Friday, October 23, 2009
SAN DIEGO Four Southwestern College professors have been placed on administrative leave -- one day after a campus demonstration directed at the Chula Vista college's president.
Students were protesting recent budget cuts at the college. Three of the professors allegedly took part in the rally. The other is a vocal teachers union leader who was in class during the incident.
Union members said the professors were suspended because of their objections over budget cuts. But college officials say that's not the case. They're not providing more details because they say it's a personnel matter.
College union vice president Andrew MacNeill said the suspensions are an example of the long-running tension that exists between the faculty and College President Raj Chopra.
Earlier this year the teachers union cast a vote of no confidence for Chopra because of his management style and for disregarding the Academic Faculty Senate. Some organizers believe Chopra is suppressing union activity.
College officials did not respond to those accusations. In a written statement, the college stated it is committed to freedom of expression.
School officials say the college shares student concerns about budget cuts and will continue to advocate for their students.