Tuesday, November 22, 2011

UCSC Senate Chair on Campus Protests and University Budget

Dear Colleagues,

The UC community has been horrified by the police violence we have seen exercised against student protestors at UC Davis as well as earlier against students and faculty at Berkeley. The system-wide Academic Senate has issued a statement (appended below).

For our campus, which has thus far seen only peaceful protest, I am concerned first and foremost to maintain the communication among the administration, students and faculty that will help us to avoid any escalation of violence at UCSC. Second, our campus should not lose sight of the focus of the student protest on state disinvestment in higher education.

To that end, please see the attached document from my Senate speech on November 9, which coincided with the statewide Day of Action. Our campus held a peaceful rally, followed by a march downtown to Occupy Santa Cruz,thanks to the collective efforts of the organizers and participants of our local ReFund California coalition (undergraduates, graduate students, unions) as well as those of Chancellor Blumenthal and CP/EVC Galloway.

As Senate Chair, I used the chance to speak to the faculty about the issue of "Rebenching," an effort at budgetary reform for the UC system as a whole that is currently underway at the Office of the President (OP). Both little-known and poorly publicized, Rebenching is the university's most significant response to the ongoing budget crisis--and the single largest element the university has in its direct control. Rebenching is the most important action the university will, or will not, take in the next few years.

For those who did not attend the November 9 Senate meeting, as well as for the general campus community, please see the attached excerpt from my speech on Rebenching. Students, faculty and administrators at UCSC must redouble efforts to complete the budgetary reform contingent on Rebenching.

Sincerely,
Susan Gillman, Chair
Academic Senate
Professor of Literature

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