The UC Budget Crisis: Causes, Consequences, Actions, ... Solutions?Archive page with announcements and links to news reports 1009-1010; also section on online education.
On Oct. 5, 2011 the 2011 portion of this item was moved to a new News item with the same headline. (Apparently the database only has room for a certain amount of text, so that material was being cut off of the "bottom.") This is an archival item.
November 17, 2010: UC Office of the President: UC Budget Basics Fact Sheet (2 page pdf). Includes an interesting bar graph showing how the per-student funding at UC has decreased by 51% in real dollars since 1990.
November 17, 2010: UC Regents decide to raise fees, students and faculty protest:
- "UC Tuition Jumps Another 8 Percent: Regents’ Vote Comes a Year After Fees Hiked 32 Percent" SB Independent, 1122/10; includes interview with UCSB English professor Aranye Fradenburg.
- "UC students, faculty protest outside Regents meeting" SF Gate, 11/17/10
- "Regents' Meeting Marred by Pepper Spray, Arrests" Daily Californian, 11/17/10
November 8, 2010: UC President Yudof published an "Open letter to California" explaining why he wants to raise fees another 8% ($833) in 2011-12.
In the same issue the UC Online Course Pilot Project is announced. See online education section, below.
The UC budget is complex and opaque. See this detailed analysis of the various "fixes" that are being considered:
- "The UC's Path to Financial Suicide," Nov. 15, 2010 blog entry by Bob Samuels
October 22, 2010: Wall Street Journal: "Putting a Price on Professors." About how a Texas initiative is trying to quantify the economic gains created by various college professors.
- The blog baselinescenario.com offered a thoughtful rebuttal to the suggestion on Oct. 27.
October 11, 2010: New York Times blogger Stanley Fish: "The Crisis of the Humanities Officially Arrives." With thoughtful analyses by:
- Bob Samuels, "Everything Stanley Fish Knows About Higher Education Is Wrong" (Oct. 19), about how erroneous and short-sighted Fish's calculations are, and
- Chris Newfield, "Humanities Cuts of Choice" (Oct. 19) also challenges Fish's financial claims, but less strongly.
October 7, 2010: Rethink UC is holding a Day of Action at UCSB, starting at noon at the Arbor. See our Day of Action Event announcment.
September 21, 2010: The shift towards privatizing UC into an investment engine may be one of the roots of its budget crisis. See this Berkeley Daily Planet Eight-Part Investigative Series:
- "The Investors’ Club: How the University of California Regents Spin Public Money into Private Profit" (Sept. 21, 2010). Such blatant conflicts of interest are truly outrageous.
- "The Smell Test: How to tell the difference between a conflict of interest and a coincidence"
- "The Regents' Club: Conflicts of interest are nothing new at UC, but they are getting worse"
- "Seven Private Equity Deals: How Regent Richard C. Blum benefited from $748 million worth of private equity and bond investments by UC"
- "Four Case Studies in Conflicts of Interest by UC Regents: The nitty gritty on how these deals went down."
- "Billion Dollar Babies & The Senator's Educational Conflict: The University of California invests $53 million in two diploma mills owned by a regent married to a U.S. Senator."
- "Tapping the State Pension Fund: Against all odds, literally, a regent secures billions of dollars in CalPERS investments."
- "Blum Capital Partners Gets Lucky: UC owns stocks in all of the public companies in Regent Richard C. Blum's portfolio."
Sept. 16, 2010: StudentActivism.net reports: "Union, Students Aim to Shut Down Today’s UC Regents Meeting."
August 21, 2010: Alas, while the UC budget burns, UC's President can't squander enough money on his palace. See this Aug. 22 New York Times article: "University Head's Housing Raises Ire."
July 16, 2010: The California Budget Project has released its 2010 report on how California funding for K-12 education compares with other states: "Race to the Bottom? California's Support for Schools Lags the Nation (pdf, 5 pages). It is very depressing--we are near or at the bottom on all of the rankings.
On-line courses and degree programs are rapidly becoming another means the UC Administration and Regents are pursuing to save costs (hence their presence on this budget page). Here are links here to background documents, press releases and editorials touting the pros and cons--as well as some Regents' personal financial stakes in the program.
- "Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web," (New York Times, Nov. 5, 2010)
- "Report of the Senate Special Committee on Remote and Online Instruction and Residency," (May 2010 revision of Oct. 2009 document, with July 20, 2010 cover memo from UC Academic Council to UC President Yudof)
- UC Pilot Program Web site.
