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AGS passes no-confidence resolution for Chancellor Howard Gillman 

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UCI’s Associated Graduate Students (AGS) passed a no-confidence resolution for Chancellor Howard Gillman at the organization’s last bi-weekly council meeting on June 4. The organization passed Resolution 24-34: Vote of No Confidence in UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman, with 18.5 votes in favor and one abstention, ratifying no-confidence as the official position of AGS.  

The resolution holds the stance that administrative action taken by Gillman regarding UCI’s Gaza Solidarity Encampment, launched on April 29, was cause for no-confidence.

According to the resolution, armed officers from multiple police departments were spotted in Lot 12A near the encampment on April 29. Beginning on May 8, interim suspensions were issued to multiple students within the encampment, which the resolution claims to be “a gross abuse of power.” Law enforcement dismantled the encampment on May 15 after protesters announced they planned to “reclaim the university,” taking over the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall. 

One of the authors of Resolution 24-34, who requested anonymity, told New University why they decided to write the document. 

“Chancellor Gillman’s decision to engage law enforcement on April 29 and May 15 endangered students, including AGS constituents. As a representative for graduate students, I have an obligation to speak out when graduate students are in danger,” they said. “AGS ha[s] a duty to the graduate student body and the UC system to make it known if someone is no longer fit to lead. Chancellor Gillman’s catastrophically bad decision-making makes him unfit to remain Chancellor here, or anywhere.” 

UCI doctoral candidate in the Department of History Mark Gradoni is a sponsor of Resolution 24-34 and one of the 47 individuals arrested on May 15. Gradoni told New University that he would like the resolution to influence others. 

“Individually [Resolution 24-34] doesn’t do much. But, the hope as always is that it can inspire other folks who are on the line to get off the fence and to take a principled stand with us,” Gradoni said. 

Gradoni stated that he believes the events of May 15 have created a “chilling effect” on campus. 

“I don’t know how we can say to many of our students that they should feel safe on campus. We had staff arrested, how can staff feel safe on campus?” Gradoni said. “Professor Brook Haley and Professor Tiffany Willoughby-Harrod [were] dragged off camera to be jeered at, and in Professor Willoughby-Harrod’s case, to be doxxed.” 

UCI’s Academic Senate submitted questions regarding the events of May 15 to university leadership, to which Gillman and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Hal Stern responded in a signed document on May 24. UCI spokesperson Michael Uhlenkamp told New University that the university stands by Gillman’s responses to the questions. The response was signed by Gillman and Stern.

“To manage a situation involving hundreds of protesters, a large-scale response was essential to facilitate a non-violent resolution. By deploying adequate resources, we maintained order and effectively protected the campus community,” the response reads. 

The Academic Senate also inquired about the interim suspensions issued to students. 

“The university cannot selectively waive rules against encampments, or selectively ignore other relevant policies, as such selective enforcement is unlawful,” the response reads. “Abandoning enforcement would allow any group, whether campus affiliates or not, to establish encampments for any reason, setting a precedent that poses ongoing threats to the safety of our community and our ability to carry out our important work.” 

AGS is the only UCI-affiliated group to pass no-confidence in Gillman as the official position of their organization. 

Laiyla Santillan is the 2024 Editor in Chief. She can be reached at