On November 20, the Union-Tribune presented a damage-control "interview" with Raj K. Chopra under the name of "news."
Here is another version, courtesy mandrake1 and photographer X:
As someone who knows something about this let me play counter point here. Chopra is well known for being evasive and at times spinning complete fabrications. The vast majority of students, faculty and staff at the school live in a climate of fear and retribution. Let me answer the questions in a way that readers can understand the issues at SWC and that many who work and go to school at SWC believe are the real motivations behind the actions.
QUESTION: What do you see as the issues pertaining to the Oct. 22 protest?
Those faculty members are mostly union officers and have defied my will and have displeased me. This was a way that I could punish them and maybe even eliminated them for good. I was going to have them prosecuted by the DA but unfortunately, there were no unlawful actions so I had to drop it.
QUESTION: Why has the situation turned so volatile, and have you done anything to address it?
I hated listening to others, particularly when they don’t agree with me. That’s why I took vacation just hours after I suspended the 4 professors. I just didn’t want to face the heat for my actions (notice the director of HR also immediately went on vacation). I am so refractory to input that doesn’t match my own beliefs that I disenfranchise those that disagree with me. Even though, by law, I am supposed to work with faculty and staff to reach consensus, I believe that I am I charge and that is that. People get really really angry with that, but tough darts I say, I am president.
QUESTION: What is your response to criticism that the school’s free-speech zone is too small?
I got lucky on that one. The previous interim president and previous academic senate president (who was voted out of office before the end of her term) were able to craft a free speech policy that worked to my advantage. No matter that the policy violates the 1st amendment to the US Constitution. The school has been contacted by the ACLU about this and has been advised that we will be in court if we don’t change it. Oh well, it was great while it lasted.
QUESTION: Many don’t understand why so many course offerings have to be cut. Can you explain?
Well its really very simple, what I should do and what law says I need to do is consult with managers, faculty, staff and students to come to a consensus on how to make cuts with a minimum of impact to students and programs. But I want to do it my way and since the faculty and students have not supported me, its time that they faced the music. I decree that all of the cuts will come from the class schedule. No cuts from the administrative side of campus at all. I know that the faculty and students have come up with reasonable and prudent plans for saving much of the class schedule but I am not interest in that and don’t want to hear it. I already know what I want to do and the governing board is ok with it. After all they hired me, gave me a raise and a contract extension. Does that all make sense?