May 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

USC faculty body votes to censure university leaders over protests

Members of the law enforcement and police officers intervene the Pro-Palestinian student protesters as they gather to protest Israel attacks over Gaza, at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, United States on April 24, 2024. (Photo by Grace Hie Yoon/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Law enforcement intervene the Pro-Palestinian student protesters at USC April 24. Photo: Grace Hie Yoon/Anadolu via Getty Images

The body representing University of Southern California faculty voted Wednesday to censure the university's president and provost over their handling pro-Palestinian protests on campus.

The big picture: The move comes after USC canceled its valedictorian's commencement speech and later scrapped its main commencement ceremony following the arrest of nearly 100 people on campus during a pro-Palestinian protest.

Driving the news: 21 members of the USC Academic Senate voted in favor of censuring the university's president, Carol Folt, and provost, Andrew Guzman, per the Los Angeles Times. Seven opposed and six abstained.

  • The resolution faculty voted on cited "widespread dissatisfaction and concern among the faculty about administrative actions and decisions" regarding the recent events, including the removal of protesters from campus.

What they're saying: "I understand there are many different viewpoints among members of the Trojan Community regarding our recent decisions," Folt said in an emailed statement.

  • "I'm committed to working with the Academic Senate, and the wider faculty who weren't present at today's session," she added.
  • "Provost Guzman and I welcome ongoing engagement with the newly created task force. For now, our focus is on celebrating the 19,000 graduates of USC's Class of 2024."
  • Representatives for USC did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

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