Davis Faculty Association

Archive for February, 2010

LAO releases analysis of Budget Proposal for Higher Education

The Legislative Analyst’s Office is recommending that the legislature cut $300 million from the Governor’s budget’s proposed augmentations to the state’s universities. The LAO proposes providing UC funding equal to the 2007-08 budget, adjusted for enrollment.

The LAO’s full report is available online at
http://lao.ca.gov/laoapp/PubDetails.aspx?id=2209

State to Audit the University of California

“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) unanimously (10-0) approved Yee´s request.”

Article continues at http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/142210

“Checking Education” and the March 4th Day of Action

CUCFA and other UC organizations are gearing up for the spring legislative budgeting session. As a first step toward the March 4th day of action, the UCSC FA is collecting signatures of supportive faculty from all campuses at the Checking Education website at:

http://checkingeducation.com/faculty-statement

Please take a moment to visit the above web page and add your name to the list of supporters.

The statement reads, in part:

“The Governor acknowledged that student and faculty protests have affected him. The time for more pressure is now. We continue the fight for public education in California. On March 1, UC faculty, staff, and students will lobby the Governor and legislators in Sacramento. Then, the struggle for public education ramps up on March 4, a day of system- and state-wide actions called by students, staff, and faculty from the ten UC campuses, the Cal State University system, the Community Colleges, and K-12 schools. That day, there will be a march on Sacramento and other actions in the state capital, as well as actions on local campuses and elsewhere, to demand the restoration of high quality public education that is accessible and affordable to all. We, the undersigned UC faculty, will suspend “business as usual” and participate in the March 4th day of actions for public education.”

Changing Rules Re: Granting Tenure, and Other News

There have been several articles of likely interest to DFA members recently. First, Ian Kennedy points out an article in the Los Angeles Times about proposals to change how tenure is awarded. Here is an excerpt:

“The leader of the country’s largest university thinks it’s time to re-examine how professors are awarded tenure, a type of job-for-life protection virtually unknown outside academia. Ohio State University President Gordon Gee says the traditional formula that rewards publishing in scholarly journals over excellence in teaching and other contributions is outdated and too often favors the quantity of a professor’s output over quality.”

Full article at:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-taking-on-tenure,0,4377636.story

Also, Sunday’s Sacramento Bee had an article about UC’s funding that quoted from the FA sponsored KeepCaliforniasPromise.org website. Again, an excerpt:

“Should higher education be treated as a public good,” asks Stanton Glantz, a University of California, San Francisco, professor of medicine, in a position paper posted on a faculty association Web site last August, “or should it be viewed as a private good to be paid for by its customers (students and their families) and voluntary private donors?” In Sacramento, it’s not so much an ideological issue as a financial one. The budget share of every other education system that the state (i.e., taxpayers) helps pay for, from kindergarten to community colleges, is in large part assured by Proposition 98. The 1998 voter-approved measure guarantees K-14 schools a set slice of the state’s fiscal pie. Similarly, the federal government mandates minimum state spending levels on many health and welfare programs. But the 10-campus University of California and the 23-campus California State University system have no such protection.

And the link to the full Sac Bee article:
http://www.sacbee.com/education/story/2518995.html

Stories such as these are frequently updated at http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/view-news-clips

Bob Samuels article: How America’s Universities Became Hedge Funds

An interesting article by Bob Samuels is at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-samuels/how-americas-universities_b_440954.html

A taste:

“To understand how both public and private research universities have gotten themselves into this mess, one needs to understand five inter-related factors: the state de-funding of public education, the emphasis on research over instruction, the move to high-risk investments, the development of a free market academic labor system, and the marketing of college admissions. These different forces have combined to turn universities into corporations centered on pleasing bond raters in order to get lower interest rates so that they can borrow more money to fund their unending expansion and escalating expenses.”

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