Davis Faculty Association

Archive for March, 2010

FA Op-Ed in Today’s SF Chronicle

Stanton Glantz, vice chair of the UC Council of Faculty Associations, has written an Op-Ed that was published in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. The article is online at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/23/EDB61CK4L2.DTL

and is pasted below:

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Median tax to restore higher education: $32

The UC regents are expected later this spring to remove the word “public” from the schools it examines when setting the price for attending professional school, opening the door to even faster tuition increases. This one-word change will move another step toward fully implementing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s vision, articulated in the 2004 “Compact on Higher Education,” to privatize UC and CSU.

The governor has cut state support and overseen huge fee increases, shifting more of the cost of college onto students and their families.

The UC regents would be using tuition and fees charged by private universities, which serve far fewer students and were never designed to create opportunities for the people of California, as the basis for setting fees for UC professional schools. (The regents already implemented the proposed policy for the law school at Berkeley, which already costs more than Stanford’s law school, $48,700 versus $42,400.) While the proposal coming to the regents is just for professional schools, the same arguments already have been made internally at the University of California to justify higher undergraduate tuition, too.

Facing public opposition, Schwarzenegger has done what every smart politician does: He has pretended to change. He decried the fact that California spends more on prisons than higher education and called for a constitutional amendment to commit at least 10 percent of the state budget to the University of California and California State University and limit prison funding to 7 percent.

Indeed, because he prepares the state budget, Schwarzenegger simply could have proposed these allocations in the budget he produced a few days later. He didn’t.

The fine print is even more cynical. The amendment would not take effect until 2014, long after he will have left office. It could be suspended if a future governor declared a “fiscal emergency.” Besides, the amendment could be neutered by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

But wait, there’s more. The amendment is tied to privatizing prisons and exempting prison employees from civil service. This amendment is a PR gimmick to take pressure off the governor – and the UC and CSU leadership – to restore the promise of public higher education. If Schwarzenegger wanted to reverse spending priorities for colleges and prisons, he could do it without gimmickry.

Meanwhile, UC continues to increase the burden on California’s students and families. Just Monday, UC’s Commission on the Future floated the idea of increasing undergraduate fees to $20,721 a year.

The alternative? Restoring state investment to a truly accountable higher education system to restore the promise of higher education in California to what it was a decade ago.

Rolling fees back to 2000-01 levels ($4,924 for UC and $2,284 for CSU, adjusted for inflation), restoring per-student state funding, and providing places for every eligible student for UC, CSU and the community colleges would cost $4.6 billion.

That sounds like a lot, but it would cost the median California taxpayer just $32 next April 15. Two-thirds of taxpayers would pay $86 or less.

The UC administrative and faculty leadership has continued to pursue the governor’s privatization agenda. Instead of giving him political cover, they would better serve students, the state of California and the future of accessible, high-quality public higher education by asking for a thrifty $32 on April 15.
To learn more

For details on what it would cost you to help keep fees affordable and provide access for every qualified student, go to http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/553.

Favorable Garcetti-related Decision

An excerpt of a Chronicle of Higher Education story follows. The full (brief) article is available at:

http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Academic-Freedom-Advocates-Are/21976/?sid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Academic-Freedom Advocates Are Handed a Win in Ohio Ruling

Breaking ranks with several other federal judges who have recently considered the question, a U.S. magistrate judge held last week that the First Amendment protects job-related statements made by faculty members of public colleges… U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Mertz rejected the idea that the Garcetti ruling, which upheld the disciplining of a deputy district attorney for job-related statements, should be applied to speech in an academic setting. The judge’s ruling said universities “should be the active trading floors in the marketplace of ideas.”

UC Commission on the future – first round recommendations

The UC Commission on the Future met today. They have now released their “First Round of Recommendations from the Working Groups.”

The full 150 page PDF can be downloaded from:

http://ucfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/presentations/cotf_wg_first_recs.pdf

Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

The working groups are issuing this first set of key recommendations early in order to provide adequate time to the Commission for study and to receive input from the UC community and the public. This first round of recommendations should not be considered the complete product of the working groups, however, and the Commission can consider additional ideas beyond those forwarded by the working groups.

