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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On the use of furlough days, all UCOP had to do was keep quiet. Why couldn't it?

Faculty around the system spent weeks discussing whether 6 or 10 or some other number of their up to 26 days of furlough might be applied to instruction, and Academic Council's August 5th statement on furlough implementation recommended that 6 furlough days be assigned to days of instruction and that up to 10 be allowed. Council's recommendation rests on longstanding faculty obligations to partition their workload among teaching, research and service according to their own professional judgment in formal consultation with their department, the Senate, and immediate administrators (faculty are responsible for "approval of course content and manner of instruction" APM-015). Council's recommendation was also in compliance with APM-005 (via President Robert Sproul in 1935), which states that the planning and committee supervision and reporting of an individual's workload does not violate academic freedom if the plan is "reasonable" and "the plan has come into being through the democratic means of discussion and mutual give and take, within the Faculty, rather than arbitrarily imposed from without."

But then UCOP declared that the number of instructional furlough days would be zero. They would all occur on research and service days, or could be used to make money outside the university via consulting.

I believe this is the first direct intervention by UCOP into faculty teaching decisions since World War II. Please send information to the contrary, if any exists. It rests on the President's new emergency powers (paragraph 2), granted less than six weeks before this use.

We get a fair amount of email, and haven't yet heard a good word about this decision. Many faculty had been opposed to canceling lectures - we try desperately to cram in material and hate to cut even five minutes of class, and we do fret about our alleged unpopularity with taxpayers - but these faculty were still in favor of faculty choice. Other faculty members describe the decision as a challenge to shared governance, as an assault on the mission of public universities, as "authoritarian" and "Stalinist." Note the general tone of the comments on each of these posts. The decision adds the insult of an order about teaching to the injury of pay cuts and budget cuts, and it shows.

The problems go on. The decision is more draconian than that at CSU, explicitly rejects an Academic Senate position about teaching (the heart of faculty authority), and puts PR concerns ahead of faculty's stated preferences and of their professional autonomy. It increases the gap between UCOP and the campuses by building on its summer precedent of overriding formal faculty bodies, unions, and the majority views of those who speak out (the UCI petition for delay and better thinking that attracted 2800 signatures in 5 days, UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff's letter which received 1000 signatures in the same period, the 2:1 preference for a rethink expressed in a poll on this modest blog). It replaces calls for "university-wide open dialogue" with old-school top-down control. It increases the gap between Berkeley and the other campuses (to its credit, Berkeley used a preexisting calendar reform as a partial furlough workaround -- 6 days converted to teaching duty without lectures -- and backfilled lower-end professorial pay with the help of Senate research funds). It hardens the status gap between the science faculty, who mostly can top-up via extramural grants, and the non-science faculty, who mostly cannot, for it invites the former to engage in outside consulting, and the latter to spend more unpaid time with their students, which it implies that state-paid faculty would, absent a UCOP prohibition, be happy to harm.

None of this fits with the fundamental principles of a university, based on free exchange, collaborative co-governance, dialogical testing of all ideas, full evidence for major claims, and mutual accommodation. So why does UCOP act this way?

Much of the answer is that it is now a business center with little contact with academic activities. For years now, many of UCOP's administrative functions have been duplicated and surpassed on the campuses - technology transfer, capital projects planning, collaborative research support. Even the Education Abroad Program, with its complex systemwide and international infrastructure, had lost much of its enrollment to departmental and campus alternatives. In the absence of a meaningful daily role in the system - and deep knowledge of the campuses - UCOP seems to have become closer to outside political constituencies, particularly the Regents, associated donor circles, and the Governor than it is to the campuses. In the process, it lost the political clout to exert a unifying and balancing influence within the system, and seems also to have lost its intellectual and ethical vision of what ex-President Bob Dynes called "One University." That vision had been egalitarian, oriented towards top-quality education for all, and also towards the highest evolution of each of UC's campuses. But for years campuses have mostly approached UCOP to cut the best deal for themselves, and to placate them in ares like bond funding, state general fund distribution, indirect cost recovery, and legislative relations where UCOP has final say.

UCOP has been sliding for some time towards replacing service with authority (see the UCPB restructuring memo for a detailed discussion). It has also focused on top-level state political and business affairs, with particular loving devotion to the Governor's office. Some of us have long criticized this imbalance. I got more proof of it during a trip to Sacramento with a faculty group in early 2008: several leg staffers complained that UCOP cuts deals with the Governor behind the legislature's back, asks for less than the leg would give it, and was unable to resolve the compensation scandals that had lingered for several years.

We have a new president in UCOP, and yet the biggest surprise is how little has changed. President Yudof's most visible public statements are a defense of executive compensation, his least temperate comment was reserved for a legislator concerned with accountability, and he has been entirely silent on a deeply unpopular Governor Schwarzenegger's inflicting of the largest cuts on California higher education in its modern history.

President Yudof has better graphics and more tweets than this predecessor - 100% more tweets - but the strategy of deference to a destructive executive remains largely the same. So does the disproportionate attention to senior management needs that alienates the legislative majority and increases the chances for public funding cuts.

This is where we get back to the furlough question. The point of the faculty taking some of the furlough on instructional days was not to shortchange our students: we know them, care about them and teach them. The point, as many on this blog, Option 4's page, and elsewhere have observed, was to "make the cuts visible." Instructional furloughs were to be a useful teaching tool. And yet they also implicitly posed a challenge to UCOP, in three ways.
They said, implicitly, "your years of silence on the damage the cuts do has failed."
They said, "we are now going to address the public ourselves, through our own workplace."
They said, "the 'new normal' for state funding your mistakes helped create is not acceptable to us."
UCOP's reply to the people most affected by the state funding cuts that UCOP silence had helped produce - campus classroom teachers and related staff - is now this:
you'll take these cuts in silence too

UC to UCOP: we can't afford your strategies anymore. We need to try our own.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Dear Henry, Gene, Melvin, David [UCSB's Chancellor, EVC, Dean of Social Sciences, Executive Dean]:

As you know, there has been support on this campus for taking some furlough days during instructional days (and, as I and others argued at the town meeting, a strong argument can be made for taking all furlough days on instructional days). The 8/21 message from Interim UC Provost Lawrence Pitts (pasted in below) appears to be a direct order from UCOP that no furlough days be taken on instructional days. How will our administration respond if/when faculty decide to violate this apparent directive? I won't repeat the arguments for taking furlough days on instructional days, but I will note that this directive seems to me (and to many others) to violate our principles of shared governance, as well as individual campus autonomy.

Hoping for clarification,
Rich Appelbaum

UCOP’s decision to ban taking furlough days on teaching days is entirely unacceptable, comprising one more egregious assault on the mission of the CA public universities. The most unsettling piece of Interim Provost Pitts’ statement is contained in the quote below, which displays a shocking misrepresentation of the mission of the state's research universities.

Asking the faculty to carry a full teaching load during furloughs is a large request, but in my mind is justified by the University's paramount teaching mision. Research is permitted on furlough days, but for many faculty this extra research will not be remunerated unless they have grants in which there are funds that can be reallocated to pay for increased effort. And since furlough days are not "service days", they can be used for outside professional activities that may be remunerated.

To say that teaching is "the paramount mission" belies the fact that these top-tier institutions exist in order to produce scholarly research as well as to teach undergraduates and train future scholars and professionals. Any reasonable awareness of the merit evaluation process in the UC system should convey the message that research weighs even more heavily than teaching in the achievement of promotions, tenure, and step increases within rank. Pitts' statement that "research will be permitted on furlough days" is almost laughable. University faculty do not do research "on the clock." They do it constantly, and it vitally informs their teaching. Service assignments that make up a small part of our assessed "merit" (committees, professional offices, etc.) will have to be sandwiched in somewhere. as they always are; for the most part they will continue to be done, as at present, out of sense of duty to the university and the professions. The only fair and reasonable assignment of furlough days would allocate approximately half of them to instructional days, as instruction comprises about half of the expected--and evaluated and compensated--workload of faculty.

