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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 December 07, 2009

UC’s Associate Vice President for Systemwide Information Technology, David Ernst, is under fire for improperly claiming over $150,000 of reimbursements for lavish trips and personal expenses while he served in a similar executive position in the California State University system. The state auditor discovered the payments to the $238,000-a-year executive after a whistleblower tipped her off. State Senator Leland Yee wants Ernst to pay the taxpayers back. AFSCME, a union representing 20,000 of UC’s lowest-paid workers, wants Ernst to resign.

Why Sacramento is not the problem is a new compendium of easily-digestible budget information gathered by UPTE member Jeffrey Bergamini, which shows that UC’s claims about the state funding cut don’t hold water.

While Time magazine recently declared UC president Mark Yudof a top university president, several of his constituents disagreed in an article published in UCSC’s campus paper, City on a Hill Press.  A UC union leader published an op-ed in the Contra Costa Times describing mismanagement by Yudof that is not unlike that of executives at AIG and Lehman Brothers.

The AFL-CIO blog covers the UC union coalition’s work against budget cuts, furloughs and layoffs. The new wave of student activism is the topic of one article in Inside Higher Education; another covers the budget and Yudof’s protection of the university’s profit-centered units.

The University of Kansas is considering budget solutions that exempt student employees and lower-paid faculty and staff from possible layoffs and furloughs. One vice provost told the University Daily Kansan that “Those are the people that we absolutely felt needed to be protected….And that included all student employees.”

Like their Berkeley counterparts, UCLA faculty have written a letter protesting police violence at fee hike protests last month.  Two Berkeley faculty members reflect on last month’s actions in an op-ed in the Daily Californian.

Here’s a short video on why UC students, staff and faculty need to unite to defend public higher education.

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