- July 15, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle article "UC regents endorse test of online instruction."
- July 16: Bob Samuels has a blog entry discussing what happened at this Regents meeting: "UC Regents Agree to Blame Sacramento and Congratulate Themselves."
- July 20: Bob Samuels also published an op-ed in the Huffington Post: "The Two Big University Lies: Why the University of California Wants to Promote Virtual Slums."
- Aug. 3: Bob's latest post "How the Push for Online Degrees Hides the Cause of the UC's Financial Problems."
- July 19, 2010: UCLA Daily Bruin article "Undergraduate online degree program proposed at UC Board of Regents meeting." UC Board of Regents informally endorses undergraduate Internet-based degree system.
- July 14, 2010: LA Times editorial "Is UC regent's vision for higher education clouded by his investments?"
On Feb. 10, the Pacifica radio program "Against the Grain" broadcast a show about Regent Blum's investments.
- July 14, 2010: UC Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Eadley's presentation to the Regents in favor of online degrees (pdf). Also available as a .mov webcast.
- July 11, 2010: Daily Californian article, "Online Education Moves Forward Despite Concerns."
- July 6, 2010: UCSB History Prof. Sharon Farmer, "The Future of Online Learning at UC."
- June 22, 2010 UC Berkeley Daily Planet article on how Regent Blum is steering investment into online degree mills in which he has invested: "Billion Dollar Baby: The University of California invests $53 million in two diploma mills owned by a regent."
The original column by Peter Byrne was published on spot.us (with the cartoon above), and republished with different subheadings at santacruz.com, as well as other places listed in the spot.us version.
Because of this, there is a move to dump Regent Blum.
Michael Meranze provides some background and discussion: "The Question of the Regents.
June 18, 2010: In this June 17, 2010 youtube clip: UC President Mark G. Yudof gives an update on the state budget process and UC's advocacy efforts in Sacramento. To help advocate for UC, go to UCforCalifornia.org.
May 26, 2010: Online Courses and Degrees: As a potential cost-saving measure, some UC administrators pushing for purely online education (as opposed to using online as an augmentation where educational benefits can be expected). Here are some relevant news items, documents and commentary:
May , 2010: Academe Online: Avoiding the Coming Higher Ed Wars. UCSB English professor Christopher Newfield explains why we need to dispel myths about how research is funded, and turn around the "impoverishment of the humanities," if want want public higher education to thrive once again in the U.S.
- KQED, 5/20/09: "UC Cybercampus?" (24 min. audio)
"As the University of California regents meet this week to grapple with the system's ongoing fiscal crisis, a proposal to create a degree-granting "cybercampus" is attracting attention. Proponents argue that an online campus could raise funds and increase access for underserved communities. But some faculty members fear the plan could undermine educational quality for little financial return. Guests are Christopher Edley Jr., dean of UC Berkeley's School of Law and Christopher L. Kutz, chair of the Academic Senate and professor of law at UC Berkeley."
A faculty member's spontaneous comment: "It appears that the Edley PR Train has steamed through the Chronicle [May 9, see below] and is now on its way to the Regents' meeting. I love the opening line here -- a proposal is 'attracting attention.' Oh really? Have they reviewed what everyone thought of his online nonsense in the Working Group recommendations?
Furthermore, there is an editorial in the NYT today ["Ex-University President Argues for Three-Year Degrees"] that advocates three year degrees. Nowhere is the idea of 'quality education' mentioned. It's all about the money, needless to say."
- Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/9/10: "U. of California Considers Online Classes, or Even Degrees: "Proposal for virtual courses challenges beliefs about what an elite university is--and isn't."
- Oct. 2009 UC Faculty Senate Report "REMOTE AND ONLINE INSTRUCTION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA" (30 page pdf).
May 21, 2010 The San Francisco Chronicle published an op-ed "Sacrificing educated workforce won't help" by UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang and Humanities Dean David Marshall. These two campus leaders make a strong case that, as they put it, "At a time when California's economic future depends on producing more college graduates and better-educated citizens, the state must invest in public education."
May 19, 2010 The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Promise of $500-Million in Savings at U. of California Will Be Tricky to Achieve." Limited online availability; some excerpts from the article:
"Joel Michaelsen has no trouble identifying money-wasting practices at the University of California at Santa Barbara. For instance, he says, some of the university's core student- and business-information systems are run on decades-old computers.Apr. 28, 2010 The UC Office of the President: released a "Brochure on the 50th Anniversary of the Master Plan for Higher Education in California." It outlines the contribution Higher Ed. makes to the State's economy, and has graphs showing how Higher Education in California is deteriorating. It looks like UCOP is finally taking the budget crisis seriously.