It is reassuring to learn that the Academic Council opposed the plan embodied in the Pitts directive. So much for shared governance. Apparently all of the chancellors were consulted in advance of this announcement, according to Senate Chair Mary Croughan's accompanying memo. It is not clear how the individual chancellors stood, or whether they were united or divided in advising on this decision. Nor is it suggested that individual campus senates were consulted.

The Pitts and Croghan memos indicate that the main impetus for requiring that no furlough days be taken on instructional days was the fear of adverse public reaction to inflicting harm on students who have already suffered a string of recent tuition increases. Yet obviously this "harm" would not have been perpetrated by faculty, but rather by the governor, legislature, and regents, who together chose this draconian method of reducing expenditures. On the contrary to their reasoning, one important reason for taking a fair portion of our furloughs on teaching days--a reason already well and repeatedly articulated in faculty town halls and other gatherings across the system and supported by hundreds of faculty--is precisely to make the public aware of the consequences, not only for this year's students but for California higher education in general over the longer term, of the unwise and irresponsible revenue and fiscal policies that the state has too long been pursuing. The UC system is in jeopardy already. Not only are students asked to bear an ever higher portion of instructional and other costs; privatization is underway as more and more of the universities' budgets are coming from external sources. On top of being unable to hire replacement faculty, we can expect even more departures from all of our UC faculties for other jobs as a result of these arbitrary and unreasonable policy decisions.

UC faculties should strenuously object to the Pitts furlough policy. We should be prepared to organize on individual campuses and system-wide to follow the reasonable plans already well advanced around the system to apportion a fair complement of teaching days as furlough days, while making alternate educational experiences available for students. Also, in light of this latest development, faculty should seriously consider organizing in some independent manner in order to have adequate representation. We should communicate our objections to this UCOP policy by individual emails to our chancellors and urge them to explore immediately the extent of possible individual campus autonomy in crafting furlough days policies.

by Mary Furner

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009
The Berkeley EVC's announcement that 3 teaching days per term will be converted to reading days has been posted on Brad de Long's blog. The EVC also states that the recommendation comes from a study group recommendation delivered to him in May, before the current budget crisis, summer-long furlough debate, and recent UCOP decision to ban furloughs on instructional days.

The official Berkeley plan is very similar to a plan circulated at UCSB by the History Department and others to respond to the furlough by converting week 10 on the 10-week quarter system to a reading week. This kind of plan has been prohibited. It appears that Berkeley will offer reduced instructional days, but not the other campuses.

de Long's entry is weirdly oblivious to the furlough issue raging all around him.
The administration at UCI, following UCOP's lead, has been driving a wedge between faculty and students-staff since this whole budget crisis began. Unfortunately, according to Mary Croughan's response to the Pitt memo, the faculty seems to stand, like the proverbial cheese -- completely alone.

When the furloughs were first implemented, I remember talk that this was not going to be a salary cut, because we wouldn't be asked to do more work for less pay, we would, as a faculty be asked to work less for less, like the staffers at the DMV and the nurses of the state public health offices. If you have visited a state office recently, you can tell that the employees are overworked the lines are long, and in the immortal words of one UC Chancellor, workers are "spending more time with their families."

There will no doubt, be a great deal of comment on the furlough memo, but let me state first and foremost, that there is a class of assistant professor in the humanities, arts and social sciences who is going to be hit hardest and whose voices will not be heard, especially by the fictional "public" whose resentment of the professorial class is being inflamed by our own administration's anxiety about the "image" problem.

There are families at UCI whose sole breadwinner is an assistant professor making 62K a year. With a furlough, this prof will be making less than 60K a year. Now I know that no one is going to cry for us -- yet -- but when you consider that this person has spent eight years in Ph.D. training, sacrificing a bigger pay check for some modicum of job security and employment stability, you know that the social contract of academic employment for humanities, social sciences and arts professors has for all intents and purposes been broken. Asking a med school prof making six figures for a bit sacrifice is very different from asking an assistant professor to do so. But our Chancellor is asking for unity at this time, threatening to characterize voices of dissent as coming from the unfaithful and the traitorous. But lest anyone be mistaken, the contract was broken not by the faculty, but by state legislators, and University administrators, I name you Bob Dynes for signing away our future with Schwarzenegger. The "people" and the "public" are being used as a bludgeon...by the pseudopopulist administrative class.

An untenured professor may indeed want to spend more time with his/her family, but at what cost to the family budget?

While I was at the University of Minnesota and here at UCI, there was much hand-wringing about the lack of minority students in the Ph.d. pipeline. There are barely any working class students in the pipelines either. With the massive cuts that threaten the integrity of our very mission, I wonder what the administration will do to justify its destructive attitude toward the alleged mission of a public university and its constituents and employees. They're people too....

The administration often acts as if the faculty is a pr liability, rather than its most critical asset.
Commentary shall be forthcoming.



After speaking at length with all of you and a number of other people with an interest in the issue, we have decided that faculty furlough days will not occur on instructional days (days for which a faculty member is scheduled to give lectures, lead classes or workshops, have scheduled office hours, or have other scheduled face-to-face responsibilities for students).

The furloughs that have been necessitated by the severe University underfunding by the State are causing significant problems for faculty who have restrictions on research and service as well as increased teaching workloads; employees who have fewer days to do their work and sometimes fewer colleagues to help them; administrators who have reduced staff and budgets to accomplish their complex tasks; on top of lower salaries for everyone. Students too will suffer the effects of the underfunding--larger and fewer classes, and increased fees, as were imposed for this fall instruction period, among other burdens. In such difficult times, I believe
that we must do everything we can to ensure that the students continue to receive all of their instruction. Asking the faculty to carry a full teaching load during furloughs is a large request, but in my mind is justified by the University's paramount teaching mission. Research is permitted on furlough days, but for many faculty this extra research will not be remunerated unless they have grants in which there are funds that can be reallocated to pay for increased effort. And since furlough days are not "service days", they can be used for outside professional activities that may be remunerated.

We understand that the furlough plan will cause hardships for the entire University family. As such, the President and the Regents are committed to do everything possible to ensure that the plan ends after 12 months.

We will continue to work closely with faculty, students, staff and administrators to find the most efficient and thoughtful way to address the problems that will arise this year. You have my pledge that we will make the University as effective and productive as we can under the current budget problems, after which we will help you all plan for better times ahead.

Best wishes,

Lawrence H. Pitts
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President
Academic Affairs

cc: President Yudof
Executive Vice President Lapp
Senior Vice President Dooley
Vice President Lenz
Vice Provost Greenstein
Interim Executive Director Price

This memo was distributed to some Senate committee chairs with the following explanation from Senate Chair Mary Croughan

Dear Council Colleagues

I have received word from Provost Pitts regarding the decision as to whether furloughs can affect instructional days. As you will see below (and attached), the decision was made to not have faculty furlough days take place on instructional days (days for which a faculty member is scheduled to give lectures, lead classes or workshops, have scheduled office hours, or have other scheduled face-to-face responsibilities for students).

This decision was made after Provost Pitts and others developed a proposal on the pros and cons of having furlough days taken on instructional days. I want to take this opportunity to thank Helen Henry, Steve Plaxe, and Bob Powell for their extraordinary work on the proposal; they ensured that the proposal maintained the sentiments expressed at Council. The proposal was then discussed with the EVCs, Chancellors, State Government Relations, and Public Affairs. With the exception of our Council statement endorsing the concept that furloughs should affect instructional days, nearly all other groups expressed very strong concerns that the public would perceive that the students were receiving less education following several years of fee increases and anticipated additional increases. The "optics" with the public and legislature regarding potential future fee increases proved a driving factor in the decision to not have furloughs taken on instructional days.

I know that many of you have been awaiting this document; I'm sorry not to be bringing you news in line with Council's recommendation. But the President and Provost look forward to discussing their decision with those of you present at the September Council meeting.

