the campus climate particularly regarding the concerns of the Jewish and Palestinian communities.

The Task Force is charged with a short-term, action-oriented agenda and a longer-term agenda that will dovetail with that of the current Commission on University Strategic Planning (CUSP II). The short-term tasks for the Task Force are:

  • to recommend immediate actions that can be taken to improve campus climate for our Jewish and Palestinian communities
  • to consider various facets of the University that may be relevant to issues raised by the Jewish, Palestinian and related communities regarding recent events on campus. These may include the University's curriculum; co-curricular activities; orientation programs for students, staff, administrators and faculty; colloquia; and campus policies
  • to recommend to the president by August 1, 2002 those immediate actions that should be taken by appropriate areas of the University

Drawing from the preliminary report and agenda, the Task Force, in consultation with the president and the CUSP II group, will develop a long-term agenda including the following tasks:

  • to study more comprehensively the issues in the August 1, 2002 report that demand continued attention
  • to relate, where appropriate, Jewish and Palestinian community concerns to those regarding inter-group relations among other SFSU communities, e.g. racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual identity, disability or other social or cultural communities
  • to recommend actions that continue to improve campus climate for our Jewish and Palestinian communities in manner that complements the ongoing work of the CUSP II process

The term of the Task Force will be determined within the context of the CUSP II strategic planning process.

* On July 17, 2002, name changed to President's Task Force on Inter-group Relations: Initial Focus on the Effect of Middle East Issues on Campus Life

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List of Current Task Force Members

  • Professor Alvin Alvarez, Counseling Department
  • Professor Fred Astren, Jewish Studies Program
  • Dean Sheldon Axler, Science and Engineering
  • Mr. Khaldoun Baghdadi, Attorney with Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, Echeverria
  • Ms. Patty Bartscher, SFSU Counsel
  • Mr. Seth Brysk, Director, San Francisco Hillel
  • Professor Robert Cherny, Academic Senate/History
  • Ms. Karen Clopton, Chief of Operations, SFSU Foundation, Inc.
  • Mr. Paul Cohen, Hillel Northern California Field Services Consultant
  • Mr. Dennis Dubinsky, Israel Coalition Student Representative
  • Mr. Alan Fisk, Career Center
  • Mr. Will Flowers, Director, Student Programs/Office of Leadership Development
  • Ms. Denise Fox, Director, Human Resources
  • Mr. Souleiman Ghali, President, Islamic Society of San Francisco
  • Dr. Jess Ghannam, UCSF Professor of Psychology
  • Professor Lillian Hyatt, Emerita, Professor SFSU
  • Rabbi Douglas Kahn, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council, San Francisco
  • Professor Marcelle Kardush, Psychology
  • Mr. Muata Kenyatta, Director, Performing Arts, ASI (MSA Advisor)
  • Professor Hamid Khani, BECA
  • Professor John Kim, Chair, Psychology
  • Mr. Eyad Kishawi, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • Professor Eileen Levy, Director, School of Social Work
  • Ms. Gabriana Marks, Hillel Student Representative
  • Professor Leticia M�rquez-Maga�a, Biology
  • *Professor Minoo Moallem, Chair, Women's Studies
  • Dean Kenneth Monteiro, Human Relations/Psychology
  • Ms. Nahiel Nazzal, GUPS Representative
  • Ms. Ronda Newt-Scott, President, Associated Students, Inc.
  • Dean Jacob Perea, College of Education
  • Mr. Mark Phillips, Government & Community Relations/Sec. Ed.
  • Ms. Abeer Rafidi, Executive Director, Arab Cultural Center
  • Mr. Michael Santini, MSA Representative
  • Mr. Matthew Shenoda, Lecturer, Ethnic Studies
  • Professor Dwight Simpson, International Relations, Center for Interdisciplinary Programs
  • Mr. Phil Ting, Government & Community Relations
  • Ms. Julie Vaquilar, (Staff) College of Extended Learning
  • Professor Pamela Vaughn, Chair, Classics and Comparative & World Literature
  • Dr. Penelope Warren, Counseling & Psychological Services
  • Chief Kim Wible, Department of Public Safety
  • Reverend Michael Yoshi, Buena Vista United Methodist Church

