• Home
  • About Us
  • Guest Posts

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011
By Joe Kiskis, assisted by Eric Hays

December 14, 2011

Joint informational hearing

Senate Committee on Education and Assembly Committee on Higher Education-- UC and CSU policies, Procedures, and Responses: Campus police and on campus Demonstrations

Chairs Senator Lowenthal and Assemblymember Block

The hearing was scheduled for two hours but lasted about four and a half hours---non-stop.

There were four panels and a public comment period. Please see the agenda for details.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Jerry Brown announced 100 Million cut for UC, 100 Million Cut for CSU and 102 Million Cut for Commuity College System.  President Yudof  offers his normal stirring response.

UC Berkeley announces fabulous new financial aid plan where middle class families would contribute up to 25% of their gross family income to attend a public university.

Cornell announces new campus in NYC.  Apparently, Cornell's president doesn't think that Universities' tech sectors are as subservient to business as they should be.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes reflects on the decline of the public university.

Washington State tries to imitate the UK in having the state and business choosing which subjects students should study.  Oh, and they will continue to pay more tuition no matter what they choose.

In Colorado, students are paying more for public universities than ever.  And going deeper into debt.

Cooper-Union thinking of rejecting 150 years of history and charging tuition.  Sound familiar?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011
By Jorge Mariscal

My pessimistic intellect agrees with our colleague Rei Terada who recently wrote in this space: “A professor who agrees to be on a [Senate] committee thinking that from that position she’ll be able to limit damage and fearing that if she is not on it things will be even worse is not negating the legitimacy of the administration, so that should not be done.”

And yet my optimistic spirit tells me we must continue to fight in the belly of the beast if for no other reason than to force transparency where and when we can, to redirect the wheels of the contemporary version of the odious machine Mario Savio described so long ago, and to support those students who will undoubtedly rise up from January through June to protect their future.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011
by Bob Meister,

Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley, December 7, 2011: This panel has been asked to talk about how far we've come since the Fall of 2009--and where we're headed.
I

When I spoke in Wheeler Hall two years ago today, December 7, 2009, I asked Berkeley students to connect the dots between their ever-rising tuition, widening income gaps in California, and the then-dominant belief that educational attainment both explains and justifies these gaps.

For some years, I said, the University of California has been accepting credit for rising inequality (rather than blaming, e.g., capitalism) by arguing that our changing income distribution simply reflects the rising premium that college degrees command in the job market--the so-called “education premium.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011
By Lyn Hejinian

Two and a half years ago, in July 2009, the Regents of UC granted emergency powers to UC President Mark Yudof under the guise of freeing him to deal with an ostensible budget crisis.

There are a number of ways to frame what has transpired—ways to plot the diverse elements and track the various trajectories set in motion by the actions undertaken in the name of this budget crisis and in opposition to them.

And there are a number of ways to categorize or label or, to use the terminology I offered elsewhere, a number of ways to caption the situation in its totality or to caption notable moments, elements, and/ or events in it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
By Rei Terada

The moment we’re in right now is auspicious, fragile, and surprisingly well-defined. The thing that strikes me most about the moment is how much it is a particular moment, with specific characteristics and borders. It appears as the clearest-looking and most pregnant moment since students starting taking action in Fall 2009. It’s the moment we’ve hoped to attain since Fall 2009. And now that it’s here, it won’t last long.

In Fall 2009, UC’s upper administration must have assumed that they could wait out the student movement. This assumption has been proven false by a relatively small core of student activists who weathered a very difficult year in 2010-2011. What resources does the administration have for surviving the student movement, so that it can go ahead with privatization? (1) The frequent and intimidating use of the UCPD; (2) the criminalization of protest, including prosecution in criminal courts; (3) control of the UC bureaucracy; (4) a media strategy of deflecting attention to the Legislature (a strategy whose logical end would be the headline “Regents On Same Page with Angry Mob”); (5) unlimited funds at their disposal to pursue 1-4.

But we have seen the weaknesses in these strategies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
By Wendy Brown

Most recent concern with increasing tuition at the University of California has focused on undergraduate access–how the middle class is being squeezed out of quality higher public education, taking on preposterous levels of debt, or both. And most recent concern with retaining excellence at UC has focused on faculty compensation issues–how to maintain the salaries, pensions and perks that will allow UC to compete with the best of the privates for top research faculty. The commonsense view at UCOP and in the upper echelons of the UC Senate links the two concerns this way: however lamentably, we must keep raising tuition in order to fund faculty compensation...because faculty hold the key to UC’s excellence, and competitive compensation holds the key to securing us. As Daniel Simmons put it back in 2010, “If faculty quality and prestige erode, UC becomes just another state university. We can fix access and affordability if the state decides to fund us, but if we fail to protect the faculty, we are not going to get them back.” (3)

This logic occludes the serious crisis for graduate programs produced by skyrocketing tuition, a crisis that exposes the folly of privatization strategies and that cannot be solved by intensifying them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011
By James Vernon

The restructuring of higher education and the privatization of the public university has operated through a series of vectors: the push for online education, the challenges to access and diversity, the tremendous increase in studentfees and student debt, the growth of management bloat. It has been met—point by point—by a politics of protest. These protests have made clear that those defending Public Higher Education at UC must confront a number of problems. I’ll highlight just three:
by Chris Newfield

UC Berkeley Forum on Debt, Democracy, and the Future of the Public University, December 7, 2011

November was a good month for the free speech dimensions of the Occupy movement. Police brutality at UC Berkeley and UC Davis was denounced on an international scale, the outrage forced formal investigations to be convened, administrators at Davis suspended several police perpetrators, the Berkeley faculty senate censured some administrators, and the University president and the chair of the Board of Regents affirmed rights to certain kinds of protest.

