Archive for April, 2008
by Ian Kennedy
Spotted by a DFA member , on pages A11 and A13 of the NY Times April 28, two FULL page adds from UCLA
ACCESS OR EXCELLENCE “Everyone has a shot at UCLA. Everyone. Not a guarantee; a shot”
IT OUGHT TO BE A DOUBLE MAJOR “If UCLA were simply a world class university, it would still be exceptional. But it happens to be a world-class research university, and that makes it extraordinary.”
Are we seeing the first shots in a tier one campaign by our colleagues?
One of our members spotted the following issue in the AAUP news at
On March 17, 2008, the AAUP and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression filed a jointly-authored amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The amicus brief supported the appeal of Dr. Juan Hong, a full professor at the University of California-Irvine, in his suit against the university and its administrators. Dr. Hong had, while participating in faculty governance, allegedly angered university administrators by opposing certain faculty hiring and promotion decisions and by his opposition to the university’s use of lecturers in place of professors. After Dr. Hong was denied a merit salary increase, he filed suit against the university for violating his First Amendment right to free speech.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected Dr. Hong’s claim, finding in favor of the university. The judge reviewed the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) (see discussion above) and concluded that because Dr. Hong was purportedly acting “pursuant to his official duties,” which included participation in faculty governance, he could not avail himself of First Amendment protection if his employer retaliated against him based on his expression of opposition to the university’s policy. According to the court, the University of California-Irvine “‘commissioned’ Mr. Hong’s involvement in the peer review process and his participation is therefore part of his official duties as a faculty member. The University is free to regulate statement made in the course of that process without judicial interference.” In so holding, the court failed to acknowledge the fact that courts treat the speech of professors in an academic context differently than the speech of employees of public agencies in other contexts, and that the Garcetti decision explicitly set aside the question of academic speech.
The amicus brief focuses on the unique status granted to academic speech, including involvement in shared governance. The brief notes that academic speech has been accorded special First Amendment protection by the Supreme Court, starting with Sweezy v. State of New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234 (1957) (Frankfurter, J. concurring) through Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589 (1967) and Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), and argues that such protection must include the right of faculty to participate in shared governance. The hallmark of such cases, the brief notes, is the recognition that academic freedom merits distinctive First Amendment protection against repressive action from within or outside the campus community. The brief also notes that the district court mistakenly characterized Dr. Hong’s participation in faculty governance as an “official duty.” Instead of a “duty”, the brief argues, participation in faculty governance is part and parcel of professors’ First Amendment-protected right of academic freedom to speak without fear of retaliation.
Higher education leaders visit lawmakers to protest proposed budget cuts; cite devastating consequences for California
Ian Kennedy has asked that I forward this press release to the members of the DFA.
This press release originated at:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 28, 2008
CCC contact: Tod Burnett (916) 445-4434, mobile: (916) 955-8655, firstname.lastname@example.org
CSU contact: Claudia Keith (562) 951- 4813, mobile: (562) 355-4479, email@example.com
UC contact: Paul Schwartz (510) 987-9924, mobile: (510) 387-5434, firstname.lastname@example.org
Higher education leaders visit lawmakers to protest proposed budget cuts; cite devastating consequences for California
Citing the potential for serious harm to the state’s economy and future, the leaders of California’s three segments of public higher education — the California Community Colleges , the California State University and the University of California — today (April 28) are making a rare joint visit to the state Capitol to urge policymakers to resist deep budget cuts for public higher education.
As part of CSU’s annual visit to legislators, CCC Chancellor Diane Woodruff, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and UC President Robert Dynes and UC Provost Rory Hume are urging the governor and the Legislature to provide the necessary funding in this year’s higher education budget to support greater academic opportunity for the next generation of Californians and to ensure the state’s economic vitality.
“This unprecedented collaboration among our three institutions underscores the severity of the proposed cuts and their potentially devastating effects on the people of this state, now and for years to come,” said Reed. “If we want California to be competitive in the global economy, then funding for higher education needs to be a top fiscal priority.”
