Saturday, October 31, 2009

Santa Cruz Divisional Senate Passes Resolution on Fiscal Transparency

TO: Academic Senate, Santa Cruz Division
FROM: Norma Klahn, Secretary
DATE: October 30, 2009
RE: Report of Divisional Actions of Academic Senate, October 28, 2009

The following actions were taken by the Academic Senate Santa Cruz Division at its meeting on October 28, 2009.

The following resolution was referred by voice vote to the Committee on Planning and Budget (CPB), with a request that the revised resolution be reviewed by the Committee on Rules, Jurisdiction and Elections and presented at the next Academic Senate meeting.

C. AS/SCP/1612

To UCOP re: Fiscal Transparency:  Whereas the current fiscal crisis facing the UC system is having and will continue to have profound effects on all research and teaching functions in which faculty are engaged; and whereas faculty are therefore duty-bound to fully understand the nature of this crisis and to analyze the full range of possible strategies for coping with the fiscal crisis; we the members of the Academic Senate of UCSC therefore request from UCOP complete budgetary transparency, including full details of all budget categories, definitions of the nature of any legal restrictions on how these categories of funds can be expended, and detailed alternative scenarios for addressing the fiscal crisis.
The following resolution passed by voice vote.

D. AS/SCP/1612

Sense of the Senate re: Good-Faith Negotiations:  Whereas the UCSC faculty are formally represented by the Santa Cruz Faculty Association as their bargaining agent; therefore be it resolved that it is the sense of the UCSC Academic Senate that the UCSC administration and the Santa Cruz Faculty Association should continue to bargain in good faith on furlough policy options, possible strategies for coping with the fiscal crisis, and all other issues that may properly fall within the scope of collective bargaining.

 The following resolution passed by voice vote.

Whereas UC fee increases compromise the public mission of the University, be it resolved that the Senate opposes any further fee increase and urges the UCSC Administration and UCOP to advocate accordingly to the UC Regents.

The following resolution passed by voice vote.

Be it resolved that the UCSC Senate opposes reductions in pay for workers whose full time salary is $40,000 or less.
--
Academic Senate
Santa Cruz Division
125 Kerr Hall
UC Santa Cruz
(831) 459-2086
(831) 459-5469 (FAX)
Website: www://senate.ucsc.edu

Friday, October 30, 2009

San Diego Divisional Senate Opposes Unprecedented Fee Increases

Sense of the UCSD Senate - San Diego Division

LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate, San Diego Division, expresses its alarm at the unprecedented student fee increases scheduled for this year and next at a time when California families and households are facing the highest unemployment rate in over 60 years and grievous losses in their savings; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate, San Diego Division, is especially troubled by the prospect that the fee increase may become permanent and may lead to further increases; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate, San Diego Division, states its concern that such increases will have a devastating effect on the access of California students to UCSD and drastically reduce the presence of historically underrepresented groups on this campus.

Berkeley Grad Student Calls on Regents to Audit Use of Ed Fees

My name is Annie McClanahan, and I’m a graduate student and instructor at UC Berkeley. I’m here to urge you to respond to CUCFA and AFSCME’s requests for an audit of the use of student fees as collateral for construction bonds.

There have been a lot of numbers thrown around today, but I want to add one more, albeit one with a rather different resonance. At the beginning of the semester, I visited a handful of undergraduate discussion sections to speak with students about the budget cuts and the protests against them. In every class, I began by asking students to raise their hands if they thought they might not be able to come back the following year as a result of the fee increases. In every class, nearly half raised their hands. In one class, a student kept his hand up. “My parents already told me they couldn’t afford it,” he said. “But what can I do—I’m a junior, and already halfway through my degree. The next increase is coming halfway through the academic year—what can I do? I’m gonna take out loans, my parents are gonna take out loans—I just don’t know what other choice I have at this point.”

For students like this, the importance of affordability is straightforward. But we’re here today to discuss something even more straightforward than affordability: accountability. We’re here today to call on the Regents to make the UC accountable for decisions made in recent years, for decisions made during this fiscal crisis. I’m here today to ask you to prove to the students of the UC system, and especially to those students who raised their hands in answer to my question, that the additional fees they are paying this semester as well as any additional fees they may have to pay in the future are actually spent on their education. I’m here today to tell you that when that student and his parents have to pay 40% more over the course of a mere 18 months for an institution their own tax dollars built, that is effectively a tax increase on California’s middle class families. I’m here today to tell you that when that student and his parents have to borrow at 8 or 10 or 14% interest so that the UC can maintain its credit rating and its ability to borrow at a .2% lower rate of interest, we the students are not only collateral, we are collateral damage.

I’m also here to tell you, as both a student and a teacher in the UC system, that we care infinitely more about instruction than construction. To demonstrate that, let me tell you another story. Last year, when the budget cuts to first forced my department to slash the numbers of introductory writing classes, I entered my classroom on the first day of the semester to two surprises. First, I noticed that in my small seminar room, as in every single one of the dozens of such rooms in my building, there was a brand new, elaborate media system. Rather than pull down the video screen, I could now just push a button; rather than going to borrow a projector from the media center in the building next door, I could hook my computer up directly to the console. The lights all had complicated dimmer switches. The second surprise was more unpleasant: my classroom was wall to wall with students. I had come to expect a handful of waitlisters to show up on the first day of my class, which is a university-wide requirement. But this time was different—I had twice as many students in the room as I had room on the roster. I told them they wouldn’t get into the class, but most of them stayed. One by one, they came up to me after class and told me their stories—they had been trying for two semesters to get into this class, they had to take it to graduate, they had already been refused admission to three other sections that day and this was their last chance. Standing next to thousands of dollars of fancy new equipment which I knew I would use only once or twice that year, I had to tell each of them no, tell them I was sorry, tell them that there had been cuts this term and thus were fewer classes and fewer spots in those classes. It was the hardest day of the semester.

Some in the UC administration have suggested that students and faculty should take our case to Sacramento, to the governor and the legislators and ultimately the taxpayers. They have suggested that we, the students and faculty, should be accountable for making that political case. And they are right: we should. But we can’t do that until you are accountable, until your accounts are made public. We can’t go the taxpayers and ask them to help us out of this crisis unless we can trust that the UC’s priorities are the same as ours. We can’t go to our parents, our spouses, our families and ask them to help us pay an additional 40% this year unless we know with absolute certainty that that money is going solely to our education. We can’t take out more and more and more loans unless we know that the leaders of this institution have proved to us and to the citizens of California, that they are honest, that they are transparent, that they deserve our trust and our hard-earned money. I’m asking you to become—today—leaders like that. I’m asking you today to be accountable.

Berkeley Faculty Association Head Calls on Regents to Audit Use of Ed Fees

I am Christine Rosen, the Secretary of the Council of UC Faculty Association (CUCFA). As Bob Meister just said we are requesting that you conduct an audit to determine whether the Office of the President is violating its own rules by using student educational fees to for debt service on its construction bonds.

As part of this audit, we would also like to request that you audit UCOP’s assertion that this debt is actually being paid out of the revenues generated by the revenue generating programs that are housed in the new buildings. We question whether most of these programs can generate enough revenue to service this debt. To give you an example of why we are concerned:

Berkeley is in the process of constructing a $136 M Student Athlete High Performance Center and is about to begin a much larger $321 M renovation of the football stadium. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) is the revenue generating entity responsible for repaying the $457 M debt. Assuming a 4.8% interest rate, it will have to pay out $22M a year.

However, the DIA operates at a large multimillion dollar loss every year. A faculty group looking into the matter has discovered for the most recent 5-year period for which the DIA has released detailed data (2003-08), its cost to campus has been at least $10 million every year - except for 2007-08 for which the cost was $7.4 million [Note 1]; and that for the most recent fiscal year (2008-09), the cost to the campus is expected to be a record high of approximately $13.5 million [Note 2].  The $22M debt service burden is going to come on top of this ongoing loss, creating at least a $33M shortfall per year. The faculty have heard that DIA needs to sell at least half a billion dollars worth of expensive skyboxes to generate the money to cover these costs. We question whether it will be able to sell enough to generate revenues of $33 M a year. Even if by some miracle it can do this, we want to know how the interest on $136 M debt incurred to construct the high performance athlete training center will be paid off during the years before the renovations to the football stadium are completed. Where will this money come from?

This is just one example of a revenue generating program that seems unlikely to generate the surplus funds needed to pay off the university’s debt. We suspect that many of the revenue generating programs assigned responsibility for paying off construction debt are incapable of shouldering the entire debt service burden placed them. Please audit all such projects to determine what level of debt service the Regents can realistically expect such revenue generating programs to generate for this purpose.

In addition, please audit the revenue flows that the Regents can realistically expect extramural research grants to generate to contribute to the general revenues that UCOP is pledging as collateral for its construction debt and/or that it may be using to service this debt. We doubt that it is capable of generating enough revenue to relieve the university of the need to divert funds from student educational fees for this purpose.

Finally, let me tell you why conducting these audits is important. If in fact UCOP is diverting revenues from student educational fees to pay for debt service, this diversion is coming on top of the recent, devastating state budget cuts to instruction. So it is coming at a great cost to our students as well as to our capacity to maintain the university’s reputation as a world class institution. It is part of the reason why departments have had to slash course offering, increase class size, cut back on funding for Graduate Student Instructors and graders faculty need to support their ability to teach gigantic classes effectively. It’s part of the reason why students restrooms are being cleaned even less than in the past and are in increasingly horrible, unsanitary shape and why garbage is not getting collected and why departments are pulling out faculty phone service. It has to be recognized that it helped necessitate the furloughs and layoffs that have demoralized faculty and staff and undermined UC’s ability to retain its best faculty.

