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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 April 19, 2010

UC Berkeley’s $3 million consultants have issued their first report in a years-long cost-cutting plan curiously entitled "Operational Excellence.” The report calls for deep cuts in staffing, as well as privatization and elimination of many important functions and programs.

Critics say the consultants ignored the real bloat: senior management has skyrocketed 300% over the past decade. They also note that the plan’s consultants were responsible, back in the ‘90s, for recommending the merger of the UCSF and Stanford medical centers, a dramatic and expensive failure.

Meanwhile, UC economist Ken Jacobs testified before a state review board this week on how furloughs put in place by Governor Schwartzenegger have actually cost the state $700 million. Dozens of lawsuits are still pending on the legality and constitutionality of the state furloughs.

As UC has boosted out-of-state admissions to rake in more cash, over 10,000 qualified California high school seniors have been wait-listed for the first time.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News has published an analysis of why California higher education is in dire straights, complete with striking visuals of just how dramatically student fees have risen since the late 1970s. 

There’s a bipartisan move in the state legislature to limit all fee increases at state higher educational institutions.

Activists fighting to save public education from K-12 to universities are meeting in Southern California on April 24 to strategize. Students at UC Berkeley and other campuses still face campus conduct charges over their involvement in protests last fall.

New union organizing continues across the UC system. A group of library workers have sent a letter to their colleagues throughout the system encouraging them to support the New Alliance of Clerical Employees-CWA. NACE-CWA also has a brand new Facebook page. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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