UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau Shouted Down

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, December 12, 2011

It's a precarious moment for the chancellor of UC Berkeley, one of the world's great universities.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was in Asia on university business Nov. 9, when an Occupy Cal protest became a symbol of police brutality through videos that went viral. He has since been sued by students, chastised by faculty and, on Wednesday evening, shouted down by protesters calling for his resignation as he tried to address a student meeting.

"Chancellor Birgeneau, you need to leave Berkeley!" a woman in the audience yelled, interrupting the chancellor's talk just as he described efforts to enrich the campus with more out-of-state enrollments. "Students have a right to protest on our campus!"

To the dismay of student leaders who had invited Birgeneau to the meeting of the Associated Students of the University of California - and of other students who had submitted questions for the chancellor - several hecklers refused to let Birgeneau continue. His staff whisked him away.

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