"We're getting to the point where there's nobody left alive who knows how to deal with them," says Mr. Michaelsen, a geography professor who is chair of the university's faculty senate. "We've got stuff that's on IBM mainframes from the 1960s."
As the University of California announced a goal this week to save $500-million per year--or 2.5 percent of its budget--by reforming bloated administration, nearly everybody agrees there is room for improvement. The system's 10 campuses run on an expensive, uneven patchwork of infrastructure, and some campuses handle tasks like purchasing and payroll far more efficiently than others.
But even as the university tries to compensate for large budget cuts, achieving those savings will be difficult. The university has made similar plans for decades, only to see its efforts hampered by poor coordination, a lack of start-up money for cost-saving projects, and local resistance to centralized administration.
Many public-university systems face similar problems, but the University of California must contend with a unique set of challenges. The sheer number of top-tier research universities in the system has encouraged a high level of campus autonomy, and historically strong state support has tended to reduce the need to cut costs.
Signs of Progress
The university has shown some signs of progress under its president, Mark G. Yudof, who took office two years ago in the aftermath of a series of pay scandals. Mr. Yudof identified $232-million in annual savings already achieved through measures like improved purchasing and shrinking the system's central office, whose size was a constant target for critics of university spending.
The system is using its borrowing power and historically low interest rates to give campuses interest-free loans so they can finance projects like more-efficient procurement systems, Mr. Taylor says. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the system plans to distribute $50-million in loans as well as more money for "gigantic" systemwide projects, he says.
But other ideas, such as expanding a regional data center in San Diego and building one in the Bay Area to save on information-technology costs, are still in their early stages. Some at the university are skeptical that Mr. Taylor and others can achieve the savings they seek.
'Taylor is new, and I really doubt he has much grasp of the nuts and bolts here,' Christopher Newfield, an English professor on the Santa Barbara campus and the author of a popular faculty blog, writes by e-mail."
Apr. 24, 2010 education4people.co.cc: 2ND STATEWIDE MOBILIZING CONFERENCE AGAINST THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION in Los Angeles.
The decision to call for this conference was made at the Statewide Mobilizing Conference of October 24th, 2009, where over 800 people from all of the sectors of public education decided together to call for the March 4th Strike and Day of Action in defense of public education..
The purpose of this Statewide Mobilizing Conference is therefore both simple and extremely urgent: to democratically discuss and decide on a unifying political platform and plan of action capable of bringing together schools, student organizations, labor unions, committees, coalitions, and parent and community organizations across the state to deepen and push forward this powerful and broad movement that shook the state and the country on March 4th.
Apr. 2, 2010: UCSB History graduate student TA: At the end of the first week of classes, dept. TA Lily Welty shared this experience with the rest of us about her first day of class, when many unenrolled students showed up hoping to be allowed to "crash" (enroll now), which we pass on so that visitors can see how it looks "in the trenches":
"As teaching assistants, we are the interface of the university for the undergraduates. Few university representatives have had a chance to hear them out in the ways that we have, and for the most part, we are in a place where it is important for us to listen and be sympathetic people--not machines with better things to do.See also our Winter 2010 statistics, below.
My first instinct was to just be cut-throat and ignore the chaos. Then I started to listen, the way that Darcy [our graduate program assistant] has listened to me when I have felt terrified. I heard stories like this:
* One freshman student has not been able to enroll in any classes because they are all closed. She has zero units.
* Another student on the soccer team will risk losing her scholarship because she can only enroll in 8 units, and she needs a minimum of 12 units to play soccer.
* A freshman needs the course I am teaching for her major, but it was closed before her first registration pass."
Mar. 24, 2010 LA Times: "UC panel proposes three-year bachelor's degrees, other big changes." The university's Commission on the Future issues proposals for revamping revenue and education policies, including taking more out-of-state undergrads, who pay more, and offering some courses online.
Reporting about the March 4, 2010 State- and Nationwide Day of Action to Defend Public Education
Mar. 6, 2010: UCSB Sociology Prof. Emeritus Richard Flacks: "marching forth." This blog entry contains an eyewitness report and a long-time activist's perspective and analysis.
Mar. 6-7, 2010: SB Independent:
- "UCSB Takes a Stand: Students and Faculty Pump Fists Against Budget Cuts."
Description of the on-campus rally by UCSB student Jordan Miller.
