The university was responding to Savanah Lyon, a 23 year-old theater student who pressed her demand in an online petition that got more than 14,000 signatures.
Lyon says UC San Diego should not teach “The Films of Woody Allen” because he was accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter when she was young. Allen has never been charged with such conduct, and the director has denied the allegations.
UC San Diego said in a statement, “The (Academic) Senate supports the right to the continued teaching of this course now and in the future.
“As importantly, the Senate supports and will vigorously maintain the right of all faculty to participate in the principles of academic freedom: these advance and preserve the University as a singular institution for the free exchange of ideas and debate that cannot and should not be diminished by forces that seek to restrict and canalize course content in favored directions.”
The controversy centered on a class that is being taught by Steven Adler, a prize-winning theater professor who has not responded to requests from the Union-Tribune for an interview.
However, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla was blunt on Tuesday when asked what he would have done if Lyon had asked him to cancel one of his own classes for the same reasons.
“I would have told her to move on and get out of my classroom,” Khosla said. “I get to teach in my class.”
In an email, Lyon said Tuesday, “I am disappointed but not surprised in their decision. I had hoped that the Academic Senate would listen to a student who is advocating for herself and for her peers in an institution that seems to be incapable of recognizing and listening to us.
“But they sided with the university and the protection of ‘academic freedom.’ I will continue to stand up and speak out against what I feel is wrong and I know that there will be people beside me helping me along the way. “
A matter of good governance: