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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Statement of a Faculty Member at UCSB Budget Town Hall

I believe that the heaviness of the blow Yudof and others propose to deal the University requires an equally strong response. The University has been getting along on a shoestring ever since the budget cuts of the early ‘90’s. Our libraries suffered gruesome cuts during years of relative economic prosperity. My department is smaller than it was twenty years ago. Our staff constantly have to cut their hours. This has been life on the ground before this crisis.
Our past approaches to protecting the University's mission have not worked. We have not been rewarded for our past cooperation, and we need new strategies. It is time for us to repudiate outright the defunding of the University. I ask that our Chancellor and our Executive Vice Chancellor repudiate the alternatives that have been presented to us, the impoverished nature of those alternatives, and the hasty and uninformative ways they have been presented. I ask that you insist other alternatives be explored, for example, the idea that the faculty loan the required monies to the University and recover those monies in future. Above all I ask that you initiate a new era of intense and deliberate focus on how the University can better take charge of guaranteeing its well-being, the well-being of our students, and California's future prosperity. If we do not, at least for a period of time, make this our highest priority, all of our other initiatives may be hamstrung for decades into the future. We must stop the bleeding, and we must seize this opportunity to begin, now.

Prof. Aranye Fradenburg, Department of English, UCSB

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