All the best,


Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009
I draw your attention to Chris's commentary in the Chronicle a prescient ten months ago, which is archived under the "UC and CSU Statements." You can also read it here. This is probably somewhere on the site already, since it is a historical document, but it's worth reading again. (Thanks, Anonymous, for the correction! I still wish I had a strike-through option.)

While I'm correcting myself, do take a look at the UCB furlough information, now posted under "Furlough News."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009
60,000 UC Union Members Call for Vote of No Confidence in Yudof (from UC-AFT)

WHEREAS University of California (UC) President Mark Yudof has declared his intention to force crippling cuts on UC’s vital services and programs, and

WHEREAS the furloughs, layoffs , and student fee increases proposed by President Yudof are unnecessary and extremely harmful to the University and its public service mission, and

WHEREAS as recently as July 2009, UC’s strong AA1/AA bond rating was reaffirmed by Moody’s Investors Service, and UC’s Medical Centers reported a strong 5.2% operating margin and $171 million in profits for the three quarters ending March 31, 2009,and

WHEREAS UC has consistently refused to comply with state law in making transparent its financial transactions, and

WHEREAS the University, as a leading institution of higher education and a recipient of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds, is expected to reign in fraud, waste, and abuse, including excessive executive compensation, and

WHEREAS Roughly 3,600 UC employees earn over $200,000 in yearly salary, Chancellors currently earn an average of 22% more than their predecessors, and President Yudof earns nearly 200% more than his predecessor, and

WHEREAS President Yudof’s planned solution to decreased State General Fund appropriations bars high-wage University employees from contributing a balanced share to the budget solution, while deliberately placing thousands of vulnerable low-wage Californians at risk, and

WHEREAS Yudof’s plan fails, at the expense of vital services, to redistribute over $220 million in savings to the University by reasonably reducing spending on UC employees who gross over $200,000 annually, and

WHEREAS we see at University of California a profound crisis of principles and priorities, and we have a duty to act in unity to preserve our University and the services we provide to the people of

LET IT BE HEREBY RESOLVED THAT the University of California Union Coalition calls for a Vote of No Confidence in President Yudof, commencing on August 26 and concluding on September 3.

[Signed by California Nurses Association, UPTE, UAW, AFSCME, CUE, AFT]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Executive Board of the AAUP has issued a statement calling for full information and transparency regarding campus budgets, and for faculty to resist cutting salaries to avoid cuts in areas not central to higher education or to achieve budgetary "flexibility". Sounds very familiar, but very well put. Here is the first paragraph:

Recent decades have witnessed: (a) a systematic shift of institutional monies from educational to administrative expenditures; (b) a disjuncture between rapidly rising tuition versus overused and underpaid contingent faculty and graduate student employees; (c) a growing gap between rising numbers of Full Time Equivalent students and the numbers of tenure-track faculty; and (d) a growing gap between faculty/academic professional and senior administrative salaries. Each of these patterns work to the detriment of educational quality, institutional effectiveness, student access and success, and broad social benefit.

August 19, 2009

Gary Strong
University Librarian
University of California, Los Angeles

Dear Mr. Strong:

This letter is intended to express our outrage and dismay at the impending closure of the Arts Library, an entity that is unique on the West Coast in its offerings and resources. As instructors—at UCLA and beyond—in the arts, architecture, art history, film, television, theater and the humanities we all see the UCLA Arts Library as an indispensable resource to fulfill our pedagogical mission. As creators and researchers we all see the UCLA Arts Library as a critical part of our respective practices. Furthermore, a dedicated arts collection is a staple of all great universities public and private. On all of these levels it is unconscionable that this library, one that services the myriad needs of hundreds of faculty and thousands of students in some of our nation’s best departments in the arts and humanities could even be considered for closure.

Those who did not see the closure of the Arts Library buried in your blog entry of August 4, 2009 found out about it though word of mouth, Facebook, email and water cooler rumors. The lack of any effort on the part of library management to consult arts and humanities faculty about these plans points to a lack of transparency in the library’s operations that we find most troubling. This lack of transparency is further underscored by library management’s failure to consult with the UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication on this critical issue.

If the Arts Library closes, it is impossible to see how YRL and SRLF, facilities that are already bursting at the seams, can accommodate an additional 180,000+ objects. Given that in YRL’s renovations accommodations are being made for meeting spaces—including a café “with seating area and service counter”—it is even more difficult to imagine how the Arts Library’s collections can possibly be brought into this building. We are deeply concerned that once the Arts Library closes its doors that its collections—some of which are singular to this library—will be dispersed and rendered inaccessible. We are equally concerned that the library’s excellent staff will disappear with its collections.

We understand the seriousness of the budget situation; we understand that over 85% of the library’s operating budget comes from 19900 funds; we understand that library management, like the rest of the university, has had to make enormously difficult and painful decisions regarding reductions. We do not understand library management’s failure to apprise the Senate Library Committee—on which you sit—of its plans before a decision was reached; we do not understand library management’s failure to consult arts and humanities faculty as a means of discussing the repercussions of this closure or to come up with more tenable solutions to this crisis; we do not understand library management’s failure to communicate its decision (or the process in its making) directly to the UCLA community. Such secrecy and opacity gives the impression that the Arts Library closure was to be presented at the beginning of the school year as a fait accompli. This is simply not acceptable.

We protest the closure of the Arts Library. We demand that you hold an open meeting on this serious issue for interested faculty and students at the beginning of fall quarter. At the end of the day, we are deeply invested in the Arts Library, and we look forward to coming up with a solution that will keep this vital institution in operation.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Headlines and Quotes
By Gerald Barnett

I was working through Chapter 8 of the Clark Kerr’s The Uses of the University and had just gotten to the discussion of how universities in Michigan and Texas were already viewed more as “private” when my head grew heavy and my sight grew dim and I had to put the book down and rest. I guess I must have actually fallen asleep right there at my desk, because the next thing I know, a newspaper is floating down from the ceiling and it lands on my desk. The front page has this huge headline, and it reads:


"Yeah, they canceled a bunch of lectures, but it doesn't matter because the lectures weren't that much help anyway," said UC Santa Barbara junior Rosalind Orlando.

“Oh, no,” sleeping-me thought, that’s not good. “How did those folks manage to get so twisted around in the press? Not only are they on the wrong side of the wrong issue, but the students don’t seem to care anymore. It’s like they have given up on expecting a great education at UC.” I was thinking that can’t be true when a second newspaper fell down right on top of the first, with an entirely different headline:


"UCOP forced us out of the classroom--we're really devastated at this failure to protect our time with students," said Professor Anon, a spokesperson for the faculty at UC Santa Barbara.

“Woah, that’s sure different,” I thought in my sleep, “How very clever, pushing the administration around to force instructional days off, and then putting the squeeze on them in the press. I was somewhat in awe, wondering how the faculty had pulled that one off and what they’d do next when yet a third newspaper, much heavier than the previous two landed with a thud on top of the others. It was a Sunday edition and the sales inserts were strewn over my desk and the floor.


"Out of this crisis we have created a bold new Master Plan for education that restores critical funding and reaffirms our commitment to world class public education," said Mark Yudof, President of the University of California.

"UC once again leads the nation in innovation in public education," added Lt. Governor John Garamendi, who brokered the arrangement to take 17 top professional schools and graduate programs across 7 participating UC campuses private while increasing transparency and public oversight.

"An exciting part of the new Master Plan," added Dean Edley of Boalt Hall, "is that we now have funding so that all curriculum materials for these 17 elite programs will over the course of the next three years be made freely available at a new open digital university portal, creating a virtual new UC campus available to the world."

"We were totally taken by surprise by this scope of this announcement, which goes well beyond michiganizing UC and which we have opposed repeatedly over the past two months. We are calling on the Academic Senate to investigate whether administrative procedures were properly followed," said Faculty representative Prof Anon. "We will sue to stop this if we have to," said another professor, asking not to be named.

“We cannot help but be pleased with this new model,” said CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, “It shifts vital state funding to the increased student load we will be carrying as a key player, and opens up the 23 campuses of our system to conduct applied research directed to the immediate needs of the people of the state.”

