There were kick-off events of Sept 23-24 all over the UC system, and they seem to have succeeded at their goals of making the cuts visible - or audible - and expressing deep commitment to the public status of the University of California. We've linked to news coverage at left, and await video and further descriptions of the specific commentary.
How did UC's various senior managers react? Berkeley's issued what I read as a backhanded thank-you note. But before we could detect signs of any administrative rethinking of strategy, we received the e-version of President Mark Yudof's "Big Man on Campus" interview in the New York Times, and our email went absolutely nuts.
The first wave mostly asked whether the interview was a parody - it seemed so offensive, thoughtless and crass. My own first reaction was surprise at the self-demolition of the carefully cultivated image of Yudof as a sober defender of UC's public character. As people realized that they were not reading The Onion or an NYT mirror site, surprise was replaced by anger -click here for excerpts. See also Jonathan Lemeul's analysis of UC Yahooisms below, and Akos Róna-Tas's thorough description of Yudof the undertaker. Dean Dad also gets in his licks.
All excerpts were sent to lists rather than to any of us personally (the title above is from one of them). They signal a depth of concern about the state of UC leadership that many of those leaders seem to feel free to ignore as the university's tradition of open exchange has to compete increasingly with message management.
I have also posted the best description we have received of Mark Yudof's positive achievements in his year as president. It's worth factoring in at a moment like this - not to produce ambivalence, but greater clarity about how to work (or not) with UCOP.
Addendum: Michael Salman digs up a brief history of Yudofian cemetery jokes. And then he adds his own assessment of Yudofian competence.
Addendum 2: Prof. Mary Furner writes the Regents; other excerpts are added to that list.
I ask Mark Yudof to at least tweet a dissent from this description of his general attitude. And better than a self-dissent would be an apology.
10 minutes ago