- "Protesting the Plight of Public Education."
Description of the on-campus and downtown rallies.
- "Marching Forth on March 4th: Santa Barbara Represents for Public Education."
Description of the downtown rally by UCSB student Maren Schiffer.
- "Protecting Public Education: What Difference Does Day of Action Make?."
Eye on IV column by UCSB student Alexandra Markus; includes interview with Prof. Fradenburg.
Mar. 4-5, 2010:
- Mar. 4, 2010: Washington Post: "Students protest cuts to higher-education funds." California's cuts are worse than those in other states because we are more dependent on state funding.
- Mar. 4, 2010: LA Times: "California Students Protest Education Cuts." Several hundred rallied at UCLA; Gov. Schwarzenegger was sympathetic. Note the over 300 comments.
- Mar. 4, 2010: CNN: "Protests over education cutbacks snarl traffic, lead to arrests." Also about protests in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Georgia, Colorado, NY and Maryland. (The SF Chronicle reported on Texas, too.)
- Mar. 5, 2010: Robert Bernstein has "23 photos of the UCSB rally and downtown."
- Mar. 5, 2010: Daily Nexus: "Students Manifest Dissent During Rally." Over 250 rallied at the Arbor on campus. With embedded video.
- Mar. 5, 2010: Huffington Post: "Day Of Action: TOP MOMENTS." Good overview, but nothing on UCSB.
- Mar. 5, 2010: San Francisco Chronicle: "Thousands rally on campuses, streets for schools." Hundreds rallied in the state capital. UC Berkeley students blocked the main campus entrance. In Oakland, 150 arrests of students who blocked I-880; police used pepper spray and a human chain to block 300 UC Davis protesters from blocking I-80.
NOTE: Information and a schedule for the March 4 "Day of Action in Defense of Public Education" is listed in this History Event posting. It contains a letter of support signed by 25 UCSB HFA and Social Sciences Division Department Chairs. [Note Nov. 2010: page not available]
Feb. 24, 2010: Huffington Post: "UC Irvine Protest: 17 Arrested" in a hall outside the Chancellor's office. They were supporting an action by the janitors, and protesting higher fees.
Feb. 22, 2010: the Council of UC Faculty Associations released figures indicating that it would cost a typical California taxpayer less than $32 on April 15 to
- restore state funding for UC, CSU and CCC to 2000-01 levels, and
- roll back student fees and tuition to 2000-01 levels
The information is contained in this 8-page report: "Financial Options for Restoring Quality and Access to Public Higher Education in California," which is co-authored by UC professor Stan Glantz and a former chair of the UC Systemwide Committee on Planning and Budget.
Feb. 17, 2010: Press Release by State Senator L. Yee: "State to Audit the University of California: Committee approves audit request by Senator Yee."
SACRAMENTO. The finances of the University of California will finally be examined by the state auditor as a result of an official request by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). After several improprieties and poor decision-making by UC executives, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) today unanimously (10-0) approved Yee's request.
Feb. 15, 2010: Huffington Post article by Bob Samuels: "Why Tuition Always Goes Up at American Universities".
Every year, tuition at American colleges and universities goes up, but no one seems to really know why. In fact, the average cost of higher education in the United States increases at double the rate of inflation, and by increasing 8% each year, the cost of tuition doubles every nine years. ...
Feb. 1, 2010: UCSB Daily Nexus: "UCSB Continues to Reduce Expenditures."
With $45 million to cut from UCSB's budget this academic year, administrators are scrambling to slash spending across the board. ...
Jan. 28, 2010: Huffington Post article by Bob Samuels: "How America's Universities Became Hedge Funds."
In August 2009, just one month after the state of California cut over a billion dollars from its higher education budget, the University of California (UC) turned around and lent the state $200 million...
Jan. 27, 2010: NPR All Things Considered 13 min. report by Madeleine Brand: "California Budget Woes Hurt University System".
The University of California is widely heralded as the best public higher education system in the country. Its 10 campuses attract talented faculty and promising students, who pay a fraction of what they'd pay to attend a private university. Now, state budget woes have meant severe cutbacks at U.C. schools.
Jan. 22, 2010: History Department Statistics for Winter 2010:
Lower-division: We have six courses with a maximum enrollment of 1,674 seats. As of the end of the second week, only 34(!) of these seats remained open; we are thus at 98% capacity. Despite the sharply reduced number of TAships, we are teaching about the same number of students as Winter 09, in part because we've eliminated honors sections and in part because last Winter we were at "only" 89% capacity.Jan. 13, 2010: LA Times editorial: "Not her mother's UC: Budget cuts mean my freshman daughter's experience at UC Santa Barbara is far from the system's glory days." Don't miss the comments--this article, deemed very accurate by many UCSB professors, has prompted a flurry of responses. (Note: you only get a few with the article; click "see all comments" at the bottom for more.)
