Editor's Note: The following is in response to a letter from Professor Stephen Barnett on the subject of parking which appeared in Nov. 2 Berkeleyan.
A Response on Parking
On balance, parking on the central campus is almost equivalent to the levels prior to the current round of campus construction. The outstanding issue regarding central campus parking may be the location of spaces.
During the last round of capital construction, campus management made a decision to use parking lots rather than green space for construction sites. This decision represented a trade-off between the need for new facilities on the central campus and the ongoing need for parking.
As the new director of parking and transportation, I have made a commitment to the Academic Senate Special Committee on Parking that we will have a balanced approach to planning for access to the campus. I am currently working closely with Director Michael Dobbins of Physical and Environmental Planning, and others, to realize this commitment.
We are studying a variety of initiatives which I believe will respond to the concerns addressed by Professor Barnett is his recent letter (Nov. 2-8). One of our areas of focus is the northeast corner of campus. By the end of this academic year, I hope we will be able discuss these initiatives with the campus community.
I invite Professor Barnett and all those with concerns to address them to my office, or to Professor Mel Eisenberg, the chair of the Academic Senate special committee.
Nadesan Permaul, Director of Transportation and Emergency Planning
On Stolen Land
In the interest of stimulating debate, I would like to comment on a couple of the opinions expressed in Mary Ellen Butler's portrait of Professor Gerald Vizenor in the Nov. 16-29 Berkeleyan.
Vizenor states that he occasionally begins a class by informing his students that the campus sits on "stolen land."
He is, of course, correct: the land the campus occupies was taken by the United States from Mexico, who in turn took it by force from Spain, who in turn conquered it from one or more Indian tribes, who, one presumes, had earlier stolen it from various aboriginal peoples.
I would venture to suggest that there is no "great university" anywhere in the world which does not sit on "stolen land."
In the same article Vizenor is quoted as saying that he believes the University "has an obligation in every course it teaches to include the fact that the Native American was here."
If Vizenor was quoted accurately, I would be curious as to how he proposes this material should be worked into classes on such subjects as solid-state physics, advanced conversational Swedish, ancient Chinese history, or intermediate cost-accounting.
More seriously, I think it is inappropriate for a faculty member to tell his or her colleagues what material they are "obligated" to include in their courses, especially when their courses cover areas in which he has no scholarly expertise.
I trust these comments are taken in the collegial spirit in which they are made.
David Vogel, Professor of Business and Public Policy