VOTE! UC faces catastrophic cuts if prop 30 fails. October 29, 2012Posted by Julie Sze in Uncategorized.
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Letter from President Yudof
October 25, 2012
With the November election looming, I am writing to encourage all members of the University of California community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – to exercise your right to vote. The decisions made on Tuesday, November 6, will be of great importance for all America, with the presidency and control of Congress on the line. But here in California, the election also could prove pivotal to the University of California and its immediate future.
I refer to Proposition 30, one of 11 statewide initiatives on the California ballot. This initiative, advanced by Governor Brown, would increase income and sales taxes on a temporary basis and thus avoid an assortment of prospective “trigger cuts” that were written into the current State budget, pending the election outcome.
As you probably recall, The Regents last summer took the extraordinary step of endorsing Proposition 30, noting that should it fail our budget will be reduced by $250 million. In addition, $125 million currently in the budget to ensure no increases in tuition through fiscal year 2012-13 will be forfeited.
Sadly, it’s not news that public higher education in California has been battered by declining State support. With an additional blow of this magnitude, The Regents’ resolution stated, “the ability of the University of California to ensure the high-quality education that Californians have come to expect will be jeopardized….”
Let me be clear that it is neither my official place, nor my personal predilection, to suggest how others should vote. You need to look at the facts and make your own informed decisions. In that vein, please allow me to point you to a good starting place:
The above link will take you to a variety of Proposition 30 informational and campaign materials from sources on all sides of the ballot issue. This includes material from those who oppose the measure, arguing that it will increase taxes unnecessarily and burden small businesses.
I also want to take this opportunity to invite all UC faculty and staff to a “web-chat” on Friday, November 2, from noon to 1 p.m. During that hour, I’ll be happy to take any questions on matters that concern the University, including those that relate to the coming election. The following link provides details about how to join in:
Thank you for your time and consideration.
With best wishes, I am,
Mark G. Yudof
University of California
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today’s (re) post comes David Meyer, a Professor of Sociology and Political Science at UC Irvine.
The future of the University of California is even more daunting for organizers than the troubled present.
The problem: Students, faculty, and the citizens of California have interests in both access to the University system and maintaining some degree of excellence in the system. It’s extremely hard to focus on both issues simultaneously, and it’s hard to know who to work with and who to trust.
Over the past five years, the University has been fighting losing battles on both fronts. As the state of California has consistently cut funding, the University has cut spending and programs while raising tuition. Most of the ten campuses are working hard to increase the percentage of out-of-state and international students, who pay much higher tuition. It’s a viable revenue strategy, but it’s understandable why California taxpayers are incensed that their University has less room for the young people of California.
Meanwhile, ongoing cuts to programs are affecting the quality of education UC students receive. Saturday’s New York Times reports that students face fewer classes, larger classes, tougher admissions standards, less attention, higher tuition, and even a less demanding education. According to the Times, every student may still have access to an academic adviser, but each adviser is now responsible for 500 students (rather than 300 in years past). Is that access? Many professors facing larger classes with fewer teaching assistants now require less writing, shorter and fewer papers. (When I came to UCI, about a dozen years ago, each of my TAs was typically responsible for 80-90 students; 120-140 is now more typical. If this doesn’t seem like much of a difference to you, try to imagine reading and commenting on 40 ten page papers.) Students are unlikely to complain about such reforms, but they’re certainly not being helped.
A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College May 14, 2012Posted by davidmwittman in Uncategorized.
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Read the New York Times article with the above headline here. The total amount of student debt is now over $1 trillion according to this article. It’s touching that people will pay so much to get an education, and sad that they have to. Declining state support is not a law of nature—it’s a choice, and we have to make the case that education is a public good.
Analysis of UC May 14, 2012Posted by jessedrew in Uncategorized.
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Mark LeVine analysis of UC situation:
Analysis on Davis Dozen by UC grad student April 30, 2012Posted by jessedrew in Uncategorized.