We’re told that the new buildings are an investment in UC’s long term future as a world class university. That may be, but in an era of financial crisis, diverting funds from student fees for this purpose means we are disinvesting in our students and our faculty – which is an even more serious threat to the university’s future.

***
Note 1: Computed from UC Berkeley Senate CAPRA estimates and DIA financial statements as shown on: http://budgetcrisis.berkeley.edu/?page_id=16
Note 2: The DIA has not provided detailed financial information for the 2008-2009 fiscal year; only this estimate.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghoul Commission Post-Mortem - UCSB

Despite the email I wrote to Henry--it was genuine and I wrote it to give him feedback and strengthen his back when he delivers our message to the Regents--I must say I feel a deep disappointment and sadness. I have to agree with Suzanne and Sarah and state that this was much worse than what I have imagined. We were worried in the last email exchange that "they" would be sagely noding. Well, "they" were not even THERE! The speeches from all of you and others were amazing, it made me VERY proud to be part of this amazing community, BUT who were listening? Ourselves!! Can you believe it, with all due respect, that a graduate student was speaking on behalf of the Committee on the Student Fee issues?! And this out of touch lady Marry who claimed that Faculty Self Governance is now stronger than ever?!It is important to ask direct questions, so that those who are responsible will reveal the wrongdoings under the guise of administrative correctness: hence, as in this case, Croughan came out with an outrageous remark, which you all thankfully booed: aside from the wonderful eloquent speeches like Bill's, this kind of direct approach is needed to tear away the veil of lies.

I agree with Sarah. As much as I enjoyed this communication--and I am truly thankful to all of you to let me express my frustration and (sometimes naive) thoughts--I feel that we have to broaden the participation and use different strategies in the future. Campbell hall was empty, and nobody whom we invited per email listings came, except for those expected. Many speeches were REALLY brilliant, but how can these thoughts reach the entire UCSB community and beyond? Of course I don't know the answer.

Sarah, although I don't know what it will mean to be part of the UCSB Faculty Association, I am happy to receiving more information about it and giving it a try. Maybe the speeches from today of everybody (in a condensed format) can be written up and published in the FA Newsletter?

Maybe we need professional lobbyist? But where getting the money from?

Thank you all, you are amazing.

Songi
***

First, thank you to Suk-Young Kim and her students for the great coffin and procession and "I'm not dead yet" sketch; It was definitely the best part of my day.

Sadly, I wouldn't even say that we only had ourselves to talk to at 1pm at Campbell Hall. There were maybe five faculty there (including myself); another 5 or so had accumulated by 1:50, when I had to leave to go teach my class; There were very few undergraduates, and grad students you could count on the fingers of one hand. Some of the union reps were there, but only a few of the rank and file and I do mean 3-4. No one had come prepared to read names or list cuts. Claudio, Edwina, Eddie Woolfolk, Bob Samuels, and Janelle Mungo had to improvise to fill in the time. It made the rallies of the summer look like the Uruk-Hai armies gathered before Helm's Deep.

I'm even sorrier to hear there was no crowd at the Forum itself.  I think you are all correct to stress that we shouldn't feel defeated.  All "movements" have their ups and downs.  But it would be helpful to have an analysis of what went wrong here.  There's the issue of what we ourselves did and didn't accomplish; but it is stunning that so few members of the community came to the Forum.  Both are worth understanding--if that were possible.  The mystery, for me, is doubled by the fact that I had thought the Teach-In and the censure vote had generated some real momentum.  That sense was obviously wrong.

We did not have much time to prepare, it's true.  But I emailed my own department and comparative literature at least two or three times.  Not a single English graduate student turned up for the Outbreak, and the only English faculty who showed were me, Yunte, Stephanie L. and Heather Blurton.  Ann Bermingham was the only person I saw from Art History--there may have been one other; Jennifer Holt, the only person from Film Studies.  These are our core departments.  There were one or two faculty from Spanish and Portuguese, one from French-Ital. (Claudio)

Why are we not even supporting ourselves?

Aranye

***

Okay, perhaps here's a more positive reality check then. The original plan -- advanced by Yudof's "eyes and ears assistant" who was in the front row today -- was that the commission would talk AT us for two hours with no opportunity to speak from the floor. Henry Yang insisted on the open microphone format in which we had the bulk of the time - time we used to make it clear that we aren't buying this smoke screen and have no intention of rolling over for it.

If we had boycotted, that opportunity would have been lost and spun as faculty apathy and tacit consent. Instead, this open mic format will now have to be adopted on the other campuses where faculty and student organizers will have more time to plan, hone their message, and get people in seats. It's true that the turnout is disappointing, but it's also to be expected on this campus. Our contribution has been to get the ball rolling on unmasking this sham-fest and we succeeded in that.

The larger fight has to be a system-wide effort. There is no way that we were going to persuade Yudof even if he had showed, and he would have stolen the floor. He and his corporatist crowd are not going to be persuaded; our only hope is to outmaneuver them in the public domain.

Finally, I agree that everyone did do a great job with their comments. Elisabeth was amazing!! as were many others. I think Henning Bohn deserves special thanks for opening the door as he did. He said that Joel wrote a lot of the speech drawing from wide input. But the student comments were the most extraordinary -- cutting and incisive -- and we might want to transcribe them and get student permission to circulate them via the website. Amber's story of from $0 debt to $87K for one degree says more than we can say in many speeches.

All best,
Edwina

***


I want to second how our students provide the most powerful testimony, as they did at the teach-in. But embedded in their remarks is analysis. We should be proud of them. And again I appreciated all of you who were so elegant today. We have such a talented group of faculty here and throughout the system and together Yes We Can! Eileen

***

I agree - I was inspired and really proud to be a part of this community. Thanks to all who spoke. You were fantastic. Are there transcripts being kept of these events? The collected transcripts of all the forums would seem to be crucial for the commission to have if they really are "listening." How would all of those not present know what was said? I would love to find out about that and learn how our concerns are being documented. I would also like a copy!
Jennifer Holt

***

I agree with Bob that we missed an opportunity (partly my fault, since I was the one who spoke next) to take up Mary Croughan on her outrageous remark. But we did boo her, the loudest negative vocal response of the day. I also looked at the Merced visit schedule--it is pathetic: they will probably have ten to thirty minutes (depending on how the meeting is run) for public comments there. We need to let other campuses know that this is a sham. All the poorly choreographed
publicity and waste of human labor just to do some damage control and to legitimize more bad policies down the road. I have to say that our enemy is media savvy because the Commission would give them good cover in the future. They know what kind of future they want, but they need procedural justification. Let's take them up on that and use this as OUR opportunity to raise hell. The question is how. Today is a small
start, even though I left the room with anger and disgust. We may need better communication strategies and keep our agendas in the news every day. Any ideas -Yunte

***

Dear Yunte,et al.,

I've just sent off a report about today's events to a bunch of contacts on the other UC campuses, with some suggestions about how they should build/improve upon our efforts. Someone suggested months ago that we create our own "Commission on the Future of the UC", which is not a bad idea. Another option is to insist, through our Academic Senates, that any recommendations made by the Gould Commission be subject to debate and ratification by the University community before they are enacted. I actually proposed a resolution to that effect at the local Senate meeting on October 8, but we never got a chance to discuss it. I think we will propose it again at the upcoming meeting.

Part of what makes the whole thing so stupid is that we are not being presented with any concrete proposals, we were simply being invited to vent. They will do this on all 10 campuses, then proceed with the highly-developed plans they've been working out along but never told us about in any detail, and claim that we had our chance to offer input. We must demand the right to approve or reject concrete proposals after due time to consider and debate them.

Does anyone recall that, in his exchange with Lisa Hajjar back in July, Christopher Edley referred to both Yudof and Gould as "impatient" men? I read it on Chris Newfield's blog: it must still be there somewhere. I think that could be used against them, and when one considers what a disaster was caused by the precipitous re-investment of the pension fund a few years ago, we could argue that the Regents have a history of imprudently hasty behavior.

Best,
Bob

***

Dear Bob and all,

Bob, thanks for your work with other campuses, and your analysis of the stupid-smart way that they have designed the Commission as slick, faux "consultation" to ramrod through their existing plans.

I gathered from sympathetic administrators yesterday that if we can make this process embarrassing, difficult, costly, labor intensive,and just plain loud enough for Yudof and the Regents through our resistance, that they will start to back down -- and that at least one Regent or campus leader (I didn't catch which) is already saying no to privatization because it's too explosive and not worth the hassle.

Based on that insight, it follows that if we can continue building pressure, resistance, and roadblocks of various kinds -- and our more activist sister campuses will do this wonderfully on their Forum days - we can start to turn the ship. They will always have this stuff on the shelf ready for a new attempt, so we would need to remain vigilant, but we would have stopped it for now.

