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Letter to the Editor PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 04:10

Dear Editor,

In response to Provost Harry Hellenbrand's Letter to the Editor: UNAM is not a conspiracy. May I point out that the link he cites above is a total fabrication. Authored by the Dean of Social and Behavioral Science, it has at a dozen misstatements (lies). The provost has admitted as much. Before November 2 there was no communication with the provost or anyone pushing the center. The center, which still does not exist, was disrespectful of CESPA which is a center under the auspices of Chicana/o Studies.

I cannot say much publicly at this moment, but if anyone from the Sundial would like to examine emails and discuss the matter with us (which is only responsible journalism) we would be happy to sit down with them.

I further note that Mr. Hellenbrand has tried to label this a fight between me and the UNAM Center. At a meeting with Mayor Garcetti, over a dozen CHS faculty travelled to city hall and met with Garcetti. We have had several meetings with Hellenbrand where over a dozen CHS faculty was present. There was unanimous support for our position.

Hellenbrand ignores this, and insists on imposing his post modernist version. However, facts are facts and Hellenbrand should apologize. In my fortyfive years at CSUN, I have been controversial but I have never lied; this was conceded by President James Cleary.

Sincerely, Rudy Acuña Professor Emeriti Chicana/o Studies

Dear Editor,

The University is supposed to be based upon a culture of evidence not a process of affirming and asserting half truths and falsehoods to justify administrative actions.

Our provost alleges that he writes to "correct several factual errors" in an opinion piece by my retired fellow professor Rudy Acuña. I am not sure what his retirement status has to do with the issues but to avoid any such concerns I want to clarify that I joined the faculty of Chicana/o Studies in fall of 1970 and I retired last June.

Emeritus professor Acuña and I are now both part-time Lecturers in the department. During my forty plus years at CSUN, I served 13 years as the Dean of the College of Humanities. I have seen administration from both sides. I have lived within the belly of the beast.

The CSUN-UNAM agreement was forged through extraordinary procedures. We have established procedures on the books to govern the establishment of Centers, Institutes etc. The administration went outside these procedures to ram through this agreement without consultation. At times they feign ignorance of the very procedures they are supposed to enforce.

In fact the administrative minion who did the groundwork bragged that she did not have to consult with Chicana/o Studies and that we do not have a "monopoly" on Mexico.

We do not speak of monopoly holds on knowledge but rather areas of expertise of acquired knowledge that form the basis of disciplinary units we call departments and programs. These long establish academic units were not only dismissed in our case but administrators arbitrarily and unilaterally have attempted to redefine Chicana/o Studies as only dealing with things Mexican within the United States.

We have, since the founding of the department in 1969, clearly not defined ourselves and our curriculum in this narrow fashion. Hence our coursework clearly includes courses on Mexican history, art, music, dance, literature, philosophy etc.

Our provost directs readers to a website in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to allegedly set the record straight. This website was created to justify and sustain a fictitious account of the procedures followed to establish a bogus center, CSUN-UNAM, housed within another fantasy unit, Center for Mexico and Latin America. The creation of both of these centers is an administrative legerdemain subverting good faith faculty governance.

To affirm and assert falsehoods does little to establish their veracity. The bogus timeline posted on the website is not correct and further proves the extent of the mendacity they are willing to use to "set the record straight" One of the reactions I have to this repeated duplicity is to refer to the quote, "Nos Hacen Chiquitos/They make us small" In this case they also diminish themselves.

Jorge Garcia Ph.D. Emeritus Dean College of Humanities Emeritus Professor Chicana/o Studies Lecturer California State University Northridge

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 04:58