|For the Week of October 07, 2013
Napolitano “is the power pick of a majority in an increasingly restless University of California Board of Regents,” wrote UC Berkeley professor John Aubrey Douglass, who offered his arguments for the state’s reinvestment in public higher education. For every dollar UC receives from the state, Douglass points out, it receives $19 from other sources.
The California state controller announced last Tuesday that California schools and colleges received $1.28 billion in lottery revenue last year. Of that, community colleges received $168.5 million, CSU got $46 million, and UC received $30 million. At UCLA, the Pritzker Foundation announced that it will donate $15 million to establish a center to research how to make cities more sustainable.
Twenty-one faculty department chairs at UC San Diego have signed a letter calling for higher wages for graduate student instructors (GSIs). Wages are “so low,” wrote the chairs, “that our students often take more than one outside job to make ends meet in this high cost-of-living area, thereby retarding their time to degree….” The union representing the instructors, UAW Local 2850, presented the letter to UC management in bargaining last week.
Longtime Monday Memo readers will remember “Parsky’s Party,” the 2007 article revealing how UC regent Gerald Parsky dismantled UC’s retirement fund management and farmed it out to big finance cronies. Now the Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi in “Looting the Pension Funds” details how public pension funds across the country are being carved up and delivered to Wall Street financiers, to the detriment of the workers who earned them.
Meanwhile, the Institute for America’s Future takes aim at the strategies and methods of a conservative campaign to manufacture the perception of a public pension crisis in order to slash retirement benefits and protect corporate profits.
UC Merced enrollment has now passed the 6,000-student mark after receiving a record number of applications for fall semester.
In a reaction to the government shutdown, which already has forced some scientific labs to close or restrict operations, an anonymous faculty member posting in Remaking the University noted that if he and his colleagues were to stop doing their jobs, which could endanger their constituencies, they’d be fired immediately.