As you know, the crisis of public education, nationwide and within the UC system, continues to worsen. UC student fees have moved beyond the reach of many families ; the number of California students with access to UC Berkeley has been cut, as have course offerings ; class sizes have increased ; many staff have been laid off, and there are plans to lay off 200 more. California is one of the wealthiest states in the country, but state funding for public education and services is rapidly diminishing.
Over the last month SAVE has been working on a range of issues, including a statement of principles that we believe should guide the university’s implementation of “Operational Excellence” (these can be found online at http:www.saveuc.org) ; the Berkeley Faculty Association has written reports on the condition of faculty pensions and the proposal for a “cyber-campus” (see http://ucbfa.org)
The ASUC, the Solidarity Alliance, and other student and worker organizations have taken the lead in organizing events for this coming week in response to a national call for October 7th as a Day of Action to Defend Public Education. Last year’s campus protests had a demonstrable effect on Sacramento ; we urge faculty to continue to be involved in mobilizing support for public education
The national AAUP has endorsed the October 7th Day of Action, and the Berkeley Faculty Association, and SAVE are among the co-sponsors of the Teach-in on October 6th and the noontime rally on October 7th.
WE ENCOURAGE FACULTY, LECTURERS, AND GSIs WHO WANT TO MOBILIZE STUDENT SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION TO TAKE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS iN THE COMING WEEK :
1. Some of you may want to educate students about the crisis of public education at U.S. Berkeley and beyond (the crisis extends to K-12, community colleges, and the CSU system, as well as the UCs). Teaching materials about the crisis can be found on the SAVE website : http://www.saveuc.org
2. Please do your best to accommodate students who plan to participate in the actions on Oct. 7th by moving midterms, providing alternative assignment times, or rescheduling classes (especially if they are at the time of the noon rally).
3. Tell your students about the Wednesday, October 6th Teach-In, and encourage them to attend – 5:30 to 7 p.m., seventh floor, Eshelman Hall.
(Speakers and topics : Dick Walker, Prof. of Geography, “The Late Great State of California” ; Peter Byrne, the investigative journalist who reported on “How the UC Regents Spin Public Funds into Private Profit” ; undergraduate students Ricardo Gomez and Claire Keating on the privatization of UC, attacks on students and workers, and how to resist ; Ramon Quintero, a recent graduate, “How Fee Increases Drive Students Into Poverty” ; Kat Bedford, a laid-off bus driver speaking for workers ; and Jessica Smith, graduate student in chemistry, “Graduate Student Organizing for a Fair Contract and a Democratic Union.”
4. Encourage your students and colleagues to attend the noontime rally on Thursday, October 7th at Sproul Plaza – and also plan to attend !
From the Coordinating Committee of SAVE
Louise Fortmann, Co-Chair
Kevin Padian, Co-Chair
And from the Berkeley Faculty Association :
Co-chairs : Wendy Brown and Christine Rosen
Other officers :
En supplément de cette lettre, quelques liens utiles :
Michael O’Hare’s (UCB) welcome letter to his student this Fall : http://www.samefacts.com/2010/08/education-policy/a-letter-to-my-students/
A "budget curriculum" composed by the Graduate Student Organizing Committee at UCSC, which can be found at : http://ucbfa.org/articles-info/uc-administration/
A position paper on "Restoring California Higher Education" by the Council of University of California Faculty Associations : http://cucfa.org/news/CUCFA-%20Restore%20the%20Promise.pdf
Chris Newfield’s and Michael Merenze’s (UCSB) excellent blog on university affairs, which is chock full of news and analysis : http://utotherescue.blogspot.com/
SAVE/BFA’s Principles for Evaluating Operational Excellence : http://ucbfa.org/projects/administration-at-ucb/
Dick Walker’s article on the economic and political crisis of California : http://ucbfa.org/articles-info/california-in-crisis/