Beneath the surface, protest and speech issues have not been resolved.  Four days after the Davis incident the Riverside campus proposed protest guidelines that demand prior approval for everything including the size of protest signs (you can sign a petition protesting the protest guidelines).  UC officials still reject occupations. And November was a very bad month for Occupy encampments around the country and for American civil liberties on a number of fronts.
At UC as elsewhere, the assertion of speech and protest rights is bound up with demands for full participation in policymaking and governance.  This time around, the Chronicle of Higher Education spread the word that many students were fed up with what one called “a false dialogue with a body, the UC regents, that is not democratically accountable to the students or [to] any members of the community.”   

Student speakers were also fed up with a budgeting policy that has clearly failed to sustain public revenues. As UCLA graduate student and grad union president Cheryl Deutsch put it to the regents, “Now you’ve said today that you are going to ask the state for more funding. But you have no concrete proposals for where that money will come from or how it will get to the UC.”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Last Wednesday (December 7) qui parle, Reclamations, and Representations organized a public forum on the present crisis, ongoing protests, and future prospects of the public University.  Each Journal has recently put out a special issue on the topic: qui parle's "Higher Education on its Knees," Reclamations' "Generation of Debt," and Representations' "The Humanities and the Crisis of Public University."  But the talks were not simply about the special issues.  Instead they ranged farther afield to address the questions of where we are and what is to be done.

We will be publishing texts of talks from the Forum this week.  We will begin tomorrow (December 12) with James Vernon's Introduction to the Forum and Chris Newfield's presentation, and then followed up the talks of Wendy Brown, Rei Terada and others.  Please check back for the actual papers and please use the comment space as a way to further discuss and extend the issues raised.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011
Occupy Davis dismantling for winter break.

Linda Katehi offers her take on the Context of Student Protests.  Of course, that doesn't address the fact that UC has a longer history of police violence.

In California the middle class is shrinking.  Oh, by the way, so are corporate tax payments.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
There is now a petition demanding the withdrawal of UCR's recently announced protest guidelines.  You can sign it here.

Mr Yudof Goes to San Francisco:  Addresses Chamber of Commerce on the logic of his liberal privatization scheme.  Still doesn't recognize that it is making the University worse.

CSU applications at record levels.  Aren't they cutting back on faculty?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011
UCSD Students reclaim closed Library.

Yudof names Task Force to investigate Davis police violence.

UCR Dean of Students issues proposed guidelines telling students, staff, and faculty the proper etiquette for protestFreeUCR responds.

The Occupy movements are expanding into new areas and tactics.
The Dean of Students at UCR has distributed a draft for new rules concerning protest on the Riverside campus.  They are actually quite remarkable.  Under the tag line "Your voice matters. Make an Impact" the Dean is proposing a system where only the most regulated protest activities are allowed on campus.  Not only is Riverside proposing the usual "time, place, and manner" restrictions but they are demanding that all protests be cleared with the administration two weeks before they are to occur, insisting that protesters clear with the administration any movement they plan across campus, make sure that your protest has been "approved," and don't use sticks with your signs (i.e. the conventional way that placards and signs have been held for the last 100 years or so).

Riverside is pushing these rules shortly after the Regents' November Meeting and in anticipation of the Regent's January meeting at UCR.  Clearly, at least some administrators are unwilling to meet the students except in situations where they define the rules.  These rules with their "checklist" sound like planning for a high school dance.  Is that really how Riverside's Dean of Students conceives of free speech and protest about matters of concern to the community?    Is President Yudof's notion of the "DNA" of the University really that protest is only allowed when it meets the approval of the authorities?  Is that the lesson in Free Speech the University wants to teach?

But rest assured that they are happy to have your voice heard in the precise way that they want to hear your voice.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011
As the UC Turns

Ignore those raises behind the curtain: Regents manage to find money to raise salaries of high administrators.

On Tuesday, Students and Faculty at Davis debated what is to be done242 Davis Professors Sign Letter in Support of Katehi.

Birgeneau canceled his scheduled appearance at the Graduate Student Assembly on Thursday.

Occupy Cal presses UCPD Review Board to act on November 9th events.  Board demurs.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011
The many UC crises this November have prompted challenges to longstanding prerogatives of unilateral governance among UC's senior managers. In the aftermath of both cases of police violence last month, members of the UC community identified the real problem as a chronic governance failure and then directly inserted themselves into the governance process.

On the police front, UC officials have long affirmed the generic value of peaceful protest while carefully protecting UC managers from its effects. In the contemporary protest period that began in September 2009, campus officials have allowed most temporary protests while blocking occupations, and have gone to great lengths to insulate officials from direct contact with protesters.
The police arrive for the UCLA section of the Regents meeting on November 28th.

More questions about Bratton.  He urged Brown University to arm its police.  And in case you missed it here is the CUCFA letter to Yudof opposing the hiring of Bratton.  Oh, and the Atlantic weighs in.

Rei Terada and Michael Meranze point out the larger problems exemplified in the Bratton, Robinson, and Edley appointments.

CSU Trustees postpone decision on executive compensation because of fear of protests.  They try to make it sound as if their plans make sense.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
At Monday's Regents meeting, Mark Yudof holds a giant copy of the ReFund California Pledge. It is apparently too big for the UC Regents to sign. But they were able to give some administrators pay raises.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011
Students Protesting at UCLA
Despite the Regents' absurd attempt to limit speakers to 60 seconds each (and the even more absurd rule penalizing people who wanted to pool their time to allow for more thorough statements), students, staff, faculty, alumni, and ex-Regents all seized the public comment period at this morning's Regents Meeting to make a series of important democratic points.