This was about all I could take—UC now with private parts talked about in the press—and working with CSU—it was all impossible, really, since the credit crunch will hit middle class students next. No one will able to borrow to pay for a private education. As I shook my head in disbelief, I realized I wasn’t alone. There, in the office chair beside me was Clark Kerr himself, hands folded in his lap on top of a pile of ads he had picked up off the floor, waiting for me to finish reading.

“Gerry,” he says, “what’s on your mind? You’re upset. And I see you’ve been reading my book.”
“Yes, very much so, Dr. Kerr” I reply. “I worked for six years in a building on a UC campus that carried your name. It was planned to be seven floors high, but they ran out of money after four and by the time they came around to finish it, the earthquake codes had changed and they had to leave it looking like a concrete bunker, complete with a sealed off third elevator shaft that goes to nowhere. But they did later find $6m in remodeling and security upgrades so the new chancellor’s office would be comfortably protected from potential protestors.”
“Ah, yes. That campus that was such a success for a time, and yet I was sad to list it in Chapter 5, with the reforms that failed.”
“But that’s not what’s upsetting me at the moment. It’s this headline in the paper—it seems like the politics of caution have blown away, but this seems more like financially successful programs pushing the rest out of the lifeboat. Can public education become essentially private like this, shifting the financial burden disproportionately onto students and their families rather than on all residents of the state, as if an education is merely a personal acquisition, like buying a car or a membership in a club, and not a vision for a society populated by trained intelligences from all walks of life and economic backgrounds?
“Well, yes, there is that,” replied Dr. Kerr, nodding his head, “The budgetary crisis is too great for the usual politics of caution, and UC was asleep at the wheel in its public advocacy, and the students have been useless this time in fomenting a creative rebellion. I suppose, instead of splitting today’s best from the rest, UC could....
But just as Clark Kerr was about to suggest a really great alternative, a fourth newspaper fell from the ceiling, and landed on my head with such force that I startled awake. I had caught just a glance at the headline and it has haunted me as much as anything…


“The savings alone will make up our remaining budget gap, and the freedom to develop our educational mission offers tremendous opportunities for the future,” said the new Chair of the Regents Chancellors Council, Michael Drake, “and with four campuses now fully private, and two more moving to the Cal State System’s augmented research program, we can concentrate on developing high quality state-funded programs at the remaining three public UC campuses.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009
The Chronicle of Higher Education's Ticker points to a story coming out of the University of North Carolina. The full story is here.

It seems that the administration there has been growing faster than the faculty and student enrollment. Not news, right? Here's the kicker, though: "The university now admits that some of these people were in jobs that were not vital." And this is what UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp has to say: "That's troubling.... We're here to educate the citizens of North Carolina and produce scholars that help North Carolina and the rest of the world with their problems, and if we are spending money on the administration, we are not spending money on that."
In the coming months, on-line education is going to being receiving a lot of attention and some funds, especially in light of the Edley proposal for the 11th campus of UC. I think we all have to look closely at the new Dept of Ed study that claims that on-line education is more effective than face-to-face, develop studies of our own, as faculty of bricks and mortar institutions. We also need to say to people like Jonathan Kaplan of Walden University that we are already using a lot of teaching tools in on-line environments such as eee, and that the choices between face to face and on-line education are not either/or. We should ask Edley about his proposal, invite him to speak to faculty, CPB, Faculty Senates on the various campuses outlining what his proposal for an 11th UC campus would mean for the 10 existing ones. I would be very curious to know -- and I'm not pre-judging it at all. I taught part of a writing course on line last summer that worked beautifully. I would like to know how an entire campus goes virtual...
Cross-posted from Robert Samuels, Changing Universities

Monday, August 17, 2009

Who are the High Earners in the UC System

Like many people, I was wondering about who exactly are the people making more than $200,000 a year in the UC system. Using Jeffrey Bergamini’s great salary data (http://ucpay.globl.org), I analyzed the different categories of employees in the over 200K club. I also looked at how these groups increased over the two-year period from 2006 to 2008. Here is what I found (with Jeffrey’s help):

First of all, I broke the employees making over $200,000 into six basic groups: administrators, medical faculty, athletic coaches, business school professors, academic professors (excluding business and law professors), and law professors. These six categories accounted for over 95% of the revenue of the over $200,000 club, which had a total gross pay of over 1 billion dollars in 2008. The top group was the medical faculty, which had 2,296 people making a total of $680 million in 2008. This same group in 2006 had 1,748 employees with total earnings over $502 million. In other words, over a period of two years, the UC added 550 new people from the medical field into the over $200,000 club for an additional cost of $178 million (which is about the total savings for the entire furlough plan).

The second biggest group was the administrators. In 2008, there were 397 administrators in the over 200k club making a total of $109 million, and in 2006, the same group had 214 members for a collective gross pay of $58.8 million. This group and its collective salaries, then, almost doubled in just two years. If you want to know where the UC money has been going, this is a great place to start.

The third biggest group is the academic professors outside of law, medicine, and business. In 2008, there were 415 academic professors making over $2000,000 for a collective gross pay of $96.6 million. In 2006, this same group had 215 employees at $49 million. In other words, the number of academic professor’s outside of the professional schools making over $200,000 basically doubled in a two-year period. During this time, the faculty salaries in the UC system continued to fall beneath the national average, and so what we are seeing in the UC system is an incredible widening of faculty salary inequality: the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

In the case of the business school faculty, in 2008, there were 372 faculty making more than $200,000 for a collective gross pay of $93 million, while in 2006, there were 193 in this group with a collective gross pay of $46 million. Once again the pay of this group doubled in two years: they do not call themselves business faculty for nothing.

In the case of law professors, we find that in 2008, there were 85 making over $200,000 for a collective pay of $21 million, and in 2006, this same group consisted of 57 employees making a collective $13 million. For some reason, this group did not double its earnings, but it still showed a healthy increase.

The final group is the athletic coaches, which in 2008, there were 24 coaches making over $2000,000 for a collective payout of $12.8 million. In 2006, this same group had only 11 members with collective earning over $5 million. So athletic coaches in this category more than doubled their earnings in two years.

What all of these statistics tell us that that UC does not have a budget problem; it has an out-of-control compensation problem. Moreover, it is the people at the top, just 1.5% of the employees (out of a total of 240,000 workers) who make 11% of the total compensation, and this group increased its wealth by close to 40% in just two years. Did you get a 40% raise in the last two years?

Bob Samuels, UC-AFT

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009
Oakland Tribune columnist on the recent administrative pay raises. Are UCOP and UC Regents "tone deaf"? And does calling the salaries "necessary to retain top-tier talent" justify them?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009
August 14, 2009

Chancellor George Blumenthal

Dear George:

I write to express my grave disappointment at the decision to cease the Early Education Services program offerings to faculty and staff, effective January 2010.

I make my points briefly here, and document them further in an attachment:

This action will make UCSC the only UC campus that does not offer child care for faculty and staff. Other campuses have evidently either developed better funding models or have chosen to make child care a higher priority. Which is it?

The availability of on-site child care has been documented to be of critical importance in recruiting, promoting, and retaining female faculty and staff, as well as faculty of color. Allowing the campus to slip backward on this point puts into question the campus’s stated commitment to diversity.

As incoming Chancellor, you repeatedly and publicly stated your commitment to child care as a crucial component of the creation of the more “family-friendly campus” you marked as a high priority.

In response to accumulating evidence that the failure to create a family-friendly environment was harming the UC’s core mission, former President Richard Atkinson made a statement in 2003 that “High quality, accessible and affordable child care is a critical priority that addresses the work and life needs of all members of the university community.” This official statement is still posted on multiple UC websites.
CP/EVC Dave Kliger’s message to the campus today indicated that this drastic measure was necessary because EES was among the “campus services that are not self-sustaining.” This is disingenuous: many things the campus does are not “self-sustaining” (UNEX and the Silicon Valley Center come to mind) but are funded because they are recognized as high priorities. The reference in this message to “two dozen” families affected by this decision plays down its ultimate impact by working from the smaller summer census and not counting those on the wait list.

