Closure of Edward Said Search at CSU Fresno


Why did Fresno State cancel a search for a professorship named after Edward Said? University says procedural errors occurred, but scholars say it didn't like the pool of Middle Eastern finalists with Palestinian research portfolios.  ~ Colleen Flaherty

Learn what prompted the current director, Vida Samiian, professor of linguistics and former dean of the College of Arts and Humanities to resign in protest to the cancellation, calling the procedural justifications for the cancellation “pretext” for discrimination against the candidates.

Read More to understand the attack on Academic Freedom and accusations of racism within the California State University System of Higher Ed.

Professor Vida Samiian's Resignation Letter

Samiian resignation letter

Notes From a Finalist

Notes from a Finalist: On the cancelled Edward Said Professorship search at Cal State Fresno, originally published in Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics.

Open Letters and Statements

Professor Joe Parks, Equal Employment Opportunity Representative, CSU Fresno and Professor Vida Samiian, Former Director of Middle East Studies Program, CSU Fresno

California Scholars for Academic Freedom

Academia for Equality, Israel

Armenian Scholars Against the Termination of Edward Said Professorship

Twenty South African Scholars, University of Johannesburg, Rhodes University, University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Suad Joseph, Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Former President, Middle East Studies Association of North America, University of California, Davis

Dr. Hatem Bazian, Co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College and lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, Research Fellow, Orfalea Center, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh

Joint letter from the Middle East Studies Association of North America Inc. and the Committee on Academic Freedom , Beth Baron and Amy W. Newhall

USACBI statement on the cancellation of the Edward Said Professor search at CSU Fresno and ongoing repression of critical scholarship

Randa Jarrar Associate Professor, Department of English, California State University, Fresno

David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Riverside

Fresno Peace Groups: Peace Fresno, Fresno Center for Nonviolence, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Rev. Dr. Donald Wagner, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Director of The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, North Park University, Chicago, Illinois (retired)

William Ayers, Fresno Distinguished Professor and Senior University Scholar (retired)

Michael Neocosmos (PhD) Professor and Director UHURU ~
Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University

Debra Ellis, University of California Administrator (retired)

Sasan Fayazmanesh, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Economics
Former director of the Middle East Studies Program
California State University, Fresno

Nadia Hijab, Past President, Association of Arab American University Graduates, Author of Womanpower: The Arab Debate on Women at Work, Cambridge University Press

Professor Hagit Borer, Department of Linguistics, SLLF Queen Mary, University of London


Pro-Israel ‘gatekeepers’ at California university shut down search for Edward Said scholar, a candidate says

Fresno State Cancels A Middle East Studies Professorship Amid Alleged Right-WIng Pro-Israel Pressure 

Did Jewish faculty pressure Fresno State not to hire a Middle Eastern professor

Conflict Over Cancellation of Prof Search 

Jewish leaders deny pro-Israel pressure led Fresno State to cancel faculty hire 

Castro Denies Racism in Israel-Palestine Prof Flap 

Why Did CSU Fresno Cancel a Politically Controversial Search?

Tulane University

California State University Halts Middle East Studies Search Due to Outside

Seek and Hide


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Feedback for President Castro

"...tell me areas you think we need to improve, and your ideas of how to do that. You can do this easily and anonymously on this site. We’ll compile the ideas and publish them so we can continue the dialogue on making Fresno State an even better University." ~ President Castro


Take action today by signing the following petitions:

  1. JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace) Faculty letter in defense of Palestinian scholarship at CSU Fresno
  2. MPower Change (Muslim Grassroots Movement) Dr. Joseph Castro: Reinstate the Edward Said Professorship
  3. For Armenian Scholars & Writers Armenian Scholars & Writers Against the Termination of CSU Fresno Edward Said Professorship

President Castro's Denial of Racism

Castro Denies Racism in Israel-Palestine Prof Flap