Running throughout the comments were at least 2 overriding messages:

1) That the time was long past for UCOP and the Regents to think that expressions of regret or surprise were enough: if words are not followed up by concrete actions they will seem little but efforts to divert attention from the University's real problems

and

2) That the administration (especially UCOP) and the Regents have lost their legitimacy within the University...  And it is up to UCOP and the Regents to prove that they deserve to have that legitimacy back.

Speakers made these points clear through a series of interlocking points.

9:18 president yudof speaking. Claims that due to ucop cuts and efficiencies if the state gives back some funding there will not be tuition. Not sure how he figures that. Then assures us all that we are all on the same side and he wants to protect dissent.

9:20 student regent speaking. Wanted part of meetng at davis so students could be heard. But there were few regents at dsvis to avoid large police presence. Asks students to speak. Student regents horrified by police actions at davis and berkeley. Acknowledges passion of protesters. Student regents moving on legislative front. "world is with students." But mist remain non-violent.

9:24. Speaker Perez speaking. Appalled by the police action. "unacceptable police response." police undermined claim to believe in first amendment. Were the police acting within policy? "inspired" by student response. Bratton commission cannot address the issue of the broader question of why students are protesting. Recent state budgets have lost sight of core values. Opposes the whole idea of tuition. Should only be old fees not an embrace of the notion of tuition. Pledges to work for more progressive tax system and use extra resources to fully fund higher ed. Thanks the students.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011
Uncivil Procedure has posted Behind the Curtain:  their analysis of the history of police violence at Berkeley over the last several years.

Here is the final version of the proposed Berkeley Senate Resolution condemning the recent police violence on campus.

When Altegrity hired Bill Bratton.  A little context.

A Petition has been started demanding that President Yudof withdraw his appointment of Bratton to head investigation.

Will Los Angeles' deadline for the removal of Occupy LA create a crisis where there was none?

Reclaiming the First Amendment.

In light of all of the intersecting Police Work here is the ACLU's warning about "Fusion Centers."

Update: Patricia Williams wonders if we have lost the right to privacy outside our homes.

Update: Just for the record we are relinking Dave Zirin's article on Penn State and Davis.

Update: Edley's Allies?  How online companies are trying to seize control of K-12 education.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011
by Catherine M. Cole, Professor of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley

Violence breeds violence. And that's why we must never tolerate violence at the university.

UC Berkeley’s recent pattern of violence started on November 20, 2009. The perpetrators were heavily armed police who assaulted unarmed bystanders located in a zone of free speech. These bystanders--unlike those who seized rooms in Wheeler Hall--were not doing anything illegal at all.

The Police Review Board’s (PRB) investigation into this incident should be read by all Berkeley faculty and Administrators:

The PRB report presented two overlapping theories of what went wrong that day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011
SOME DAVIS FACULTY GROUPS CALL FOR CHANCELLOR'S RESIGNATION

English Department  (Wa Po coverage)
Physics Department (partial)
Davis Faculty Association Board

The overall petition for Chancellor Katehi's resignation is  nearing 100,000 signatures.
The Davis Enterprise has an Occupy Davis timeline


UC FACULTY STATEMENTS

UC Academic Council (Robert Anderson to Mark Yudof)
UCD's Nathan Brown (Katehi Must Resign) Rally Speech Nov 21
UCD's Cynthia Carter Ching (We Faculty Let Students Down)
UCI Academic Senate Chair Craig Martens 
UCLA English Dept (Solidarity with UC Berkeley English)
UCLA Faculty United (On Removal of Occupy UCLA)
UC Merced Academic Senate Chair Susan Amussen
UCSD Faculty Association (Power of Collective Action)
UCSB Faculty (Letter to Chancellor Yang - Renounce Police Response)
UCSC Academic Senate (Statement; also Chair Susan Gillman on "Rebenching" as an underlying protest issue)
UCSC Graduate Student Association (Demonstration in Support of UC Davis faculty 11/28)

SUPPORTING STATEMENTS FROM OFF-CAMPUS GROUPS

AAUP
California Scholars for Academic Freedom
CUCFA (petition version),
Middle Eastern Studies Association
USC Faculty Statement on UC Police Conduct

Chancellor Katehi insists that the police were told not to use violence.  Many remain unconvinced

Occupy UC Davis remaining over Thanksgiving Break.

The Agenda is up for Monday's now you see us now you don't Regents meeting.  The Committee on Finance will be shaping the future in under 2 hours.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011
Dave Zirin in the Nation lays out further intersections between the scandals at Penn State and at Davis.  It turns out that President Spanier and Chancellor Katehi were both involved in the "National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, which 'promotes discussion and outreach between research universities and the FBI.'”

David Simpson writes on the recent events at UC Davis in light of the larger transformations in policing and America's political culture.

Occupy Davis continues:  and they are getting even better organized!

At Berkeley, student sets up tent and silent vigil on lawn of Chancellor's house.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Crank up the damage control: UC President Mark Yudof appoints William J. Bratton, former chief of NYPD and LAPD to review UC police procedures and to report in a month.

Yudof also appointed a systemwide policy review panel, to be headed by UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi now says police defied her orders when they used pepper spray. UC Davis police chief blames pepper sprayer Lt. Pike.  Students are not impressed.  See Katehi's speech to students on Monday, and UC Davis's California Professor coverage, e.g. "What Katehi didn't say."

Meanwhile, Lt Pike's fame grows and grows.  He is now the most viewed pepper sprayer in world history.  See the piece linked also linked above for Pike's mixed record as a UC cop.  On the other hand, kudos are offered UC Davis police by a reader in Bakersfield.

UC Davis had a strong turnout for the tuition protests in November of 2009.  I don't think it has every seen crowds like the 5000 on Monday (h/t CA Prof), and may never be the same again. It is now on the global protest map (e.g. Sueddeutsche), has a range of strong and militant voices, and has a growing reputation for protest ingenuity as can be heard in various call-outs to the police in the lead-up to the pepper-spraying.