Despite the willingness of faculty and staff parents to pay fee increases of 8-10% annually over the past several years—to the point where UCSC’s child care program is now among the most expensive programs in the local area—neither EES families nor the teaching staff were consulted in this decision.

While we all recognize the gravity of the budget situation, the outcome of this decision—to shutter the high-quality program currently in place at the Preschool Center at the Granary, and to cut off faculty and staff access to on-site child care entirely—ignores the developmental needs of these children for continuity of care. And it comes as yet another morale blow to their families.

Child care advocates on campus have, for years, suggested other long-term solutions to the financial problems at EES: moving it from Student Services to another support division; making child care a Development Office priority; or seeking an outside vendor to operate some or all of the programs, preferably with the same personnel (the Granary was operated by an outside vendor until 2000). The affected families and teachers deserve a detailed accounting of why none of these alternatives were deemed viable.

I hope you will revisit this decision, and publicly reassert your commitment to making UCSC a family-friendly campus—for everyone, but in particular for faculty and staff.


Kirsten Silva Gruesz
Professor of Literature

cc: CP/EVC Dave Kliger
Felicia McGinty, VC-Student Affairs

EES Director Emili Willet

Academic Senate Chair Lori Kletzer

CFW Chair Elizabeth Abrams

CAAD Chair Bettina Aptheker

CPB Chair Brent Haddad

CAP Chair Maureen Callanan
According to Inside Higher Ed (you can read the story here), the University of Southern Mississippi is considering the elimination of its economics department, so that it can reach a goal of reducing spending by $12 million. Note this: "Tenured and tenure-track faculty are legally required to a year's notice prior to termination, and economics faculty say they've already received such notice." Sound familiar? Well, no one has said anything at UC about eliminating tenure-track positions (let alone tenured ones), but if state-funded lecturers are all cut, and the cuts next year are as bad as the administration is threatening, then it's certainly something to keep in mind. It would be very useful to get a better read on what kind of programmatic cuts we should be expecting for the following year. The weak version of this cut might be something like forcing departments to subsidize themselves, through summer teaching, development efforts, and lowered requirements (thus allowing more students to graduate quickly). The strong version? Well, other schools are considering closing down departments, so can we expect to remain untouched in this regard?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This discussion has taken off as Berkeley faculty call for leveraging the campus's unique strenghts in the downturn. This is thought to include a greater draw on out-of-state students than other UC campuses, and an ability to charge higher tuition. Others argue that higher tuition for a handful of the senior campuses would lead to the stratification of the system, wasteful competition, and a decline in quality for students overall. Nobody 's going to shift their current position much without an independent budget assessment of the impact of tuition hikes on the affected campus, which I call for here.

Some relevant documents:

The Futures Report, pp 29-34 on the Michigan scenario.
UCSF Professor Stan Glantz (Futures Report co-author) on Restoring the Master Plan
UCB Professor David A. Hollinger on more out-of-state students for Berkeley
UCSB Professor Chris Newfield's comments on the budgetary issues involved in a "Michiganization" analysis
UCB Professor Chris Rosen on studying budgets and subsidies
Hollinger's response to Newfield
UCLA Prof. Michael Meranze on the privatization debate
Exchange between Newfield and Judith Innes on budget studies

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
One of the big midsummer issues is what to do with the furloughs. A large majority of the email I've received advocates "making the cuts visible" by putting furloughs on teaching days. Many writers report some faculty opposition, mostly invoking fear of a public backlash that will hurt the university even more than it already has been.

The systemwide Academic Senate has now posted the recommendations for furlough implementation that emerged from the July 29th Academic Council meeting. Their two key statements:
  • "While Council members acknowledge that students are already being negatively impacted through increased fees, staff reductions, and loss of services on furlough days, the Academic Council unanimously supported the concept that furloughs should affect instructional days."
  • "following a lengthy debate, the Academic Council makes the following request and recommendation: (1) that the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs institute a systemwide standard of six furlough days assigned to days of instruction over the nine month academic calendar; and (2) that he approve campus requests for changes to their academic calendars that place furloughs on specified instructional days for up to ten days."
I read this to mean that 6 instructional furlough days would be the systemwide floor, with some campuses going as high as 10. This sets a range of 2-3 days per quarter of instruction canceled because of furloughs. The administrative proposals I've seen all stick with six in total. However, proposals from some departments, councils of chairs, and other groups on several campuses have called for stronger medicine. One proposal was to cancel all three "dead weeks" at the end of each of the year's three quarters, meaning all of a faculty member's 14 furlough days (if on a pre-cut salary of $90,000 or up) would fall on those days.

Conflicting views of furloughs stem partially from two different audiences for this visibility. One is students and their parents, and here the goal is to clue Californians in to the fact that you can't keep expecting the same or better for UC while letting the state pay less and less. The other audience is UCOP and the Regents, who seemed to take their faculty and staff for granted and put up no obvious fight for them.

The visible furloughs are thus likely to be deployed for two overlapping but distinct projects: public education (for students and parents), and a partial strike (for the President and the Regents).

The work action is important for putting "shared" back into "shared governance," and for encouraging UCOP to fight harder for UC. Many faculty felt betrayed by UCOP's actions and the Regents lopsided support (see Option 4 spokesperson Lisa Hajjar's forceful expression of this point). As it is, UCOP assumes on the basis of past experience that the faculty will grumblingly comply even with cuts as disastrous as 25%, and has no urgent reason to risk anything to fight for their interests in proper salaries, teaching conditions, research time, etc. My experience convinced me that in the abstract UCOP wants to do the right thing, but is timid if not intimidated, has no strong vision of its own, and is buffeted by the state's many contradictory pressures. Thus it won't respond to the faculty until their pressure on UCOP is on the same scale as that of others in the state, starting with the governor.

The public education side is even more important. In spite of repeated requests from me and many other systemwide Senate leaders past and present that UCOP advocate long and hard for correct levels of public funding, they have never done this. Can faculty and staff step in and do a campaign on their own? The success of the visible furloughs will depend on embedding canceled classes in an explanatory context that describes the operating cuts, their impact on UC education, and a vision of public education that explains the direct link between proper funding and a better future for our students and the state. The campaign should be in place before the first class is canceled.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009
My vacation greatly improved my general attitude. Then I caught up on my UC email.

Hence some queries:
  1. Does the UC community define the Regents' fiduciary responsibilities to include rebuilding decimated state revenues, or has it given up on them?
  2. Are the Regents OK with the fact that the most destructive, humiliating cuts in modern higher education history didn't slake Sacramento's thirst for more than a week, and that at mid-year we will be talking about even more?
  3. Are the Regents OK with the lack of any visible UCOP plan for fiscal solvency, or public signs of its development?
  4. Is UCOP OK with the fact that for 20 years they refused to defend the only funding source that is arithmetically capable of sustaining high quality teaching and research under one roof - state funding?
  5. Will this shocking defeat for UC and CSU lead to real rethinking of paradigms and strategies?
  6. Is the systemwide Senate OK with parallel faculty groups springing up this summer on a majority of the campuses, with unprecedented collaborations among faculty, staff, and students, and with CUCFA serving as the only visible counterweight to UCOP's all-cuts paradigm?
  7. Could anyone in charge say, "we hear the calls for budgetary transparency and will take your questions in the order in which they are received"?
  8. Will President Yudof be using the "extreme financial emergency" to fire tenured faculty in the departments that campuses will be trying to close?
  9. Will UCOP ever run a full-page ad - copying UCLA's private fundraising ads for itself - saying the state fund cuts are killing what was the world's greatest public research university system, and that they MUST BE REVERSED?
  10. Do the current Regents want to be remembered as the great Unbuilders? Does Mark Yudof want to go down as the Un-Clark Kerr?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009
The CA public higher education budget crisis has made it into the pages of The Economist, for what it's worth.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009
From the Option 4 folk, video of the Aug. 6 Yudof and Option 4 press conferences.

