Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of October 13, 2014

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Are we failing to invest in genius as a public asset?” asks a Sacramento Bee correspondent. How can the state can support the University of California, which  under the now almost defunct Master Plan for Education allowed people like Nobel winner and UC biology professor Randy Schekman to attend UC for only a few hundred dollars a semester?
 
UC president Janet Napolitano has been making the media rounds in a public relations spree, holding interviews with UC Berkeley’s Daily Californian, NBC, the Sacramento Bee, and others. She reflects on her first year in office, offering comment on out-of-state recruitment, to pay increases for top management executives, to potential tuition increases.

Despite assurances from the UC administration that increased admissions of out-of-state and international students is not denying state residents access to higher education, a Wall Street Journal article reports otherwise. UC is not the only higher education system that is using such students to balance budget shortfalls.

”Imagine a place where pensions were not an ever-deepening quagmire, where the numbers told the whole story and where workers could count on a decent retirement,” writes New York Times staffer Mary Williams Walsh. “That place might just be the Netherlands.” Dutch employers “typically band together by sector in big, pooled pension plans [negotiating] sectorwide in talks that resemble American-style collective bargaining.”

A “national walkout day” for adjunct faculty – those are the part-timers who often teach a majority of classes at some institutions in return for poverty-level wages – is planned for the spring, according to Inside Higher Education.

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UPTE represents adjunct faculty at three California community colleges. Photo Don Nikkel

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