If that strategy sounds plausible, then in terms of action, yes, 1)our own commission on the future, and 2) the proposals in the Senate sound great. Somehow Connie's link to the Merced Forum agenda didn't work for me, so I haven't seen their structure, but if I were Yudof's henchwoman I'd want to change the format so that there is no embarrassing voice from the floor. If so, 3) we might consider chipping in if other campuses have to struggle to retain what we had -- they could claim us as precedent and cry "no consultation" if they are denied. It's potentially key because on other campuses the floor. Time will also provide opportunity for media exposure and UC does not want that. 4) I think John Foran is right that circulating the documents will amplify what we did here. I'm away until Monday, but when I return I'll get to work on tracking down the student commentators and start the transcriptions.  5) We also now have a large number of UCSB folks on the commission to lobby and assist in in doing-the-right-thing using yesterday's input and all of the materials we've developed and are developing. 6) I'm not a media-savvy person, but I wonder: is it good idea to go ahead and contact the media folks that Jack Sutton and others named a few days ago and give them our materials when we have it? There is a story here and if we can get some post-event coverage and/or be poised to contribute to stories on other campus forums, that may help the cause. Does anyone more experienced have any thoughts on that? If it's a good idea we should probably go ahead with that press kit and talking points that we discussed earlier and perhaps implement the commentary documents that we are compiling.

Just 2 cents....

All best,
Edwina

***
Following on Bill Warner's wonderful Ben Franklin analogy from yesterday, I keep being reminded of the very successful populist mobilization that occurred during the American Revolution. When the colonists seized control and set up their own "extra-legal" governments, most of the action was carried out by "committees of correspondence," that literally wrote letters to leaders elsewhere to combine efforts, share arguments, etc. They had 13 colonies plus Parliament to lobby--we have 10 campuses, the unions, and student groups, plus the legislature.

Sounds like with email and the web, we have a much faster and more efficient correspondence network, and I think there's great power in getting these arguments out to other campuses prior to their "listening" sessions with the Ghouls...

Best,
Ann Plane

***

It is important to ask direct questions, so that those who are responsible will reveal the wrongdoings under the guise of administrative correctness: hence, as in this case, Croughan came out with an outrageous remark, which you all thankfully booed: aside from the wonderful eloquent speeches like Bill's, this kind of direct approach is needed to tear away the veil of lies.

Jill

***

Elisabeth is right, Thursday afternoon is prime teaching time for lots
of faculty, so we lost their presence, as well as their students'.  Given
the heart-rending stories from the students who were there, others might
well have been working one of their many jobs or feel that they couldn't
cut class for a forum where they had every reason to believe they would not
be heard.

As for faculty not attending, we on this list had a discussion about whether
or not to boycott.Many faculty might have quietly done so.

Although many eloquent things were said yesterday--and it was an opportunity
to vent--a way to frame the low turnout is that few of us expected anything
good to come of the Gould Commission so that the absence of attendees was in
itself was a protest.

The one interjection by Mary Croghan that "shared governance has never been stronger" was delusional, which is why I shouted back at her, "You must be joking". From her point of view it is--she's been party to what's going on and given the legitimacy of her official posts to sell it to the faculty.

I hope that we can move forward with some useful strategies to stop the rolling disaster at UC.
Best,
Sarah


***


OK, Here's my 2 cents worth on where to go from here -- how about joining with faculty on other campuses to take out a full page ad (with full list of signatures)in the NYT, LA Times and SF Chronicle. George Lakoff could probably come up with the best wording for such an ad -- but here's something to start with:

We, faculty of the ten campuses of the University of California, are concerned that the leadership of the best publicly funded research university in the country is no longer committed to that description of our university.

In questions posed to the "UC Commission on the Future" and in his public statements to the New York Times, President Mark Yudof has indicated that he has given up on our
historic mission of providing affordable, publicly funded, high quality education to the citizens of California -- despite the fact that the voters of California support public funding of higher education by a ratio of two to one. The President poses as solutions to the false assumption that public funding must continue to wane; the
privatization of education and research and radical changes in the quality of undergraduate education. Faculty -- who are the best experts on how to educate undergraduates, graduates, and professionals- are underrepresented on the the commission,the campuses have not been given adequate time to respond to its questions, and the president(who admits that he has no background in education)seems committed to railroading through a set of decisions in less than six months.


Sharon Farmer


***
The one interjection by Mary Croghan that "shared governance has never been stronger" was delusional, which is why I shouted back at her,"You must be joking"From her point of view it is--she's been party to what's going on and given the legitimacy of her official posts to sell it to the faculty.

"Delusional"--or in a different universe (Lakoff would say "frame"). I don't follow Sarah's explanation above, though.

And along the same lines: We keep quoting Yudof's "cemetery" remark--but is anyone else uneasy about just what he meant? He explained it by saying that "no one is listening." WTF? Did he mean to say that we aren't doing what he's telling us to? But then he says he is listening to us. And he admits that "furlough" was just a buzzword to get us to swallow the salary cut more easily. It is worth reading that whole interview again carefully, taking it seriously. Maybe if we can get inside Yudof's universe we can figure out how to reach him, instead of talking at him. He is *damn* cynical.

Here's the full quote:
Deborah Salomon/NYT: Already professors on all 10 U.C. campuses are taking
required „furloughs,‰ to use a buzzword.
Yudof: Let me tell you why we used it. The faculty said „furlough‰ sounds
more temporary than „salary cut,‰ and being president of the University of
California is like being manager of a cemetery: there are many people under
you, but no one is listening. I listen to them.

And let's not forget what he tweeted about that interview:
"I very much enjoyed my time chatting with the NY Times recently. Check it
out:"

This guy is worth some serious analysis; see also his 9/30 tweet: For a comprehensive explanation of our fee increase proposal, please read my piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education: http://bit.ly/mzCl2

I'm not a subscriber to the Chronicle, thus cannot get the full text online. Could a subscriber copy-paste the full text into an email to this list?

Finally, I'm absolutely with Song-i on the use of email: I hope they do take us seriously enough to listen in, and I can't imagine that they're stupid enough to try to use our discussion for legal action. Unless of course we start discussing violent tactics or strictly illegal stuff, as opposed to civil disobedience. As long as there are enough of us who show that we are fearless against their intimidation. In any case, even jumping through hoops to use private email addresses or restricted blogs is too likely to leak that we could rely on privacy.

However, we should be aware that anything we do is not likely to "surprise" them. Some minion of the regents is surely giving them reports about what we are discussing. (They'll be prepared on Nov 18 at UCLA, you can be sure.)

Harold

***

Dear Savers, I finally got to watch the podcast all the way through and want to add my voice to the chorus of gratitude for being part of this brilliant and committed group of people.  Everyone was so amazing.  I was so moved when Sharon said she would rather find something else to do than watch all this being dismantled--it's the first time I've heard anyone explain we might have reasons for leaving that wouldn't simply be about our salaries and research support.  I agree with Constance that watching the sign crossing the room was a fabulous touch.  And the students!  I just don't see how the Commission reps could have left that session in anything other than disarray.

For reasons such as those articulated just below in my note to Chris and Sharon, I think we have to create our own alternative Commission on the Future.  And we also have to ponder how we will communicate and execute our refusal to cooperate with findings that deviate from the Master Plan.  This means once again energizing the Senate (Bob and I are meeting Joel tomorrow morning), and also thinking about whether and how we can develop strategies of resistance within the Administration and the alums.  One crucial piece is, again, that Committee report about private funding not being a feasible replacement--does anyone remember where that got said?  Was it in the Divisional Senate meeting, maybe even part of Joel's report?

I'll start a Future "group" on our ning and we'll see if that can gather energy.

Prof William Warner Statement to UCOF at UCSB

Rules by which a Great University may be Reduced to a Mediocre One

Rule 1: Raise tuition so thousands of meritorious students of modest means are kept out of the university; those who still come will need to work so many hours that they won’t be able to perform at the highest level. In order to weaken your ties with the citizens of California, increase the number of those out-of-state students and foreign students who can pay full freight. The thousands of rejection letters with which you have to shower the state’s high school seniors will counter their belief that this is a public university that belongs to them.

Rule 2: Use the budget crisis to lower graduate funding; in addition to realizing immediate savings, this measure will encourage expensive graduate faculty to seek employment elsewhere.

3: Use the opportunity of a state budget-crisis to administer a sudden one-time 8-10% salary cut to your senior faculty; this will make it easier for other universities to hire away your most nationally renowned, and expensive, faculty. Then, it should be increasingly difficult to hire the best junior faculty. But if some do get hired, and their achievements begin to make them expensive, you can always call another furlough. With the high cost of housing in California, this measure should clear the system of any younger faculty who can go elsewhere.

4: Encourage senior staff to seek early retirement, so those who know how to implement university policy are gone, and don’t refill these positions.

5: Keep creative administrators busy reeling from one budget crisis to another; this will discourage them from dreaming up expensive initiatives inconsistent with the modest new goals of the university.

6: Cut costs by decreasing the number of faculty and lecturers in the university; then move the teaching of those who remain onto computer screens so they can teach the way the University of Phoenix does. This will discourage students from attempting expensive direct contact with their teachers.

7: Above all, discourage senior university officials from defending what the university is; prevent them from making the university’s case to the public; and don’t allow the state budget crisis to pass without appointing a commission to recommend these rules.

8: Finally, remember there may be setbacks: some administrators and faculty may continue to harbor delusive aspirations to greatness, but don’t worry. Because a university is a complex and interdependent network for producing and transmitting knowledge, by destroying one area of expensive excellence, you will compromise many others; so once downward momentum has been achieved, the university’s inexorable movement into cheap mediocrity is assured.