The Yudof Q&A is broken into two videos: part 1 here and part 2 here.

There are some questions about restricted versus unrestricted funds that need to be answered clearly, once and for all, so that UCOP cannot continue to claim that their hands are tied. Without wanting to play into the bozonet narrative of academic fatcats, how can a better understanding of what funds are actually restricted be attained? Can these questions be posed to each campus's Academic Senates, and from them, to the Chancellors?

For Lisa Hajjar's opening statement, see here.
From Charles Reed, Chancellor of CSU, an opinion piece on the budgetary priorities of the state of California. (Thanks to S.N. for spotting this.)
Some highlights from our fearless leader:

From the Daily Sound:

Yudof: “I don’t care what you write about how much I get paid,” Yudof said at a news conference after his speech. “I had to take a 10 percent cut.”

From the Pacific Coast Business Times:

“As the crowd outside shows, it’s not quite as lonely at the top as I had hoped,” Yudof said.

And from the Santa Barbara Independent:

Yudof said that his own salary was cut and that bonuses and incentive pay for those at the top have been “frozen.” “I did get a 10 percent reduction [in pay], and all I can say is it was not always what people agree with, but there are markets."

Oh, and a last word from the man himself:

"Just spoke to small business owners in Santa Barbara...told them that in some ways each researcher at UC is like a small business owner."
I just wanted to call your attention to our colleague Bob Samuels' blog, "Changing Universities," which has an important post on what kind of departmental and programmatic changes we can expect in the coming year. It's not pretty.
The story on executive pay raises is starting to get wider circulation, as this article from SF Chronicle shows.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Ray Schroeder, retired professor at U Illinois, has a blog that is chronicling the higher education budget crisis throughout the country.
Eagle-eyed reader N.H. sends in this recent blog posting by our colleagues at edgeofthewest.
From the SF Chronicle, a report that UC is lending $200 million to the state of California. Really.
From Jeffrey Bergamini
Programmer/SysAdmin, Hart Interdisciplinary Programs, UC Davis

Dear Mr. Yudof:

I appreciate your reply to my letter. I am sure we all agree that pay cuts should only be implemented carefully and after much consideration.

Unfortunately, your letter contains a significant amount of spin and mischaracterization that needs to be addressed, which I will do here. In addition, I have found more information to share with you and the rest of the UC community. In short, it remains obvious that your plan lacks both care and consideration for the community as a whole. Thankfully we still have options.

You begin:

Clearly the furlough and corresponding salary reductions will be very difficult for all members of the University community in light of the current state of the economy. I appreciate your sharing your plan with me. It is obvious you have given this a good deal of thought, but I continue to believe the plan The Regents approved is the best course of action for the University. I would like to note that it is not factually accurate to assert that the reductions are more severe for lower-income employees than for those earning more. The furlough policy is progressive and, of necessity, takes into account the number of employees in each income bracket.

Simply stating that the policy is "progressive" is next to meaningless, as I am sure you know. My previous analysis also "takes into account the number of employees in each income bracket", and illustrates how little the upper brackets would suffer in comparison with those below. The more accurate analysis I have now made available to the public at http://ucpay.globl.org also deals with precise numbers of employees and salaries in each bracket, both those proposed by you and other possible brackets.

Your graduated cuts come nowhere close to matching the real disparities in income levels, as I noted in my original analysis. Now that I have fairly accurate data to work with, further analysis is easy. Your top bracket, which makes on average roughly 14 times as much as the lowest bracket, is only cut 2.4 times as much, proportional to income. And since that range between $240,000 and $2+ million is so large, the bracket average is misleading, and the disparity between income level and salary cut is much larger. Worse, this still ignores the larger picture: Those with great amounts of income can easily absorb the cuts to those making relatively little.

In fact, instituting a "furlough" policy in instead of direct pay cuts is a great way of sneaking though a regressive pay cut. A temporary 25% salary cut for someone making $400K a year is certainly tolerable. However, the equivalent furlough of 65 days sounds somewhat ludicrous. Framing the discussion in terms of "furlough" keeps the rich from paying their fair share.

I don't know your personal feelings on what constitutes a "more severe" reduction, but if you mean that $80 a month to someone who grosses $1,800 is not "more severe" than $3,000 to one grossing $30,000 — well, perhaps your wealth, which you have been extracting for quite some time now, has biased your perspective.

Alternatives Ignored

Leaving aside the question of whether pay cuts are even a necessary or desirable reaction to the budget problem, it is indeed apparent that your proposal targets lower wage workers unfairly. Visitors to my site have made numerous alternate proposals that would accomplish the same (or very similar) salary savings, with radically different effects:

Modified from UCSD Lit proposal (less impact on lower wages)
This proposal does not affect any wages under $40K, and requires no more than 20% from the most wealthy. It looks quite reasonable.

A 2.5 percent base cut, increased proportional to mean bracket salary; income capped at $25K/mo
This proposal is actually, linearly "progressive". Salaries from $25K-50K are given a 2.5% cut, and the cut is increased proportionally while maintaining a $25,000/month limit on gross salary.

Retire On Time
Starting with a 2% cut at a $75K-100K bracket, this proposal focuses on not endangering employees' retirement savings and living expenses. See further description by the author.

My two original proposals, A More Equitable Sacrifice and Let the Wealthy Pay, demonstrate how unnecessary it is to saddle lower wage earners with the levels of cuts you proposed.

I will not insult you or your analysts by assuming that you were unaware of your proposal's bias against those with lower salaries. There must have been a reason for the nature of your proposal. In fact, you make a related claim:

No plan is perfect, but we have worked hard to involve the UC community in a broad consultation process in order to develop a plan that is as fair as possible while preserving, to the extent possible, excellence and access to opportunity for students, researchers and patients. I attach a copy of an information sheet put out by my office, The UC Budget: Myths and Facts, which you may find of interest.

The "Myths and Facts" document is also rather spin-heavy, and seems to introduce some myths of its own. You may find of interest some other facts, which are derived quite easily using UC salary data. They certainly cast doubt on the idea that your plan is "fair", or that its idiosyncrasies are aimed at preserving "excellence and access to opportunity".

(All numbers I will present ignore student salaries and casual employees when possible, with several caveats. See a more complete description of the data in the footer of any page at http://ucpay.globl.org.)

Example 1: Ridiculous and rising UCOP salaries

To pick one small example of where else UC could easily make some savings, let's take a look at UCOP employees making at least $100K. My tool currently has data from 2006 and 2008, and it's now easy to compare the two years.

UCOP employees with gross earnings of at least $100K in 2006 (link):
350 employees
Total gross pay: $53,568,920.72

UCOP employees with gross earnings of at least $100K in 2008 (link):
418 employees
Total gross pay: $65,063,296.82

Are we to believe that, between 2006 and 2008, UCOP required 68 more people making six figures, for an extra $11.5 million? I find it hard to believe that these positions contribute enough to UC's "excellence and access to opportunity" to merit such grandiose salaries.

Here is some perspective for you: In your furlough plan, it takes the pay cuts of more than 10,000 average "bracket 1" workers just to offset that extra $11.5 million. And this is only one very tiny example.

Example 2: Salary expenses are becoming increasingly top-heavy at an alarming rate

Now let's look at the entire UC system to see where salary spending is concentrated, and how it is changing:

Employees making at least $100K
2006 total gross pay (14,654 employees): $2,286,581,129.06 (30.9% of total UC salary) (link)
2008 total gross pay (21,531 employees): $3,370,788,442.25 (37.4% of total UC salary) (link)
Dollar increase: $1.08 billion
Percentage personnel increase: 46.9%
Percentage dollar increase: 47.4%

Change in percentage of total UC salary: +6.5%

Employees making under $100K
2006 total gross pay (121,661 employees): $5,111,896,556.80 (69.1% of total UC salary) (link)
2008 total gross pay(129,018 employees): $5,631,676,479.14 (62.6% of total UC salary) (link)
Dollar increase: $520 million
Percentage personnel increase: 6.0%
Percentage dollar increase: 10.2%
Change in percentage of total UC salary: -6.5%

Note the trends:
In just this short span of time, the proportional amount spent on six figure salaries has increased at the same rate that the amount spent on everyone else has decreased.
UC apparently needed 47% more six figure earners, but only 6% more of everyone else. Quite interesting.
What happened during this time that merited a nearly 50% increase in salary spending for wealthy employees?

