Thursday, January 19, 2017

Not going there

The email message below has been received by yours truly from various sources over the past few days: [excerpt]

Governor Brown signed into law AB 1887 which prohibits state-funded travel to a state that has passed a law that (1) authorizes discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, or (2) voids or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination. The law expressly identifies the University of California as an entity covered by the law.

As of the date of this notice, the States of Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee are on the prohibited travel list. The list of states may be updated on the Attorney General's website found here:

Please note that the law does not prohibit travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds...

So you won't be in Kansas anymore:

More seriously, there are universities in all these states, e.g., Duke in North Carolina. Academics there have little control over what laws are passed by their legislatures. Conferences, seminars, etc., are held in such universities. Other inter-university collaborations may occur. Individual faculty may co-author papers across university lines. Some faculty in some departments will have no problem in finding non-state sources of funding for travel. For others, finding such sources might be more difficult. So boycotts raise significant issues. Did the Regents or UCOP have any position on UC's inclusion in this legislation? Did the Academic Senate? Yours truly does not recall any debate. Often, because of the constitutional autonomy of UC, state legislation excludes it or just "suggests" consideration.

It seems as though there are issues here that are not resolved by emails from various travel entities on campus and need airing in other forums. 

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