reclaimucsd

Posts Tagged ‘Administration’

FROM: The Public Refusal of Privatization: On the “Political Content” of the US Bank Blockade (A Refutation of Brownstein and Amar)

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm

“To recognize the political content of the blockade, one has to understand its context: UC Davis has a special contract with US Bank, which generates funding for the university from US Bank revenue, in exchange for special advertising services and privileged branch and ATM placement. US Bank profits from student loans, and therefore from rising tuition. The administration gathers funds from US Bank profits, and therefore has an incentive to increase tuition, rather than opposing state cuts to UC funding. Moreover, a US Bank logo appears on all UCD student cards, and these can be used as debit cards at US Bank. To recognize the political content of the US Bank blockade is to understand it within this context. Demonstrators argued that, at a public university, this sort of contract with a private corporation constitutes a conflict of interest. That is: they argued that it is contrary to the public character of the UC.”

To read the article in its entirety, click on this link: http://reclaimuc.blogspot.com/2012/05/public-refusal-of-privatization-on.html

“An Open Letter From a UCSD Faculty Member to UCSD’s New Chancellor.”

In California, Privatization on May 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Dear Chancellor Koshla:

 

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Literature as well as an affiliated faculty of Ethnic Studies and the Critical Gender Studies Program. I am also the Vice President of the San Diego Faculty Association, a local chapter of the American Association of American Universities (AAUP). As you may know, this organization has fought hard for academic freedom and faculty rights across the nation. I am one of the faculty members who joined the Black Student Union, Mecha and other student organizations to protest the racist, homophobic, sexist, and classist incidents that occurred on our campus in 2010. Finally, I am a supporter of labor groups on campus, especially AFSME. While you look forward to a six digit salary and many other perks, our brothers and sisters from AFSME are being asked to work more hours for the same or less money while putting their health at severe risk,

 

I‘m not telling you all of this to legitimize myself or to speak for any of these groups. I am letting you know who I am and who I have been in contact with for the past seven years – years in which I have listened and heard many concerns. I am writing this letter to express one concern that is shared by many: Like many students, faculty, and workers, I never had the opportunity to ask you questions in an open, unscripted forum when you were a candidate (hint: organize such a forum. It is never too late). I read with curiosity and attention your interview in The Guardian, (http://www.ucsdguardian.org/component/k2/item/25732-interview-with-chancellor-designate-khosla) and I have some doubts, questions and comments about your responses.

 

In response to a question about the future direction of the university, you said that UCSD “has achieved a lot in the last 50 years. And it has achieved that partly because of the entrepreneurial nature of the faculty, partly because of strong leadership and partly because of both.” My Translation: you are mostly concerned about the profit making centers of the University, mainly the hospitals and research centers that are connected to federal grants and corporate interests. Many of us are not surprised that you see the university as a corporation and yourself as a CEO. We know that you managed a $50 million portfolio for DARPA (a military agency) and that you served as a consultant for several companies and venture capitalists. However, we are also (still?) part of this public university, and we ask you: Do those of us who are not entrepreneurs or revenue generators have a place at UCSD? Do those who work in academic fields that promote the public good over profit-motives have a future (and a past) at UCSD?

The typical response to this concern is that UCSD development teams are working on raising funds for the Humanities and those fields that cannot support themselves. It is always so interesting how administrators label the things they like to expend money on (i.e. buildings, chancellor’s salaries) as “investments,” while the things they don’t like to expend money on (i.e. student services, humanities departments) are labeled as “costs.” The problem, however, is that even accepting your philanthropic logic, there are entire fields of knowledge and disciplines that “do not get donors excited.” Are we condemned, then, to sacrifice entire fields of knowledge on the altar of corporate interests? Is that going to promote the public interest and world quality education in the state of California?

 

When you were asked about the possibility of increasing students fees 6% in the fall, you said you wished there was a magic bullet to avoid tuition increases. You added that without this magic bullet the way to fix the lack of funds “is over time, to raise more money for student scholarships, for undergraduate scholarships. But that is a process that can take one, two, three decades, to get to a point where everybody can go to school for free, it’s nearly impossible.” My Translation: You will support any tuition increases in the near future regardless of the effect that it may have on the students and their families. You appear to be a supporter of the so-called “Michigan Model” of high tuition with high aid – that is to say, passing the “cost” of education to the “student/consumer.” Your words appear to be a euphemistic way around the indenture of our students.

