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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Links for January 18, 2012

For the Latest in UCOP's position on the budget you can listen to Patrick Lenz' spiel on January 11th.  And here is the budget update for tomorrow's Regent's meeting.

The Regents are moving their May Meeting to Sacramento.  Promise to Protest Cuts to Higher Ed.

Brown delivers his State of the State.  He is continuing to push for austerity.

Think Long has pulled its tax initiative from the ballot.

"Neo-Racism" in southwestern education.

Even the NSF has sounded the alarm about the fact that states are cutting investment in research.  The fuller report can be found here

The NSF is also trying to encourage more research experience for students at community colleges.

University of Michigan Grad Student says she was dismissed because of her union activity.

Illinois Attorney General to sue for-profit college for misrepresentations to students.

The latest venture capitalist effort in Higher Ed.

Another reason not to get carried away by an emphasis on using standardized tests to evaluate teachers.

To criticize would just be envy:  Goldman Sachs to spend more on bonuses even though revenue is down.

Photo: Jennifer Dibbern by Melanie Maxwell/Associated Press


cloudminder said...

there are a couple of pieces Ron Takaki wrote about growing up in Hawaii and that left such an impression - feel so sad reading that he is being banned in any part of the USA, or anywhere. just can't believe it.

TB said...

As far as the alleged firing of a U Michigan grad student over union activities is concerned, here is a link suggesting a rather different story: http://www.michigandaily.com/news/gsra-firing-followup
(Of course, it is possible to dismiss her fellow graduate students as not being a disinterested party, they are clearly more disinterested than Dibbern herself.)
On a personal note, being a science prof myself, I find it very hard to believe that a fellow science prof would target political activities of her students.
Personally, I am somewhat dubious about the value of grad researcher or postdoc unions as I consider both temporary gigs of chiefly training nature, although I do sympathize with their legitimate grievances, particularly in the fields (fortunately, not mine) where both GSR and postdocs are treated as low-cost long term labourers rather than temporary trainees. Nevertheless, if I am paying someone from my grant funds, I expect them to put their hours into that. What they do with their spare time, be it surfing, rockclimbing, union organizing or occupying anything they deem worth occupying is entirely up to them. I do, however, reserve my right as a supervisor to dismiss anyone not putting sufficient efforts into a project the grant is paying for. Notice that this is not uncommon: professors fire grad students for not performing and grad students leave professors and/or projects they are unhappy with. The students are free to look for another project or other source of funding. Nothing I read about Jennifer Dibbern's predicament suggests that her case was any different, aside from her own allegation of political retaliation. I am not saying that her allegations should be summarily dismissed, yet we should treat them with certain scepticism until all facts are out.

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