Friday, January 29, 2010

UCR Academic Senate Calls for Renewed Commitment to Transparency, Shared Governance, Equity, and the Master Plan


Resolution on Shared Commitments to the Master Plan for Higher Education

WHEREAS the Master Plan for Higher Education in California—a document that for five decades has helped produce a top-ranked university system that serves the people of California with excellence and access—is under grave threat;

THEREFORE be it resolved that we call on the state government and the Regents of the University of California to reaffirm their shared commitment to carrying out the Master Plan.


WHEREAS the decades-long practice of meaningful shared governance has been undermined by the declaration of "emergency powers" by the UC Office of the President and the creation of an ad-hoc UC Commission on the Future;

THEREFORE be it resolved that we

- call on University President Mark Yudof and the Regents of the University of California to demonstrate a continuing respect for shared governance by reconstituting the Commission on the Future and making it reflective of the University as a whole, with equitable representation across campuses, disciplines, and segments; and
- urge that the reconstituted Commission honor shared governance through open forums, continuing input from affected parties, and with a 12-month timeline for consideration of policy alternatives and evolving budget realities.


WHEREAS the fiscal “emergency” in the UC system that prompted drastic measures of retrenchment, downsizing, and student fee hikes has been presented in only the most general terms; and

WHEREAS many lawmakers, journalists, students, parents, and the general public in California remain skeptical of the budget figures so far presented by the UC system; and

WHEREAS many in the state are unaware of the state government's unfulfilled obligations over several years to defray the costs of higher education for the state's top students; and

WHEREAS rapid hikes in student fees place an undue burden on middle-class and low-income students and their families and jeopardize timely completion of degrees; and

WHEREAS the quality of education at the University of California is severely threatened, as evidenced by recent massive layoffs of Instructors and Teaching Assistants even as student fees are raised;

THEREFORE be it resolved that we

- call on the UC Office of the President and the UCR Administration to provide full, detailed, and meaningful fiscal transparency, including budget reports since 2000-2001 that can be scaled up or down in their level of detail, with meaningful descriptions of categories at each level of analysis, and justifications on restricted uses of revenues where relevant; and
- urge that cuts in instructional staff positions be halted until the consequences of such layoffs—on teaching loads and educational outcomes—can be fully examined and weighed in a forum open to all relevant segments of the UC community; and
- call on the Regents to desist from enacting these student fee hikes until further cuts in administrative costs, other cost deferrals, and new sources of revenue such as temporary borrowing are seriously considered and presented to the public.


WHEREAS the future of the UC Retirement Plan and other retirement benefits remain vulnerable to the recent economic crisis;

THEREFORE be it resolved that we urge the University to provide meaningful guidance and long-term planning to ensure continued viability and equity in the provision of retirement benefits.

RESOLUTION ON THE Strategic Planning Process at UC Riverside

WHEREAS the UCR Strategic Planning process will be crucial for the long-term future of our campus, which historically has been a premier campus for research strength in a range of disciplines and issues of access and diversity in its undergraduate and graduate student bodies; and

WHEREAS the recommendations from the UCR Strategic Planning committees will be made public in January 2010, and may lack the detail of campus-wide reports, statistics, and other information that inform such recommendations;

THEREFORE be it resolved that we:
- call on the Executive Vice Chancellor, the UCR2020 Steering Committee, and all other relevant committees place particular weight on issues of access and diversity, unintended consequences of the pursuit of AAU status, and equitable distribution of resources to all units of the campus; and
- call on the Executive Vice Chancellor to make available all reports that inform the recommendations of the UCR Strategic Plan. Wherever possible and relevant, information should be provided in disaggregated form, by unit and department, on various bases such as per faculty member, per teaching assistant, per undergraduate major, and per undergraduate student taught

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