Prof Elisabeth Weber Statement to UCOF at UCSB

My name is Elisabeth Weber. I am speaking as chair of a department in which we teach German, Russian and Hebrew languages and literatures, and as chair of the program of Comparative Literature.

The German philosopher Franz Rosenzweig once said: as many languages someone speaks, as many times he or she is a human being.

According to an analysis by UCSC Professor Bob Meister on where student tuition money actually goes, it is not towards instruction, but instead towards insuring UC bonds. The UCOP and the Regents therefore seem to understand only one language: the language of Wall Street.

The cuts to the foreign language and literature programs have been brutal throughout UCSB and other campuses. This in spite of the fact that, to name just two examples, UCSB’s German and Russian language programs’ high enrollments are the envy of much wealthier universities.

We keep hearing that the UC is the world’s premier public university, but if the past and current budgetary priorities continue, UC students will soon no longer speak the languages of the world. During a time of increasing globalization, UC is drastically reducing its foreign language instruction.

In the foreign language and literature departments, and of course in Comparative Literature, we not only teach our students to be conversant in other languages. We also teach them to see and feel through the eyes and experiences of people laughing, crying, loving, revolting in remote regions of the world, in short, to discover other peoples’ sensibilities.

Don’t misunderstand me: I am not appealing to your humanist souls. I am actually addressing your Wall Street minds: One makes better deals with people whose language and sensibilities one understands. President Obama realizes that: He greeted the Arab speaking peoples in their language. But a greeting isn’t enough. This country is engaged in two wars with peoples whose languages and cultural sensibilities only very few Americans understand.

The UC should show the way of, indeed, the future. The fact that the UC Commission on the future has only one professor of foreign languages and literatures on board doesn’t bode well for that future.

The future is a global one in which our students and their children can only succeed if their minds and senses have been opened to the cultural sensibilities of other peoples. In that regard, the decimation of the UC foreign language and literature programs is unconscionable.

Prof Mark Srednicki Statement to UCOF at UCSB

Remarks to the Gould Commission, Forum at UCSB, October 22, 2009

I’m Mark Srednicki, Chair of the Physics Department here. Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.

I have three points to make.

First, you represent the Commission on the Future of UC, but we cannot look to the future without first understanding the past.

Sadly, the past few years at UC have been characterized by a stunning failure of leadership at the highest levels. We have seen draconian funding cuts that threaten irrevocable harm to this, the world’s greatest public university.

The University of California has historically provided a vital economic sparkplug to our state, and its graduates have historically paid for their educations many times over through state taxes on the extra earnings that their UC educations enable. Yet now, this key component of our economic engine is on the verge of sputtering and stalling out.

Our President, Mark Yudof, makes unfortunate remarks that have led to his censure by the Academic Senate on this campus. The Chair of the Board of Regents, Russell Gould, and the Vice Chair, Sherry Lansing, have been conspicuously silent in the public media, as have all the other Regents. Who will make the case for UC if our leaders will not? These people have failed in their historic mission to preserve, protect, and defend this institution, and they must be held accountable for their failure before any future plans can be made.

My second point is this. Strong leadership at UC is needed because, in this state, the will of the people is continually thwarted. This is because, in California, we do not have democracy. Instead, we have Minority Rule.

This must change. We must join the rest of the civilized world and take up governance of our affairs by Majority Rule.

A ballot initiative restoring Majority Rule to California is being prepared for the November 2010 election. The initiative is 14 words long; I have copies. I call upon the Commission as a whole, and each member individually, to declare public support for the Majority Rule initiative. For those here, I call upon you to do it today.

Third and finally, this Commission cannot allow itself to be used as an instrument for the dismantling of the world’s greatest public university. You must go beyond your narrow charges and boldly confront the true sources of the crisis at UC, namely, failure of leadership by the Regents and the President, and our current undemocratic system of government. Any radical altering or restructuring of the historically highly successful UC system would gravely endanger the future progress and prosperity of this great State, and you must say so loudly and clearly.

Thank you.

Mark Srednicki
Chair of Physics
UC Santa Barbara
mark@physics.ucsb.edu

Majority Rule Initiative

“All legislative actions on revenue and budget
must be determined by a majority vote.”

http://www.camajorityrule.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prof Claudio Fogu Statement to UCOF at UCSB

Comments for Gould Commission meeting 10 / 22 / 2009

Dear members of the Commission on the Future:

Let me begin by echoing some of the sentiments expressed by my predecessors regarding our state of ‘crisis’: it has been made abundantly clear to you that this crisis is not one of ‘finances’ but one of ‘confidence’ by students, faculty and staff in our Regents and President Yudof…and, I am sorry to add, at the moment, also in you as a commission reflecting the causes of this discontent.

Look at your composition: one sole humanist, compared to scores of professional faculty and administrators; no gender balance; no ‘campus-by-campus’ representation. Look at your stated mission: to come up, supposedly in three months, with “ways to maintain and even expand our substantial contributions” to the State of California, and to address through separate commissions the questions of: a) diminishing resources, b) educational delivery models, c) size and shape of the university, and d) finding alternative revenue streams…

Expand the contribution of UC to the state of California? Are you kidding? Making 24,600 $ out of each UC graduate—as you have heard / will soon hear from Prof. Nelson—is not enough for the State of California?
Then, to focus on ‘size and shape’ or ‘education delivery models’, divorcing these questions from reaffirming and discussing the guiding principles of this university? Is this not a foregone conclusion that will drive your thinking towards the ideas that have been already circulated publicly of separating functions among campuses, introducing distance learning techniques to maximize technologically-driven solutions etc.?
Similarly, to accept the premise of a diminishing public investment in the university as an incontrovertible and accepted fact, rather than a historical trend that is reversible? Does this not set you up as involuntary accomplices of a relentless process of corporatization that has been going on since the 1980s and has led us right into this crisis of confidence, this break down of collective support and understanding of the ‘cultural’ and not only material values of a public university system like this one?

Finally three months of tenure? What’s the hurry?... Oh yes of course, it is called ‘shock doctrine’: use a budget crisis to declare an emergency situation, give the man in charge emergency powers, and proceed with the overhaul of the system after the false pretenses of responding to the crisis. In the process, trump over all principles of shared governance, divide faculty from students, and faculty internally between wining-humanities radicals like myself and serious good citizens in the sciences. We have seen this script many times in history, and some of us have learnt its lessons, so we are here to tell you not to accept to be part of this design, but to redefine instead your mission, and gain legitimacy in the eyes of the university community by transforming yourself into a model of true shared-governance.

Let me thus end with some ideas on who to implement these two preliminary goals:
First, Redefine your mission by embracing publicly the California Master Plan as the principal guideline of your task. This will make you de facto the much needed conduit of communication not only between a very out of touch Board of Regents and President and an ever more unified UC Community around the goal of restoring the guiding principles of the Master Plan, but also between our internal discussions and a larger political arena in which gubernatorial candidates need to be made aware of our conversation, and need to be held accountable early on for declaring their views on what they will do to restore public funding and confidence in our university system.
Second, use this tour of Forums across California to send a strong message to the Regents before they commit another financial crime at their next meeting: a fee hike of unprecedented proportions that will send the final signal to legislators and perspective new governors that there is no need for their becoming advocates of public financing of higher education, because they can count on Regents to solve the problem by shifting the burden on the students.
Third, take stock of the history of mismanagement and progressive corporatization of this public university system and make your primary task to rethink its political structure and administration. Reorient your and trhe public view of UC students as ‘customers’ to be milked for all they are worth, towards an understanding of them as the principal ‘shareholders’ of this university, compared to the State’s investment that represents only 16% of the University’s budget. Reorient your and the public towards redefining role and composition of the Board of Regents away from their voluntary or involuntary position as hostages of a State government that they themselves call “an unreliable partner of the university.” Have the courage, that is, to discuss, for example, how to ensure that the Regents be no longer so distant from the sahred values of the university community they should respond to, by making for example half of the Board of Regents ‘elected’ from the ranks of UC faculty, systemwide. Above all make the office of Regents respondent to a ‘compact with the students’ that ties the university to a certain amount of investment in their education, rather than a ‘compact’ with the State, that is not only worth less than the ink on the page it was written on, but, as we have seen, is only an instrument of blackmail.
Fourth and last, give a strong signal to the Regents and to the State of California that you yourselves have come to refuse the logic of a ‘state of emergence’ when dealing with the ‘future’ of this institution, and make a resolution among yourselves that at the end of this consultation tour you will make yourself truly ‘part of the solution’ by requesting that the Regents reject the proposed fee hike at their November meeting and bringing to their attention the many alternative proposals that have been made by many prominent UC faculty members over the past few weeks and months, by prolonging your tenure to at least the full academic year 2009-2010, and by opening up membership in this commission to representatives elected by each academic senate that will function as transmission a chain to and fro their campus community.

I wish you a good listening day and a productive tour of our campuses.

Profs Sharon Farmer and Jack Sutton to UCOF at UCSB

Graduate Council Responses to Questions Posed to the UC Commission on the Future
Sharon Farmer, Professor of History, UCSB; Jack Sutton, Professor of Sociology, UCSB

As chair and vice-chair of the UCSB Graduate Council Jack Sutton and I have given careful consideration to the full text of the charge documents that have been sent to the commission on the future. Our comments fall into two categories – the need to take a proactive stance in defending the university, and the urgent necessity of remaining faithful to our teaching and research mission. I will speak to the first issue, and Jack Sutton, the chair of the council, will speak to the second.

