Category Archives: Universities

JOIN THE E-MARCH TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION IN NEXT YEAR’S BUDGET

Participate in this historic action to build a broad public education coalition and send a message to the governor demanding full funding for all of public education in California.

With the Governor currently preparing his budget proposal for 2010-11, now is the time to take preemptive action to influence the state budget process.

California public education unions and organizations are launching an electronic march or E-March on the Governor’s office to demand adequate funding for public education in next year’s budget proposal. The idea of the E-March on the Governor is to send messages from supporters of public education all over the state (students, faculty, staff, parents, labor allies, alumni, community supporters, etc.) before he finalizes his budget proposal that will be released in early January.

To join the E-March today, go to:

http://tinyurl.com/edemarch

It will be a first to have stakeholders from across California’s public education spectrum working together on a budgetary advocacy effort. The historic nature of our E-March will garner media attention and help build public awareness of the devastating budget cuts facing education in California.

The E-March is also the initial step toward more assertive actions around the budget this spring and will help engage a larger network of activists to help in the fight to protect student access to the greatest education system in the world.

This is a busy time for everyone, but before you leave your campus or work for the holidays, take one quick and easy action:

• Click on the link below to see the common message we are all sending to the Governor

• If you wish, add a statement with your specific concerns

• Add your sender information.

• Click on “Send Message.”

Take a few minutes to go to this link, and your voice will join thousands of others speaking up for public education in California

Letter to Students and Families (Download this letter)

How to Talk to Your Legislator about the Crisis in Higher Education (Download pdf)

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Jennifer Lerner, response to Rubin Navarrette, Jr. “Life’s tough, UC students, get used to it.” SF Chronicle, Nov. 26, 2009

Mr. Navarrette-

I am not going to lie, when I read your article, I was appalled. I thought, you obviously do not get it. You do not get our generation, nor do you get our fight or struggle.

Let me start out by introducing myself. My name is Jenn Lerner, and I am a 4th year at Cal. Almost all of my friends have at least one job to pay for their schooling, some have two. In fact, the majority of people here are working. Some of the working students are doing unpaid internships – while taking a full load – so they can get a better shot at getting a good job, should they be so fortunate enough to graduate from here. Many are also doing volunteer and community service work because they believe in helping to make the world a better place, even if that means sacrificing monetary compensation. Acting as if you are the expert on our generation because you talked to a couple of HR friends is ridiculous. We are not lazy, nor apathetic. We work because, well, even without these fee increases, school is expensive. Many don’t qualify for state grants, yet attending Cal puts a huge dent in our family’s, and our, income.

So, Mr. Navarette, saying that my generation does not work is not only insulting, it’s just straight up wrong.

It is also important to note that when you went to school, tuition was a lot cheaper. For example, just a mere ten years ago, tuition at the UCs was less than $5000; it will now soon be double that.

Not only that, but just focusing on the tuition hikes is not looking at this problem holistically. One of the main problems that I have with journalists reporting on the UC and CSU protests is that they say we are principally protesting the tuition increases, which oversimplifies and hides the totality of the reasons we are fighting.

Tuition hikes are only the tip of the iceberg. We are fighting for the principle of things. We are fighting for the fact that the UC President Yudof and the Regents have unilaterally decided how to re-allocate our money. Yes, we have a problem with Sacramento and its systemic underfunding of our jewel of public education, but they are not the only ones contributing to our “crisis”. Receiving less money from the state does not justify letting the most vulnerable suffer. Yes, Yudof claims that families under $70,000 will receive financial aid, but what about to the rest that do not qualify on paper? And who’s to say that this “Blue & Gold Plan” that we have will continue to exist in the future, even as tuition continues to rise? Nor does systemic underfunding justify laying off dozens of workers, and implementing a 10% cut to those that remain, slashing even more of their already poverty wages. Nor does it justify giving GSIs less pay while making them take on more students. Nor does it justify drastically cutting classes, including ones that are required – yes, REQUIRED – to graduate. Nor does it justify not being able to offer Spanish 1 next semester. We are the #1 public university in the nation and we can’t even offer Spanish 1?? What is this world coming to?!?

We fight in part because we want a say in how the budget is being reorganized, yet the budget remains hidden. If the budget is released and we collectively determine that the way these officials organized the budget was the best way to do so, then fine. But they have not even given us that opportunity.

Yudof, the Regents, and others tell us to go to Sacramento, but their actions demand otherwise. How can we fix the problem from the state when we can’t even accomplish internal reform? What good will a little bit more money from Sacramento do if They continue to re-allocate the money unfairly??

We have our sights set on Sacramento, but our battle starts right here. We are not just fighting for ourselves, we are fighting for OUR (including your) kids, our grandkids, and the generations to come. We are not just fighting against tuition increases, we are fighting for fairness, transparency, accessibility, and equality.

You call us spoiled, I call us fighting for justice. Jenn

Jennifer Lerner

University of California, Berkeley B.A. American Studies ’10

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The Federal Stimulus Should Support Research at Public Universities

By Christopher Newfield and Gerald Barnett
A year into the federal stimulus, state economies continue to
stagnate or sink. Large industrial states like California and Michigan
are in particularly bad shape, and if recovery fails in such places, it
will damage the economy of the entire country. It is particularly
unfortunate, therefore, that the federal research stimulus is not only
putting too little money into public universities, but is putting it
there in a way that makes the problems of those institutions worse.
Higher education split $100-billion in stimulus support with
elementary and secondary education in the final American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act legislation. About half of that was given to the
states to distribute with considerable latitude, and the final impact
on universities was modest. In most cases, the federal stimulus
funds did no more than keep cuts from being even worse.
The act also provided $21.5-billion of one-time money for research,
about half of which is being spent at universities. So far so good, and
last year the federal government spent more than $50-billion to
support university research. That support came in the form of direct
costs—the budgets proposed by university investigators—and
“indirect” costs—the expensive facilities, general services, and
administration upon which research depends. It is with the indirect
costs that the stimulus’s negative impact on universities begins.
Those indirect costs, called “facilities and administration,” or “F&A,”
are fees calculated as a percentage of the amounts directly budgeted
for research, less some adjustments. For universities, they usually
are 45 percent to 65 percent of direct costs—meaning that for every
dollar spent on direct costs, the government spends an additional 45
to 65 cents for research infrastructure. Continue reading

