Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chris Newfield vs. Mark Yudof at the Chronicle

Chris Newfield has published an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the UC Budget. It is paired with an article by UC President Mark Yudof on the same topic, more or less. This juxtaposition of viewpoints provides a good overview of faculty advocacy for public higher ed vs. administrative resignation and accommodation. It would be good to have a discussion about how these two viewpoints differ qualitatively in their assessments of the present crisis.

Friday, September 25, 2009

9-24-09 Walkout Press

LA Times - UC campuses hit by protests
LA Times - UC protests loud but peaceful; no major disruptions or problems reported
OC Register - Few UCI students join in fee protest (really bad article)
OC Register - UC staff, students protest state budget cuts (video)
TIME - California's Budget Crunch: The Universities Protest
The Nation - U of Cal Budget Protests Draw Thousands

Other articles about the system-wide actions:
New York Times - California University Cuts Protested
Guardian (UK) - University of California campuses erupt into protest
San Francisco Gate - Thousands march in Berkeley over UC cuts
College Times - Thousands protest tuition hikes, layoffs at University of California
Mercury News - 5,000 at UC Berkeley protest tuition increases, furloughs, layoffs
Inside Higher Ed - Walkouts across U. of California

Press Release for 9-24-09: A Day of Action

1000 rally against fee increases and layoffs at UC Irvine


September 24, 2009 - At noon today, in an unprecedented action at the University of California in Irvine, five hundred undergraduate and graduate students, professors, staff, and workers packed the steps outside Aldrich Hall, the administration building to rally against budget cuts and their implementation by the administration, fee increases, layoffs, and furloughs. Speakers chastised the state legislature and UC administration, while emphasizing the importance of public higher education. The protesters joined the UPTE workers and their picket lines before the speakers rallied the crowd with speeches about collective action.

At UCI, 1000 faculty, students, union members and staff participated in actions throughout the day, including the picket, an improvised, street theater performance on the Claire Trevor School of the Arts campus and a teach-in in the Social Science Plaza at 2 pm. An evening teach-in about the budget crisis and the history of UCI activism had over one hundred in attendance. Numerous professors and graduate students also held impromptu teach-ins in their morning classes before walking out.

These actions were carried out in coordination with a UC-wide day of action, which saw protests at all of the ten UC campuses, with over to 5,000 protesters gathered at UC Berkeley alone and over 700 at UCLA.

Catherine Liu, Associate Professor in the School of Humanities, told students at the rally, "Educate, empower yourselves, learn what you're not supposed to learn, take charge of where you're going, figure out why the UC was virtually tuition free in 1972."

Many students attended because of rising student fees, class cuts, and outrage over administrative pay increases, but there was also strong support for campus workers, who are facing furloughs and have seen 7 groundskeepers and janitors laid off. Faculty and lecturers are also expecting furloughs this year. Protesters held signs reading "Chop
From the Top" and "Lay Off Yudof," in reference to UC President Mark Yudof.

Next steps have not been announced yet, but there will likely be additional coordinated actions in the coming months. Activists at the southern schools, such as UCLA and UC Irvine, are anticipating actions at the UC Regents' meeting in November, where the Regents are scheduled to make a final decision on mid-year fee increases which would bring fees to over $10,000 for the first time in UC history.

For more information:
John Bruning (262) 894-7667

Thursday, September 24, 2009

raw footage of noontime rally

That you Courtney Santos for sending this link to me!

noon rally at uci. It is raw footage of Catherine Liu's speech.

uci arts plaza: 9-24-09

UCI Arts Plaza: Act Out/Stand Up!

new link to "Understanding the Crisis"

Here's a link to the newest version of " here! Please download and distribute this one instead of the older version.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

new link to three pager

This is the new link to the three page information document for teach ins.

