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Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

UC Berkeley Professor Opposes All Existing Pay Reduction Options

For what it's worth, here are my two cents re a statement to the Regents.

There are three fundamental issues that need to be stressed:

1) No cuts of any kind should be implemented until there is a satisfactory accounting of what will happen to all the funds "saved" via the draconian cuts (I have in mind here the kind of discrepancies articulated in Charles Schwartz's memo that I forwarded earlier); in other words no cuts till there is full transparency re the overall budget, savings, etc.. etc.

2) No changes should be made precipitously -- the rush to implement changes is not compatible with the need to think through carefully the kinds of budgetary changes that are necessary and sufficient. In general, UCOP has offered no justification for the rapidity with which its plans are to be implemented.

3) The proposed 4% and 8% cuts across the board (with or without furloughs) are a grotesquely blunt instrument designed to "solve" a complex problem. They show little imagination or sophistication in the management of complex academic and fiscal structures. As "solutions" they are rather crud and mechanical; they could have been devised as easily by lower rung university accountants in any of our large departments; why are we paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary (not to speak of perks) to high level financial types (at each campus level and at the UCOP level) if all they can do is come up with solutions that are as crude as the ones proposed? (As I said, temperance of speech is not my forte in these matters).

Abdul JanMohamed, Department of English, UC Berkeley

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