1) It is an underlying assumption of the questions that have been posed to the commission that "declining state revenues" are a given. This is a false assumption. Declining state revenues for the University of California have resulted from the political decisions of a governor who believes that private education should replace public education. The last president of the university acquiesced to that vision and the current president embraces that vision. The commission on the future needs to say NO to the vision of privatization, and it needs to pressure the regents and the president to do the same. As recently as April, 2009 a poll of California voters indicated that they opposed cuts in public funding to higher education by a ratio of 2 to 1.

2) A second underlying assumption of the charge to the commission is that we need to prepare for declining demand for the educational services that the UC provides, especially to undergraduates. This too is a false assumption. While the proportion of young adults to older adults will decline over the next 20 years, the raw numbers of high school graduates will continue to grow – by 26%. As an aging population leaves the workforce it will continue to depend on the services and leadership of these young adults, who must be trained to provide the services and leadership.

3) The subcommittee on funding strategies has been asked, : "What are the ways to improve
the University's chances of obtaining state funds." We need a president and regents who understand that public education serves the public good IN WAYS THAT PRIVATE EDUCATION CANNOT. We need a president and regents who are willing to pressure the legislators and the governor to provide the public funding that we need. We need to join the majority of voters in their state in advocating for a severance tax on oil extraction: In the US today we are the only state that does not charge such a tax: the state of CA is thus giving away resources to the oil corporations while it asks middle class families and their children to mortgage their futures in order to pay for their educations. We are thus GIVING AWAY money to both the oil corporations and Wall Street (the beneficiary of student loans) while we ask the middle class to sink deeper and deeper into debt.
SUTTON:
4) The subcommittee on funding strategies has been asked if private funding is the way to go -- especially with reference to our research mission. Obviously, we have already started down that road. But private funding for research is a VERY POOR substitute for public funding, because donors seek results that serve their purposes. Consider the number of universities that now refuse to accept funding from the Tobacco Industry because the research that that industry funds is thought to be tainted; or the fact that at Harvard Medical School the students have had to organize in order to protest the way that private funding from pharmaceutical companies is distorting what they are taught in the classroom. Private funding, moreover, will never be adequate to fund research in the humanities and social sciences, despite the fact that the analytical thinking and communications skills that are taught in the humanities and social sciences help to shape the future leaders of this state

5) The commission has been asked to think about funding for graduate students. Indeed it should, because graduate students follow the funding and the UC has fallen woefully behind on that score. Graduate students need multi-year packages that cover all tuition and fees as well as living expenses. The fact that UCOP has benefited from rising graduate student fees while campuses have been given inadequate funding to attract new graduate students shows that there is a mismanagement of priorities in the system. Because of this year’s cut-back in funding for graduate student teaching assistantships, departments throughout the system are being forced to seriously compromise the quality of education that we offer to undergraduates – by eliminating discussion sections and assignments that teach analytical skills rather than rote learning.

6) The subcommittee on Size and Shape has been asked if the UC campuses should focus on graduate and professional education and undergraduate education that cannot be delivered by other public segments. This question seems to be asking the committee to consider a University of Chicago or Johns Hopkins model. Such a model does not fit our public mandate. The thrill of studying, as undergraduates, with the researchers who create the knowledge that shapes the world we live in is one of the fundamental attractions of THE BEST PUBLIC RESEARCH INSTITUTION IN THE US. Providing that opportunity to undergraduates and exposing them to top research libraries and laboratories is thus one of our best forms of public relations to the citizens of California, which we can't afford to lose. Moreover, teaching undergraduates is not only a major way in which graduate students fund their educations -- it is a form of apprenticeship that prepares them for their careers. Severing the research mission from the undergraduate teaching mission would have dire political consequences, because the UC would garner even less support from the citizens of the state, who would feel totally out of touch with the services that the university provides.

7) The commission has been asked if the UC should cut educational costs by accepting more transfer students, employing more adjuncts and lecturers, and offering on-line courses. Such cost cutting measures would constitute a serious violation of our mission to provide the future leaders of this state with the highest quality education. Transfer students are less prepared for higher forms of critical thinking and writing than are students who spend all four years at the UC. Already about 30% of our students are transfer students. Going further down that road will contribute to the decline of the quality of the work force of California. On-line learning is an extremely poor substitute for face-to-face discussion and debate – it fosters rote learning, and is not what we want to deliver to the state's best and brightest. Again, if we go that route we are contributing to the decline of the quality of the state's work force and we risk harming our reputation among research universities and with the citizens of California.

Prof Songi Han Statement to UCOF at UCSB

Statement By Songi Han, Assistant Professor of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry on the first hearing of the UC Commission of the Future headed by President Yudof, Chairman Gould and the Regents.

Let me repeat what was already said before as it speaks to the legitimacy of this UC Commission and the meaning of these hearings.

Why are NO members of the UC Regents, Provost and the President present, not even all faculty chairs/co-chairs, at the very FIRST UC Commission of the Future hearings? It is as if we had a UCSB Commission of the Future hearing without our chancellor Henry Yang and executive vice chancellor Gene Lucas present. This would be unthinkable! It is too apparent that these hearings are just a make-up show. Why are the Regents, Provosts and the President not LISTENING on a HEARING tour?

If you asked me personally one year ago about my view on the University of California, I would be praising it over everything. You don't want to ask me now about my confidence in the upper UC administration that I lost so dramatically in just a few months. Don't underestimate the fact that the fuel of the faculty is our passion and love to what we do. Once that passion and love to our institution is gone-and it is truly NOT just about money-you will see the negative consequences of it painfully directly, maybe not this year, maybe not next year, but in the future. In the budget calculation of the upper administration, the value of the passion and love with which we drive our profession is not taken into account, and the loss that this institution will experience if you lose this value not considered. The result, I fear, will be a mediocre University, as one UCSB History Professor beautifully laid out for you.

Poem for the UC Commission on the Future

By Yunte Huang


I'm a zombie
walking at the U of Cemetery.
The watchman listens
to the bodies he's paid to bury.
Today he sends out a team
to awake me from sleep.
Or does he mean
to herd some sheep?
Halloween's coming
and hard rain's falling.
Just hold on a sec.
I'll be back
from the future
when the watchman is not there
or, the terminator."
Hasta la vista, baby!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Starter List of Cuts at UCLA

-severe cuts to the Art and Chemistry libraries
-elimination of student support programs such as Night Powell and Covel Common Tutorials
-a projected 165 fewer courses offered in Fall 2009 than in Fall 2008
-the elimination of the International Development Studies Program, and less availability for majors in general
-an increase of 20 percent in classroom sizes over the last three years
-a decreased workforce in the period of February 2009 to July 2009 by 428 positions, including 36 ladder faculty, 95 lecturers, and 109 teaching assistants
-a projected significant decrease in staff recruitment and reduction in undergraduate enrollment levels in order to guarantee that students graduate on schedule

Monday, October 19, 2009

Some Sample Cuts at UCSB

UCSB Library: standing orders to university presses canceled. Purchase of individual books by request.

Korean Language Program- Program cancelled,  2 lecturers laid off effective July 1, 2010

Extension campus at Santa Maria (serving adults with day jobs) -closed
Extension campus at Ventura - to be closed

German, Slavic & Semitic:  required to cut $24,000 by October 26.
 Comp Lit. ( whose budget consists of a few TA-ships) had to cut $5,000 (i.e. one TA-ship).
Nearly all chairs seem to have received similar notices.

Film and Media won't have a business officer as of Nov. 1,
Religious Studies will be in the same position
GSS/ Comp.Lit will be without the strategically crucial Graduate Program Advisor. 

ART HISTORY CUTS:

STAFF:  everyone (Art Dept, Art History, University Art Museum) in the Arts building will be sharing staff.  The project is a mess because it is unclear how the rank of the job and the seniority of the person are going to be calculated (I've heard that a lower ranking position but more seniority will be beaten by a higher ranking position with less seniority) -- there is absolutely no model for this at this point.  The logistics still need to be worked out.  I have also heard that History/East Asian/Religious Studies has been proposed, and it seems to be happening everywhere.  It would be nice to know where these orders are issuing from.

IMPACT on GRADS:  Incoming graduate class was also reduced, and the only reason we got much of anything was because of the Central Fellowships.  Our own packages were almost insulting, and we didn't even bother to go after the best applicants (knowing we'd be outbid by everyone).  International students are not even a possibility.

TASHIPS:  We had to cut our TAships which meant a substantial reduction in what we could offer to grad applicants in terms of support -- and needless to say it has an impact on undergrad education too.  We just about took care of the grads we have, but just.  Next year we fully expect a much more draconian cut in TAships, and therefore a further reduction of grad students.  NO TAships for upper division courses no matter how high the enrollment.  Money for readers is waning.

MINI GRANTS; TRAVEL FUNDS:  The elimination of mini-grants through Instructional Resources has been a disaster for my department because it's one of the only ways to fund new digital images for new classes, or updating classes already on the books.  I'm sure it adversely affects many other areas on campus.  Academic Senate grants for travel and research have been reduced substantially (the award $ for travel has been reduced).  This has a big impact on the humanities in particular.

