UC Berkeley Budget Crisis

February 15, 2010

Faculty Seminar on UC’s Financial Future

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alan Schoenfeld @ 3:42 pm

Announcing a Faculty Seminar on UC’s Financial Future
Spring 2010

Initial organizing by Professors Stanley Klein (Optometry), Alan Schoenfeld (Education), Charles Schwartz (Physics).

You are invited to attend this open seminar and to participate in shaping its agenda. A first announcement was made at the Academic Senate’s February 2 meeting – on the topic of the campus budget – and it received encouraging responses.

  • First Seminar Meeting: Tuesday, February 16, 5:10-6:30 PM
  • Location: Minor Hall room 489 (just West of Haas School of Business)

A host of issues are receiving faculty scrutiny as never before (e.g. the finances of the football stadium, and the University’s system for keeping tack of its debts); many other issues could help make the case for UCB as a public University (e.g., quantifying the economic contributions made by faculty and alumni and otherwise demonstrating our contributions to the state, and pursuing alternatives to massive tuition hikes).  We propose a faculty seminar that would tie into and expand on some of the current efforts. The specific agenda for the seminar would be developed by those who participate, but the basic questions would center around understanding and gathering information about issues critical to the survival of UC, and Berkeley in particular, as the world’s greatest public university. We’re inviting you to join us.

If you are interested in pursuing these issues and/or having access to the bSpace site related to the seminar, send an email to: schwartz@physics.berkeley.edu  – Subject: Faculty Seminar

Include any suggestions you have for particular topics. All UCB Senate faculty will be getting an informational note tomorrow afternoon from Chris Kutz, Chair of the Academic Senate. In the meantime, please forward this announcement to others who might be interested.
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Some Issues that may be discussed (Those who come will decide):

  • How do we think about the true value of UC – what we “cost,” what we bring to the State? How does this tie to the mission of UC?
  • Where does the money now come from and where does it go?
  • What does Privatization mean – In financial terms? In terms of social impact?
  • Is it enough to ask the state for more money for UC, or should we also make a serious effort for some internal reforms?
  • What is a broader context for understanding Higher Education’s troubles?
  • Some Specific Issues (which we may explore, or may keep tabs on given that other groups are exploring them)
  • Transparency – getting data to address the questions we deem essential
  • Administrative Excesses
  • Shared governance
  • Funding for Construction Projects
  • True Cost of Undergraduate Education
  • Indirect Cost Recovery (and comparison with other publics, and privates)
  • Priorities for Student Fee Revenues
    Views of UC from Outside, ways to mount public campaigns

1 Comment »

  1. (15 million are out of work, another 9 million workers can only find part-time jobs & millions more have given up: greatest recession in modern times)
    Sorry Tale of Chancellor’s Office UC Berkeley: easily grasped by the public, lost on University of California’s leadership. The UC Berkley budget gap has grown to $150 million, & still the Chancellor is spending money that isn’t there on $3,000,000 consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the consultants “thinking, expertise, & new knowledge”.
    Does this mean that the faculty & management of UC Berkeley – flagship campus of the greatest public system of higher education in the world – lack the knowledge, integrity, impartiality, innovation, skills to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from faculty interviews & the senior management that hired them; yet $ 150 million of inefficiencies and solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor & Provost Breslauer were doing the work of their jobs (This simple point is lost on UC’s leadership).
    The victims of this folly are Faculty and Students. $ 3 million consultant fees would be far better spent on students & faculty.
    There can be only one conclusion as to why inefficiencies & solutions have not been forthcoming from faculty & staff: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility & the trust of the faculty & Academic Senate leadership (C. Kutz, F. Doyle). Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants’ recommendations – disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy – the underlying problem of lost credibility & trust will remain.
    Contact your representatives in Sacramento: tell them of the hefty self-serving $’s being spent by UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer

    Comment by Milan Moravec — August 21, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

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