Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley was named special advisor to UC President Mark Yudof and UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox Friday to help resolve recent acts of racism on the UCSD campus.
Tensions ran high on the UCSD campus last month when students found a Facebook event mocking Black History Month. A week later a noose was discovered hanging from a campus library. The student responsible for the noose incident was suspended from campus. Earlier this week a KKK-style hat was found on a statue outside a UCSD library, sparking another set of investigations.
Black students on the Berkeley campus protested these racist incidents last Monday and detailed what they said were racist acts at their own university.
A news release from Yudof’s office said Edley, who is regarded as an authority on civil rights, will help with implementing the campus climate action plan outlined in the agreement signed by UCSD students and administration Thursday.
According to the release, the adopted recommendations seek to take UC San Diego “past hurtful incidents and improve the campus climate by enhancing diversity in the curriculum and throughout the UC San Diego community.”
The racial incidents prompted UCSD African American students to craft a list of recommendations calling for minority representation and improvement of the overall climate on campus.
Besides having provided counsel on domestic policy and affirmative action for two White House administrations, Edley was a congressional appointee on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is the founder and director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity, a multidisciplinary think tank.
As special advisor, Edley will assess and monitor the situation at UC San Diego and advise Yudof and Fox on their future course of action.
“These serious racial incidents raise difficult questions,” Yudof said in a statement. “And we are confident that we will identify the most effective and substantive solutions. Dean Edley will go to work at once helping UC San Diego through this passage. The bottom line is this: We will not tolerate racism in any form, and we will not hesitate to act to eradicate it whenever and wherever it arises.”
The UCSD administration has also contacted the FBI and the San Diego City Attorney for possible criminal charges stemming from the racist actions.
Edley is expected to arrive at the UCSD campus next week and meet with students, faculty and university officials.