 

Do you know that this model generates astronomical student debt and that it disproportionally affects working class students and students of color? In this regard, Bob Meister, a Professor of UC Santa Cruz, writes that, “the price of public higher education has been growing at twice the rate of the economy, twice as fast as health insurance, and three to four times more quickly than consumer prices in general. University leaders were, of course, both observers of this bubble and participants in it” [1]. Are you going to participate on the expansion and consolidation of the student debt bubble or will you make a firm commitment to consider other options? It is simply not true that you have no option but to raise tuition. There are many proposals like UCSF Professor Stan Glantz. According to Glantz it would cost the median California tax payer between $45 and $51 to roll back UC tuition to the levels of the year 2000 [2].

 

Finally, you were asked about the future of diversity initiatives on campus and you responded: “clearly I have a goal of increasing enrollment, but I have to work with my senior staff, the faculty and students, because I’m sure there are many good ideas floating around that I am unaware of”. My Translation: Like Chancellor Fox and the UCSD administration, you think that racism and lack of diversity at UCSD have been resolved, so you are plan on taking a dangerously passive approach that has been the modus operandi of administrators. The problem is that there are signs of continued deterioration, because the problem is structural. The so-called “Compton Cookout” emerged from a long history of structural inequality at UCSD. Because of the brave actions of students, especially the groups previously mentioned, the administration had to face some of these problems. Yet, they addressed the issue only superficially, never getting at the roots or systemic problems. They put a band-aid on things, and then used the students’ struggles in their slick marketing campaigns to promote “campus diversity.” Contrary to that fantasy of campus, UCSD continues to be a toxic space for historically underrepresented minorities on campus, especially Muslim and Arab American students. I don’t have a quantitative study to substantiate this claim, but I have eyes, ears, and a heart. At the very least, Chancellor Koshla, you should commit the funding for the BSU resource center out of UCSD money. Do not wait for private donations. Your support for this effort would be a step in the right direction and a sign of good faith.

 

I realize that many members of the community may think it is too soon to raise these criticisms. Unfortunately, after seven years at this institution I have learned to expect nothing but empty words from the administration. Perhaps you can prove me wrong. Perhaps you can show me and the UCSD community that there was a deeper substance behind your words in the recent interview. Then, I would be the first to admit that I was “lost in translation.” Prove me wrong, and I’d be happy to sit down there with you and the people. We could talk, listen, and imagine new ways of opening the doors of the university to everybody in the state of California, regardless of class, race, gender, or ethnicity and honor the heritage of the California Master Plan. If this sounds too much like fiction to you, then I guess I will see you at the next protest in the Chancellor Office Complex, or at the next building reclamation, or wherever there are good people opposing the full privatization of the UC system.

 

Luis Martín-Cabrera

 

[1] Debt and Taxes: Can the Financial Industry Save Public Universities? Privatization Is Now the Problem—Not the Solution

 

 

[2] See complete proposal http://keepcaliforniaspromise.org/2066/restore2011-12

 

Undergraduate Experience Survey

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

Hey Everyone!
You should all take the Undergraduate Experience Survey!
You get in a drawing for iPads and stuff!
here’s the link: http://ucues.ucsd.edu/

At the very end, when they ask for any more comments, please copy and paste this information:
DEMAND 1: CLICS BE REOPENED IMMEDIATELY

DEMAND 2: PERMANENT FUNDING FOR THE CRITICAL GENDER STUDIES PROGRAM AND EXPANSION OF SUPPORT FOR CURRENTLY UNDERFUNDED
DEPARTMENTS, INCLUDING THOUGH BY NO MEANS LIMITED TO, ETHNIC STUDIES, LITERATURE, VISUAL ARTS, AND HISTORY.

DEMAND 3: WE DEMAND OASIS CONTINUOUSLY RECEIVE MANDATED, PERMANENT, BUDGET-CRISIS FREE FUNDING FROM THE UNIVERSITY SINCE OASIS IS A FORCE ON CAMPUS AT THE FOREFRONT OF RETAINING STUDENTS.

