Foreign Policy

UC Irvine Chancellor Reacts to Heckling Michael Oren During Speech

| by Mark Berman

A statement from UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake:

On numerous occasions during the past year, I have spoken and written about the manner in which we discuss and debate our differences, our values and how we use those values to guide our decision-making.

As you may have read, earlier this month I was very disappointed when some members of our community seemed more comfortable engaging in confrontation than collaboration, and in trying to close channels of communication rather than opening them.

As a brief frame of reference: Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren had been invited to speak on campus by a number of campus and community organizations. His speech was repeatedly and systematically interrupted by a group of students. The individuals involved were removed by campus police immediately, and are facing disciplinary proceedings.

Our primary goals are to ensure a UCI experience that delivers the highest standards of academic preparation, and an unparalleled richness of intellectual and cultural diversity. We are committed to growing our students as whole people.

All of our students learn that at UCI, whether we agree or disagree with someone’s views, we respect the right of everyone to share their experiences, insights and ideas. This is how we grow. This is among our greatest contributions as a learning community.