U.C.L.A.’s Chancellor Will Testify Today on Capitol Hill

U.C.L.A.’s Chancellor Will Testify Today on Capitol Hill

Gene Block, the chancellor of U.C.L.A., has had a difficult few weeks. His life is not likely to get any easier today.

Block is scheduled to appear before what may be the most aggressive panel on Capitol Hill these days: the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Over the past six months, the Republican-led committee has grilled school officials and university presidents about antisemitism and pro-Palestinian activism on campus in hearings that have made even experienced leaders squirm.

The presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania resigned after their widely derided appearances at a hearing of the committee in December. Columbia’s president drew sharp criticism over her testimony last month.

Block would appear to be particularly vulnerable. He allowed a pro-Palestinian encampment to remain on the campus for more than a week, which drew criticism from the right. And he has been assailed by progressives as well, after pro-Palestinian protesters were violently attacked by counterprotesters on the night of April 30 and campus law enforcement officers stood by without intervening.

The university’s Academic Senate voted down two proposed resolutions last week that would have rebuked Block, largely for how he handled the attack, but the vote was close: One of the resolutions, to censure Block, fell just a single vote short of passage.

He is not long for the job in any case: Block, 75, announced last year that he would step down at the end of July. Even so, backers of the two resolutions said they felt they needed to stand up for students injured in the attack, and to send a message to Block’s successor, who has not yet been named.

The fact that the role hasn’t been filled speaks to how difficult the top jobs at colleges have become in a time of increasing polarization, my colleagues Alan Blinder and Stephanie Saul reported this week.

“There’s always something going down in higher ed, and these are hard jobs on a good day,” said Margaret Spellings, a former president of the University of North Carolina System who noted that, especially now, the nation’s campuses were “the front lines of the American public square.”

Read the full article about how the role of college presidents has changed, leaving an unusually high number of unfilled top positions. The article includes interviews with a former head of the University of California system as well as the last U.C. Berkeley chancellor.

Carnaval San Francisco is a two-day event that celebrates Latin American and Caribbean culture. Visitors to the city’s Mission District can experience the festival this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday.

The first Carnaval in San Francisco was held at Precita Park in 1979, KQED reports. The celebration includes a parade featuring several floats, musical performances and hundreds of dancers. Each contingent of performers will be judged and ranked.

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