Many of these first recommendations pertain to administrative efficiencies and, while it is anticipated they could generate significant revenue and savings (several hundred million dollars), more in-depth analysis will need to be conducted to precisely estimate their financial impact on UC. It must be realized, however, that implementation of these recommendations, if they are eventually adopted, will often require significant up-front costs that may take several years to recapture and to realize increased revenues.

Some of the recommendations in this first report are uncontroversial. Others would represent a sea change for the University and likely would not be considered except for the severe fiscal crisis that UC faces. It is important to note that some ideas have been taken up by multiple working groups, and in several cases different working groups are offering the Commission different perspectives on a given issue. Therefore, the recommendations presented here do not reflect the endorsement of all working groups. The ideas are being shared with the Commission and the UC community for the broader and more extensive discussion they now require.

The working groups’ initial recommendations are detailed in the following pages. Many of the ideas offered in this document can be grouped into one of several topic areas:

• Strategies for improving access and ensuring high-quality education – Recommendations forwarded by individual working groups include creating pathways for three-year undergraduate degrees; continuing exploration of online instruction; providing more predictability in student fees by giving students and parents a tuition schedule for four years; and improving the community college transfer function by streamlining lower-division major requirements and enhancing online advising tools.

• Strategies for enhancing resources available to support the University – Recommendations forwarded by individual working groups include undertaking expanded advocacy activities in support of improved state funding reflective of the benefits the University provides the State of California; improving indirect cost recovery rates on sponsored research, which currently do not cover the University’s actual costs; creating an augmentation to the Pell Grant program in which colleges and universities would receive a federal augmentation for admitting and graduating more low-income students; and investigating the feasibility of campuses charging different student fees (e.g., educational fee, registration fee, non-resident fee, etc.), a strategy undertaken by some multi-campus state systems but one posing special challenges for a system with such high quality across multiple campuses.

• Strategies for ensuring efficient use of resources coming to the University – Recommendations forwarded by individual working groups include promoting efficiencies by implementing a system of best administrative practices across the UC system; managing educational resources more effectively and efficiently; prioritizing internal research funds to support world-class research in disciplines where extramural funding options are limited; and improving transparency in the management of funds recovered through indirect costs.

These and the other working group recommendations contained in this first report will be disseminated for review by and feedback from the Academic Senate, staff, students, and the public over the next two months. The full Commission will review and consider the comments received from these internal and external constituents before it presents a prioritized first round of recommendations to the Regents in July.

Agitation Over Cuts at UC

Inside Higher Ed had an article yesterday about the personnel cuts happening here at UC Davis:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/17/california2

Also, Academic Senate chair Henry Powell sent a three page letter to Mark Yudof complaining about the lack of faculty input in cuts at UC. Here’s the concluding paragraph:

“We respectfully request that you circulate this letter to the Chancellors and senior administrators both at UCOP and on the campuses. It is essential that faculty and administrators work together to chart our shared future and the future of the University. At a time of great fiscal difficulty, when the morale of all University employees is an abiding concern, the institution of shared governance, rather than being viewed as an impediment, can be appreciated as a constructive process and as a reason for the present well-being and continued excellence of the institution that we proudly serve.”

The full letter is available as a PDF at:
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/reports/HP2MGY_consultation_030210.pdf

CA Studies Conference — “Failed State?” April 16th

Consider attending a conference at UC Davis on 16th April that will address the systemic problems in the governance of California:

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What are the roots of our crisis? What are its implications for Californians and the world? And what hope do we have for reforming our way out of it? Join us in Davis as we explore causes, consequences, and prospects for renewal.

California lurches through a severe global recession seemingly unable to address its emergency. Once a model of deliberative democracy, the state’s various levels of government now work at cross purposes until the institutions barely function. State revenues are in such poor condition that the Golden State verges on inability to sell its bonds — despite having the world’s eighth largest economy. How did we get here? Might there be tools and materials for building a new future amidst the experiences, stories, and visions of our vast cultural kaleidoscope? Can the state renowned for self-renewal renew itself?

Failed State: Crisis and Renewal in California Politics and Culture

April 16, 2010 @ the Rec Pool Lodge, University of California, Davis

Space is limited. Please register for this free event online at http://dhi.ucdavis.edu/failedstate

8:00 am Registration

8:30 am “Constitutional Crisis: Remaking California and Reclaiming the Public Good” Jeff Lustig, Dan Walters, Lenny Goldberg, Jean Ross, and David Crosson. “Regionalizing Politics and Power in California”
Frank J. Gruber, Juan D. De Lara, Ron Loveridge, and Terry O’Day.

