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.