Update:  The debate continues to grow on the spread of the use of Pepper Spray to subdue protests.  Even the originator of the technique has his doubts.

Update:  Linda Lye points out that "Police crackdowns on Occupy camps are real threat" to democracy, and public health and safety.

Update: State Board forces out President at University of Oregon.  He wanted too much autonomy and also gave faculty raises.  Faculty and Students are dismayed.

Update: Faculty and Students at UCLA's English Department have sent a letter of solidarity to their comrades at Berkeley.

Update: UCSD Students Mic Check Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
DAVIS: THE CRISIS CONTINUED

Pepper Spray Off Campus: Letter Calling for Chancellor Katehi to resign. And Facebook page.  Katehi addresses campus as outrage grows.  Audience unconvinced.

UC Davis Student Leaders condemn use of pepper spray.

UC Davis Strike Call.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011
UCLA Faculty Open Letter on Police Violence.  The Daily Bruin has more.

"The Turning Point": On the example of UC Davis Students.

Cynthia Carter Ching: An Open Letter to Students and Faculty.

Civil Libertarians and experts on Campus Policing appalled by recent UC Behavior.

"An Internet Meme": UC Davis's Lt. Pike plays various  Masters of the Universe.

Is the First Amendment only important in other countries?

UCSB Faculty Letter on UC Davis Police Violence

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011
UPDATE: Yudof to convene Chancellors.
Academic Council Letter to President Yudof

STRUGGLES OVER FREEDOM OF SPEECH AT UC CAMPUSES CONTINUE

After expressions of outrage, Chancellor Katehi begins to walk back her statements on Police Pepper Spray.  The SacBee has more details.

Students impose silent criticism.  More here.

Robert Haas points out that UCPD has given new meaning to the term "beat poets."

Davis Faculty Association calls for Katehi's resignation.

The Council of UC Faculty Associations Calls for an end to the violence against protesters.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011
DAVIS DECIDES TO COMPETE WITH BERKELEY NOT ONLY FOR STUDENTS BUT IN POLICE VIOLENCE

Uc Davis Police Pepper Spray Peaceful Students 

The Sac Bee has the story.  So does the SF Chronicle.  So does the Huffington Post.  Not to mention Salon.

Chancellor Katehi tries to Justify Police Actions.  Nathan Brown points out that her response doesn't make sense and calls for her resignation. Firedoglake picks up the story.

Is Berkeley Moving Backwards?  "Our Campus is Not a War Zone": An Open Letter to Birgenau.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011
Nicole LIndahl, Berkeley Law, describes her first direct experience with police brutality at Occupy Cal.

The petition calling on senior officials at UC Berkeley to resign has over a thousand signatures. 

UC police attack more tents, the revolutionary symbol of our time, in a pre-dawn raid at UCLA.

President Mark Yudof "unequivocally support[s] students' right to protest peacefully."

There is no news of disciplinary action for the UC police who prevented students from protesting peacefully.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Cal State Trustees flee meeting room: still vote to increase Fees by 9%.

Student Regent speaks out against the postponement of this week's Regents meeting.

LAO predicts low revenue:  Huge budget cuts are on the way.  LAO estimates up to 2 Billion in cuts.  Dan Mitchell looks down the road at the likely effects.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Huge Protests at UC Berkeley.  Here is a slideshow.  General Assembly votes to rebuild encampment.  Here was a live blogProtests across the CSU and UC systems: UC Davis with a slideshowOccupy Northridge.

Robert Reich: "The Days of Apathy are Over." With Video.  Even NPR realized it was important.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Day of Action Live Blog November 15th (Daily Cal)
Regents' cancellation coverage: LA Times; San Jose Mercury News (with UCPD chief quote that the protesters "chose physical confrontation")
Regents Cancellation doesn't slow protests at UC and CSU.
NBC LA says "leave the powerless Regents alone"
Occupy Student Debt
Decade-old decline in Illinois college attainment, which once led the country (Penn study).
Washington governor proposes an additional 15% cut for state's higher education system
Mayors coordinated on how to move against Occupations in their cities.  NYPD moved against press as well as protesters.  Was the Federal Government part of the planning?
Large Protests and Open University at Berkeley.
Occupy Movement spreading on California Campuses.
The following is a resolution--drafted by members of the Berkeley faculty--to be presented for a vote at the Berkeley Academic Senate Meeting November 28th.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011
REGENTS POSTPONE THIS WEEK'S MEETING   
Skepticism is expressed about the official explanation of cancellation


Occupy Cal call for Tuesday's strike and other actions.  Further Information can be found here.
 CFA on the CSU November 17th Strikes.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau describes November 9 video of police attack on protesters "very disturbing"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011
By Celeste Langan

I participated in the Occupy Cal rally on Sproul Plaza on November 9 (my sign, "We're Afraid for Virginia Woolf," made it to the Daily Cal’s top 10) and stayed for the general assembly. The organizers of Occupy Cal asked those who were willing to stay and link arms to protect those who were attempting to set up the encampment; I chose to do so. I knew, both before and after the police gave orders to disperse, that I was engaged in an act of civil disobedience. I want to stress both of those words: I knew I would be disobeying the police order, and therefore subject to arrest; I also understood that simply standing, occupying ground, and linking arms with others who were similarly standing, was a form of non-violent, hence civil, resistance. I therefore anticipated that the police might arrest us, but in a similarly non-violent manner. When the student in front of me was forcibly removed, I held out my wrist and said "Arrest me! Arrest me!" But rather than take my wrist or arm, the police grabbed me by my hair and yanked me forward to the ground, where I was told to lie on my stomach and was handcuffed. The injuries I sustained were relatively minor--a fat lip, a few scrapes to the back of my palms, a sore scalp--but also unnecessary and unjustified.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011
Toby Higbie's account of UCLA's November 9th protest is below.   With additional links 1.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011
By Rei Terada