ARTS LIBRARY:  Hours have been cut back; they close early on a couple of evenings and Saturdays they are closed, so access is much more limited.  The Arts Library was the library system-wide for exhibition catalogs.  We have an extensive catalog collection -- most of this is not funded by the contract agreements the library has negotiated.  Our contract with World Wide, the service that regularly sent us catalogs from all over the world, was cut.  Now it is up to the librarians to figure out which catalogs we might be able to get -- a much more difficult process and certainly international catalogs are few and far between.  Some may remember that the Arts Library took an 85% cut over a three year period, and while protests from many humanities departments produced a one-time sum of money to help offset the damage, we are basically no longer getting major catalog exhibitions unless there is a request made by faculty.  Serials have been cut substantially.

THOSE LUXURIOUS AMENITIES:  Phones are gone, classes are getting much larger and anything but our large surveys have nothing but readers (if that) to help faculty pick up the grading.  We've been asked to try to maintain enrollments in our lower div courses (approx 650+ students) with the possibility of having only a couple of TAs.

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTY

Last year, Chemistry had an effective 7.5%  cut to the  budget, amounting to ~$110,000. Additionally, there was a temporary emergency budget cut of 2.3%  implemented, amounting to ~$34,000. There was a 5.3% cut to temporary sub-0 funds [permanent faculty lines] amounting to $51,000, i.e.  T.A.ship.

As a consequence, there are no more T.A.s for graduate classes and many  other T.A. positions canceled or reduced. Also,  as a consequence, only first year graduate students have guaranteed T.A.  positions. The rest have to be supported through grants that puts a huge burden on the already tense grant situation of the faculty. Thus, unlike previous years, many admitted graduate students will end up NOT finding advisors who are willing to pay for them, and thus leave the program.

For this year, the Department was asked to come up with two budget cut scenarios, one for an additional 8% cut ($106,000) and one for 12% cut ($160,000). Note that the 8 or 12% cut scenario is in addition to the 7.5% + 2.3%! There are further threats, but no explicit requests yet, regarding cuts to T.A. positions, in addition to the 5.3% cut implemented already.

Thus far, 4 staff positions will be discontinued upon retirement, one (extremely valuable) machinist and 3 staff positions. Depending on next year's exact budget cut number, 1 of them may be continued at a much reduced level and cost. However, chem dept's MSO states that there is no way to make the 12% cut work without laying off another 1-2 staff positions (Staff does not necessarily mean administrator. These can be IT personnel or scientists supervising instrument facilities or chemistry labs etc.) Thus far, usage of facilities (instrumentation, glass shop, machine shop, wood shop, etc) used to be subsidized, which now will have to be cut significantly. Needless to say, all sorts of small services (mailing service, phone service, copy & fax, etc) or money to host seminar speakers (was not much anyway) will need to be cut down, but as our business officer said, all of these "luxury" articles are just nickels & dimes compared to other significant items.

One chemistry faculty member writes: I will tell you about a cut that affects me personally.

I got 7% salary cut, and so did my husband (who also is a faculty at UCSB). In his case, there is another >$5,000 cut of summer salary because summer classes will now (permanently) be compensated with 1/12th of the salary and NOT with 1/9th of the salary (as it used to be). The
UCSB Day care (UCSB Early Childhood Care & Education Services) increased their fees this year by 8%, and will continue this fee increase in 4 consecutive years with 8% per year! Of course, their subsidy fell off, too. In addition, they will take a certain amount of furlough days (i.e. reducing service, while increasing fees) while both my husband and I will not take any furlough days. This is a triple hit (1. salary cut 2. fee increase 3. service reduction). Imagine the situation of students with a child. They will experience a fee hike of up to 40%, a day care cost increase of up to 36% (within 4 years) and a much reduced quality of education.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lakoff-Srednicki: 3 Main Issues for UC Now

From Mark Srednicki:
I would like to mobilize as many as possible from the teach-in to show up at the "UC Future" meeting, Thursday, Oct 22, 2-4:30 PM in Campbell Hall:

Taking the advice of George Lakoff, I would like to encourage faculty, staff, and students to speak and stress the following memes:

1) The Regents have failed. Their mission is to lead the greatest public university in the history of the world, and yet they have presided over staggering losses of funding.  Their stewardship has been lax and ineffective.  Their failure is unacceptable. 

2) We need majority rule in California.  A majority of the people of California support affordable access to a top-quality university education for themselves, their children, their grandchildren, and all those who can use it for the common good.  Ask the panelists to declare their public support for majority rule. 

3) The Schwarzenegger Tax harms us all.  The Schwarzenegger Tax (tuition hikes covered by long-term student loans that must be repaid with interest and with after-tax dollars) will have terrible long-term consequences for the competitiveness of the California workforce and hence the future of the California economy.

Some background material:

Moving Forward from the 2009 Budget
Stanton Glantz, Professor of Medicine, UCSF
Former Chair, UC Committee on Planning and Budget

Privatization is The Issue
George Lakoff, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley


An Open Letter to UC Students (on the use of future tuition revenue to securitize bonds)
Bob Meister, Professor of Political and Social Thought, UCSC
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations

Ending minority rule in California
George Lakoff

Current Budget Trends and the Future of the University of California ("the Futures report")
Adopted by the UC Academic Council, December 2006


The Cuts Report
Adopted by the UC Academic Council, March 2008

Summary of Some UCI Cuts

At UCI, in addition to the furloughs, a number of staff and lecturers have been laid off; for instance, 26 staff (1/3) will be laid off in the school of the Humanities, and 40 lecturers have been let go campus-wide. The dean just told the chairs that she probably will need to lay off 20 lecturers in composition and language instruction. Also, the School has been given a salary savings target (you will have saved through furlough this amount) of 1.3 million, but the accounting so far shows it's more likely to be only just shy of a million. That means another 300k to cut somewhere to meet the target given by central admin.

As a result of the budget deficit and in order to meet the student demand for General Education, Preparatory, and Key courses [entry to the major], the maximum capacity of both lectures and discussion sections has been increased as follows:
In BioSci, caps in some lecture sections are being increased from 343 to 444 with no discussion sections provided and, in others, 200 to 300 with no discussion sections provided. Engineering CEE60 has doubled its cap for both class size (30 to 60) and lab size (15 to 30). Anthro 2c lecture has increased its cap from 190 to 344; Anthro10/Socio10 has increased the cap from 125 to 160. In Math, four out of five General Education courses will have fewer sections this year. Econ, Linguistics, and PoliSci are increasing the number of students admitted to some classes by anywhere from 40 to 236 students per class. The cap for Dance 90a is going from 24 to 60; despite huge demand in 2008, Art 1a will be reduced from 5 sections to 1. Due to the reduction in the number of sections offered (from 59 to 50), demand will not be met in the Fall for 200 students who are wait-listed for Writing 39b, 71 students for Writing 39c. As of August 20th, Humanities Core course had reduced the number of sections it offers from 45 last year to 32 this year.

Access to research materials, computers, and other resources will be cut dramatically as well. As a result of state-mandated cuts, during the fall quarter, all libraries will only be open half-days on weekends; Langson Library will close at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 5 p.m. on Fridays, significantly reducing opportunities for weekend study and research. The Libraries Gateway Study Center will only be open after 6 p.m. M-Th, and only 4 hours on F-Sa. Many students rely on Gateway computers to complete their course assignments. Library book orders are restricted to items required for instruction. The UCI Libraries are bracing for further reductions in services, collections, and personnel in order to contend with a $4 million budget cut. These reductions in hours, services, and acquisitions (echoed at other UC campuses) will significantly diminish faculty and student access to the latest knowledge in our fields, as well as students' ability to seek information and work in a quiet setting on campus.

In other sectors such as facilities and maintenance, anticipated layoffs (11 for Facilities Management and 35 for custodial workers) will not only create hardship for some of the lowest paid workers on campus, but will inevitably lead to an unkempt and potentially unsanitary campus environment: trash collection in campus laboratories has been reduced to once per week. As a campus that has been praised for its efficiency in maximizing existing resources in the past, UCI stands to suffer in profound ways from the new round of cuts - there is very little "fat" to be trimmed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

LA Times Readers on Differential Fees: It's Crazy

Engineering cost of UC courses (LAT, Oct. 14)

Re “Some majors at UC may cost more,” Oct. 12

This seems to be the most counterproductive thing that the UC or any other major college system could do in light of the shortage of engineers of all types coming out of U.S. universities.

Do we need more poli-sci or finance majors? I don't think so.

These are the very people who should be subsidizing engineering departments.

As the U.S. slips further toward the Third World, we seem suicidally determined to give away every advantage that we have created for ourselves.

Jay Scrivener

Oceanside

::

The proposal to raise fees for select majors should serve as a clarion call to get UC students and Californians who care about education to demand that any increase in fees results in a commensurate percentage drop in salaries for UC trustees or employees making more than $150,000 a year.

On another note, during the space race, the U.S. government subsidized the tuitions for many engineers; now, when we need to build smarter cities to combat climate change, we're going to dissuade those same people we need to compete in the race for energy independence.

Omar Masry

Thousand Oaks

::

"Eating your children" is a phrase that describes the concept being considered by UC "leaders" as reported in your article.

