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'An Academic Crime' 


I was a volunteer producer for KHSU and am faculty in the Communications Department at HSU. In their "reorganization" argument, the main points were cost and student involvement. My show Immigrant Voices cost nothing and involved three DACA students as guests, six as translators and four as vocal talent.

One issue not yet raised is that of intellectual theft. Immigrant Voices was proposed as a sabbatical project that was supported by my department, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Sabbatical Committee until being denied by the provost. Many supported the idea, including Rosamel Benavides Garb, Mathew Dean, Jessica Eden of KHSU and Fernando Paz of the Latinix Center for Excellence. Furthermore, I consulted with Augustine Amaro at the Humboldt County Office of Education, MaryAnn Hytken of English Express and Miranda Galindo, an immigration lawyer.

This for me, was serious research done with utmost cultural sensitivity. The stories were important. The guests were from many countries (Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Columbia, El Salvador and the United States). Some guests were undocumented, some were legal residents, one was a newly minted citizen and one was deported two days after being recorded. Many of their stories were harrowing. They are important cultural artifacts to be archived for future classroom use. They are gone. I was to show the website to scholars from Oaxaca this Friday. What kind of university destroys scholarly research? I can immediately think of two other emeritus professors whose programming is gone from their website, Pam Brown and Lori Dengler. There must be others.

Rossbacher and Wruck's financial argument is hyperbole at best, the elimination of the professional staff will have a deleterious effect on students, suspending all volunteers saves no money but the erasure of faculty research is no less than an academic crime.

James Floss, Freshwater

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