In March 2010, about a thousand people at UC Irvine marched here and on the street, on University Avenue. I was amused that a couple of commentators wrote afterward that UCI students were “protesting reality.” Someone headlined a blog for The Atlantic, “Students Protest University Cutbacks, Reality”. This remark assumes that once reality has been determined, you have no right to say anything further. That assumption can be refuted in a number of ways, even if—and that’s an “if”—we don’t dispute the amount of the state budget shortfall since the recession of 2008. First of all, anyone who cares about reality should always ask, what makes the reality the way it is? What are the conditions on which reality depends? That is the question known as “critique,” and critique is the mainstay of the Enlightenment education that Universities historically support.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Penn State students riot for football coach fired in coaching staff molestation scandal (grand jury report).  The Nation follows up with a comparison of Berkeley and Penn State.

Crowds at Occupy Cal - Daily Cal Coverage.  Mercury News coverage with photos. SF Chronicle story and slideshow.  The AtlanticWire has a digest of news coverage.
.
Occupy Santa CruzOccupy UCLA. Occupy UC Irvine, Occupy San Diego  

And here is a first-hand report from Irvine:

Report from Irvine by anonymous
"We had a spirited teach-in and march in which about 400 participated, followed by a General Assembly in front of the administration building. TA and lecturer union reps, librarians, queer student groups, graduate and undergraduate students, and faculty spoke at the teach-in. Between the teach-in and the GA the students marched into ongoing classes and through the science library and the UCI bookstore. They chanted "Students' needs, not corporate greed" and "Educate, Occupy. Take back UCI." The OC Register has of course written us up with special attention to our profanity. (At one station of the march, a student began his speech with "My name is Alexander, I'm a student here and I'm fucking pissed off!")" 

Berkeley City Council has decided not to renew mutual aid agreements with UCPD and neighboring police forces in aftermath of recent police violence.  h/t CC

Thousands March in London.

OWS and the Reeducation of Desire.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Students, staff, and faculty engaged in protest across the UC and CSU systems today.  So far I've tracked reports from Berkeley, Channel Islands, Davis, Fresno Irvine, Long Beach Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma State.  I'm sure there will be more news as time goes forward.

Protests in London.  Surprise, Surprise, the Police were there as well.

CSU threatens to raise tuition next year by 9%.

Yudof starts to walk back early reports of tuition freeze. Now it depends on receiving large infusion from the state.

Did you notice that the state budget is looking really bad for next year?

The LAO responded to Brown's pension proposal.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Yudof announced no mid-year tuition hikes.  I wonder if he is nervous about protests at the Regents' party next week?

UC Davis plows ahead with plan to increase out-of-state and international students.

Bob Samuels discusses the rising inequality at UC here and here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011
In the last few weeks I've given a number of talks on college campuses about the self-feeding devolutionary spiral in puliic university funding.  I've tried to describe the mechanisms that are continuing to accelerate decline, and identify points of resistance that could help with rebuilding.   The goal must remain mass quality rather than limited access to premium content.  Our higher ed system is stratified enough as it is, and "private good" solutions only make it worse.

Robert Mejia offers an overview of my "Rebuiling the Public University" talk at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.  By coincidence, I spoke in the same room a few hours after UI-Urbana faculty had met their new systemwide president for the first time, and heard him speak directly about his plan to take control of enrollments away from each campus and centralize them systemwide.  This struck me as the kind of administrative exercise that makes an executive's mark without improving the institution itself, and that distracts attention from the deeper issues of rebuilding funding and upgrading academic goals.

An example of the deeper issue occurred the day after the coverage of the Illinois faculty meeting, in an article in the Los Angeles Times on how California public universities are leading the way in public tuition increases averaging over 8% last year.  The article started with a causal connection between legislative cuts to public funding and increases to student tuition.  But it then cited an expert saying that the real problem wasn't public funding cuts but public campus inefficiencies, particularly the inefficiency of faculty who don't teach enough.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011
In Oakland, Occupy supporters and city officials debated at a public meeting.  And you can get more information here.

Assembly Budget Committee expects 5-8 Billion dollar deficit next year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011
#OccupyOakland closes down nation's 5th biggest port.  UCOP appears to have asked its employees to stay away from the office, located near the occupation, and to work from home.

Colorado votes down a tax-increase measure for education.  The state governor wants to balance the budget by cutting higher education but much of the legislature is resisting.  The governor is a Democrat, and those opposed to higher ed cuts are Republicans.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Occupy Oakland Schedule for General Strike.  Live updates Other information.   Video

Colorado Voters say no to increasing taxes to pay for education.

Texas Board of Regents invests in company that trolls for course grading data; mandates that campuses sign on to it.

Regional Public Universities are lessening research commitments.

Universities intensify efforts to break into commercial world.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
By Stanton Glantz

cross-listed from KQED

Conventional wisdom says the UC and CSU funding crises are the inevitable result of recession-driven budget shortfalls, and the only solution is to soak students and their families.

But it's bunk. Shifting costs from the public to students is a deliberate act of public policy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011
Is that a costume you're wearing? Gov. Jerry Brown comes as the Honest Republican, proosing that California seek another Bottom-5 ranking, this one for oldest workforce unable to retire on their pensions.

The relevant UC Senate committee comes as the Partner in Reform, responding that the many good parts of Brown's proposal are the same as recent UC pension changes.

UCLA Management professor David Lewin comes as a Mangement Consultant, but offers the most incisive perspective on pension reform, similar Republican measures in other states, and the downside for both the economy and future retirees.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011
Student Regents speak out on rising tuition.   Daily Cal has an interview.  And here is a presentation.

Brown Proposes reducing pensions for public employees.   LAT can only discuss it in terms of politics.

