The future of the University of California, and public education in California more generally, is under extreme threat. Governor Schwarzenegger and the State Legislature have slashed funding, and the UC Regents, Office of the President, and campus administrations have responded with measures that undermine the core teaching, research, and service mission of the university: student fees have been raised dramatically, hiring has been frozen, faculty and staff have been furloughed, lecturers have been fired, and many staff positions have been consolidated or eliminated, even as salaries of the highest UC executives have been increased. Market standards have superseded the values of intellectual creativity and excellence. Next year’s planned cuts will only accelerate these trends. The defunding of public higher education makes a college education inaccessible to many Californians, especially those already most disadvantaged; it endangers the vibrancy and livelihood of the state; it lowers the quality of life of all of its inhabitants.
The Governor acknowledged that student and faculty protests have affected him. The time for more pressure is now.
We continue the fight for public education in California. On March 1, UC faculty, staff, and students will lobby the Governor and legislators in Sacramento. Then, the struggle for public education ramps up on March 4, a day of system- and state-wide actions called by students, staff, and faculty from the ten UC campuses, the Cal State University system, the Community Colleges, and K-12 schools. That day, there will be a march on Sacramento and other actions in the state capital, as well as actions on local campuses and elsewhere, to demand the restoration of high quality public education that is accessible and affordable to all. We, the undersigned UC faculty, will suspend “business as usual” and participate in the March 4th day of actions for public education.
UC faculty can add their name to the letter by pointing their browsers to http://checkingeducation.com/faculty-statement.