Wednesday, November 25, 2009

UC Actions

Thanks to Bob Samuels (President UC-AFT, member NFM Advisory Board, blogging at Changing Universities) for this informative update, also cross-posted to adj-l:

I thought the people on the list would like to hear about the historic actions in the UC system.  Contingent faculty issues were front and center... First, I want to congratulate all the unions, workers, and students pulling off a  great protest under difficult conditions.  We had over 2,000 protesters at UCLA, and there were some great actions.  Here are a few highlights:

Hundreds of people stopped traffic at one of the main intersections in L.A. and then marched up through the campus.  Over a thousand people participated in a boisterous rally outside the regents meeting (the rally got international coverage).  Even though the police tasered and hit several students and workers, we kept coming back for more.

A very surreal moment happened during the public comments period. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where Should We Go After the Fee Hikes?

Where Should We Go After the Fee Hikes?: "legitimacy and the great public absence"  ~ cross-posted from Chris Newfield’s Remaking the University, 11/21/09, guest post by Kris Peterson, UC Irvine:

I just finished watching a YouTube video of Regents Bonnie Reiss and Eddie Island make a quick get-a-way to their vehicle at UCLA - just after they voted to increase student fees by an unprecedented 32%. They were surrounded and followed by students chanting, "Shame on you!" Reiss represents the banking and finance industry; and Island, a retiree of McDonnell-Douglas, represents the defense industry.  So, given that these two industries, with their ballooned subsidies and profits, have done nothing more than take this country down over the last several years, I'm thinking a lot about legitimacy. Not legitimacy related to governance. Rather, legitimacy in terms of representation and intent.

Let me go back in time. Between 1952 and 2007, UC had a vibrant relationship with its patron, the weapons industry. Over the years, some found this relationship egregious, as the public was concerned about nuclear proliferation and Cold War military conflicts throughout the world. Culminating in the 1970s, student protests against UC-managed Labs indexed these global events. Yet despite all this, the one thing that the weapons industry, and indeed the US military, had in common with a stellar, highly endowed, multi-campus, public university was the priority of research. Whether it was about NSEP language grants, private sector-federal government partnerships, or DOD and NSF funding that blurred the lines between foreign policy and military interests, a strong interdisciplinary research institution, writ large, was good for this industry.

But now we have a new relationship that constitutes a mix of patronage and competition. It's been built with the finance industry, commercial real estate – Big Business generally – all of which the Regents represent.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Link Roundup: California Students & Faculty Protest Fee Increase

UC protest news links ~ not a good day/ season for Crown Jewels. Most are from a Portside post, but I've added Marc Bosquet's latest at How the University Works and a few from my feed reader.

California Students and Faculty Protest Fee Increase As California Students and Faculty Protest University Regents Approve 32 Percent Student Fee Increase

Photos: &

Audio: Statement from demonstrators:,

Audio: Charles Alexande, UCLA Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Director of Academic Advancement Program:

(1) UC Regents Approve 32 Percent Student Fee Increase By Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Writer, San Francisco Chronicle, November 19, 2009

(2) Hundreds rally at UCLA to protest expected 32% increase in student fees, Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2009

(3) Associated Press November 19, 2009, By Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES - Officers armed with beanbag guns stood by as hundreds of protesters chanted, marched and even took over a building Thursday on the UCLA campus, where University of California regents were scheduled to vote on a 32 percent student fee increase.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Do Professors Matter?

Also bookmarked under Whither-U .... relevant to our mission, which is also about teaching and the quality of higher education

The movement to minimize the faculty role in higher education needs to be resisted, in part by explaining to the public why the role is crucial, writes Peter Katopes.

Update: Southwestern College Faculty Suspensions

Update: Southwestern College Faculty Suspensions blogged via Google Alerts from Student Activism by Angus Johnston, 11/2/09

Inside Higher Ed has a new piece up this morning on the Southwestern College fiasco, bringing the story pretty much up to date. Go check it out. 

Also this morning, a source on campus sent me a copy of the latest memo from the administration.

Reminder: Forum on P/T Faculty Unions

Just in case you forgot to write it down or bookmark our last post from Anne McLeer, SEIU 500, here's another reminder from Anne about the Forum on Part-time Faculty Unions with Joe Berry this Saturday Nov 7th in Washington DC

Please join us for a “Forum on Part-time Faculty Unions: A National and Local Movement” on Saturday Nov 7
Saturday Nov 7th, 9:00AM to noon, The Cullen Room at Busboys and Poets @ 5th & K, 1025 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

RSVP to Anne McLeer a 301-740-7122 or

Petition to Rescind U of Akron DNA Sampling Rule

Surely you've caught the buzz over U Akron's DNA and NFM VP Matt Williams' dramatic reaction that brought the administrative regulation out of the shadows and put it square in the public eye.

The story moved out of academic and college presses and blogs in short order, jumping into non-academic social and mainstream media, even crossing the Atlantic.

Surely that's worth its own story but not just yet. First, let's add our names to the online petition that Matt created.

The petition calls on The University of Akron to rescind the offending provision of University Rule 3359-11-22 that DNA sampling of applicants for employment.

Please repost on any other blogs, lists, or websites. We want to reach 10K signatures by the end of the week.

Rescind University of Akron DNA Sampling Rule
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