Gavin Newsom vows to change the narrative on higher education cuts.  Do you think the Regents would even understand the concept?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
There are more concerns being raised about the proposed Negotiated Salary Program.

Surprise! Higher Ed costs continue to rise.  More data can be found here.

An even bigger surprise:  California leads the nation in tuition increases.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011
Not to worry: Dan Greenstein and other proponents of UC online assure us that it will maintain quality and not be used to downsize faculty.

Students are confused by UC's new admissions guidelines.

Task Force recommends changing the priorities of California's Community College System.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011
By Joe Kiskis

A previous post here provided a brief description of the proposed APM 668 Negotiated Salary Program (NSP) and comments from Professor Stan Glantz on the detrimental consequences of the similar Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP), long used in the UC health system enterprises. In this post, I offer comments directly related to language of the proposed NSP policy for the general campuses.

The merit and promotion academic personnel system at the University of California is a great asset of the institution. It is a well-documented and carefully followed system that closely associates rank, step, and salary with accomplishment in teaching, scholarship, and service as evaluated by faculty peers.

For many years, UC salary scales have lagged those of comparable institutions. To partially compensate for this, there has been a growing use off scale salaries, which are set on an individual and ad hoc basis.

It is now widely recognized that this decoupling of salary from advancement in rank and step is undermining unique strengths of the UC academic personnel system, and there have been repeated calls to reform the salary scales so that the traditional value of the merit and promotion system is re-established. Unfortunately the proposed NSP would not be a reform but rather an additional administrative mechanism that circumvents the merit and the promotion system.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011
Opponents of California's Dream Act begin collecting petitions in favor of a referendum to overturn it.

As minority enrollments in California have gone up, state funding has gone down.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
UC Riverside Students grade the State on its commitment to Higher Ed and it isn't a good one.

And it looks like it is going to get worse.  The Triggered Cuts seem to be on their way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011
Today in Links: The Costs of Athletics; the Destructiveness of Austerity; and the Foolishness of Managerial Ideology plus much more

And don't forget Stan Glantz' post on UCOP's proposal to further erode the salary scales immediately below.

Officials at UC and other universities have been scrambling to replace resources lost to public funding cuts.Most seem still to see extramural research funds as net positive cash flow for the institution, which they are not (one news link from our ample coverage plus one previous post).  But grants do provide funds for salaries, including partial salaries for faculty investigators, and with that in mind the Joint Senate-Administration Compensation Plan Steering Committee has hatched a plan for a new policy -- and new personnel section APM-668 --called the Negotiated Salary Program (NSP).

The basic motive is that the University needs to find funds to retain those faculty most at-risk of being recruited away by competing institutions.  The rationale is that since state funds keep shrinking, the University must look to non-state funds to fill in the gaps, meaning looking to federal as well as private grants and donations.  The model is the Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP), which the prosposal would extend to the campuses.

Agencies tie salary paid from a grant to research effort on that particular grants. The proposal discussion cites NSF and NIH language that forbids use of grant funds to augment a faculty member's salary (pp 4-6).  The NSP is meant to be a workaround. It would allow faculty to apply to members of their campus administration, starting with their department chair, to use some portion of extramural revenues as a salary augmentation ("negotiated salary component") for a finite period (1-2 years).

We post below a comment from Stanton A. Glantz, a faculty member in UCSF's School of Medicine. It discusses the major issues raised by the NSP proposal in the context of his knowledge of the health sciences plan itself.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011
Looks like Goldman Sachs has moved from the housing bubble to predatory recruiting for online ed.

Protesters heckle Rupert at his Education Summit with Jeb.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Jerry Brown is going to propose a constitutional amendment on Pensions.

New report from Berkeley argues don't blame budget problems on public employees.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Jerry Brown signs California Dream Act.  Vetoes Bill to allow diversity to be considered in admissions.

Dan Greenstein joins Jeb Bush and the President of US University at a cliché hurricaine in Dallas TX on the Future of State Universities.  As you know, it has been decided that the future of state universities is distance learning.  Greenstein, assured all and sundry that there was a need for "leadership that is innovative, has a clear vision, and is willing to take risks."  Greenstein claimed that "as a university we are committed to launching an online program for undergraduate students." This no doubt was a comfort to sponsoring Govs Bush and Hunt, who invoked studies showing that computer are better teachers than teachers are.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011
The Chilean police responded violently to student protesters; students' leaders targeted.

The LAT has realized that UC may no longer be affordable for middle-class kids.  Yet they don't actually oppose doubling tuition.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011
Occupy Wall Street (courtesy of Casey Blake)
More today on Banks, protests, international activity on higher education, and even some California news.  All below the fold.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011
More in today's links about protests and occupations, economic inequality, the defense of higher education and why it is that Harvard's economic influence may not be good for the country.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
A number of former University of California chancellors met at the end of June to discuss the state of UC, and recently released a statement we linked yesterday, one called Former University of California Chancellors Urge New Funding Models for UC.  The main result is another call for a high-fee UC, this time set at $24,000 for in-state students.

The word "new" has no place in the title of this document. Nearly all of these chancellors were in office during the twenty years of UC public funding decline, and have come together to advocate the acceleration of what they have been doing all along. This consists of advocating business-as-usual non-public revenue growth on a base of doubled tuition.

I've annotated the text below because it is an interesting expression of the intellectual gridlock that is preventing UC's senior managers from thinking their way to a better place. I am also trying to get you to read this kind of thing.  There's a lot more reading just like it coming up this fall, so get in shape!

My comments are in bold

The text of the former Chancellors' letter:


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
McKenzie Wark offers up some thoughts on how Occupy Wall Street is offering an allegory to counter an abstraction.  And how that is a good thing.  (H/t to Casey Blake)

The AFT and Bob Samuels offer an update on Occupy LA.  And here is another view.