Upper-division: Lecture courses enroll more than 2,000 students this quarter. We are at 94% capacity. The average size of our upper-division lecture courses is now 71 students. In Winter 09, average enrollment was 58 students and we were at 84% capacity. Despite significant cuts to our budget for lecturers, we are teaching an additional 400 students in our upper-division lectures courses compared to a year ago.
Undergraduate seminars: Average enrollment is now nearly 16. Last year at this time, our undergraduate seminars had an average enrollment of 9 students. In fact, the largest undergraduate seminar in Winter 09 (14 students) was smaller than the AVERAGE in Winter 2010.
Jan. 6, 2010: UC Newsroom: Proposed constitutional amendment would guarantee funds for UC. Article reporting on the implications for UC funding in Gov. Schwarzenegger's State of the State speech today. With links to statements by UC President Yudof, Regents Chairman Gould and others.
While the UC administration was quick to embrace the governor's plan, critical analysts point out that it is contingent on the continuing privatization of the state prisons, and has many hurdles to reach before realization. See:
- Assembly Speaker Karen Bass's response in this: 4 min. calitics video clip.
- Jan. 8, 2010: Bob Samuels' Changing Universities Blog: The Governor's Bold Plan or Another Media Event?.
- Jan. 11, 2010: President Yudof again plugs the governor's plan on this youtube video.
Jan. 4, 2010: New Yorker article by Ted Friend: Protest Studies: The state is broke, and Berkeley is in revolt. This article prompted a reflection on: Bob Samuels' blog, Jan. 11, 2010: The Next Big Social Movement?: UC in the New Yorker.
Dec. 28, 2009: LA Times again plugs the gov's plan: Restoring an educational gem's luster: Cuts are fast eroding California's once-vaunted system of public colleges and universities. Judicious change can address new realities while affirming the enduring goals of the state's master plan.
Dec. 18, 2009: SB Independent: UC Budget Numbers Don't Add Up, Scholars Claim. Report about the 12/15 protest at UCSB.
Dec.15, 2009: SB Independent: We Need More College Grads, Not Fewer: Student Fee Increases Will Hurt Our Economy, by State Assembly candidate Das Williams.
Dec. 13, 2009: Blog: On UC Occupations and the (International) Student Movement, by UCB student Shane Boyle. An interview with Boyle was also published on Dec. 18 in the German newspaper analyse & kritik: You see [U.C.--get it?] strike: Interview über die Uniproteste in Kalifornien. A wave of protests is also sweeping across German universities.
Dec.10 , 2009: LA Times editorial: Why privatizing the University of California won't work: UC has been a driver of the state economy and an engine of socioeconomic advancement. Raising fees to private-university levels would undermine its mission of equal opportunity.
Dec. 7, 2009: Blog Remaking the University: Looking Back and Looking Forward. by UCLA historian Michael Meranze, a historical analysis of some of the various narratives behind the implementation of the business model of the university.
Dec. 5, 2009: LA Times local: UCLA police tactics at protest investigated
: Officials are examining charges of unnecessary force in the demonstrations over fee increases.
Dec. 4, 2009: Fresno Bee: Union seeks resignation of UC exec targeted for improper expenses. About David Ernst, who misused funds while working for Cal State.
Fri. Dec. 4, 2009, 3:30pm: Chancellor's Town Hall Forum for faculty and staff.
*Webcast, to be available at chancellor.ucsb.edu/forums/. The webcast of the chancellor's forum for students on 11/30 is also available there.
Thu. Dec. 3, 2009: Daily Nexus reports on the UCSB student hunger strike: Fast Contests Kickbacks.
Wed. Dec. 2, 2009: 27 hour protest fast in front of Cheadle Hall at UCSB begins.
*KEYT 3 TV News, 12/3: 2 min. video Fasting For Education. Includes a statement by Chancellor Yang.
Dec. 1, 2009: Santa Cruz Sentinel: UC president cancels Santa Cruz visit; demonstrators credit likely chilly reception. (See also the "related articles" in the right column.)