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This was published on Alternet this morning:
UC Davis Students and Faculty Face Prison Time for Peaceful Protest Against Bank
By Mela Heestand, AlterNet
Letters to the DA in support of the Banker’s Dozen April 24, 2012Posted by lagrindstaff in access to education, protests, students, Uncategorized, university.
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Faculty around the university are mobilizing in support of the Banker’s Dozen, making phone calls, donating money, and writing letters. Below is a letter I wrote on behalf of the Sociology department. I plan to hand-deliver the letter to the DA’s office in Woodland on Wednesday morning, two days before the case goes to court. So far 21 of 23 Sociology faculty have signed, and an additional 50 faculty from other programs and departments around campus have asked that their names be added to the end of the letter to show their endorsement.
24 April 2012
Dear District Attorney Jeff Reisig,
As faculty of the Department of Sociology at UC Davis, we are writing to express our strong objection to your decision to charge 11 students and one professor with 20 counts each of obstructing movement in a public place, and one count of conspiracy. (Six of the cases were referred to your office by the UC Davis administration, and your office increased the number to 12). Charges were filed after an anti-privatization blockade of the US Bank ended with the closure of the bank’s campus branch in late February. This blockade was peaceful and a form of conscientious objection to the role that banks have played in both generating and profiting from spiraling student debt. According to the Washington Post, total student debt in the US now exceeds $1 trillion. The deal struck between the university administration and US Bank signaled the further privatization of public higher education and unfairly put students at risk for accumulating further debt.
Among the 12 accused are students who were pepper sprayed by campus police on November 18, 2011. But whereas you never brought charges against the individuals responsible for that unwarranted violence, you have elected to prosecute the Banker’s Dozen to the fullest extent possible. This is a clear move to punish the student protesters and privilege corporate interest over students’ right to assembly and free speech. We object to the use of retroactive legal action against peaceful civil disobedience and we object to the use of tax-payer-generated county funds (via your office) to protect a private corporation’s right to profit from increasingly indebted students at an increasingly expensive public university. Affordable public education is essential to democracy. Criminalizing political dissent that seeks to defend access to affordable public education is itself criminal, in the spirit if not the letter of the law.
We look forward to your response.
(21 signatures, with an additional 50 faculty signing on to endorse the letter).
Dear Chancellor Katehi, Provost Hexter, and Chair Bisson:
We, the undersigned faculty of the Program in Cinema and Technocultural Studies, write to ask that you do all that is in your means to have District Attorney Jeff W. Reising drop the charges against the UC Davis community members who have come to be known as the “Davis Dozen”. Of those charged, at least four have been our students—Evan Buswell, Thomas Matzat, Kevin Smith, and Geoffrey Wildanger—and Joshua Clover is a faculty colleague of ours.
We are very concerned about the excessive criminalization of civil disobedience and the apparent unwillingness to work constructively with members of our community who put themselves at risk on behalf of UC Davis. As you know, each of those charged now faces a maximum sentence of eleven years imprisonment and one million dollars in fines. In particular, we are concerned that the decision to turn the protestors over to the District Attorney rather than working with them through university mechanisms has brought further unnecessary harm to the campus community.
The protest concerned US Bank issuing UC Davis student ID cards that could also function as ATM cards and thereby the use of the University’s persuasive imprimatur (an authority developed through decades of academic excellence and civic service) to encourage students to become US Bank customers. The symbolism of turning student IDs into ATM cards is particularly disturbing given that rapidly rising tuition is linked to rapidly rising student debt. Moreover, since banks profit from increased student debt, and since higher tuitions threaten to price public higher ed out of reach of its market–i.e., the public–the business arrangement with US Bank gives the appearance of the University having a vested interest in its own demise.
In our view, the actions of the protesters should be regarded as acts of civil disobedience on behalf of UC Davis and public higher education generally and treated accordingly. Particularly in light of the pepper-spraying incident of November 18, it is critical that we all take a strong and principled stand in support of public education and the rights of our community members to speech and dissent. Using your influence with the DA’s office to drop the charges will be an important sign of your commitment to that goal.