* Effective as of September 1, 2002

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Letter from the Chair

Dear President Corrigan:

On behalf of the Task Force, I am honored to submit the final report of the President's Task Force on Inter-Group Relations: Initial Focus on the Effect of Middle East Issues on Campus Life. The members of the Task Force have worked very diligently over the past six months to carry out your charge.

Thank you for endorsing the initial recommendations regarding orientation programs for students, staff, administrators, and faculty; colloquia, special events, and discussions; and psychological counseling services. The recommendations were put into effect during the fall semester and have met with considerable success. We have worked closely with Professor Jerald Combs, the Coordinator of the Year of Civil Discourse for Academic Affairs, to aid in the implementation of the initial recommendations from the August 1st preliminary report. Professor Combs has attended our meetings and been a liaison between the Task Force and Academic Affairs. Muata Kenyatta has been instrumental in arranging and presenting several events during the fall semester that implemented the Task Force's recommendations, e.g. screenings and discussions of the documentary film, "Promises," including one with the filmmakers. In addition, the master calendar was implemented and has received widespread praise.

At your request, the subcommittees on curriculum and employment practices continued to meet and have worked with the Director of Human Resources, the Academic Senate Chair, several faculty members, and members of CUSP II to develop additional recommendations and refine the initial suggested plans. The subcommittees' final recommendations are included in this report.

On September 18, 2002, the Task Force held a meeting off-campus to develop the agenda for the remaining work of the charge. This meeting was somewhat longer than the usual meetings of the Task Force and was facilitated by Dr. Deborah Jude-York and chaired by myself. The meeting was held at the Renaissance Park 55 Hotel in downtown San Francisco and made possible through the generosity of its proprietor, Larry Chan. Twenty- eight members attended and we were able to generate a consensus on the direction of the group. We agreed upon a sunset date for the Task Force of December 15, 2002.

We also developed several recommendations for the development of a Community Advisory Board to the Office of Human Relations that would address inter-group relations among all of the diverse communities on campus in a more institutional format. This would assure continuity and eliminate the need for ad hoc group-specific task forces in the future. In addition, the meeting produced a recommendation for a student organization congress that would convene representatives from all of the student organizations each semester to foster communication, cooperation, and understanding amongst all of the various constituencies of each organization.

In addition to these three areas, the Task Force decided to focus on and bring to a close by December its work on the Islamic Studies Program, Student Codes of Conduct and employment practices. Each of these subcommittees has met several times during the last three months and their recommendations are included in this report.

At our subsequent meetings, our discussions of campus climate have been animated, honest, and productive. While the Task Force has discussed at length, both in an ad hoc committee and as a whole, the student organizational discipline and sanctions that emanated from the May 7, 2002 rally and counter-rally, no consensus was reached regarding any possible Task Force recommendation about the specific sanctions. However, the Task Force's subcommittee on Campus Policies on the conduct of rallies and the expression of free speech worked very hard to review all of the policies and recommend consistent application and implementation of the policies. Their comprehensive analysis is included in this report.

The Task Force held ten additional listening groups this October to afford every member of the campus community an opportunity to convey concerns about the initial focus. In addition the data collection survey research was conducted to further inform the recommendations of the Task Force and to aid CUSP II in implementing its strategic planning process. While all of the members of the Task Force have been provided with the opportunity to attend Task Force meetings, sub-committee meetings, listening groups, and review drafts of this report, it is neither intended to reflect a consensus of opinion of all 42 members nor to imply endorsement by any individual member.

It has been an honor to serve the University and to work with such a distinguished and dedicated group of individuals.

I remain at your service.

