San Francisco State University Update:
Hundreds of CA Taxpayers and Professors Express Outrage over SFSU-Funded Terrorist Meetings
7 Groups Demand Cal State Governing Board Investigate
Dear Friends and Supporters:
Citing broad academic and community outrage, yesterday AMCHA Initiative and 6 other groups urged the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees to launch its own investigation into San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s recent use of $7,000 from SFSU to fly to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel to meet with known terrorists. AMCHA co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin delivered the letter and remarks at yesterday’s bi-monthly Board of Trustees meeting.
On June 24, SFSU President Wong defended Abdulhadi’s use of public funds for her personal advocacy mission as “research” and stated that his investigation concluded it complied with “established rules without fault or violation.” The seven groups – AMCHA Initiative, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs and Zionist Organization of America – are extremely troubled by President Wong’s statement, as are many others throughout the state and across the county.
Hundreds of California taxpayers, including many AMCHA supporters, have written to CA Controller John Chiang to express their outrage in this matter and urge him to investigate the potential misuse of state funds, for example:
- “This must be audited and the money reimbursed to the state by Rabab Abhulhadi.”
- “[T]here is no legitimate personal political advocacy that taxpayers should fund, particularly when it involves taxpayer funds used for non-educational purposes, e.g. spent primarily for political advocacy…”
- “I am…disturbed that funds designated for educational and research purposes are going for avowedly political purposes that encourage violence and intimidation here on US campuses as well as foster acts of terror overseas.”
CA faculty are also outraged that Wong condoned the use of university funds for political advocacy:
- Dozens of faculty from universities throughout California sent a letter to the State Controller indicating that they are appalled that Abdulhadi has been allowed to use state funds “to advance her own political agenda…to promote an academic boycott of Israel,” and they are “deeply disturbed that SFSU President Wong has condoned Prof. Abdulhadi’s use of state funds as legitimate research.”
- 12 faculty members from UC San Diego sent a letter to the CA State Controller stating: “President Wong’s justification of this abuse of California taxpayers’ money as legitimate “research” is outrageous and so broadens the term “research” as to make it meaningless.”
- Individual faculty have also written to Controller Chiang stating:
- “At my own university [Yale University], if I were to do this I would have to repay the university, at a minimum. Disciplinary action might also be undertaken for such misuse of university funds.”
- “As a professor, I always attended and reported to colleagues about any state and even self funded conference in which I participated. I cannot imagine my and my colleagues not keeping our fiscal and intellectual commitments to our employing university!”
In addition, more than 60 articles in California and national media outlets have been written about SFSU’s approval of state-sponsored terrorist meetings, demonstrating a broad public concern for this issue.AMCHA and the groups turned to the CSU Board of Trustees with ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the University, with one question:
Is a self-described “political solidarity trip” to promote the academic boycott of Israel, which itself has been declared as contrary to the values of the university by Chancellor White and hundreds of other University leaders, consistent with the educational mission of the California State University and a legitimate use of taxpayer funds?
The group urged the CSU Trustees to do an independent investigation of this matter, and to put a stop to this egregious abuse of university — and taxpayer — resources.
A copy of the full letter can be seen HERE.
Thank you for your support!