For the past few months, leaders and other members of the three systems have been engaged in a first-ever joint public education campaign aimed at helping the public and policy-makers understand how important the state’s investment in public higher education is to California ‘s economy, and to Californians’ short- and long-term well being.
If adopted in the final state budget, among other things the proposed cuts would mean severe hardship for students: Tens of thousands of qualified students will be denied a spot in college or be unable to make progress toward a degree or certificate. The proposed budget would leave the community colleges without the resources to serve more than 50,000 students next year, and both the CSU and UC are already overenrolled by 10,000 and 4,000 students, respectively. CSU has already been forced to turn away 10,000 qualified students for the coming fall semester, and UC may not be able to increase enrollment at all the following year. Student fee increases also will be considered by the governing boards of the UC and CSU systems.
“This is not about the future of our respective institutions; it is about our state’s economy and the future of California ,” said Woodruff. ” California ‘s public higher education systems not only create vital educational opportunities that help improve the quality of life for all Californians, they also represent the economic engine that keeps California thriving and globally competitive.”
A recent study commissioned by the Campaign for College Opportunity analyzed the cumulative impact of the proposed budget cuts on the three public higher education systems and the citizens of California . Key findings included:
• The cumulative impact of California ‘s declining investment in higher education would diminish opportunities for students and hinder the state’s ability to enroll and graduate the number of students necessary to meet the ever growing need for an educated work force.
• Over the next several years, California Community Colleges would need to increase class sizes, reduce course offerings and reduce various support services to students.
• Both CSU and UC already serve thousands more students than current funding provides; new cuts could force UC and CSU to halt their existing student enrollment at current levels, directly affecting thousands of eligible 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders.
• The proposed $57 million cut in funding for the Cal Grant financial aid program will mean that 18,500 of the poorest and most deserving community college students will not get financial aid along with several thousand CSU and UC students.
• Even if the state’s finances improve enough to allow for increases in next year’s higher education budget, CSU and UC together could have to turn away more than 27,000 students in the next two and a half years (the size of an entire campus) in order to allow funding to “catch up” with existing enrollment.
• If 2 percent more Californians had associate’s degrees and another 1 percent more earned bachelor’s degrees, California ‘s economy would grow by $20 billion, our state and local tax revenues would increase by $1.2 billion per year, and 174,000 new jobs would be created.
More about the report is available at www.collegecampaign.org/budget
“There is a very good reason why other U.S. states, and even foreign governments, look to California ‘s public higher education system as a model – ours is a remarkable and truly unique system that has produced remarkable results for generations of Californians,” said Hume. “The proposed budget cuts have the potential to cripple the kinds of educational, economic, scientific and technological benefits that Californians enjoy on a daily basis.”
Combined, the three systems play a critical role in providing educational opportunities for California ‘s youth and in fueling the economic and intellectual vitality of the state, including the following:
California Community Colleges
• CCC is the state’s largest workforce training provider, serving 2.6 million students and conferring more than 125,000 degrees and certificates each year.
• CCC credentials 80 percent of the state’s firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians, and 70 percent of California nurses received their education at a California community college, with CCC graduating 7,700 nurses each year.
• Community colleges enroll the state’s lowest-income students — full-time students have an annual median income of $16,223 and one-fourth of those students have incomes of less than $5,544 per year.
• CCC is an important support system to CSU and UC — almost 60 percent of all CSU graduates and 30 percent of all UC graduates transfer from a California community college.
California State University
• CSU graduates nearly 90,000 students into the state’s work force each year.
• Overall, not including contributions from alumni, CSU supports more than 200,000 jobs in the state and awards more than half of the college degrees in agriculture every year to boost the nation’s largest agricultural state.
• CSU has a $13.6 billion total annual spending impact statewide and generates more than $760 million in local and state tax revenue.
• CSU educates more than 60 percent of the state’s teachers and graduates 45 percent of the state’s computer and electronic engineers.
University of California
• UC serves more than 220,000 students and has the highest proportion of low-income students among the country’s top research universities.