Very truly yours,

Karen V. Clopton

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Executive Summary of Recommendations

The following recommendations were reviewed and discussed in-depth at the Task Force's final meeting on Thursday, December 12 and subsequently reviewed via electronic and U.S. Postal mail and a consensus was reached. However, it should be reiterated that a consensus does not and should not imply unanimity:

Campus policies on the conduct of rallies and the expression of free speech

The Task Force adopts the sub-committee report in its entirety. The report recommends several significant modifications and changes to the Student Handbook issued by the Office of Student Programs Leadership Development.

The Task Force strongly recommends the prompt development and implementation of a complaint procedure creating a panel consisting of student, staff and faculty representatives to review organizational complaints.

The Task Force further recommends and encourages the development of a process for progressive discipline taking into consideration the severity of the violation.

Community Relations Advisory Board

The Task Force recommends the creation of a Community Advisory Board to the Office of Human Relations. This entity would be comprised of members from the various campus constituencies including the student body and the broader San Francisco Bay Area Community.

The Board would address community concerns regarding inter-group relations among all University communities, including, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual identity, disability or other social or cultural communities.

The Task Force recommends that the Office of Human Relations develop an interim working group as a prelude to the development of a standing Community Advisory Board. OHR should begin this process at the start of the spring term. The development will be done in consultation with the OHR Advisory Council, the President's Cabinet, Associated Students, the Academic Senate Executive Committee, and CUSP II, with reference to any relevant documents from the President's Task Force on Inter-group Relations.

Student Organization Congress

The Task Force recommends the development of a Student Organizations Congress that would convene once each semester to discuss their concerns and gain a greater understanding of each organization and their constituency. Student Affairs and the Associated Students should take the lead in the formation and development of the Congress.

Orientation programs for students, staff, administrators, and faculty

The Task Force fully supports its initial recommendations in this area and lauds the efforts made by Academic Affairs and Professor Jerald Combs for the progress that has already been achieved.

Colloquia, Special Events, and Discussions

The Task Force adopts the initial recommendations from its preliminary report on Colloquia, Special Events, and Discussions with the exception of the first initial recommendation that the University foster the creation of an interfaith student organization. The consensus of the Task Force in this area was that if such a group were to exist, the need must emanate from the student body and not the institution. Academic Affairs under its Year of Civil Discourse has given some support to two interfaith initiatives that have emanated from student organizations. Academic Affairs has furnished rooms and AV equipment for the Living Room Dialogues sponsored by Hillel. On February 6, 2003, Professor Jerry Combs will accompany two participants in the Living Room Dialogues to address a luncheon held by the San Francisco Women's Interfaith Dialogue on the Middle East, an organization that has carried on this dialogue for the past twenty-two years.
Psychological Counseling Services

The Task Force adopts its initial recommendations on Psychological Counseling Services and encourage their full implementation.

Employment Practices

The Task Force adopts the sub-committee's report and emphasizes the recommendation to bring value to activities of the staff, faculty and administration that demonstrate a commitment to meeting the needs of San Francisco State University's diverse student body.

University Curriculum

The Task Force believes that strong academic programs in Arab and Islamic Studies as well as Jewish Studies can play an important roll in broadening students' understanding and respect for these cultures. In addition, we strongly recommend that the University provide opportunities for cross-cultural studies when appropriate in both co-curricular and interdisciplinary programs.

As a result, the Task Force adopts both preliminary report's initial recommendation and the sub-committee on curriculum's final report in their entirety.

The Task Force also wished to highlight that we recommend including an FTE line in Jewish Studies for Israel Studies to supplement its already existing two FTE's.

The Task Force emphasizes its support for establishing an Arab and Islamic Studies Program to be housed in the College of Ethnic Studies and that this program signal a more global approach for the college. The Task Force also recommends that two full-time faculty members be hired to support such a program, preferably one in Arab American Studies and one in Muslim American Studies.