Sarah Pia Anderson
faculty reactions to report April 12, 2012Posted by Julie Sze in protests, Uncategorized, university.
from Michael Meranze, History Professor at UCLA
Is UC Attempting to Criminalize Dissent?
The release of the “Reynoso Report” analyzing the use of pepper spray at UC Davis with its attached Kroll report demonstrates the need to consider the question: Is UC attempting to criminalize dissent? The Reynoso Report (it will take some time to work through the Kroll report as well) is unsparing in its conclusion that the use of Pepper Spray at UC Davis on Friday afternoon, November 18th was unnecessary, irrational, and without clear legal justification. Indeed, the report questions the entire rush to judgment that led to the attempt to remove the tents themselves. (7-9)
The report also makes it clear that responsibility begins with Chancellor Katehi. Katehi not only pushed to have the tents removed but failed to communicate clearly her intentions about how it should be done. But the responsibility was not hers alone. It continues through her Vice-Chancellors who failed to incorporate and make clear all the evidence about the protests that they were provided with, onto the Chief of Police who failed to organize the police action sufficiently or to explain to the higher administration all of the reasons why moving on the tents might be a bad idea, and concludes with the specific officers on the ground whose use of pepper spray was not only inappropriate but in violation of regulations. The effects of these decisions on free speech at Davis cannot be underestimated. As the ACLU notes in its own analysis of the Task Force Report: “When the cost of speech is a shot of blinding, burning pepper spray in the face, speech is not free.”
It is difficult to see how the upper administration can continue to claim moral authority over the campus although given the vagueness of the recommendations (29-32) it is unclear what repercussions there will be for the administration. While laudably calling upon the upper administration to develop–in collaboration with the campus community–a widespread set of understandings about the importance of protests and the ways to ensure that campus safety takes precedence over the administrative will to campus order, the recommendations tend towards the bureaucratic. That is to say, in keeping with a large amount of the report, the recommendations are about the techniques of policing rather than their purpose.
read the full posting here
for another faculty view that connects the report to the recent charges against US Bank Protestors, read here
also, for the Davis Dozen, get ready for a week of solidarity April 23-27, focused on letters and phone calls to the DA, and continue with fundraising for legal costs. for more info, check out
Gender, Sexuality, and the Kroll/Reynoso Report April 12, 2012Posted by esfreeman96 in protests, students, Uncategorized, university.
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For some time now I have been pondering whether or not any rigorous feminist or queer analysis of the pepper spray incident is possible. I rejected immediately the complaints that the outrage against Chancellor Katehi’s treatment of the event was due to her gender: while here and there I saw xenophobic remarks about her accent or sexist name-calling, the majority of negative responses to her actions held her accountable in ways that simply did not strike me as at all misogynist. Rather, Chancellor Katehi was held accountable in the way any leader, male or female, ought to be. As someone working in feminist and sexuality studies, I felt that critiques attempting to cast those who objected to her leadership as sexist were misguided, and I found them, quite frankly, embarrassing to my field.
But upon opening up the Kroll/Reynoso report, I was immediately confronted with this quote from Vice Chancellor Meyer: “And then I’m reporting to a parent that a nonaffiliated has done this unthinkable act with your daughter, and how could we let that happen?” Chancellor Katehi’s words were similar: “. . we were worried especially about having very young girls and other students with older people who come from the outside without any knowledge of their record . . ..” Apparently the decision to force the dismantling of the UC Davis Occupy encampment immediately was made because the administration feared “outsiders” coming in and sexually assaulting young, female UC Davis students.
