11 September 2009

Academic Senate to AUUP: long live the Great Helmsman!

Chris Newfield just made available a letter that the new system-wide Academic Senate Chair Powell and Vice Chair Simmons have written to the AAUP (who had endorsed the proposed Sept 24 walkout). In their letter, Powell and Simmons claim that shared governance is alive and well at the University of California, and whoever thinks otherwise does not really understand what shared governance means. As my children would say: whatever.

Almost lost in the perfunctory mumbo-jumbo, though, is this pearl:
[Yudof] has indicated that the decision was necessary as part of his effort to insure that the faculty furloughs will not be continued into a second year. 
Oh? We are surprised, first of all, because there no such motivation in the now (in)famous Pitts memo, where UCOP was mostly concerned in laying down the law. But, second, the connection between the implementation of the furloughs and their continuation into a second year is one that UCOP has never bothered explaining to the faculty. This would, of course, be completely in keeping with the culture of secrecy and lack of budgetary transparency at UCOP, but another explanation is possible: there is no such discernible connection, and Powell and Simmons are just engaging in cognitive dissonance and  post factum rationalization.

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