How could any state attempt to additionally "tax" the very prospective graduates it desperately needs to maintain that state's ability to compete in the 21st century?

Hopefully, most of the UC Class of '09 will remain in California despite their trials enduring what passes for the once-vaunted California higher education system.

They -- and their peers in the California State University system -- are exactly what California needs to think its way out of this Great Depression 2.0 we find ourselves in.

Tom Sherer

Palm Desert

::

It is rather arbitrary that engineering programs and business programs exist at all in what are otherwise liberal arts university programs -- programs designed to provide a universal education.

Those students who have chosen to focus on a course of study that deviates from the traditional approach by endeavoring to gain more "practical" or vocational or professional skills should be willing to pay what that education costs.

Why should those students who read used books and listen to lectures in old lecture halls, as I did when I was a comparative literature student at UC Berkeley a decade ago, have to pay as much as -- and thereby subsidize the education of -- students who use state-of-the-art lab equipment or take classes in brand-new buildings with professors who come from the corporate world and demand much higher salaries than their tweed-jacket-wearing counterparts in the humanities departments?

Aaron Zisser

Washington

::

Although this policy might earn UC a few more dollars to cover its state-supported budget shortfall, it is shortsighted.

Upper-division classes in Cal State engineering programs are already under-enrolled because of the difficulty of the lower-division engineering curricula.

The governor's office projects a shortage of engineers in California over the next 10 years. Yet it is likely that more engineering students will change their majors to avoid the proposed fee penalty, so then fewer would graduate.

If engineering students earn more when they graduate than those in other majors, they deserve it for having completed the difficult curriculum. They will fill a well-documented need for engineers in the future.

To further discourage them -- by raising their fees beyond the draconian increases made thus far -- will be to the detriment of California's future needs for engineers.

Terrence Dunn

Bakersfield

UCSB Teach-In: Nelson Lichtenstein on Clark Kerr

Clark Kerr’s Forgotten Legacy
Nelson Lichtenstein
Department of History
Chair, Ad Hoc Teach-In Committee
University of California, Santa Barbara
October 14, 2009

Welcome. We expect to have an exciting day before us. The term “teach-in” had its origins in the 1960s when students and faculty sought to understand and therefore become active participants in the debate over the war in Vietnam. The same is true today: by assembling both experts and activists, inside policy-makers and outside critics, we will best prepare ourselves for the task that confronts us: nothing less than the defense of a great university in a time of acute dangers.

Our event here is both educational and political, designed to provide a progressive, alternative analysis of the budget crisis and a positive road forward for California, the UC system, and education at all levels of our state. The threat comes not from those who have actually denounced public higher education, but from those inside the UC system and the state government who say they have the University’s best interests at heart even as they distort and defame all that has made the University great. We hope this teach-in will forge the analytic weapons necessary to fight back.

To understand what we are in danger of losing, it helps to know why and how our university was built. This system is a product of the early post World War II years when the University of California was refounded, refunded, and greatly expanded. Although no single individual can lay claim to reshaping an entire institution of higher education, Clark Kerr comes close.

Kerr was a visionary. He was Berkeley’s chancellor in the 1950s and UC President from 1958 to 1967. As the architect of the 1960 Master Plan for higher education in California, Kerr refounded the UC system as the standard to which every other institution of higher learning aspired. Kerr’s hallmark was a guarantee “that there would be a place in college for every high school graduate…who chose to attend.”

Kerr’s dream for a “multiversity,” as he called it, was rooted in his career as a labor economist and liberal. He finished his BA at Swarthmore and then came West to Stanford for graduate study. He hated Stanford! To him the school was an institution in which its wealthy trustees distorted the educational mission. So he transferred to Berkeley where he worked with Paul Taylor, the radical advocate for California farm workers. Together, they studied the poverty, hardship, and desperation that John Steinbeck captured in his 1937 novel, the Grapes of Wrath. Kerr’s Depression-era experiences left him keenly aware of the inequalities that distorted American democracy but also dedicated to the peaceful resolution of conflict between labor and capital in the U.S. and elsewhere.

By the 1950s, Kerr had become convinced that a vastly expanded system of higher education was the key to a dynamic, harmonious society based on skill and knowledge. In this new economy, mass higher education was the key to this newly prosperous America where a booming California was clearly in the vanguard.  In his famous 1963 book, “The Uses of the University,” Kerr argued that the university was “at the hinge of history.”

Kerr's vision is all about you: a university campus designed to educate the great mass of the American people. To accommodate the influx of baby boomers, Kerr oversaw the opening of the San Diego, Irvine, and Santa Cruz campuses and he greatly expanded UC Santa Barbara. And despite the expenditure of an enormous sum of money, a UC education remained affordable. Under Kerr’s tenure, UC students had no tuition and almost no fees.

Four principles underlay Kerr’s University; they should be honored and defended today.

First, he rejected the philanthropic model for higher education, a model which then and now puts the name of so many wealthy men and women above the doorways of our great schools. UC would not be dependent upon the likes of a Leland Stanford, an Andrew Carnegie, a James Buchannan Duke, a John D. Rockefeller, or an Andrew Mellon. Instead it would be a product of the people of California, dependent upon the tax revenue of the state and accountable to a democratic polity.

Second, UC would  be a system both decentralized and a unitary.  Under Kerr’s leadership, UC Santa Barbara got its first independent chancellor and so too did UCLA, Davis, Santa Cruz and the rest of the campuses. But UC has always been one system, with one standard for faculty, student achievement, and administrative procedures. This is an amazing accomplishment, envied but still not emulated by many state systems, including such good ones as Michigan, Virginia, New York, and Wisconsin.

Third, all Californians would have access to higher education: a three tiered system that enabled first generation college students to live at home and then transfer to a State University or a to UC when and if they chose. Not all faculty liked this idea, especially if you were stuck at a state university without UC’s graduate programs, but for students it provided a ladder that they could climb, so that immigrants and the working class, in California more than any other state, might gain the knowledge and skills they so demanded. But all of this was and is dependent on low fees and plenty of classroom seats. Kerr built and expanded nine campuses of UC in the 1950s and 1960s. Today we have built Merced, just one more, and although enrollment at UC is higher than in Kerr’s day, it has not kept up with soaring population of the state.

And finally and perhaps most important, Clark Kerr and his generation of educators understood that the university was an investment, not in individual well being, although that was certainly true, but in the public goods that make a society both prosperous and democratic. Kerr himself too often thought that corporations and agribusiness would use the knowledge and trained graduates generated by the university in an equitable fashion – that was one reason students at Berkeley and Santa Barbara students revolted against his leadership 45 years ago.

But that the university was a public trust, that it must be responsible to a democratic populous, this Kerr firmly believed. It was the kind of vision that could inspire genuine loyalty to UC at the ballot box and in the legislature where both Republicans and Democrats voted tax increases to pay for it.

Today, Kerr’s idea of a unified, egalitarian, system of higher education requires a renewed defense. It is a vision that  this event seeks to recapture and recast for our own time.

Protests Restore UC Berkeley Library Hours

Subject:  New Library Hours
From:     "Harry Le Grande, Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs
Date:     Wed, October 14, 2009 6:15 pm
To:       "Students,"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Students,

I am very pleased to announce that library hours across the UC Berkeley campus will be returning to the spring 2009 schedule, the standard schedule that existed before budget cuts forced us to reduce weekend hours at most libraries within the campus's library system.

This decision was made in consultation with Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer, who secured funding for the expanded service hours through gifts from parents of UC Berkeley students.

Recent events and concerns raised by students, faculty and staff served as important reminders to all of us that libraries are a critical resource for students and a vital part of this university. I am grateful to the
donors, the Chancellor and Provost, for their efforts.

With funding secured, library managers will now begin hiring and training student workers to staff the libraries during the expanded hours. We will begin by expanding the hours of at least one branch  library this weekend and will continue with a phased approach of expanding library hours until
we are operating under the spring 2009 schedule. This return to the standard schedule will occur no later than mid-November.

In the interim, please be aware that many of our existing library facilities are not being used at capacity and provide abundant study space through the week and weekend. This includes more than 1,000 seats
available in Moffitt library and the Gardner Stacks. You may recall that, last week, a generous donor provided funds to allow students 24-hour access to those facilities during finals. Details on that gift and the finals schedule are available under the News and Events section of the
library home page.

Current information on hours of operation for all libraries in our system is always available here

Expanding the hours of our libraries requires not only generous support but also the dedicated work of library managers and other staff who, working under difficult conditions, have remained dedicated to doing all that they can to serve the faculty, students and staff of this community. I'd like to extend my thanks to them and the entire campus community.

Sincerely,

Tom Leonard
University Librarian

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

UC Berkeley Alternative Budget Forum

Please attend a public forum to discuss alternative budget solutions for the UC system.  The forum will be at UC Berkeley in Dwinnelle B-4 on OCT 23rd at 4-5:30 and will be open to students, faculty, staff, and union people. Charles Schwartz and Bob Samuels will be making presentations concerning the budget.  This forum is meant to provide important budget information that will help frame some of the discussions for the Berkeley organizing conference on the 24th and the Berkeley conference on the 26th.   We will also discuss plans for the Regents' Meeting at this forum.