DEMAND 4: FULL FUNDING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DEMANDS OF THE BLACK STUDENT UNION SIGNED IN MARCH 2010

DEMAND 5: FUNDING FOR STUDENT RESOURCES

DEMAND 6: WORKERS’ WAGES, BENEFITS, AND PENSIONS

DEMAND 7: ESTABLISH AN ISLAMIC STUDIES MINOR.

also, in the section asking if I had additional comments about how the cost of my education is affecting me, I wrote:

I believe that the privatization of the University is a despicable trend that must be actively fought against at the University administrative level. It is appalling to know that management outnumbers faculty on this campus – that is not what we, the STUDENTS, should be paying for.
It is appalling to know that the Regents and their lackeys, the Chancellors, are willing to put the burden of debt on students when opportunities and earning-power continues to decrease, and student debt continues to balloon (past credit card debt, even).
The students of this campus have tried time and time again this year to entire into dialogue with the administration – even resorting to camping in your Conference Room for two weeks. We have some of the best-articulated demands this campus has seen in the past decade (other than the demands of the BSU from 2010, which still have not been implemented yet).
Instead of listening to us when we take over libraries and demand dialogue, what do you do?
YOU LIE TO THE WORKERS YOU HIRED AND CALLOUSLY FIRE THEM, DECEIVE AND TRICK US, AND REFUSE TO LET US TAKE PART IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS.
Chancellor Fox, you are a pathetic pawn for the interests of the Regents. Don’t you dare point to any of the activism done here and co-opt it into “letting students express their free voice”.
Suresh Subramani, Penny Rue, Gary Ratcliff, Gary Matthews, Barbara Sawrey, and every other administrator that has pretended to listen to the students, or advertised to incoming freshman that you are “here to listen” – know that the students are becoming more and more aware of your insidious ways. You may think that you can continue to put more money in your pockets, and close libraries, and create more Campus Climate committees where all the dirty laundry can be shoved behind closed doors, but the times are changing. The Public Education Coalition is not going anywhere. We will continue to be a hornet’s nest in your house of cards. We will not leave you alone until the University is restored to its original purpose.
Public Education is a RIGHT, not a privilege.
I hope to personally deliver a pink slip to each and every one of you before I leave this university.
Sean Estelle

I encourage people to copy and paste this and write their names. When the same text is repeated, folks might actually pay attention.

CLICS Destruction

In California, Privatization, Reclaim CLICS on March 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

CLICS is officially closed and shut down.

There is a giant chain-link fence bolted in to the front door, and the side doors are securely locked.

Much of the ceiling has been torn apart, some of the wiring has been pulled down, the study carrolls are gone, and they have even scratched away some (but not all – just the ‘politically charged stuff’) of the art.

 

 

 

Preliminary photos can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3285577610918.2144278.1011987331&type=3

 

 

 

If you want to get involved in fighting back against these oppressive measures, please fill out the whenisgood link here:

http://whenisgood.net/abztwng
 Get ready for a campus-changing quarter, everyone.

Seventh Demand: Islamic Studies Minor

In California on March 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

This is the text of the seventh demand that has been added to the list of demands put forward by the Public Education Coalition and referred to in our response to Chancellor Fox’s email.

ADDENDUM: ACTION FOR EDUCATIONAL JUSTICE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO

MARCH 8, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

A seventh demand has been added to the list of institutional demands submitted on March 1, 2012 by a coalition of students, faculty, and workers specified in the March 1 document. As always please respond to our liaison (in the original document) before the end of the quarter.

Sincerely,

A coalition of students, workers, and faculty at UCSD

II. UCSD INSTITUTIONAL DEMANDS:

DEMAND 7: AUTHORIZE TO ADD AN ISLAMIC STUDIES MINOR

After the events of September 11, 2001, Muslims in the nation, especially students on academic campuses, have encountered a litany of Islamophobic activities demonstrated by a wide array of hate crimes ranging from verbal attacks to physical sabotage. Islamophobic actions that Muslim students have encountered on UC San Diego campus include, but are not limited to, professors’ bias towards Muslims, written and spoken anti-Muslim rhetoric by campus personnel, UC San Diego students, as well as campus visitors, sabotaged advertising materials for Islam Awareness Week in addition to several other incidents. In 2010, intoxicated students at UC San Diego Sun God Festival assaulted a female Muslim student; pulling off her headscarf while shouting anti-Muslim pejoratives and racial slurs. Moreover, on Thursday April 4, 2011 twenty-eight UC San Diego faculty endorsed “An Open Letter to Our University Community About Troubling Hypocrisy On Our Campus” in an advertisement paid by off-campus Israel advocate organization Scholars for Peace in the Middle East in The Guardian campus newspaper. The letter falsely accused the Muslim Student Association, Arab Student Union, and Students for Justice in Palestine of anti-Jewish activities. In addition, UC San Diego Administration denied security escort to a Muslim student to University Public Relations Office despite unsafe conditions on campus due to Sun God Festival and prevalent anti-Muslim bias. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Response to Chancellor Fox’s “Response”

In California, Privatization, Reclaim Chancellor's Complex, Reclaim CLICS on March 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

On Wednesday, March 14, after two weeks of successfully reclaiming the Chancellor’s Complex Conference Room, students vacated the complex and moved to CLICS Library which had begun its 24 hour service for finals week. Though administration still plans to move forward with renovation of CLICS, we will continue pressing for a halt on construction until more student input can be submitted and heard. The following response letter was submitted to Chancellor Fox and several Vice Chancellors after the move to CLICS.

