California Scholars for Academic Freedom

Letter to President Cal State Fullerton re. Alain Bourget

November 2, 2015

Mildred Garcia, President

California State University, Fullerton

Fullerton, California 92834

Dear President Mildred Garcia,

We, California Scholars for Academic Freedom,** are writing to express our strong support of California State University, Fullerton Professor Alain Bourget’s case currently under review by a panel of faculty on your campus. We believe Professor Bourget’s reprimand for choosing a textbook, inconsistent with a vague and questionable Math Department policy, is a clear violation of his academic freedom. More specifically, we believe the Math Department violates its faculty’s academic freedom when imposing textbook unanimity based on a department decision dating back to 1984 and involving financial gain to textbook authors who are department chair and vice chair. Professor Bourget’s request for the removal of a reprimand letter from his file is reasonable. We urge you to help restore academic freedom on your campus and bring this case to a fair resolution by heeding Professor Bourget’s just request.

We also request that you issue a statement confirming individual academic freedom of all faculty in selecting textbook and instructional material appropriate to their courses, thus confirming California’s Higher Education Act of 1978 (HEERA). HEERA explicitly defends the principle of academic freedom in California’s institutions of higher education: “It is the policy of the State of California to encourage the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and learning through the free exchange of ideas among the faculty, students, and staff of…the California State University and Colleges. All parties subject to this [law] shall respect and endeavor to preserve academic freedom in the California State University and Colleges” [Section 3561(c)].


California Scholars for Academic Freedom**


Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi

Associate Professor


California State University, Fullerton


Phone: 657-278-2949

Vida Samiian



Dean Emerita, College of Arts and Humanities

California State University, Fresno


Phone:  559-278-2458

Sondra Hale

Research Professor and Professor Emerita

Anthropology/Gender Studies

University of California, Los Angeles


Phone:  310-836-5121.

** California Scholars for Academic Freedom is a group of over 150 professors at universities and colleges throughout California.  The group formed because of the various violations of academic freedom that were arising from both the post-9/11/2001 climate of civil rights violations and the increasing attacks on progressive educators by neo-conservatives. Many of these attacks have been aimed at scholars of Arab, Muslim or Middle Eastern descent or at scholars researching and teaching about the Middle East and/or Arab and Muslim communities.  Our goal of protecting California Scholars based mainly in institutions of higher education has grown broader in scope to include threats to academic freedom across the United States, and where relevant, globally as well. We recognize that violations of academic freedom anywhere are threats to academic freedom everywhere.


November 3, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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