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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Bob and Charlie

While I have been grossly neglecting our Bizarro World Gov, various budgetary dreamworks, and the Regents meetings - I plead four simultaneous paper deadlines - others thankfully have not.   Charlie Schwartz addressed the Regents on apparent lapses in oversight of their bond indebtedness.  Bob Samuels fired away at the "latest list of the approved exceptions to the UC’s own compensation policies," among other things.

There are so many unanswered questions. In the great tradition of academic investigation, Bob and Charlie are continuing in the pursuit until the data are relatively complete and things make actual sense. I have argued with both of them on various points, but the core fact is that these are two of the heroes of the current UC crisis.  They are both trying to expose budgetary incoherence and oppose bad policies that hurt the university and its people. Charlie Schwartz has been doing this for nearly twenty years, offering a long, exhaustive series of detailed financial analyses of various aspect of university operations.  I am unaware of anything like it in the United States. This series of reports, along with the efforts of Bob Samuels, Bob Meister, Stan Glantz and Eric Hays, among others on this blog and elsewhere, are crucial contributions to budgetary enlightenment and to university reconstruction. 

Schwartz should get some kind of distinguished service medal from the university administration on whom he has lavished so much intelligent attention.  That's not going to happen, so let me pause for a moment to honor these folks who obviously love the University of California and the University as a humane, generative ideal and who fight for it with all the skills they can bring to bear. I am thanking you.

Which also reminds me of this piece about UCI's Medical Center finances by Jessie Lee, whom I believe is an undergraduate journalism student at Irvine.  Has there been anything this good on the Med centers produced by regular staff with access to 25% of base compensation bumps from participation in the Clinical Enterprise Management Recognition Program?

An organization is only as good as its ability to honor the greatness of the people who make it up. How are we doing?

Thanks to one and all for this fabulous work.

2 comments:

xicano said...

I too want to say gracias to Charlie for all his years of research and analysis of an institution that has never had to make its inner workings visible to the citizens of California. It must get old being called a "gadfly." Personally, I like the flea in the lion's ear metaphor. In the last few weeks, I've been told at least four times by different colleagues across campus that we need to tone down our critiques of systemwide and local policy makers. Yes, we want to bring back public education but we can't be "too strident" and "too aggressive" or as one of my more fashionable colleagues put it "epistemologically violent." I think we should all thank Charlie and Bob for pursuing the truth in the face of the almost total capitulation to the neoliberal takeover.

Unknown said...

see comments on Birgeneau's "Loss of trust" Contra Costa Times etc

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