Dec. 1, 2009: a summary of Bob Samuels' analyses of the UC budget "crisis" (he argues that it is NOT a real crisis, lavishly illustrated with graphs and tables, was published today at ucpay.globl.org: "A Crisis of Priorities: Why Sacramento is NOT 'The Problem'." (this site is devoted to the publication of UC salary data)
Nov. 26, 2009: UCSB Daily Nexus: "'Dead' Demand Answers: 'Die-in' Claims UC Affordability Is Six Feet Under."
Nov. 25, 2009: Bob Samuels' Changing Universities blog has a new entry: UC's Fiscal Health, in which Samuels publishes excerpts from a recent Moody's report indicating that UC is actually generating billions of dollars of profits while it is claiming to be in dire financial straits.
Nov. 24, 2009: CBS channel 5 (Bay area): "Cal Probing Brutality Claims Amid New Protests."
Nov. 23, 2009: SB Independent: "Massive Tuition Hikes Passed: UC Regents Approve 32 Percent Increase; Students Protest En Masse." Long, well-illustrated article featuring the student protests.
East Bay Independent: "~100 people have occupied the lobby of UC headquarters in Oakland." Unfolding news with photos.
Nov. 23, 2009: Time Magazine: Top 10 University Presidents: Mark Yudof was named one of them (no. 9).
The Dec. 3, 2009: City on a Hill student newspaper published a collection of responses: Time Magazine Declares Yudof a Top University President.
Time later published a number of critical letters to the editor regarding Yudof.
Nov. 21, 2009: LA Times: 41 arrested in UC Berkeley protest
: Fee hike and budget cuts trigger the occupation of Wheeler Hall.
Nov. 21, 2009: LA Times editorial: UC on the Brink: Another increase in 'fees' hits students hard, but the system itself may now be at risk. The Times sees fees increases as "inevitable," but worries that private schools are recruiting away California's best students, leading to an erosion of UC quality.
Nov. 20, 2009: New Hour with Jim Lehrer: 0:20 YouTube clip. UC President Yudof said: "Many of our, if I can put it this way, businesses are in good shape. We're doing very well there. Our hospitals are full, our medical business, our medical research, the patient care?-so we have this core problem, who's gonna pay the salary of the English Department? We have to have it. Who's gonna pay it, and Sociology, and the humanities, and that's where we're running into trouble." (transcript & video of segment on fee hikes @ PBS.org)
Nov. 19, 2009: LAist website: At Least One Student Was Tasered at UCLA Today (and a Protest Recap), with photos.
November 18, 2009: UC Regents vote to raise student fees 32%.
11/19 Daily Nexus articles "Council Adopts Tuition Increase, and "Police Arrest Dissenters at Fee Summit."
The New York Times reported on Nov. 19 as well: "A Crown Jewel of Education Struggles With Cuts in California [reported from Berkeley, since the "paper of record" need not report on location, I guess].
At 4pm on 11/19 AP reported "Group blocks regents from leaving UCLA building.
November 17, 2009: Today's protests in Berkeley were featured on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now.
11/18/09: "Amidst California Fiscal Crisis and Political Gridlock, Scholar and Activist George Lakoff Proposes Ballot Measure to End 2/3 Rule in State Legislature."
11/20/09: "As UC Regents Approve Major Tuition Hike, Students, Faculty Decry Erosion of Public Education in CA and Nationwide" (includes interview with Bob Samuels).
November 16, 2009, Monday, 12 noon-12:30pm: Rally in front of Cheadle Hall, where Chancellor Yang has been invited to "read his public statement opposing the budget cuts and fee increases, and affirming his role as a public advocate for students and workers at the UC Regents meeting".
- 11/17 Daily Nexus article "Student Rally Rebukes Fees."
Nov.13+15, 2009: The UC Regents are meeting from Nov. 17 to 19 at UCLA.
- The meeting agenda and instructions on how to listen in can be found at: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/nov09.html.
- On Nov. 17, KPCC's Patt Morrison will be broadcasting live at UCLA from 1-3pm. Listen live at the SoCal Public Radio listen-live page.
- The broadcast will probably be archived at Patt's KPCC blog under 11/17/2009.
Nov. 15, 2009: Bob Samuels posted two new must-read blog entries regarding the Regents' mishandling of UC finances and the non-instructional uses of student fees:
Nov. 4, 2009: LA Times op-ed by Jeff Bleich, chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees (equivalent to the UC Regents): California's higher-education debacle: Watching the decline of the California State University system from within its boardroom mirrors the erosion of the California dream.
This is a very powerful story. Don't miss the comments--they have some interesting stats, as well as the "don't take my hard-earned money" perspective.
