Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Senate-UCOP Leaders Express Confidence in Yudof

University of California
August 31, 2009

Dear UC Colleagues:

We are writing as individuals with leadership positions within the University of California to let you know that several employee groups have begun circulating a petition that asks members to cast a vote of no confidence in President Yudof. A copy of their petition is attached here.

We are deeply disappointed that these employees have chosen to blame President Yudof for the University’s economic troubles, rather than recognizing all that he has done to help us overcome them.

These troubles are due to a national economic recession coupled with state budget cutbacks of unprecedented severity.

In the fifteen months that he’s been with UC, President Yudof has worked tirelessly to protect the University from a deep recession and sharp declines in state support.

He has been an outspoken advocate for the University of California in Sacramento and Washington, making clear to lawmakers that a strong UC is necessary for a strong, resilient California.

He has worked closely with faculty, staff, students, and the Regents to resolve our budget deficit in a way that minimizes harm to our academic enterprise. To name just a few of his successes:
  • President Yudof listened to faculty and staff suggestions in crafting a furlough plan built on fairness and shared sacrifice;
  • He mobilized business leaders, lawmakers, alumni and staff in an advocacy campaign to restore state support for UC
  • He moved quickly to cut spending and overhaul operations in the Office of the President, making it more transparent, accountable and responsive.
We are distressed that some employees are attempting to personalize the University’s predicament by blaming the President. These truly difficult times that we are all facing are due to the ineffective leadership and investment by the Governor and the Legislature, not Mark Yudof. We hope you will express your thoughts regarding President Yudof’s leadership in the face of extremely difficult circumstances.

Sincerely,

Mary Croughan
Chair, Academic Senate

Henry Powell
Vice Chair, Academic Senate

Bill Johansen
2008-09 Staff Advisor to the Regents

Ed Abeyta
Staff Advisor to the Regents

Juliann Martinez
Staff Advisor to the Regents - Designate

Lin King
Chair, Council of University of California Staff Assemblies

Brian Gresham
Chair-Elect, Council of University of California Staff Assemblies

6 comments:

Kirsten said...

Members of the press please note: The two faculty signatories to this letter, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the systemwide Academic Senate, are both affiliated with UC medical schools. This means they are on a different pay scale than the vast majority of UC faculty, including those who actually teach undergraduates and most graduate students.

It would be interesting to see how many signatories this petition could get from the campus Senate bodies, and from faculty who are actually affected by the furlough plan. I predict a deafening silence.

Bob Samuels said...

These academic leaders helped to make a deal to save the highest paid faculty, the medical faculty, from the furlough, and now they attack faculty and unions for not accepting the very thing they have escaped. This is pretty extreme self-dealing.

E. said...

The letter does an amazing job of puncturing itself. They list three specific things Yudof has done they think worth commending, and yet those three things are actually perfect examples of why Yudof deserves to be criticized:

1) First they commend Yudof for listening to faculty and staff when crafting the furlough plan. Yet what faculty are most up in arms about right now is that while faculty, by an amazingly large margin, recommended that furlough days be spread across research and teaching, the Office of the President has recently released a memo demanding that furlough days avoid teaching days.

2) Faculty have been criticizing UCOP for a failure to confront lawmakers with the real consequences of state budget cuts to UC. There was a time, years ago, when UCOP did confront the legislature and Governor. Not under Yudof. This past budget cycle UC essentially told thes tate to go ahead and make the cuts, UC would survive. The only thing I saw Yudof mobilize business leaders about is smacking down Senator Yee's attempts to reign in UCOP.

3) He has not moved to quickly cut UCOP costs and increase transparency. Cuts to UCOP were made by Yudof's predecessor. Under Yudof UCOP continues to give administrators huge raises while cutting pay to faculty and staff. And transparency continues to be an unfunny joke where people have to literally sue the university to get information that should have been publicly available all along.

Rather than a defense of Yudof, this letter is in fact an indictment of him.

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