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Final protest report released; Tierney to lead coordination

The final “Response to Protests on UC Campuses” report was released by the University of California on Sept. 13.

The report from UC General Counsel Charles F. Robinson and UC Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher F. Edley Jr. includes 49 recommendations and synthesizes months of inquiry into best practices for handling demonstrations, civil disobedience and free speech issues related to protests throughout the 10 campuses of the UC system.

>>The full report can be found online.

After incidents involving police and protesters at the Berkeley and Davis campuses last November, UC President Mark G. Yudof directed Robinson and Edley to identify best practices and make recommendations for future responses to demonstrations and civil disobedience.

Among the key areas covered in the final report recommendations are increasing communication between management teams and stakeholders, actual management of incidents by administration members and the campus police, training and, in some cases, the creation of new policies.

Robinson noted that most of the recommendations are within the authority of individual campus leaders and the UC Police. He said any changes in systemwide policy would be subject to the standard consultation processes with campus and system administration, students and the Academic Senate.

Upon release of the final report, Yudof announced that Lynn Tierney, UCOP associate vice president for communications, will assume a one-year assignment leading the systemwide coordination of activities resulting from the report.

Tierney will work across departmental lines throughout the UC system to coordinate training and implementation of other recommendations, he said.

Prior to joining UC four years ago, Tierney spent virtually her entire career working as a communications and community liaison expert for various public safety organizations, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police, the New York City Fire Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.

As deputy fire commissioner for the City of New York, she managed the agency’s regulatory and community relationships and created specialty-training programs for both the members of the service and the community organizations in the neighborhoods they served.

The research conducted by the Robinson-Edley team included hundreds of hours analyzing current policies and literature on speech, demonstrations and use of force by police; interviewing scores of stakeholders within the system and experts from across the country, and holding town hall meetings to solicit input and reactions from several campuses.

The first draft of the report was distributed broadly during a public comment period that began May 4 and ended in early June. Hundreds of detailed comments were received from UC police commands, each UC campus, student organizations, faculty, alumni, parents, residents, the general public and advocacy organizations. Many comments led to report revisions, including adding additional context, clarification of scope, focus on civil disobedience and clarification about recommendations regarding police use of force.

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