Oct. 22, 2009: The so-called Gould Commission on the Future of UC conducted its first open forum at UCSB. A complete podcast of the event is available on the UCSB Chancellor's UCFuture website.
- Additional links and the texts of many of the statements presented at the Oct. 22 forum are available at the Saving UCSB site run by concerned UCSB faculty. [Nov. 2010: site inactive]
Oct. 27, 2009UCSB Daily Nexus: "UCs Governed by Well-Paid Gravedigger," student editorial about the problems presented at the Oct. 22 forum and the preceding teach-in, by Jamie Silverstein.
The Santa Barbara Independent published articles/letters by UCSB faculty, including:
- Richard Appelbaum, Sociology, "UCSB Avoids, Reinterprets Furlough Regulations" (Oct. 22)
- Sharon Farmer, History, "Can the UC Be Saved?" (Oct. 29)
Oct. 14, 2009: A teach-in organized by concerned members of the UCSB academic community was held today. Here are some links to information and reports:
- UCSB Press Release 10/5: "Teach-In at UCSB to Explore Solutions to UC Budget Crisis ."
- Official Teach-In Website: I'm For Option 4 : option4.ning teach-in page, with flyer and program.
- Complete audio at KCSB 10/14: KCSB Teach-In page (three mp3 files at bottom).
- Video webcast at CageFree TV: part 1a[link broken?]; part 1b; part 2.
- Noozhawk.com 10/14: "UC Budget Crisis at Forefront of UCSB Teach-In: Speakers at the forum say administrative salaries and rising fees are taking a toll on higher education." with photos and 15 comments
- Ole' Today (Isla Vista news), 10/15: "UCSB Teach-In Brings Modest Crowd."
- SB Independent 10/19: "UCSB Hosts Teach-In: Daylong Public Forum Scrutinizes Budget Issues."
Oct. 4, 2009: The UK Manchester Guardian published an article putting the UC problems in a much larger, world-historical context:: "Will California become America's first failed state?" The article ends on a very hopeful note, with indications about what might be going right in the state.
While we're looking at the big picture, last June (2009)'s commencement speaker, UCSB History Ph.D. Elizabeth "Ellie" Shermer (UCSB History Dept. page), outlined the history of the "refounding" of the UC system in the 1950s and 1960s. Her speech is available in a May 2009 News announcement, on this site.
Oct. 1, 2009: UFT President Bob Samuels' blog about UC Financial Policy: "Telling the Truth about the UC Finances." This addresses the issue of the extent to which the state may or may not be responsible for the UC funding crisis, as opposed to decisions made by UCOP.
Samuel's Changing Universities blog has quite a few relevant analyses of the current situation and its causes.
News reports on the Sept. 24 "Day of Action" across the 10 UC campuses:
- SB Independent: "Protesters Target UC Regents, Decry Fee Hikes, Furloughs with Poetry and Speeches."
- KSBY radio: "UC Santa Barbara students participate in UC-wide demonstrations."
- YouTube videos: "September 24th Protests and Teach In" (mostly UCB, but UCLA, UCD, UCI as well).
- CSU Protests: "September 29 LA Times local news report."
- Guardian, Sept. 24: "University of California campuses erupt into protest: Students and faculty members demonstrate against plans to raise tuition fees and cut workers."
- UCLA Daily Bruin, 9/28/09: "Misdirected budget cuts cheat students out of quality education" by a writing program lecturer, and a "letter from senior Fowzia Sharmeen.
Sept. 24, 2009 New York Times Magazine interview with UC President Yudoff: "Questions for Mark Yudof: Big Man on Campus."
This interview has provoked responses from UCSB faculty members and others:
- Prof. Mary Furner, on Prof. Chris Newfield's blog
- Prof. Janet Walker and Steve Nelson, Letter to the LA Times
- Bob Samuels, on Changing Universities blog
- A dean in the NE US, on his blog
- Pres. Yudof responded in an interview with journalists from the UC student newspapers. See the Oct. 5 UCSB Daily Nexus article "Yudof Reviews UC Financial Dilemma: University President Discusses Monetary Predicament."
- 10 UC Faculty Senate Presidents, in a letter published in the Oct. 15, 2009 New York Times Magazine
What events happened on Sept. 24, 2009?: 11:30am rally at the Arbor.
The Sept. 24, 2009 Daily Nexus has an article: "Teachers Strike for Rights: Fee Hikes, Budget Cuts Prompt Walkout."