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Appendix I: Sub-Committee Reports

Appendix Ia: Codes of Conduct

This subcommittee reviewed the policies affecting rallies/demonstrations, as well as current State and Federal Law that affects these points. The following recommendations are submitted:

Office of Student Programs Leadership Development-Student Handbook

Current Policy: 1. All events must be planned and approved 72 hours in advance of the event.

Recommendation: We recommend there be an exception to the rule for unanticipated current events.

Current Policy: 2. Counter demonstrations may not be held within 30 feet of the scheduled activity.

Recommendation: We recommend the lawn area in the center of campus be used for counter demonstrations when the event is occurring in Malcolm X Plaza. Safety considerations should be taken into account for other forums, with an appropriate and safe buffer distance recommended by Public Safety. (See attached map)

Current Policy: 3. Hosts of events may use amplified sound supplied by the Student Center. No bullhorns may be used.

Recommendation: We recommend that the only use of amplified sound be by the host of the event. No bullhorns, air horns, drums or device that amplifies sound may be used (other than used by the hosts on the stage). Public Safety could grant an exception in critical safety situations.

Current Policy: 4. No flyers or flags posted on buildings, light poles or fences.

Recommendation: We recommend that banners be utilized only as permitted by Student Center Policy.

Current Policy: 5. Signs should not be attached to poles.

Recommendation: We recommend the standards in the current case law in California be adopted which does not permit a total ban on the use of poles and sticks attached to signs, banners or flags. The standard adopted should be that sign supports should be limited to one-fourth inch or less in thickness and two inches or less in width and no sharpened edges.

General Recommendations

1. Be clear and consistent in policy development on enforcement.

Organizations should be held accountable for the event and the participants. Individuals should be held to standards of the Code of Conduct, Title V, and Section 41301.

2. Process for approving literature to be distributed at rallies or events.

The process for approving literature that can be distributed during an event should be content neutral (R.A.V. vs. St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377), and literature should not be such that it is likely to incite violence.

3. There should be a clear policy developed that provides guidance for the host of the event and the counter demonstrators of the event.

4. Complaint procedure

We recommend that whatever policy and procedures are put in place, that they should be reviewed consistently to determine if effective. There should be a clear distinction between an organizational violation and a violation by an individual. There should be a panel consisting of student, staff and faculty to review organizational complaints. The panel should be charged with fact-finding and making a final determination for discipline. That determination will be forwarded to the Director of OSPLD for implementation.

5. The role of monitors for an event should be defined in policy.

Monitors should meet with Public Safety and OSPLD prior to the event so the monitors understand their role and what is expected of them.

6. There should be wide distribution of OSPLD Policy and training available for student organizations and faculty advisors.

7. There should be consistency between OSPLD policy and the University Executive Order on the Use of Buildings and Grounds.

8. Sanctions and severity of the violation.

We recommend the development of a process for progressive discipline and that safety considerations are taken into account on a case-by-case basis given the severity of the violation.

Student Center Policy

Current Policy: 1. Use of Banners

Current Student Center banner policy recently adopted states:

    "Philosophical or political statements are not permitted."
  • "one banner per event."
  • "If a banner is in a language other than English, it must include the English translation. All sponsoring organizations must be listed on the banner."

Recommendation: We recommend the policy developed should be consistently enforced and be a policy that can be enforced. We recommend the above policy statements be reviewed to comply with current standards of free speech.

Current Policy: 2. There is no policy for use of outdoor flags on the building.

Recommendation: We recommend the Student Center Policy address the issue of the use of flags on the building.

Executive Order 89-13, Use of Buildings and Grounds

General Recommendations

1. Posting of Handbills, Circulars, Flyers

We recommend that the identity of the Student Organization must be on document or it is subject to removal. Off campus entities should obtain approval to post on campus from OSPLD.

