Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UC Profs speak out about the budget crisis

Heads up: there's going to be a huge UC walkout tomorrow, which corresponds to the first day of class for many of the campuses.

Here are some presentations I found on UC TV:

Catherine Cole makes an impassioned plea to students about the importance of UC's mandate to be a public university.

Alan Karras, a grievance officer for the lecturers' union, explains how the cuts have affected non-tenure-track faculty. On some campuses, entire departments of lecturers (like in writing and langauge programs) have been laid off for restructuring. "I know for a fact that there are between 60 and 75 fewer lecturers on this campus than a year ago. That's the loss of four hundred classes."

George Lakoff explains how California got to this place with the passage of Prop 13, which defunded public coffers and made it so that CA legislature needs a two-thirds vote to pass a budget rather than a simple majority.

And this study --- UC's Hidden Wealth: An Analysis of 10 Years of UC's Financial Reports: A Study for the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) --- has been going around my facebook feed for several days now. I'm not entirely sure how to read it, especially since it is from 2001, but it makes a case that the UC is playing fast and loose with the definition of "restricted funds"; the UC argues that large amounts of its reserves are restricted and therefore cannot be used to expand course offerings or fund pay raises, when in fact restrictions have not been placed on these funds by the state legislature or outside grants, they have simply been labeled "restricted" by its own administration. I tried to poke through the numbers on these slides and those of UCOP's, but am having troubles. I am seeing the need, if not the joys, of going back to grad school for a degree in forensic accounting. Always follow the money!

And I've got a protest to get to. See you on the flip side! (Wanna send me walkout pictures from your campus? I'll post 'em!)


Shane in SLC said...

Hey, I know Catherine Cole! She's awesome...

The first day of classes?!? We're just finishing up week five. I miss the quarter system...

Good luck with the walkout. Such a thing could never happen here, where everyone just rolls over and blithely accepts the judgment of our wise paternalistic fathers in the legislature.

Sisyphus said...

She is indeed awesome. It is a great speech she reads off there. Judging from our campus's teach-in, professors can make really moving and great speeches ... but not extemporaneously.