And there is emerging information about plans for college occupations.

Former Chancellors call for new funding model for UC.  (h/t to Catherine Cole)

Working without the typical UC senior management blind spot, Stanton Glantz and Eric Hays update their "restoration" report to show that moving UC into a future defined as what the state had collectively already built in 2000 (including low tuition) would now, after the Brown Cuts, cost $49 / year instead of $32 (at the median). People who don't like the median (half of all taxpayers), should note that the restoration cost to taxpayers who make $400-499,000 (the top 5%) about $4400.

SDSU establishes second LGBT major in the country.

Bernanke is worried.  Blames everyone else. Maybe it would help if he read this.

Yale's endowment grew 22% last year.

But while some wealth grew poverty grew too.



Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011
Lots concerning Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots, student costs and debt, and the economic crises facing California in today's links.  Just check below the fold:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011
Sorry for the lack of links the past couple of days--it has been a very busy week.  Anyway, we have a bunch for you below the fold.

And don't forget Stan Glantz's post on UC privatization immediately below!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011
by Stanton A. Glantz, Professor of Medicine, UCSF


    UC (and CSU’s) ongoing financial problems are not a result of the fact that alumni are not generous, they are the result of the failed policy of privatization that UC has been following since shortly after Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor.  Schwarzenegger pursued an aggressive policy of privatization designed to shift the cost of higher education away from taxpayers on to students and their families. The increases in fees, while annually presented as a response to ongoing budgetary problems, were established as policy within the Compact for Higher Education that the governor signed with the presidents of the University of California and California State University in 2005.  The Compact implemented the governor's free-market ideology: A college or professional education meant higher earnings, and if people wanted those higher earnings they should be willing to pay for the necessary. State funding for education was not viewed as a responsibility to the next generation of Californians but rather as a "subsidy" which distorted the free market for education.

    While I do not believe that our current governor, Jerry Brown, shares former governor Schwarzenegger's ideological position, the reality is that he is not given public higher education priority and, indeed, has accelerated the budget cuts and push to privatization.

    Some University leaders have welcomed the changes, sharing the previous governor's view that privatization was a good thing that would allow the University more freedom, unfettered by the responsibilities and constraints of a public institution. Others remained committed to the idea of a public university, but felt that, given California's requirement for a two thirds vote for taxes in the state legislature combined with a rabid antitax position of the Republican minority in the legislature, privatization was inevitable.  These people reluctantly saw the idea of restoring the University of California to its preeminence as a public institution of higher education as unrealistic wishful thinking.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
English Academics respond to the Government's plans.  They have done so by offering an alternative vision of higher ed.

In a bold bid for the future, Texas may eliminate 1/2 of its undergraduate physics programs.

The recession has made income inequality in California even greater than it was before.

Faculty group releases proposal to change undergrad education at Berkeley.

Protest over Berkeley Republicans' "diversity" Bake Sale.

In case you were curious about what "Occupy Wall Street" looks like.  Because you sure won't get anything from the established media.  Although the NYT will be happy to tell you why you shouldn't care.

Hey David Brooks, math really does matter!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011
More on the Irvine 11 case.

Bob Samuels Reports from Washington.

Bob also comments on the President's "jobs bill."

Brown considering second part of California's Dream Act.  There is a lot of pressure over the question of financial aid.

It looks like David Crane's time on the Board of Regents is coming to an end.

But Crane is still continuing his fight to bust Public Employee Unions and people's pension plans.

The New York Times notices that there is a tuition crisis at UC. (h/t to Dan Mitchell)

Live Blogging on Occupy Wall Street.

The NYT condescends to Occupy Wall Street.

And why didn't the NYT notice this?

Looks like "right to work" doesn't solve everything: South hit especially hard in the lesser depression.

Ed Miliband accused of caving on Student Fees in England.

US News & World Report doesn't see any reason to change its rankings despite criticisms.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011
Important developments in the Irvine 11 case and Berkeley protests, Jerry signs the amazon bill, UC Davis is expanding, and nostalgia for shared governance.  That and other news and analysis below the fold.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Lots of Links today so I have put them below the fold to save front page space.  Don't forget Chris' recent post on the Regents immediately below this one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
At the session of their Finance Committee on September 15, the UC Regents had their most intense and serious discussion of UC's budgetary crisis in recent memory.  The immediate cause was the Office of the President's first multi-year budget framework, and the reason it stirred so much debate is because it pulls a tuition trigger if state funding comes up short.  I'll describe some highlights of the debate, the deadlock that resulted, and several likely ways out of the deadock, which requires a minor but difficult paradigm shift on the Board.

UCOP calculates a $2.5 billion funding gap by 2015-16 (Display 4).  (This understates the actual gap, which is more like $2.5 billion right now (Figure 6), based on the 2001 Pathway and revenue needs of the Regents' own priorities (Figure 7), but I am so happy to see actual numbers presented to the public that I will skip the criticism.)  UCOP then reduces the gap to $1.5 billion with efficiencies (also too optimistic but what the heck!). The important bit is that they set a clear quantitative goal of recovering some major revenues -- $1.5 billion -- and show Sacramento the exact consequences of non-restoration of funds. This is genuine progress, and formed the basis of an important debate.

The headlines before the meeting captured the outcome of UCOP's worst-case scenario of zero increases (actually not the worst, given recent cuts), which would take UC tuition to over $22,000 for in-state students by 2015-16 (close but probably too low: see our projection in March).  UCOP's strategy is clearly not to try to raise tuition to that level, but to pressure the state into doing its duty to high-quality public education by reinvesting in the university.

This is where the debate began.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
John Judis offers a very thoughtful overview of the ways that the present economic crisis repeats that of the 1930s.  There are some differences though including the changed nature of the world economy.  And given the ongoing policy mistakes of international economic and political leaders those changes mean that things might end up worse than the 30s. 