A Complaint procedure should be established that outlines the office to receive the complaint and process as soon as possible. There should be a panel to review the complaint consisting of students, staff and faculty. The decision of panel is final and a final determination should be forwarded to the Director of OSPLD. There should be a specific charge issued to the panel that describes their limits of authority, taking into consideration:

  • academic freedom
  • freedom of speech
  • idea or viewpoint discrimination
  • secondary effects
  • suppression
  • existing laws
  • likeliness to incite violence/fighting words
  • personal insults directed at an individual or group

We recommend consideration should be given to the immediate removal of a posting that is likely to incite violence. There should also be a mechanism in place for bringing groups together that are offended or offending.

2. There should be a campus policy established for daily clean-up of

  • arbitrary postings without identity
  • postings on buildings, instead of bulletin boards, light posts,
  • entrance doors
  • interior bulletin boards that are managed by college departments

3. Amplification

We recommend the current policy of amplified sound only between the hours of 12PM to 2PM be maintained. We also recommend there be no use of bullhorns, air horns, whistles, drums (other than stage host) or any device that amplifies or increases sound, other than amplified sound system used by the event host.

4. Use of Poles on Signs

Sign supports should be limited to one-fourth inch or less in thickness and two inches or less in width and no sharpened ends.

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Appendix Ib: Community Relations Advisory Board

The purpose of this committee was to discuss the two basic questions: who/what should address any continued business of the Task Force after the Task Force's end; what should the Task Force recommend regarding a University community advisory group.

Regarding the need for someone or some entity to address the Task Force recommendations or any continuing business regarding its recommendations: The committee clarified that it is the President and President's cabinet who will receive the recommendations of the Task Force, including any recommendations to continue work on specific items, and they will determine what person or groups will address those recommendations. Thus, there was no need to consider this role in the subsequent discussions of the proposal of a Community Advisory Board (CAB).

Regarding the need for ongoing community input regarding campus climate, including but not limited to issues currently being addressed by the Task Force: The committee considered several issues: the need to maintain continuity of community input between the end date of the Task Force and the creation of a community board, the importance of consulting a variety of constituencies about the formation of a CAB before crystallizing its description, need for a CAB that includes input from off and on campus, need to create a CAB that the community respects and that will be listened to by the shared governance group (e.g. Administration, Senate, Associated Students), and the need for a University body to take lead in the process of constructing the CAB. Included during this discussion was material about an earlier Community Advisory Board (the Human Relations Advisory Council, 1996).

Other discussion included emphasizing the need to begin developing a CAB immediately. The CAB needs to be proactive and reactive, with regularly scheduled meetings. The CAB could be smaller than the Task Force, have broader representation, student representation and major constituencies. Like the Task Force it wouldn't have real power in terms of budget or mandate; but since the Task Force had the President's name on it, it gives the sense that the recommendations would be listened to. The CAB needs the same ability to be heard by relevant portions of the University structure.


We recommend that the Office of Human Relations develop an interim working group as a prelude to the development of a standing Community Advisory Board. OHR will begin this process at the start of the spring term. The development will be done in consultation with the OHR Advisory Council, the President's Cabinet, Associated Students, the Academic Senate Executive Committee, and CUSP II, with reference to any relevant documents from the President's Task Force on Inter-group Relations.

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Appendix Ic: Employment Practices

These recommendations are meant to advise the University on long-term strategies for improving the campus climate around issues of race, culture, and identity in the SFSU work place. Any efforts to implement these suggestions must abide by the collective bargaining process.

1. Engage in a limited self-study of student needs (e.g. through focus groups), and current employment practices around issues of race, culture, and identity so as to develop better policy recommendations.

2. Encourage departments and organizational units to have discussions and conduct workshops centered around the diversity strategic planning process that is currently being implemented across campus. These units should provide release time for their employees to develop and attend these types of events.

3. Bring value to activities of staff, faculty, and administration that demonstrate a commitment to meeting the needs of the diverse student body. Perhaps all members of the University work force should be evaluated on their impact in this important area. We should look to current employment policies for a mechanism to adopt this recommendation University-wide.