Bob Samuels, President, UC-AFT

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

UC Berkeley Partial Record of Cuts

Programs

MACSME
This past week, on purely financial grounds, the Dean of Education killed one of the nation's finest (arguably the finest) teacher preparation programs in mathematics and science.  The program, known as MACSME (the Masters and Credential in Science and Mathematics Education),  has been singled out in an upcoming book by a German scholar as the exemplary program in an elite American public university.  MACSME graduates have stayed in the profession and (by design) become leaders, most frequently teaching in urban schools. This contrasts dramatically with the graduates of most programs, who last an average of 3 years in urban districts. MACSME's career-long teacher-leaders are - but I should say were - another of UC's valuable contributions to the State, paying back over their careers far more than UC invested in them.

International and Area Studies
Elimination of Dean Position

Bridges multicultural resource center was cut $27,000 this year, and encompasses the Black Recruitment and Retention Center, Reach! (API recruitment and retention center) Pilipino-American Student Services (PASS), Raza recruitment and retention center, NARRC (Native American RRC), and the associate is the Mixed Student Union.


Courses

Advanced and Conversational Arabic cut

Reich's course in Pub Pol:
Economics Lesson for Higher Ed
September 10, 2009

    Here's an interesting cut from my unit.  It establishes the interesting precedent that ten students in a lecture course with no discussion sessions create the same amount of learning (as measured by student-units, and how else are we accountable?) as five in the same course with discussion.  The discussion option is much more expensive per unit, so an organization dedicated to maximizing learning should obviously shift to all-lecture teaching limited by the size of available venues (is Zellerbach available during the day? Surely the stadium is...).  If a unit decided to give the lecture course on DVDs or on-line, like our wonderful sexual harassment training, for the same two units, even greater economies could be achieved on the cost side with no reduction in productivity!


"as the Goldman School of Public Policy analyzed its budget this year,officials surmised that enrollment in Reich's
large lecture class would need to be reduced by140 students -- or about 32 percent -- this spring."

"Given budgetary constraints, the school was only going to be able to provide six teaching assistants for Reich's class. When Reich previously taught a class of 440 students, he needed nine TA's to help grade papers and run weekly break-out discussions of 25 students each. With just six TA's, there would only be enough support to enroll 300 students, Brady said."

 "In one class, worth four units, students would have the traditional lectures with Reich and break-out discussion groups with TA's. In a second class, worth only two units, students would attend the Reich lectures without the additional break-out sessions or the same level of coursework. Students in the lecture-only class will still receive exams, which will be graded by less expensive readers, but they won't write essays graded by TA's."

Brady anticipates the newly offered courses will produce a net savings of $15,000 to $17,000."

Nutritional Science has  had to suspend its nutritional biology lab as a requirement  it does not have the resources to     handle the large enrollments   it was attracting. THey were also forced to cancel  their molecular toxicology lab
    because  they were unable to  recruit a new lab manager after a retirement.

East Asian Languages . Due to lack of funding ( cuts in TAS budget)  EAL turns away  over 100 students a term .
    Due to tuition increases the department will not be able to meet all its commitments to graduates students for         continuing funding.

VIsual Studies (College of Environmental Design)  loss of two sections of photography classes taught by a continuing     lecturer whose position has been cut .

Integrative Biology, loss of two GSI's resulted in cancellation of lab course.

Film, reduced funding of GSI's resulted in  decreased student access to basic course for non-majors.
        Can no longer offer courses in Chinese film because cannot hire replacement.

French, due to funding decreases over the past few years, is not able to meet student demand for lower dividion language courses.


Dept. of South and Southeast Asian Studies  language offerings  at  risk  because of lack of funding.

Services
ESPM
voicemail (Also gone in Af Am)
German, no  office phone service
French, no office phone service,  reduced photocopy and scans.
English,
College of Environmental Design: loss of darkroom which had been in operation since 1964.
Comparative Literature: no phones in offices, limited photocopy and scans
Scandinavian, loss of phones in offices
Spanish and Portuguese, no phones in offices.
Architecture, library hours cut;  computer support personnel cut; reduction in cleaning services and poor building maintenance.
Custodial: see "Staff"


Staff
Custodians (9/16) 34 custodial workers got laid off this week. Now there are a total of 18 janitors servicing the 28 buildings on campus.

Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Lost Graduate Stdt Services figure
lost person to maintain website

Nutritional Sciences  loses one CAO, usiness manager, HR, purchasing,  and undergraduate SAO. 

Scandinavian, loss of graduate assistant in departmental library.

EAL lost one half time  staff person and 25% of another position.

Psychology, Lost   events manager position;  lost web manager position. is  unable to hire  fundraiser (position previously approved).

English Department lost 1.5 staff positions.

German Department (clustered with Spanish and Portuguese) lost  position of receptionist. Loss of  two part-time lecturer positions,.

Integrative Biology, loss of 10 GSI positions.

Film,  50% of receptionist time is cut.  

Spanish and Portuguese,  no replacement for loss of an urgently needed assistant professor  in Latin American literature and lack of replacements for other faculty losses that have occurred in recent years; loss of department receptionist

Architecture,  reduced number of GSI's,  no receptionist; no phones in faculty offices

French  has had to  issue 12- month notices of lay off to two long term lecturers. Staff budget has been cut 12% which  has resulted in loss of receptionist ( who performed many  other key operational functions). No phones in faculty offices; restrictions placed on photocopying and other use of supplies.


Funding

ESPM
lost "formula research funding" for all fac except those here less than 5 yrs (federal dollars that have been awarded on a competitive basis to faculty for research--major source of support for grad students, who now have to compete for GSIs)

English Dept lost $30,000 supplies and equipment budget.

Integrative Biology, TAS budget cut by 18%.

Comparative Literature, Reduced funding for graduate students

French and Comparative Literature has lost approximately 50% of its funds for operating expenses. This means that funds that would have gone into  acedmic programming will be diverted to pay for day -to day operations.

Film, Reduced funding for graduate students

Spanish and Portuguese, received no funds for Supplies and Expenses which means  there is no funding for public lectures, no student research travel,

Beatrice Bain Research Group had its funding cut by $6K, to $26K, from which it is expected to pay for: staff wages, supplies for the scholars in residence and affiliated scholars, the costs of organizing scholarly events (in the form of invited talks, scholars' panels and other research presentations)

Dept. of South and Southeast Asian Studies   expresses concern about next year's funds for graduate student recruitment because of increase fees being imposed on graduate students.

The Crisis of the Public University, UC Berkeley Oct 26th


UCSB Break-out Sessions, 7:00 PM, Wednesday October 14th

The Impact of prisons on education and the way forward in reversing that trend. 
-Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Dept of American Studies and Ethnicity, USC
-Craig Gilmore, Critical Resistance
-Damien Schnyder, author of “First Strike: The Effect of the Prison Regime Upon Public Education and Black Masculinity in Los Angeles County, CA”
Phelps Hall 3523 

Breaking the Stalemate: the Politics of Public Education in California
Loni Hancock, California State Senator, East Bay
Hannah-Beth Jackson, former South Coast Assemblywoman
Das Williams, Santa Barbara City Council
Julian Posadas, American Federation of State County and Municipal Workers
Phelps 3515 

The UC Budget and California Tax Policy
Stan Glantz, UC San Francisco
Lenny Goldberg, California Tax Reform Association
George Lakoff, UC Berkeley
Phelps Hall 1260

How UC is Governed
Jessie Bernal, Student Regent
Bob Samuels, UC –American Federation of Teachers
Robert Meister, UC Santa Cruz, President – UC Faculty Associations
Webb 1100

The California Dram Act: Help for Undocumented Students
Kent Wong, UCLA Labor Center
Nayra Pacheco, UCSB, IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, & Success)
South Hall 1431

University 101: Student-Friendly Breakdown of the UC System and the Budget Crisis  7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Celina Ayala, External Vice President of Statewide Affairs, Associated Students, UCSB
Armando Carmona, Student-Initiated Recruitment & Retention Committee, UCSB
Campbell Hall

Strategy Chart/Strategy Breakdown
David Preciado,  Isla Vista Tenants Union, 2008 Get-Out-the-Vote leader at UCSB
This workshop teaches organizers how to develop effective strategies for their campaigns
Building 387, Room 104

Legislative Action: Dealing With and Against UC in Sacramento & What Is Next.
Rodney Orr, Legislative Director, United Professional and Technical Employees
Ali Cooper, Political/Legislative Director, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3299
Robert Campbell, former chair of Assembly Budget Committee
Christine Petit, President UAW Local 2865 (The union for TAs, readers and tutors)
Phelps 1420

Save Exercise and Sports Studies!
Erica Stenz, LeAnn Lopez, Andrea Chase, Kathleen Jequinto, Megan Killian
South Hall 1609

How is the economic crisis impacting Black and Latino students and communities?  How are students and communities responding?  How should they respond? 
Clyde Woods, Black Studies, UCSB
Gaye Johnson, Black Studies, UCSB
South Hall  1430

How education actually changes the brain 
Aranye Fradenburg, Department of English, UCSB
Kay Young, Department of English, UCSB
Janis Caldwell, Department of Engish, UCSB
English Department conference room, 2607 South Hall


Other Events

Film – announce Cup of Culture, Wed Oct 14, Multicultural Center Theater (see email for description)

Banner painting
Proposed by: Tammy Elwell (elwell@geog.ucsb.edu) TA Dept of Geography, UCSB and VerĂ³nica Montes
Outside Campbell Hall, two large tables needed, do we provide anything?