Contrary to the ideologists of hi-tech, the outsourcing of hi-tech jobs is a huge driver of US trade deficit and a serious contributor to high unemployment.

The latest Anderson Report suggests that inland California will lag behind in whatever recovery the State manages.   Without building and population growth inland unemployment will continue to be high.  But Anderson doesn't believe that either the state or the nation will fall back into another recession.  Of course that presumes that we aren't in one already.

2/3 of Californians oppose the automatic trigger cuts that were written into the state budget.

SJSU students protest being displaced from campus housing by large entering class.

Legal proceedings for Berkeley March Protesters continue.

Closing arguments in the Irvine 11 case are moving towards completion.  Defense attorneys defend the students' free speech rights.  Of course the Prosecutor doesn't like that argument.

In addition to his call for some tax increases, it seems that Obama's deficit plan does include serious cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

The IMF is now worried that policy makers in Europe and the US have bought into Neo-Liberalism too much.  When the IMF thinks you are too neo-liberal you really think it might give policy makers pause.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011
To distract yourself from the California meltdown, read UK Universities Minister David Willetts take to the Guardian defend the multi-year elimination of nearly all direct public funding, among his other measures.  See Willetts sophistically claim that government investment has not been cut because student loans are really the same as grants.

This weekend the New York Times magazine had several good pieces on education.  See in particular What if the Secret to Success Is Failure, which is about the role of education in building personalities that can sustain effort, insight, creativity, and success -- all depending on the kind of individualizing environment that budget cuts are wrecking at the public college level.

Salt Lake's Deseret News seems to be one of the few dailies that noticed the US slipping again in the OECD's international rankings of student attainment, this time from 12th to 16th.  Paul Glastris attributes national compacency to US News's annual parade of elite privates, which he says suggests the U.S. is still on top.

But there's a deeper dynamic at work, something more weirdly self-destructive within American policy today. For example, Paul Krugman writes what must be his 50th denunciation of irrational Hooverist austerity that torpodoes the economy -- or, in today's metaphor, that applies leeches to bleed an already enfeebled patient.  Closer to hope, I am nearly done listening to a recording of last Thursday's UC Regent's Committee on Finance discussion of UCOP's idea of presenting Sacramento with a simple tradeoff between increased state support and tuition hikes. There is no consensus among the Regents about what the legislature thinks of UC, and thus nothing close to a strategy.  I'll say more about this meeting later, but a mysterious vortex is pulling at everyone.

Many Regents returned to the old standby solution of increased private fundraising, this time with more emphasis on scholarships to preserve access.  At the same time, coverage of Moody's new report on higher education begins, "Public and private universities across the United States have been struggling with endowment losses, thin liquidity, declining gifts, reduced state help and resistance to tuition hikes since 2008."   Fundraising was flat in 2010, and the decline  in megagifts implies that the costs of fundraising are increasing faster than the returns themselves.  The Regental debate suggests skepticism towards philanthropy on the Board as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011
Even the Regents don't seem to buy UCOP's Magic Tuition Machine   But they are happy to raise executive salaries.

Regent David Crane thinks UC should become more like a private university.

Berkeley Public Education Coalition responds to Tuition increases.

Regents discuss Graduate Funding.

And the LAO is skeptical that UC needs so much money. (h/t Dan Mitchell)

Is the renovation of Cal Stadium a huge financial mistake? (h/t Catherine Cole)

The Defense has rested its case in the Irvine 11 case.

Illinois Labor Board certifies a faculty union at UIC.  Of course the administration is vowing to appeal.

Cutting Administration may not be everything.  But it sure isn't nothing.

Looks like the budget of the NSF is going to get cut.

Dean Baker offers some thoughts on the David Brooks lack of thought.

Ron Susskind reports that Tim Geithner blocked order to restructure Citibank.

Yves Smith doesn't believe that story for a second.

If you want to improve K-12 education you need to work with teachers not attack them.

Applications for Unemployment are up, the economy is down, and the political class is pushing for more cuts to government spending.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011
The LAT has more info on UCOP's Magic Never-Ending Tuition Machine.

CA Republicans have filed suit to block the redistricting plan because it didn't turn out the way they hoped.

The Trial of the Irvine 11 continues.

Nearly 1/4 of California's Children are living in Poverty.  It is a problem for the future as well as the present.

But apparently Texas (home of the "miracle") has the highest, and fastest growing, poverty levels in the country.

Central Banks are pumping Credit into European Banks.

UK unions have set November 30 as day of Strike to Oppose Pension cuts.

Community Colleges across the nation face increasing financial strains.  So do students.

California Student Default Rates:  They are highest at for-profits.

SAT scores are down.  Whatever that means.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Bob Samuels is taking the fight to Washington.

SFGate provides more detail on UC's plan for consistently raising tuition.

The Economist takes the time to remind everyone of a fundamental reality: California's semi-privatization of higher ed is bad for both the state and its economy.

The California Budget Project has the latest analysis on the long-term increase in spending on Corrections in California.

The State's Revenues exceeded expectations in August, but September will be key to whether "triggers" kick in.

The Delta Project suggests that in the first year of ARRA colleges did a pretty good job protecting core functions.   But they also show that gaps between rich and poor institutions are growing and that community colleges are being hit hardest by the cuts.

Higher Education Price Index rose last year at twice as fast a pace as the year before.

The number of Americans living below the poverty line is at its highest in over 50 years.  Blacks and Latinos have been especially hard hit.

The Washington Post points out that low capital gains tax rates have increased inequality.  Color me shocked.

Texas Teachers are struggling with the effects of $4 Billion dollars in budget cuts.

Congress has decided to make it easier to start Charter Schools.

Dems upset in two crucial House elections.