March 14, 2012

To the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors of the University of California, San Diego:

Chancellor Fox’s response to the demands made by a coalition of students, faculty, and workers drawn from organizations including the Public Education Coalition, the Student Affirmative Action Committee, and the student-run Co-operatives, makes no substantive commitments to accountability, transparency, or shared-governance. Our intention behind the demonstration on March 1 was to start a radical democratic process among students, workers, and educators, reassess our collective priorities as an educational institution, and come up with a comprehensive plan of action that will increase the quality of our education given the current crisis.

We are completely aware of the budgetary issues facing the state of California and its consistent slashing of necessary social programs such as education. Instead of responding to our campus-specific demands, however, you have chosen to remind us of problems in the state-budget of which we are already aware and against which we have been mobilizing for years. You have chosen to scapegoat “the magnitude of the cutbacks” and “the state’s contribution to educating each UC student” in order to explain your own non-transparent management of the university’s slashed budget. Further, in solely blaming the state, you have chosen to omit the Regents’ conflicts of interest as millionaire hedge-fund managers and real-estate executives, not to mention their potential conflicts of interest from personal investments in for-profit schools and companies closely associated with the university. Read the rest of this entry »

UC President’s Apparent Bias On Free Speech and Dissent

In California on March 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

A group of 150 scholars at twenty California institutions of higher learning have written a brief response to a letter by Yudof intended to address UC climate and promote tolerance.

California Scholars for Academic Freedom Protest UC President’s Apparent Bias Regarding the Right of Free Speech and Dissent on UC Campuses

 

Also, UC Davis professor Bob Ostertag wrote an op-ed piece on how Mark Yudof and the Regents have continued to mishandle dissent and free speech on campuses across the University of California. Click the link below to read the piece.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-ostertag/university-of-california-_b_1340647.html?ref=tw

Still Waiting for ‘Real Action’: UC’s Repeated Failure to Address Campus Racism

In California on March 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

Ally blog contextualizes recent racist incidents at UCLA within a set of events throughout the UC system, and comments on UCLAs administrative response.


Still Waiting for ‘Real Action’: UC’s Repeated Failure to Address Campus Racism | We Are Still the Crisis
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Chancellor Fox’s “Response” to the March 1st Demands

In California, Privatization, Reclaim Chancellor's Complex on March 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Dear Public Education Coalition:

We appreciate your initiative to organize activities on March 1 in support of public education in California. We support events that draw attention to the increasing challenges our University community faces because of the erosion of state funding, and we fully agree with the call for California to once again support the California Master Plan of Education as an integral facet of economic stability for our state’s families. We will continue to press the case for investment in the UC with out elected representatives in Sacramento.

You also have articulated a series of campus-specific, budget-related demands that range from support for selected academic support programs to access to campus spaces. We have and will continue to work across the campus to fairly accommodate the budget reductions that have touched every aspect of campus life. We take very seriously our responsibility to oversee the campus resources to benefit all. As we make these difficult decisions, we will continue to give strong consideration to input from all segments of the campus community.

Since 1990, the state’s contribution to educating each UC student has dropped more than 50%. The magnitude of the cutbacks cannot continue without seriously affecting the quality of education at the University of California. We share your disappointment and frustration with the deep and lasting budget cuts. Therefore, we encourage you to join the UC Regents and colleagues from all campuses on May 17, 2012 for a march on Sacramento. Our unified support can make a difference for current and future students.

Sincerely,

Marye Anne Fox

Chancellor

c: Executive Vice Chancellor

Vice Chancellors

CLICS Poll

In Reclaim CLICS on March 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

In the spring of 2011, the closure of four libraries was announced, despite mandatory fees having increased 32% the previous year. Additionally, plans to renovate CLICS have been made by an advisory committee with members of ASUCSD as student representatives. As part of the goal of promoting transparency, shared-governance and democratization please respond to the following poll questions:

[The first question was first heavily edited by AS, then mistakenly left off the special elections ballot.]