• UC contributes more than $14 billion in California economic activity and more than $4 billion in tax revenues each year, not including the impact of UC-related spinoff companies.
• UC employs more than 170,000 faculty and staff and will have a hand in creating more than 2 million California jobs this decade (2002-11).
• UC supports the largest health sciences training program in the nation, educating 13,000 students each year and training approximately two-thirds of California ‘s medical students; and operates the fifth-largest health care delivery system in California , handling more than 3 million patient visits each year including a high proportion of the state’s uninsured patients.
More information about the proposed budgets cuts is available at:
California Community Colleges: www.cccco.edu/BudgetNews
California State University: www.calstate.edu/BudgetCentral
University of California : www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/budget
by Ian Kennedy
The following message came to the Council of UC Faculty Associations from Stan Glantz, VP for CUCFA. It reports communications between Schwarzenegger and Regents Chair Blum, with Stan’s fulsome commentary.
Begin forwarded message:
From: “Glantz, Stanton A” <email@example.com>
Date: April 23, 2008 8:59:22 AM PDT
Subj: Blum sells out UC in a deal with the Gov — please broadly circulate
The attached letter [PDF], which memorializes a meeting between Gov. Schwarzenegger and Regents’ Chair Blum, explains why, unlike CSU and the CC’s — UC is continuing to admit more and more students without the money it needs to educate them. Blum seems to be more interested in meeting the political needs of the governor than maintaining the quality and financial solvency of the institution whose board he chairs.
While I support Blum’s goal of de-bloating UCOP and increasing efficiency, the fact is that there simply isn’t enough money being wasted to make up for the billion and a half dollars Dynes gave away in the Compact, much less the current half billion in the new cuts. As the Senate “Futures” report clearly demonstrated, the only real source of private money to fill the gap that the Governor created in the Compact would be massive fee increases. (This is completely consistent with the Compact’s goal of privatizing UC.) As the new Senate “Cuts” report shows, the current round of cuts will put UC on the full privatization pathway (scenario 4 in the Futures report).
But neither the Administration nor the Regents is willing to publicly state this simple reality: The only way to maintain even the current (greatly compromised) quality of UC in the face of the Gov’s budget is to immediately raise undergrad fees to $10,500 on the way to $15-18,000 over the next couple years … or start substantially reducing enrollment low enough to be able to offer students a decent education with the reduced resources that the Gov provides.
Rather, there will be more unspecified cuts pushed down on the campuses (read students), meaning fewer classes, even fewer essays read, fewer problem sets graded, less advising, fewer research opportunities. The job of fully privatizing the professional schools — now well under way — will be completed. Meanwhile, the (much smaller, better endowed) privates are cutting fees for the top students, meaning that UC will continue to lose them, contributing to the decline in quality. (It is the high quality students, after all, which have always attracted and held the high quality faculty despite the crappy pay.)
The faculty leadership need to start speaking out loudly and publicly on this, not just passively putting reports on the web where people like me can find them. Contrast the Senate’s willingness to hand Blum a huge public defeat on tobacco money inside UC — where Blum was clearly right – with its unwillingness to challenge him and the Governor on these much more fundamental issues.
I continue to believe that neither the public nor the Legislature nor … it becomes enough of a public issue … the Governor will find turning the University of California into a second tier institution acceptable. The Regents and Administration need to start being honest about their fiduciary responsibilities to the institution they head.
Some members have asked for more details about the Chancellor’s response to our meeting on Monday. There is little to report, as you might expect, other than recognition on his part that mistakes were made and that he would have done it differently in hindsight. He acknowledges that he should have kept the faculty search committee informed. He appeared to acknowledge that shared governance is not working well in other areas – we specifically raised issues about privilege and tenure.
At least the Chancellor now knows that we are attentive and will raise issues publicly when necessary. At the suggestion of one of our members, we are working on setting up a DFA web site that can report the opinions of members gathered during regular surveys on issues of importance to us. We hope to disseminate the collective opinion of the faculty widely.