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THE HUMAN FACE OF BUDGET CUTS, by David Bacon

OAKLAND, CA (12/2/09) — Cesar Cota was the first in his family to attend college. “Now it’s hard to achieve my dream,” he says, “because the state put higher fees on us, and cut services and classes.” Cota, a student at LA City College, was encouraged by the internship program of the LA College Faculty Guild to describe the human cost of budget cuts in he community college system.
David Robinson, who’s worked since he was 14, hoped he’d get automotive mechanic training, and a good job at the end of it. “But by cutting these programs and raising fees,” he says, “you’re cutting opportunity for a lot of people who need it.”
Another endangered student is Tina Vinaja, a mother of three teenagers whose husband took a weekend job to help pay her tuition hikes. Monica Mejia, a single mom, wants to get out of the low-wage trap. “Without community college,” she says, “I’ll end up getting paid minimum wage. I can’t afford the fee hikes. I can barely make ends meet now.”
LA City College even suspended its sports programs for a year. The school had a legendary basketball program that gave low-income students a pathway out of poverty. JaQay Carlyle says city college basketball sent him to UC Davis and on to law school.

Continue reading

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Notice of Regents Meeting, January 19-21, 2010 – revised

Notice of Regents Meeting, January 19-21, 2010 – revised

Meetings of The Regents of the University of California and its committees are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, January 19-21, 2010 at the Community Center, UCSF Mission Bay as follows. Starting times following the first session are estimates. If a session ends earlier than expected, the next scheduled session may convene immediately. Closed sessions may be convened earlier in the day if time permits.

Live audio Internet broadcasts of the open sessions are available during the open session meetings. Please use this link to connect to the audio streaming during the meeting: http://california.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Click on each Committee/Board meeting below to see the agendas; click on item titles in each open session agenda to view the background materials.
Tuesday, January 19

2:30 pm

Committee on Grounds and Buildings (Regents Only session)
concurrent with regularly scheduled meeting

Special Meeting: Committee on Grounds and Buildings (Regents Only session)
2:45 pm*

Committee on Grounds and Buildings (open session)
concurrent with regularly scheduled meeting

Special MeetingCommittee on Grounds and Buildings (open session)
*or upon adjournment of previous session
Wednesday, January 20

8:30 am

Committee of the Whole (public comment)
9:30 am*

Committee on Educational Policy (open session)
10:15 am*

Committee on Finance (open session)
11:00 am*

Joint Meeting: Committees on Finance and Educational Policy (open session)
11:30 am*

Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories(open session)
11:45 am

Lunch
12:45 pm*

Committee on Long Range Planning
2:15 pm*

Committee on Compensation (closed session)
3:00 pm*

Joint Meeting: Committees on Compensation and Finance(Regents only session)
3:15 pm*

Committee on Finance (Regents only session)
3:45 pm*

Board (Regents only session)
*or upon adjournment of previous session
Thursday, January 21

8:30 am*

Committee of the Whole (public comment)
8:50 am*

Joint Meeting: Committees on Long Range Planning and Health Services (open session)
9:30 am*

Committee on Compensation (open session)
10:45am*

Committee on Health Services (open session)
11:30 am*

Committee on Governance(open session)
11:45 am*

Board (open session)
*or upon adjournment of previous session

Meetings may not begin at the exact time scheduled.

Diane M. Griffiths
Secretary and Chief of Staff to The Regents

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Dear Higher Education Supporter

January 7, 2010

Dear Higher Education Supporter,

As we return from the winter holiday, we have an opportunity to effect change in the way that higher education in our state is funded.

A hearing has been set for next Monday (January 11, 2009) at which Assembly Bill 656 will be heard by the Revenue & Taxation Committee of the California State Assembly.

AB 656, as you may remember, is a bill authored by Assemblymember Alberto Torrico which would create a dedicated funding source to help public higher education weather tough economic times like these.

The California Faculty Association and Assemblymember Torrico urge you to attend Monday’s hearing to show your support for this important piece of legislation.

The hearing will take place at 1:30 pm in room 126 of the State Capitol in Sacramento. Those interested in attending should RSVP to action@calfac.org

Ensuring that the bill passes out of committee will require the combined efforts of students, faculty, staff, lawmakers and community supporters.

Your actions in support of this bill last fall, along with advocacy efforts and public demonstrations by campus communities throughout the CSU, UC and community college systems have created an immense amount of public interest in California’s public colleges and universities.

This was highlighted Wednesday, when, for the first time during his term in office, Gov. Schwarzenegger publicly acknowledged in his State of the State address that public funding of state colleges and universities is a high priority and that they should not be cut any further.

In order to continue this momentum, we must make a strong statement Monday that there are solutions to the funding crisis in higher education and one of the solutions is AB 656!

So please mark your calendar to attend this hearing.

If you are unable to attend Monday there are other things you can do to support the bill:
Sign up to support AB 656 online, by going to: http://tinyurl.com/Isupport656
Become a fan of “Fair Share for Fair Tuition” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/FairTuition
Read the text of the bill online: http://tinyurl.com/ab656text
Check the CFA website regularly for updates on the status of the bill: http://www.calfac.org/

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