4. Increase communication/interaction with CUSP II so as to develop recommendations for improved employment practices that are mutually supported.

5. Establish opportunities to mentor our own students for academic careers, so as to create a more diverse pool of teachers for the CSU, community colleges, and other universities. This goal would be best accomplished by providing professional development workshops for staff, faculty, and administrators on the effective mentoring/training of students.

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Appendix Id: Curriculum

Note: see also the attachment on current SFSU faculty with teaching or research interests in Arab and Islamic cultures

Throughout its meetings, much of the focus of the subcommittee has been on the need for a centralized curriculum at San Francisco State that addresses the Arab and Islamic cultures and civilizations, and their complex histories both in the United States and globally. The consensus opinion was that such a program would facilitate the development of curricula that would meet the growing demand on campus for scholarship about Arab and Islamic cultures. Additionally, it would help create an atmosphere of spirited engagement among current faculty with an interest in these areas and be a place for students to engage in learning about Arab and Islamic cultures in a way that is more integrated.


We envision an interdisciplinary program in Arab and Islamic Studies, anchored by core faculty housed in the College of Ethnic Studies, whose primary responsibility is within the program, and would work in consultation with faculty from other departments and colleges to develop curricula and other programs.

The curriculum would include Arab/Muslim American as well as Arab/Muslim Diaspora studies, Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish languages and literatures, Arab and Islamic cultures, media representation, women and gender issues in the Muslim and Arab world. The curriculum would focus on the Islamic world generally, including its peoples and cultures that are not Muslim.


The program would serve the academic charge of the University to teach and develop scholarship in an area that is currently underrepresented and that is needed, based on an assessment of the intellectual scope of the University curriculum and the academic needs of our student body and faculty. It would encourage indigenous and critical perspectives in Arab and Islamic Studies distinct from the traditional Euro-centric perspective taught at most universities. It would assist Arabs and Muslims in studying their own cultures, others in learning about cultures that encompass billions of the world's population, and the University as a whole by anchoring instruction in one of the world's larger and older intellectual traditions. Congruent with the mission of the University, the program will be responsive to the broader community.

Recommendations for Implementation

Strong academic programs in Arab and Islamic studies, as well as Jewish studies, can play an important role in broadening students understand and respect for these cultures, and provide opportunities for cross cultural studies when appropriate In both co-curricular and interdisciplinary programs. To accomplish this vision and mission, we recommend the hiring of two faculty members, with specialties in Arabs and Muslims in America and in the Arab and Muslim Diaspora. This is based on the subcommittee identification of an area that is not represented among the current faculty and the faculty now being hired-the experience of Muslim people, and especially Arab people, in the United States.

These faculty members would be housed in the College of Ethnic Studies and their primary responsibility would be within the program. They would develop a minor program in Arab/Muslim American Studies as well as lead the creation of the B.A. degree program in Arab and Islamic cultures. The initial minor program would address the impact of Arab and Islamic cultures on the Muslim world and the Arab Diaspora in North America, as well as their impact on multiculturalism in the United States. These faculty members would use the now existing, as well as future curricular offerings at SFSU, for a strong interdisciplinary focus. They would draw on affiliated faculty from a range of departments and colleges to contribute relevant expertise.

In the meantime, we recommend the prompt development of a proposal for a General Education Segment III cluster on the Islamic world, with the understanding that the hiring of additional faculty members shall bring modifications of the proposal in order to incorporate the specialties of those newly hired faculty members.

The initial minor program would encourage an understanding of the importance of Arab and Islamic cultures for US multiculturalism by recognizing the massive presence of immigrants and diasporic communities from the Muslim and Arab world. Having such a program housed in the College of Ethnic Studies is especially attractive to the subcommittee because of that college's historic commitment to community service.

The subcommittee notes with appreciation that the community representatives on the subcommittee expect that, once two such appointments have been made, it will be possible to raise funds in the community to endow a chair in Arab and Islamic Studies.