Monday, September 21, 2009

9-24-09: FAQ's

UCI Day of Action: A Note from Concerned Faculty
Defend UCI
Sept 24, 2009

1. What do we hope to achieve with the UC walk out?
For faculty the walk out is a way to call attention to the current budgetary crisis at the University of California. This crisis will lead to a wholesale restructuring of the University. We believe that instead of being spectators to this process, we have to be actors, and that in order for us to act effectively, we need to know the facts and the history of the present crisis.
2. Where can I find these facts?
We have assembled the most objective information on the crisis in a document called “Understanding the Budget Crisis at UCI” which can be accessed through Many people will also receive similar information by regular mail or flyers.
3. Why does the walk out fall on the first day of class?
The walk out is a system wide initiative. We did not choose the day. But we think it is important that all campuses have a coordinated action.
4. Does the walk out mean that teachers and students do not go to class?
No. Students have to be in class the first day to register in that class. Once in class, the teacher can invite students to participate in the walk out or may prefer to hold class regularly. The teacher may also want to invite students to discuss the current situation for a few minutes. Whatever the decision of the teacher is, we respect it.
5. Is the walk out the only opportunity to show your support for this initiative?
No. Instructors are also invited to discuss the issue with students throughout the coming year. We believe that the information assembled at can be instrumental to this end.
6. What comes next?
We hope that throughout the coming year, professors and students will continue to inform themselves about the crisis. Just reading the documents assembled in the blog is a form of participating. After that you may want to take other action: talk to your colleagues, to your friends, to your parents. Share with them the information you now have. Ask them to write to UC President Mark Yudof and to state representatives.
7. Is this politicizing the classroom?
For many years one of the main goals of the university has been the education of responsible citizens able to contribute to the common good. By undertaking this action, we are continuing to fulfill the university's critical mission.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Understanding the crisis at UC

Understanding the Crisis at the UC is another way to access a direct and permanent link to a critical research document that contains facts and figures about the financial situation of the UC in light of the state of California's budget.

Please download and distribute as widely as possible!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Flyers and Informational Material

Flyers to publicize the 9 24 event at Noon at the UCI flagpoles, and information to polish your political arguments can be found at:

You can also then join the listserv on which many organizational and political details are hammered out.

9-24-09 Program

Day of Action
UCI September 24, 2009 Events

On-Going Action: 6am- 5pm: Support the UPTE (University Professional and Technical Employees) Strike! Day-Long Picket at the Flagpoles

9-10 am: Act Out Interactive Drama: Arts Plaza

9-12am: Morning Teach-ins within classes all over the campus...check back for information about classes and schedules



This is our major event of the day where we hope for a large crowd! If there is only one event you can make on 9/24/09, this should be your priority.

2-3pm: Rally in the Social Science Plaza

5-7pm: Evening Teach-ins: Humanities Gateway 1010

(please check back for latest schedule of events)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Press Release for 9-24-09: A Day of Action

A Day of Action At UCI:
Defending Public Higher Education in California

September 24, 2009 is a Day of Action to Defend UCI: An unprecedented coalition of concerned faculty, staff and students are planning a series of actions on this day to protest the devastating budget cuts to public education across the state. We are working together to defend the proud legacy of public service and academic excellence that have been the hallmarks of the University of California.

UC students still deserve an affordable and excellent education. UC faculty and employees deserve adequate compensation and rewards for their expertise and experience. It is only through collective action that we can end the legislative inertia in Sacramento, elect visionary leaders, and restore the promise of the Golden State.

We want to urge students, staff and faculty to join us in taking action to SAVE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA and to DEFEND THE UC. We join our colleagues on other UC campuses, in the State University system, the community colleges, the high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools to protest these devastating cuts in state support for education.

The UC is a common good and a public asset that belongs to the state and people of California. California has been and should continue to be a leader and not a follower in public higher education. In the global economy, California's culture of innovation, creativity and tolerance has provided a model for the entire world.

We must all make strong arguments to local and national media, as well as to our state legislators that it is critical to preserve and defend the UC. There are those who believe that California can no longer afford to support the best public university system in the world. We think we cannot afford to be myopic and pessimistic about California's ability to reinvent itself and to grow. We do believe in fiscal discipline and greater transparency not only in the UC, but in state government in general.

We may not be able to afford PR agencies or lobbyists, but together, with sufficient numbers, we CAN make a difference in the political process. We will continue to make a case for the significance of the cultural, economic, and intellectual contributions that UC makes to the state. Every member of the UC community can participate in this effort.

We are aware that not everyone agrees with or can participate in the call for a general walkout on September 24, 2009, but in what will no doubt be a long battle , we can find common ground in preserving and defending access to excellence at the greatest public university in the world.

A true grassroots movement has emerged at UC Irvine, and it is committed to preserving and protecting the promise of public higher education in California.