First, this is a public, land-grant university, whose mandate is to be open and accessible and to serve the people. All California residents, indeed all residents of the U.S., are “affiliates” of the UC system. The Morrill Act, granting the land for land-grant universities, also contained legislation that authorized the federal government to systematically steal Native American lands by interfering with both Native American and Mormon systems of kinship and inheritance. Thus most of us are in the first place the outsiders occupying these tracts, our very presence here legitimated by the government’s enforcement of Protestant norms of gender, sexuality, and kinship. Second, since the Americas were settled, the discourse of rape has been used to terrorize people of color as potential rapists, and to limit the freedoms of white women as potential victims. I imagine that any female participants in the Occupy protests would find Vice Chancellor’s remarks patronizing in the extreme. Third, the rhetoric of “Save Our Children” has been a pernicious part of anti-gay movements since at least Anita Bryant’s 1977 campaign against legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in Miami. It was part of Proposition 8. Anyone knowing anything about the history of anti-gay organizing in this country cannot fail to see that invoking the specter of the violated child is a right-wing tactic.
The specter of the “stranger” raping the young has been used to legitimize all kinds of violence. I cannot accept leaders who would mobilize it to defend the use of force against political protest.
Elizabeth Freeman, Professor of English and Editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
New York Student/Faculty Media Training March 22, 2012Posted by jessedrew in Uncategorized.
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Hi UC Davis folks,
I was impressed by what faculty and students are offering this Spring at the New School and thought I would share it. :
Performance, Hackathon, Teach-ins and Workshop
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue
New York City
All events are free and open to the public.
Exhibition: March 1 through April 1, 2012
Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Across The New School, there has been a wide spectrum of engagement with the Occupy Wall Street movement. In an open call in November 2011, a group of faculty members invited students to submit work exploring the implications of creating a living archive of OWS and to actively reflect on the university’s relationship to these events. This call resulted in a collaborative effort among faculty and students to organize #searchunderoccupy, an exhibition and a participatory initiatives that explores the implications and ambiguities of Occupy Wall Street as a “living archive”.
Since the exhibition opened on March 1, 2012, members of the New School community have continued to “occupy” the exhibition, organizing programming, performances, and teach-ins, all of which encourage dialogue around art, media, and politics on campus, in OWS, and beyond.
Below is a general schedule of the remaining events that will take place at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries at Parsons The New School of Design:
Data Visualization for the 99%! #OccupyData Hackathon
Friday & Saturday, March 23 & 24, 2012, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Unprecedented quantities of media and data have been generated the OWS protests since its emergence. Join Media Studies’ graduate student Christo de Klerk and Assistant Professor Nitin Sawhney and for a two-day collaborative Hackathon to explore, to visualize, and to learn from this living data archive.
Free Speech With A Camera: Teach-In with Deanna Kameil and Deidre Boyle
Friday, March 23, 2012, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
How have activists, artists, and documentarians used the power of a camera to communicate political speech? Director of Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies Deirdre Boyle and Assistant Professor Deanna Kamiel from Media Studies discuss historic and ongoing efforts to record protest.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Space is limited, so please RSVP: email@example.com
Join Ramon Campos, Brianne Cole, Piril Gunduz, and Francois Vaxelaire, graduate students in Media Studies, for a hands-on workshop on remixing culture and collective production. Participants work in teams to remix OWS coverage mined from various sources and create new collaborative vignettes that become part of the #searchunderoccupy archive.
Occupy the Media: Teach-In with Martin Lucas
Thursday, March 29, 2012, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
How do we understand the OWS movement through its media? How does the “alternative public sphere” of OWS differ from the media of other global movements? How does a movement that chooses to rethink representative democracy approach representational strategies and tactics? Martin Lucas, Professor of Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College and former Paper Tiger Television Collective member, invites you to bring your practice to and share at this interactive teach-in.
Sponsored by CuratorialDesignResearch Lab, School of Art Media and Technology, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design; Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School for Public Engagement; and Office of the Dean, The New School for Public Engagement. Organized by Brianne Cole, Melanie Crean, Julia Foulkes, Melissa Friedling, Piril Gunduz, Reena Katz, Carin Kuoni, Daniel Kim, Nitin Sawhney, Radhika Subramaniam, and Laura Trager.