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Got the Monday blues? Start your week off right with a helping of useful information and informed opinion.

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For the week of November 16, 2009

This week, the UC regents are scheduled to vote on a massive 32% fee increase for undergraduates, as well as layoffs of more than 2,000 additional staff. Busloads of protestors will converge on UCLA for the meeting on November 18-19. Events will kick off with a crisis fest on November 18. If you’d like to attend, there’s still a chance to reserve a seat on the bus, which is filling up fast. (You’ll be notified of availability after signing up.)

Whether any of the increased tuition would even fund education is questionable. Also on the agenda are fee increases for 44 graduate programs, some of which would increase as much as 64% -- in violation of the university’s own rules on fees.

At the Berkeley campus, the Solidarity Alliance has called for 3 days of protest November 18-20 to coincide with demonstrations and the regents’ meeting in Los Angeles. Nearly two thousand have already signed in support. UPTE Berkeley’s research and technical workers will also be conducting a 2-day unfair labor practice strike November 18-19 in response to UC’s threats of temporary layoffs.

Berkeley faculty have put together a petition to the regents opposing the fee increase for students, workers, alumni, parents, and community members to sign.  They have also launched a new online journal, Reclamations, in order “to address the need for critical reflection and debate on the new political front forming to fight the privatization of public education.”

On November 16, UC Santa Barbara activists will hold a rally opposing the fee increases,  while UC Davis activists have a teach-in planned for the same day. A conference on privatization of higher education is taking place at UCSD on November 19.

Similar activities are taking place across the state’s higher education system. San Francisco State University activists are having a simultaneous rally to oppose budget cuts. A rally is also in the works at Cal State Long Beach. And support has also come from students in Japan, who are facing similar issues in their institutions.

UC’s medical centers are showing a healthy profit in a newly released financial report. Profit from the med centers would be enough to sustain many UC departments and programs that have been put under the knife. 

College football coaches though, including those at UC, aren’t feeling much of a pinch, with news reports that their salaries are rising dramatically as education funding is slashed. UC president Mark Yudof has announced he will seek an additional $913 million from the state next year.

The San Francisco Chronicle says a new report from the state’s Legislative Analyst finds that California’s Master Plan for Education, established in 1960 to provide public education for all qualified citizens, is being ignored. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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