UCLA Chancellor uses YouTube to Respond to a student’s video

Last week, a UCLA student’s YouTube video went viral with more than 4.5 million views. The video is very derogatory to Asians were she mocks them and claims they lack manners.

Obviously, the young female student lacks both manner and common sense and she is of course not alone. Rush Limbaugh mocked Japan quake refugees and the comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired as Aflac duck after tweeting many bad Japanese tsunami jokes. Hatred exist everywhere, it is not something new. But the new thing here is that UCLA chancellor used YouTube to respond to the controversial student’s video [read more].

A UCLA campus spokesman said:

If it’s a response to something that was seen by people in a new-media format, it’s important that the response be made in a new-media format

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Asians in the Library – UCLA Girl going wild on Asians [watch video]

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[watch video]

I am not sure if the chancellor’s video respond was necessary or effective but I think it is something UCLA deserves a credit for. Using facial expressions and voice tone maybe more effective than just words.

Chancellors in American universities are hired by the university board of curators not appointed by the country’s ruler. They strive to do their best or else they will lose their job. They need to prove  themselves because after all they are employees.  Students very often receive emails from the chancellor to welcome them for the new semester, send condolence for catastrophes like in case of Japan’s tsunami and Haiti’s earthquake, or send greeting for holiday breaks. I have seen our chancellor many times WALKING on campus ALONE; no security or entourage. Although, we never spoke but when we see each other we smile and nod our heads.

During my four years in Yarmouk university I saw our chancellor ONCE. He was surrounded by a huge entourage. I think he left his office to attend national kind of event. In Jordanian universities, it is … [after 10 minutes of thinking I decided to self censor what I wrote]. If you live or studied in Jordan you already know the situation in the universities.

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5 thoughts on “UCLA Chancellor uses YouTube to Respond to a student’s video

  1. Very interesting post!

    In the US the chancellor is equivalent to the president of the university, and is in fact the CEO of the university. In Commonwealth countries, including Canada the titles are slightly different but the functions the same.

    This is the administrative top job in the university and requires the striking of a search committee, comprised of other academic administrators, publication of a call for applications from within and without the university, and then a vetting and hiring process similar to that of any CEO. There is a long list then a short list, interviews and presentations, and then an offer is made.

    The appropriate candidate must have excellent academic credentials and senior level academic administrative experience, like a deanship prior (usually after being chair of a department, then associate dean, dean, vice-president for example).

    A separate salary is attached to the function, and during the tenure as president the hiree is relieved of other academic duties.

    As you point out, they can be fired, since they have been hired and are accountable for their performance. The “firing” is usually presented as some excuse for why they are not finishing out their term, the best one being a move elsewhere (eg Robert Birgeneau from President of the University of Toronto to President of Berkeley).

    2 of my mentors went on to be Presidents of different universities as the cap to their careers as academics and administrators. One was very open and gracious to a former undergraduate student, and did excellent “therapy” with me every time I showed up unannounced at his presidential office with a concern about how I was being treated as a student in one corner of the campus. He discreetly carried the insights he gained from me into administrative and academic reform of the offending department.

    The other I helped with the French language part of his lecture that was part of his job application. I also helped him with an overarching metaphor for his candidacy. Needless to say, he was extremely open to asking advice from a very junior colleague, which was one of his many strengths.

    My secretary used to marvel that she and the then president of the university used to arrive on campus on the same public transit bus.

    I think a response was necessary from the Chancellor, as the whole UCLA population was being smeared in its attitudes towards and the behaviour of Asian students. In my experience, most administrators would be genuinely disturbed at the discriminatory rant, and also realize that to leave it unanswered would compromise academic relations with Asians and their academic institutions.

    One note about voice and facial expression. This is what passes for a vehement response in academic administration. 😀

    A great topic and treatment of it (including the elided Jordanian bit)!

    1. After reading your comment I am very sure you have a very impressive resume. Two of your mentors are university presidents! That is something, isn’t it?
      I liked how you compare the chancellor and president of the university to the CEO. I think this is the best way to describe the chancellor’s job. I wish the process of hiring university presidents is the same in the Arab world. Otherwise, universities in the Middle East and North Africa will never move forward.
      “This is what passes for a vehement response in academic administration.” Good point!
      Thanks for your enlightening comment and sharing your opinion about UCLA’s response.

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