UCSB's Associated Students did not support the walkout. See their Sept. 16 Letter to Faculty and Staff (pdf) from the UCSB Senate budget page.
The college's deans also wrote a 9/21 Open letter to students.
The UCSB History Department did not take an official position on the walkout.
On Sept. 23, 2009 NPR's All Things Considered did a 4:48 segment "University Of Calif. Faculty, Students To Walk Out." A prof. at UC Davis lays out the rationale behind the walkout by faculty and students and strike by unionized staff and graduate student instructors.
The UCSB History Department has formulated guidelines for professors on how to manage the vastly increased instructional workload with fewer resources, while maintaining the UC mission of research and tradition of shared governance. In addition to those guidelines, the following articles, documents and editorials provide information as the situation evolves.
Sept. 24, 2009 the first day of instruction, has been declared a "day of action" with a walkout by faculty and students. For the latest information, see the Walkout organizers' blog. The organizers at UCSB itself run a site called I'm for Option 4.
The UC Office of the President plans to raise student fees by 30% over two years. See this Sept. 11 San Francisco Chronicle article: "UC president recommends huge tuition increases", and this LA Times article, "UC students face increased fees."
Student leaders are calling on students to walkout on 9/24 to protest these plans.
See this walkout facebook group.
On Sept. 13, UCSA, the governing body representing all 225,000 students in the UC system, unanimously passed a "Resolution in Support of the September 24th UC-Wide Walkout" (pdf).
Graduate Student Organizers are collecting signatures of support for the walkout, with an lOpen Letter to UC Graduate Students explaining why.
Sept. 19, 2009 LA Times editorial, "UC fee hikes: a two-edged sword." Note that the Times accepts the fee hike as inevitable, proposes to extend furloughs/pay cut for next year, to accept more students from out of state, and to charge extra money for those who stay in school more than four years.
UCSB's Chancellor Henry Yang reported at the Sept. 16, 2009 UC Regents' meeting, on the "Effects of the Furloughs and Budget Cut Impacts @ UC Regents' Meeting." Listen to the 7:23 min.audio clip on KCSB. The picture is very, very dire.
See also UC President Yudof's remarks (11p pdf transcript, page with video links). He notes that while in the 1980s 17% of the state budget went to higher education and 3% to prisons, now only 7% goes to higher ed, and 9-10% to prisons.
UC Budget Crisis Teach-in at UC Berkeley 9/14/09 is available on YouTube: See this playlist of 5 presentions (they are each 12-19 mins. long total).
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 14, 2009: "The Economic Freeze on History". This report about a survey conducted by the American Historical Association shows that History departments across the country are also feeling the pain of the recession and budget cuts.
The Santa Barbara Independent quoted several UCSB History professors in its report about an August 14, 2009 Town Hall Forum about the UC budget cuts and Faculty & Staff furlough days: "UCSB Faculty Fumes at Furloughs Forum / Town Hall Meeting Indicates Staff Is Split on Course of Action"
What's the Matter with UCOP?
On the use of furlough days, all UCOP had to do was keep quiet. Why couldn't it?
by Chris Newfield, UCSB Prof. of English
blog Remaking the University, Aug. 26, 2009
(this blog contains links to many documents and breaking news across all UC campuses regarding the furlough plan implementation)
UCOP Mandate Morally and Politically Unacceptable
by Mary O. Furner, UCSB Prof. of History
blog Remaking the University, Aug. 24, 2009
The UCSB Academic Senate (Faculty Senate) is maintaining a page of links to documents about how the budget cuts and furloughs will be implemented.
On Aug. 31, 2009 UCB Professor Catherine Cole wrote this Open Letter to Students explaining the situation in detail.
The UCSB Human Resources Department maintains a page of links to information about how the budget cuts and furloughs will be implemented.
On August 27, 2009 the UC Office of the President released guidelines for faculty on the use of furlough days. These additional guidelines can be found at:
Here are some additional commentaries and news items that may be of interest:
California's Crisis: Coming to a Neighborhood Near you
by Michael Meranze, History Professor at UCLA
Huffington Post, August 24, 2009
Stealing From California's Young People
by Joseph A. Palermo, Associate Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento
Huffington Post, August 24, 2009
And in spite of all that, UCSB remains a premier university, ranked nationally no. 11 among public universities, and 42 among all US universities, according to US News & World Report: "UCSB Ranked Among Best Universities."
This is underscored by a Nov. 5, 2009 article in the Santa Barbara Independent: "UC Campuses Dominate Rankings: UCSB Scores Well by Many Measures.