Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of August 20, 2012

Two weeks ago, Long Beach State announced that it would no longer accept mid-year transfer students from California community colleges, along with Cal State Northridge and San Diego State. Now UCSD has announced that it will no longer guarantee transfers to community college students who meet certain requirements. The reason, given in classic elliptical administration-speak by a UCSD spokesperson, was that "because of this successful commitment to admitting transfer students, we have seen a dramatic increase in California resident transfer students over the last five years, which has exceeded the amount of state funding provided for the university's instructional capacity." In plain English: no money.

As the US Supreme Court considers a critical case on affirmative action, UC filed a “friend of the court” brief in favor of race-conscious admissions policies. UC pointed to the significant decline of minority students following California’s passage of Prop. 209 in 1996. The case stems from a 2008 lawsuit by a University of Texas student alleging that Texas’s affirmative action policy violated her civil and constitutional rights. In addition to the brief submitted by UC President Mark Yudof and 10 UC chancellors, the Obama administration and California attorney general Kamala Harris have also submitted briefs in support.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel puts the plight of higher education in context in “As We See It: California: A state of haves and of have nots.”

A report by the Financial Times describes Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s attacks on workers attempting to form a union at an airline controlled by Romney’s Bain Capital. Bain engaged in “blatant, grievous, willful, deliberate, and repeated violations of the Railway Labor Act,” according to a federal judge. The AFL-CIO’s blog has more details on the 1980s union-busting at Key Airlines.

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