Process of the Task Force

After initial discussions on this topic, the subcommittee considered the Colleges of Ethnic Studies, Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Humanities as potential homes for the proposed program. The committee met with their respective Deans, Dean Tomas Almaguer, Dean Joel Kassiola, and Dean Paul Sherwin. Members of the subcommittee also met with the Ethnic Studies College Council and individual department and program faculties in that college.

In his meeting with the Subcommittee, Dean Kassiola reviewed the plans that he and President Corrigan made in Fall 2001 for a cluster of hires in various departments within Behavioral and Social Sciences, all focused on the Islamic world in order to fill obvious gaps in the University curriculum. One of the hires in History was completed in Spring 2002. Three searches are currently in progress, in International Relations, Political Science, and a joint appointment in Anthropology and Psychology.

In meeting with Dean Sherwin, the subcommittee learned of a search currently underway in Philosophy and Religious Studies for a faculty member able to teach Islamic courses in those programs. Dean Sherwin has also committed to offering Arabic in the Foreign Languages Department. He also discussed with the committee the possibility of doing a tenure-track search next year for a faculty member to offer Arabic language courses and to offer courses on Arabic literature in translation in the Comparative and World Literatures program.

In meeting with Dean Almaguer and, subsequently, with the Ethnic Studies Council and College Faculty members, it soon became obvious that the mission of the proposed program would best be accomplished under the umbrella of the College of Ethnic Studies. The alignment behind the vision and the mission was strong. The committee provided additional information pertaining to the proposed program. Individual departments met to consider the inclusion of the proposed program as a new department. On December 6, 2002, there was a college-wide vote on the matter and we are delighted to report that an overwhelming majority, over 90%, voted in favor of the inclusion.

The subcommittee also met with many of the faculty members currently at San Francisco State University, who teach courses that deal with the Arab and Islamic cultures. A list is attached. The subcommittee is impressed with the breadth and depth of the courses and research interests of the faculty now in place. The committee recommends that the faculty throughout the University will work in collaboration with the initial hires of the new program to develop the new curriculum and program in Arab and Islamic Studies.

The subcommittee understands that the process will take time-time to develop the curriculum; to write an initial proposal; to project the new major on the master plan for the University; to secure initial permission on campus, at the system office, and from the California Post-Secondary Education Commission; and then to secure final permission from all the same levels once the final version of the proposal is ready. Given the understanding that the faculty members who have not yet been hired will be charged with the development of the curriculum in the new Program, per guidelines of the College in which it is housed, the subcommittee understands that the entire process may begin in earnest in Fall 2003 and may take until at least Spring semester of 2005 or later before final approvals are received. In the meantime, the subcommittee heard with interest of the possibility of creating a GE upper-division cluster on Arab and Islamic cultures or a minor, both of which can be approved entirely on campus.

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1. The Task Force had eight meetings as a whole, which met on June 13, June 28, July 17, July 29, September 18, October 15, November 14, and December 12. The agenda for each meeting is attached. Task Force members also attended Listening Groups and Sub-Committee meetings.

2. The Listening Groups were made up of 3-5 Task Force members at each session. There were 28 scheduled Listening Group Sessions, outreach was done through campus e-mail and press releases to San Francisco media outlets. A total of 54 people from campus and the community came to speak. In addition, 29 different Task Force members participated as listeners.

3. The Sub-Committees were also made up of various Task Force members, the Sub-Committees are as follows:

  • Community Relations Advisory Group
  • Curriculum
  • Employment Practices
  • Student Organizations
  • Campus Policies on the conduct of rallies and the expression of free speech
  • Orientation programs for students, staff, administrators and faculty
  • Colloquia, special events, and discussions
  • Psychological Counseling Services

4. The Task Force set up an e-mail address ( for the community to voice their suggestions and opinions. To date we have received seven e-mails.

5. The Task Force also set up a phone number (415-338-7922) for the community to voice their suggestions and opinions. To date we have received two voice messages.