10:15 am “Remapping California: Race, Place, and Community” George Lipsitz, Clyde Woods, Francisco Fuentes, and Robin DeLugan. “Iconography from a Fallen State: A Filmmaker, Printmaker, and Journalist Take on Images of California” Craig Baldwin, Bill Boyarsky, Tom Killion, Paulina Borsook.

12:00 pm Lunch: “How to Fix a Broken State” Mark Paul and Joe Mathews, authors of “California Crackup:How Reform Broke theGolden State and How We Can Fix It”

1:15 pm “Civil Rights in California: Education, Incarceration, Political Representation” Charles McDonald, Daphne Kwok, and Kenneth Burt. “Reimagining California: Perspectives from the Embedded Arts” Sara Wookey, Dick Hebdige, Matthias Gieger, Micha Cardenas, Kim Yasuda.

3:00 pm Plenary Session: “Initiating Failure: Populist Governance and the Golden State” Peter Schrag, Lisa Garcia-Bedolla, John Douglass, Daniel HoSang, Louis Warren.

4:30 pm Keynote: “(re)Thinking California: Memory, Borders and Place” Roberto Alvarez, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director of California Cultures in Comparative Perspective at UC San Diego.

5:30 pm Reception

Richard Evans’ response to Yudof

Richard Evans, a UC Davis Cooperative Extension Specialist who wrote a piece about the off scale growth in administrators at UC that was published on CUCFA’s Keep California’s Promise website and who was quoted in the Sacramento Bee article about administrative bloat that resulted in a response by President Yudof, has written a letter to the Bee in response to Yudof’s letter. He has given me permission to distribute this draft of his letter to DFA members:

In UC President Mark Yudof’s response (March 7) to a Bee editorial decrying the administrative bloat that has occurred in the UC system, he attributes the staggering increase in senior administrators to three things: UC medical schools, a new campus, and auxiliary services. Mr. Yudof misleads us. UC employment data belie his contention that most of the increase in administration occurred in the medical schools. Between 1993 and 2009, senior administration increased 212% at the five campuses that operate medical schools and hospitals. On the other campuses, senior administration grew 234%.

Only one constituent of the UC budget has increased at a rate approaching that of senior administration: Student fees (and tuition) have increased 168% for residents and 186% for non-residents during the past 17 years. Meanwhile the teaching faculty increased only 26%, and student numbers by 36%.

The new campus, UC Merced, already has more senior administrators than faculty, but it is a small campus whose numbers have little effect on the big picture. The big picture is affected more by the 146% increase since 1993 in the number of people whose job titles consist of the various permutations of the words assistant, associate, and vice with dean, provost, chancellor, and president. Their absolute numbers aren’t immense, but it is their plans and decisions that have diverted hundreds of millions of dollars annually from teaching and research into administration.

Mr. Yudof’s comments about the role of auxiliary services in university growth are puzzling. Should we be pleased that UC can’t afford to teach all of its courses because of increases in the number of people administering nonacademic services?

UC is a great public university. We must not let it sink under the weight of costly, excessive administrative growth. There are no easy solutions, but these three acts would be a start. First, UC leaders should acknowledge the existence of administrative bloat and present a plan for correcting it. Second, Mr. Yudof should refuse remuneration above the level of a senior faculty member until the budget crisis has passed, because a lean and hungry university president would be more persuasive before the legislature and the governor than one whose salary and benefits approach seven figures. Third,    the governor, the legislature, and the public should provide UC with sufficient funds to reestablish excellence, and they should hold the UC Regents accountable for their governance and oversight.

UCOP responds to Administrative bloat claims

In response to continuing criticism of the size of administrative FTE in UC, the Office of President has fired back with the claim that this growth reflects the changing composition of the University, particularly the professional schools and hospitals. See attached PDF file. For a faculty response, see our post.

The March 4th Action

A coalition of students and educators from the K-12, Community Colleges, CSU and UC will be engaged in actions in support of education in Sacramento on March 4. Other activities in support of public education are planned around the country. Faculty from Berkeley are strongly involved in this movement – we encourage our members to consider similar support. If your students choose to participate, we encourage you to give consideration to excusing their absence from class on this day.

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