04 October 2009

Blogging hiatus

Apologies for the light or non-existent posting the last few days — the beginning of classes finally caught up with the California Professor. The weekend provides the opportunity to pause and look back at the past week or so:
  • The Sept. 24 walkout came and went. Participation was substantial on every campus (between 500 and 1000 people attending the rallies), but not overwhelming, except of course at Berkeley
  • Demonstrators at UCSC even occupied the student center, and nobody noticed. The occupation is now over, and nobody notices that, either.
  • A few Chancellors (UCB, UCR, and — belatedly — UCD) were politically shrewd enough to release letters to the faculty, students, and staff saying "We are with you, not against you!" Chancellors on other campuses were silent (as far as I know: corrections welcome). At least someone in the higher echelons of UC's administration has some political sense. Birgeneau for UC President, anyone?
  • President Yudof's NYT interview continues to cause an uproar. We had already commented on the interview, but keep being astonished by the man's lack of political savvy. Yudof then swings the other way by offering a more balanced piece in the Chronicle, basically echoing his remarks to the Regents. This is representative of Yudof's difficulty staying on message: the NYT interview really is part George Costanza and part Silvio Berlusconi (without the sex addiction), and the Chronicle piece more representative of what a university president should be saying, even if we disagree on some parts.
  • In the meanwhile, UCD gets hit by one more scandal, the over-reporting of sexual assault statistics, which, according to Inside Higher Ed, might cost UCD as much as $3M in fines from the federal government. 
Among the various articles and op-ed pieces that have recently come out, the following are noteworthy (in no particular order):
  • Bob Herbert's well-meaning if not completely accurate NYT op-ed.
  • T.D. Elias's calling the furloughs and fee hikes for what they are: a tax on public employees and students.
  • The Guardian's wondering how the world's 8th-largest economy came to be broken.

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