Sonoma State University president placed on leave for ‘insubordination’ — an agreement with protesters

Sonoma State University president placed on leave for ‘insubordination’ — an agreement with protesters

The Press Democrat reports:

Sonoma State University was rocked Wednesday afternoon when President Mike Lee announced he is stepping aside, at least temporarily, in the wake of a controversial email he sent to students and faculty regarding the demands of campus pro-Palestinian protesters.

It’s not known how long Lee will be away. In a Wednesday statement, California State University Chancellor Mildred Garcia wrote:

“On Tuesday evening, Sonoma State University President Mike Lee sent a campuswide message concerning an agreement with campus protesters. That message was sent without the appropriate approvals … because of this insubordination and consequences it has brought upon the system, President Lee has been placed on administrative l​eave.”

SSU spokesman Jeff Keating did not address the question of how long Lee will be away or whether he will return to the job. Lee was appointed interim president 20 months ago after the resignation of Judy Sakaki and was elevated permanently a year ago.

In his Tuesday memo, Lee had announced details of an agreement with students and community members who’d been camped on the school’s Person Lawn since April 26, mirroring scenes at other universities across the nation protesting the Hamas-Israel war.

Among the four “points of agreement” he described was for the school to disclose university vendor contracts and seek “divestment strategies.”

In another section, under the heading “Academic Boycott,” Lee detailed how the school will not pursue formal collaborations that are “sponsored by, or represent, the Israeli state academic and research institutions.” [Continue reading…]

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