SACRAMENTO–As a result of the strong efforts of State Senators Bill Lockyer and Adam Schiff–the California State Senate’s Budget Subcommittee on Education adopted language in the 1998 Budget Act to ensure that the University of California and California State Universities develop and promulgate uniform statewide criteria to guarantee academic independence and integrity when considering the acceptance of foreign government funding to endow university chairs–underwrite professorships or otherwise pay for specific university functions.
After a meeting with the Armenian National Committee of America–Western Region Board members–and learning of the ongoing attempts by the Turkish government to manipulate American academia through the establishment of Turkish Studies Chairs at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Berkeley–Senator Lockyer urged members of the State Senate Budget Committee to introduce and pass this initiative–designed to protect the academic integrity of California’s public colleges and universities.
"The ANCA-WR applauds Senators Lockyer and Schiff for understanding the depth of this serious problem and initiating swift and effective measures designed to prevent further abuse of California’s academic system," stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Vicken Sonentz-Papazian. "We are confident that Senator Lockyer and Schiff’s colleagues will recognize this problem as well and this initiative will be included in the final State Budget," concluded Sonentz-Papazian.
In order to become California law–the Lockyer initiative needs to be approved by the entire Budget Committee membership–adopted in the Senate Budget and agreed to by the State Assembly when the State Budget is considered later this month.