I think most would agree that these are alarming figures.

Example 3, in which we bust your own myth regarding "raises" vs. "promotions"

The "Myths and Facts" document defends increases in management salaries with the following:

There is an important difference between a “raise” and a promotion into a position with broader responsibilities ... Most compensation actions coming to the Board of Regents are either new hires or promotions, of the kind just described, to fill vacancies.

Let's take a look at another small sample of the situation at UCOP:

Changes in gross pay at UCOP between 2006 and 2008 (no change in title)

A few examples:

Randolph Wedding ("Senior Managing Director – Fixed-Income Investments") — Apparently his experience with derivatives trading at Bank of America and Bear Stearns (names not exactly associated with wise investment practices these days) were worth an increase of $86,156 (24%) from $358,970 to $445,126 between 2006 and 2008. From annual reports, his position doesn't seem to have changed for quite a few years. How are those fixed-income investments doing, by the way?

Melvin Stanton ("Associate Chief Investment Officer") — Mr. Stanton received an increase of $71,875 (18%) from $405,950 to $477,826. No sign of promotion or broader responsibilities.

Kathleen Taylor ("IT Resource Manager III") — Whatever Ms. Taylor does apparently merited an increase of $71,811 (58%) from $122,773.56 to $194,584.43. Presumably she now has duties much more important than compiling other people's reports on badly placed logout buttons (and other issues) in a section of PPS.

There are many others. Take a look. It seems to me that there were plenty of very generous raises given to people at UCOP who maintained the same title over that period. As for those who changed title, it's hard to imagine that they are really that much more valuable than before (Lynda Choi, for example).

Now remember that this is only a fraction of the real issue. Step outside UCOP and take a look at the same report including all UC campuses. You will see many massive increases for coaches, directors, chancellors, vice somethingorothers, etc. This may explain the trends in Example 2.

I repeat: There are much better solutions. If you will not act on our behalf, the workers must push the issue — and we can win.

Mr. Yudof, your proposal has become "policy". However, it is not out of our hands.

It is my hope (and my goal) that UC employees of all stripes are receiving an education regarding the priorities of UC management. What we do with that education remains to be seen. I believe that an organized UC workforce can help to lead you, the Regents, and the state government on a better, more sane path. Anyone with democratic values understands that true leadership is in our hands, not yours.

Certainly we should all keep in mind the mission of UC: We teach, we do research, and we serve the public. In case you can't tell, those three things are quite important to me. I try to incorporate them into my life, both personally and professionally. I will continue to do my best to make sure that we — all UC employees — push you to do so as well.


Jeffrey Bergamini
Programmer/sysadmin, Hart Interdisciplinary Programs, UC Davis
bergamini@ucdavis.edu / 530-752-9332

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM, President's Office <President@ucop.edu> wrote:
Dear Mr. Bergamini:

Thank you for your July 22nd e-mail sharing your research on employee salaries and your proposed alternatives to the furlough plan recently approved by The Regents.

Clearly the furlough and corresponding salary reductions will be very difficult for all members of the University community in light of the current state of the economy. I appreciate your sharing your plan with me. It is obvious you have given this a good deal of thought, but I continue to believe the plan The Regents approved is the best course of action for the University. I would like to note that it is not factually accurate to assert that the reductions are more severe for lower-income employees than for those earning more. The furlough policy is progressive and, of necessity, takes into account the number of employees in each income bracket.

No plan is perfect, but we have worked hard to involve the UC community in a broad consultation process in order to develop a plan that is as fair as possible while preserving, to the extent possible, excellence and access to opportunity for students, researchers and patients. I attach a copy of an information sheet put out by my office, The UC Budget: Myths and Facts, which you may find of interest.

I appreciate your taking the time to write, and I thank you for your dedication and service to the University.

With best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours,

Mark G. Yudof


cc: Executive Vice President Lapp

Vice President Duckett

Executive Director Boland

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009
By Robert Samuels
President, UC-AFT

UCLA, yes the same school that just last week sent layoff notices to most of its long-term lecturers, and yes, the same school that says that it is considering suspending all undergraduate requirements, has announced that it will be using $25 million of student fees to help pay for the renovation of a sports arena. See the story from the Los Angeles Times.

You really can’t make this up.

Also see the article bragging about how UCLA has had a record-breaking year for research grants
This time, it's in Huffington Post. Wasserstrom (History, UC Irvine) makes a number of valid points, but I think #5 is particularly worth singling out.
Associated Press has a hard-hitting piece on the budget cuts. You can read it here, on Salon's website.
From the folks at UC Community Coalition for Option 4 -- if you wish to pass out flyers or to play the part of billionaires, see the contacts below.


August 5, 2009

Rodney Orr (805) 455-2813
Elizabeth Robinson (805) 570-6028


The UC Community Coalition for Option 4 will present University of California President Mark G. Yudof (or if heʼs unavailable, someone who looks very much like him) with the 1st Annual Bad Business Award for 2009. The ceremony will take place at the UC Coalition Bailout BBQ on the lawn outside of Fess Parkerʼs Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd. at 12:30PM.

Inside the hotel, UC President Yudof will be the keynote speaker at the Spirit of Small Business Awards Luncheon. The UC Community Coalition for Option 4 thinks Mark Yudof is bad for small business, and finds it ironic that he, who will make the final decision to layoff some UC workers and cut othersʼ pay through furloughs at the largest employer in the area, is being held up as a model for small business owners who are already hurting in this “Great Recession.” We think thereʼs a better way to do business, and thatʼs in a manner that safeguards the economic health and well-being of local communities.

Business Awards Ceremony at 12:30PM

WHERE: Lawn outside Fess Parkerʼs Doubletree Resort, 633 E.
Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA (next to the rainbow sculpture)

WHO: UC President Mark G. Yudof inside the Doubletree, and UC
Coalition students, faculty, staff and community at the BBQ outside www.option4.org
I'd just like to call attention to Gerry Barnett's comment in the preceding post on language study (I mean the sixth comment overall, and his second comment for that particular post -- though all of Gerry's comments are always well worth reading!). Gerry is making the important point that if UCOP / UC campuses are going to start lowering undergraduate requirements in order to speed them through to graduation, then serious questions can be raised about the content of that education. Gerry points to the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) reaccreditation review of UCLA that is currently taking place. Most important perhaps for concerned faculty is the "Educational Effectiveness Review"; the site visit for UCLA will be Feb. 24-26, 2010. It would behoove UCLA faculty to organize some kind of response to the reviewing committee that brings attention to the possible lowering of undergraduate educational quality.

The site is here

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
This piece, published July 27, 2009, in Chronicle, is particularly relevant given the recent announcement by UCLA to issue lay-off letters to its state-funded, post-six lecturers (lecturers who have taught for more than six years and thus require one year's notice for termination). Most of the affected lecturers are, not surprisingly, in the humanities and social sciences.

In language departments, such as the one that houses me, languages are predominantly taught by lecturers. Language department ladder-faculty are not usually trained in language pedagogy, but rather in literary, historical, and cultural analysis. If the order to lay off lecturers stands, then we will be looking at language classes staffed mainly by less experienced lecturers (who would be cheaper for the university) and by graduate students (probably native speakers from outside of the department). This could well entail a lowering of quality for the undergraduates who would be paying higher tuitions -- and getting less in return.