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Sources of Information Utilized by Task Force

5/16/02: The University's summary of events, describing recent activities on campus and the University's response to them.


09/11/01: Campus closes; SFSU community unites in sorrow

09/12/01: Classes resume; 'hardest days may lie ahead'

09/17/01: Spirit of mutual support, avoidance of scapegoating mark campus response

09/24/01: Campus adopts "Love is stronger than hate" message

09/25/01: Response to tragedy a powerful civics lesson for SFSU students

10/08/01: Free Speech and civility: keeping the balance

10/24/01: International students: "You have a family here"

11/05/01: I am very proud of the work we have done

4/05/02: Campus challenge: "To speak and act in a way that recognizes the humanity of all members of our community."

4/12/02: 'Hate speech is not free speech': Corrigan decries anti-Semitic flier promoting rally

4/12/02: Welcoming remarks delivered by President Robert A. Corrigan to the Model Arab League

4/30/02: President's letter of appreciation for the Muslim Student Association's letter of apology

05/07/02: Human Relations Dean: "Individually and collectively we can do much"

Department of Public Safety video of May 7, 2002 events

5/13/02: 'I invite you to join me in speaking out for this University's true values'

05/14/02: Academic Senate Chair: "Resolve and action required"

05/14/02: Academic Senate unanimously passes a Resolution in Support of Civil Discourse and the Principles of the Academy

05/15/02: San Francisco Chronicle publishes op-ed by Professor Mark Phillips: 'Fear and anger -- Raw emotionalism of Mideast comes to San Francisco State rally'

05/20/02: President's Message: "Look to the University Web site for updates"

05/22/02: We cannot afford to distort each other's positions

Principles of Conduct for a Multi-Cultural University

Executive Summary of the Final Report of the Commission on Human Relations: Focus on Racism and Other Forms of Discrimination

Communications regarding student mediation: Including letter to mediator D. Fischer, letter to student groups

Communications regarding creation of the President's Task Force: Including copy of charge and sample invitation letters.

June 1995 Report from the San Francisco Hillel Jewish Student Center and the Jewish Community Council: "Anti-Semitism at San Francisco State University"

May 30, 2002 Recommendations from the Vice President of Academic Affairs Taskforce on Civil Discourse

Original Email from Professor Zoloth

Sample Emails received in response to Zoloth email and subsequent media coverage

Sample print media coverage May 10th - June 11th (Public affairs also has apes of other media, e.g. television coverage) including headlines:

May 13 -- FrontPage Magazine "Anti-Semitic Pogrom at San Francisco State" as a title for a reprint of Zoloth's email

May 16 -- S. F. Examiner "Jihad on Campus?"

May 16 -- Time Herald "Hate University"

May 16 -- Jerusalem Post "Anti-Semitic riot at San Francisco State University"

The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2001 " Accommodating Diversity" -- Council on American-Islamic Relations Research Center (CAIR)

"SFSU names Jewish History, ethics scholar Marc Dollinger to endowed Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility"

Office of Student Programs Leadership Development (Student Handbook) -- Division of Student Affairs

Sub-Committee Meeting of Special Colloquia and Discussion Report and Recommendation -- Prepared by Interfaith Understanding, Lillian Hyatt

Ensuring Equal Access to Quality Education -- Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education

Racial Harassment in Education Institutions a Checklist for Administrators -- Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education

Racial Incidents and Harassment Against Students at Educational Institutions; Investigative Guidance; Notice -- Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education

Proposal from Professor Anton, Re: Peace Studies

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

GUPS, MSA and ADC-SF's complaint regarding discriminatory and other unlawful practices at San Francisco State University directed against the Arab/Muslim-American community filed with the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.

Bay Guardian articles: "State of Unrest" -- 07/10/02

San Francisco Chronicle "So close, so far" -- 04/19/02

Counseling and Psychological Services -- San Francisco State University Mission Statement

The United Religions Initiative Charter

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