STUDENT PETITION ON THE DCF AT UCI
At the UCI Humanities Executive Council town hall meeting on December 1, 2015, a couple of alarming issues were brought up regarding the new chairs in South Asian studies that are being instituted. They are being funded by the Dharma Civilization Foundation (UCI Humanities has received/will receive 8 million dollars +), an organization that has ties to right wing Hindu nationalist groups in India. Their agenda is to "create an academic and intellectual infrastructure for the systematic study of 'Dharma', 'Sanatana Dharma', 'Hindu Studies' and 'Indic Civilizational Studies'" and to "free" it from the "rubric of South Asian studies." They have attempted to intimidate the "personal circles" of professors at UCI and to influence the selection of candidates. Moreover, none of the existing South-Asianists at UCI were consulted.
Please sign the petition and share it. Please state graduate/undergraduate, department, and university in the comments.
We, the undersigned, are concerned about the proposed donation by the Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF) to the School of Humanities for the creation of endowed chairs, in light of the issues that arose at the HEC Town Hall Meeting on December 1, 2015.
- Threats, implicit or explicit, to faculty, staff and the academic community at large
- Compromising academic freedom and integrity in order to promote the agendas of a donor
- Donor influence in hiring practices, especially without consulting faculty and graduate students working in the field
- Lack of consultation with specialists in the field prior to signing the contract
- The increasing lack of transparency and due diligence in the School of Humanities and the Dean’s Office
- The silencing of Marxist, Feminist, Postcolonial, and Subaltern traditions in South Asian Studies
- The development of South Asian Studies and the History of Religion at UCI
- Fostering a safe space and community for critical and rigorous academic research