Language study is important not only because it gives American students access to foreign cultures, in the actual languages of the foreign culture, but also because it provides students with an expansive perspective on their local American identity. Most academics would reject the parochial view that knowing English is sufficient in this emerging global culture and economy, yet what UCLA is threatening to do is to gut the best means by which students can attain both an understanding of the international community and an international understanding of American culture.
The problem with this, as I see it, is not inherently the pedagogical pros and cons of on-line learning, nor even a particular dispute with Dean Edley's assertion that this will open UC to a larger proportion of the mythical 12.5% of California high-school graduates.

Rather, I am concerned that this is being hawked as a way to "solve the problems at U of California". Our problems are manifold, but essentially revolve around a lack of sufficient resources (money) to (a) pay salaries, (b) repair/renovate buildings on the scale we feel is appropriate. The suggestion here is that the teaching of these eStudents would be done by faculty & graduate students at our current campuses. Unless we significantly change the faculty teaching load, this would imply more faculty (and more buildings for them). The most obvious saving to the University is that it would not need to schedule classrooms and could expand the enrolled student population without building new classrooms. There would be a more limited need for student services presumably.

Without (a) a clear business plan, and (b) support from the state at its current "marginal cost of instruction" for UC-eligible California students, I cannot even see this breaking even let alone providing the University with an additional revenue stream. As in every recent (and recurring) fiscal crisis the State has not supported University expansion, I am curious how this might work.

Andrew G. Dickson
Professor-in-Residence of Marine Chemistry
UC San Diego

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009
Robert Meister
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA)

Emergency powers are typically used to impose secrecy and sidestep normal procedures. The “Extreme Financial Emergency” declared by the Regents allows President Yudof do this. He can “suspend the operation of any existing Regental or University policies …inconsistent with the terms [he] deems necessary..to…implementation.”

CUCFA asked UC’s General Counsel whether President Yudof can do this without notice—i.e. in secret. The answer is “that the President intends to provide notice of policies or procedures to be suspended during the Plan term.” CUCFA (along with SCFA) are among the groups entitled to receive such notice. We will post anything alarming on our website (www.cucfa.org) and on this blog.

Bob Meister
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA)

PS It’s still an “emergency,” so President Yudof could, conceivably, change his mind without giving notice. But this letter provides assurance that we will know if and when secrecy has been imposed—and that we can expect transparency in the meanwhile. We should take this opportunity to demand greater transparency during the “emergency.”
Press Conference Statement (on behalf of faculty participants in the Option 4 Coalition)
29 July 2009
Robert Williams, UCSB

The faculty members of this Coalition wish to emphasize that the current crisis, while seemingly the result of cutbacks in funding authorized by the State legislature, is primarily the work of the Regents. The Regents are not professional educators, they are political appointees, mostly very wealthy business people and strong supporters of Schwarzenegger and his agenda. For years they have been working to privatize the University, to run it, not as a public resource, dedicated to the education of the people of California and the pursuit of knowledge, but as a business venture, an institutional platform on which to establish profit-making enterprises that will benefit primarily the interests of big-business, and only secondarily – in “trickle-down” fashion – the State and its citizens. The effects of their policies have been disastrous: these most recent decisions are only the latest in a series of managerial blunders that have cost Californians billions of dollars and degraded, not improved, the quality of education. They represent an outrageous betrayal of the public trust, comparable to what we have seen happen at Enron and at Wall Street banks and investment firms.

The Regents are using the current economic downturn as an excuse to make cuts they have long wanted to make as part of the privatization process. These cuts do not just impair the way the University works, they fundamentally redefine what it is: they mean the end of the promise that the UC had always offered, of access to an excellent education for all qualified students no matter what their economic background. Delivering on that promise for decades, the UC created a large and well-educated workforce that powered California’s extraordinary prosperity and animated its vibrant culture. Make no mistake: these cuts will have profound and long-term consequences for the quality of life; they will affect everyone who lives here. There are plans to close some of California’s parks temporarily in response to the budget crisis: well, imagine if Yosemite was not just closed for awhile, but sold off to developers and turned into a cluster of gated communities. The selling off of the UC system is just as destructive a treatment of just as precious a resource.

We, the faculty, are professional educators. We have had enough of the way in which our priorities and those of our students have been repeatedly deferred and dismissed by the Regents, of the way in which this great institution is being trashed by the very people responsible for its care and preservation. We call upon all faculty, here and across the UC system as a whole, to join with us in demanding that the University reorganize its priorities and, if necessary, its governance structure. And we urge the people of California to get involved, to join us in helping to protect one of our most valuable assets. We have a responsibility to each other, to our children, and to our children’s children.
Giving Up On Education at UCLA?
By Robert Samuels, President of UC-AFT

The UCLA undergraduate College has sent layoff notices to almost all of its continuing appointment lecturers. In the layoff notice, it explicitly states that the university is considering suspending all of its undergraduate requirements. This is a drastic move that needs to be resisted, and this type of change could hurt the reputation of the UC system for years to come. The UCLA take on this story is posted on their website

UCLA has already suspended its undergraduate general education seminar requirement, and this move was done by an executive committee and not the full senate. In other words, UCLA and other UCs, could suspend undergraduate requirements without going through their faculty senates. Moreover, a special budgetary task force recommends moving writing, language, and math courses to either summer, extension, or online. In this structure, students would have to pay extra to take required classes.

All faculty should be concerned about defending the quality of undergraduate education, and if the 4,000 lecturers in the UC system are eliminated, the entire structure of the UC system would change. Go here for more on these changes.
Santa Barbara campus
“The mind and intellect of man is the very essence of the soul.”
--St. Thomas Aquinas


1. The recently-proposed oil extraction tax would have maintained CalWorks, In Home Support Services and Healthy Families at current levels with about $300 million left over for public education.

2. If we had anti-tax Alaska’s 25% oil extraction tax it would raise $3 billion, the amount of new budget cuts to all of higher education.

3. The top income tax rate is 9.3%. If we raised it back to Pete Wilson’s 10% on incomes of $300,000, and 11% above $600,000, it would raise $5 billion.

4. $7,973,000,000 (almost eight billion dollars) of the federal stimulus package (ARRA) to California was intended for public education. Where is it?

5. UC’s bond rating was recently affirmed as “stable” owing in part to a
“sizeable balance sheet that remains highly liquid, with $5.4 billion of unrestricted financial resources ($6.5 billion excluding post-retirement health liabilities) and active treasury management monitoring a short-term investment pool exceeding $6 billion.” Huh? What was that? (So how come we can’t use some of those unrestricted financial resources to save California’s middle class?)

6. California’s investment in prisons has risen as dramatically as its investment in education has declined. It costs far more to keep a prisoner in jail annually than it does to subsidize an undergraduate’s education. (An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; the higher the education level, the higher the salary.)

7. 2.3% of UC employees make over $900 million dollars a year combined. The top ten earners are all coaches, medical faculty, and administrators. Base pay makes up only a small part of their total pay. By “taxing” only base pay salary and not total compensation, Yudof is creating an anti-progressive tax structure.

8. Since February of 2009, top UC executives have already garnered $6 million in the form of stipends, raises, bonuses and the like. The interim Chief Financial Officer at UCSF Medical Center received a $58,625 “administrative stipend” atop a yearly salary of $250,000; a new top executive at UCI Medical Center was given an annual salary of $660,000, a 22% increase over the salary of his predecessor; the Chief Financial Officer of the UCLA hospital system just added $70,000 to his salary, with a possible bonus of $95,000.
A great piece by Marc Bousquet, author of the blog howtheuniversityworks, in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Bousquet calls out faculty governance for the myth that it has been, and points to the ascent of an executive class in academic culture -- one that sees the need for austerity and LIKES it. Read it here or here. An earlier piece on the politics of austerity can be found here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009
From Michael Meranze, Professor of History at UCLA, a meditation on what Jefferson thought significant among his life's achievements and what the budget cuts mean for higher public education in California.
Charlie Schwartz, as our readers will know, has an important blog on campus finances at http://universityprobe.org/, where he's been tracking and investigating how money is spent at UC. He has a new piece summarizing his findings on The Daily Beast, which is Tina Brown's new online journalistic venture.