Category Archives: UC Santa Cruz

repost from occupyca: “the Game has begun.”

repost from occupy california:

Some friends have posted a call for contagious and competitive occupation –

take what is ours, because everything is ours

Here is a shout out to fellow west coast conspirators
for some good ol’ fashion insurrection!
Its a time of crisis,
but it sure don’t look like one yet!

So get going and bring it on,
because we are the crisis!
This is a call for a competitive occupation
to get things started:
this will be called the Game.
And this game never fucking ends!

– from The Imaginary Committee

Download the instructions here.

A useful reference – occupation: a do-it-yourself guide can be downloaded here

It’s time to get started.

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March 4th – All of Education – Unite

“No cuts to Education – K-12 to the Universities”

March on Sacramento and Los Angeles Thursday, March 4th, 2010
 

  • Education has been under attack this year from K– 12 to the Universities.
  • In the past we resisted the cuts, separately at each level: K-12, Community Colleges, CSUs and UCs. Sometimes we even ended up competing with each other for the meager funds that were available
  • Now it is time for all of us to join together and act together – K-12 to the Universities.
  • We must show that we will not accept the degradation of the lives of millions of students, teachers and faculty, staff, workers and parents.
  • Let’s show our numbers and our power by all marching together to say No Cuts to Education.
  • We must feel our power by everyone coming together.
  • We propose that the march take place on March 4th. Why? March 4th is far away enough away that it gives us time to organize. The date is close enough that it is before the May revise to the budget. The date is before all the schools, colleges and universities begin their spring breaks.

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Filed under Campuses, Community Colleges, CSU Fresno, CSU Stanislaus, Events, SF State University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA

Talking Points on the UC Budget Crisis and Public Education

Many thanks to those who worked on these amazing talking points! Please check out the downloadable pdf bellow and distribute!

What’s happening with the UC budget? How did we get here?

  • The 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education gave all Californians the right to an affordable college education. In fact, in-state students’ fees were supposed to be only for “incidental costs,” not for tuition.1 High quality, accessible public education was once a major priority for California.
  • In 1978, CA Proposition 13 drastically reduced property taxes (a major source of funding for public education) and required a 2/3rds majority in the legislature to raise taxes again. 
  • In 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger and the UC administration signed the Higher Education Compact. Written during a time of economic prosperity, this document allowed UC to raise student fees by 10% each year and moved UC away from public funding by the state and toward private funding by individual and corporate donors.2 This shift from public to private funding is called privatization.
  • Why are so many people opposed to privatization? When UC is a public institution, it is accountable to the public — to tax payers and to the state. UC teaching, research and public service are considered a public good. If UC becomes a private institution, it will be accountable to private donors — to corporations and wealthy individuals. These donors will increasingly control the kinds of programs and scholarship UC can offer; our teaching and research will benefit corporate rather than public interests.
  • Today’s crisis — including over 900 layoffs, mandatory furloughs for faculty and staff, and a 32% increase in student fees — is not a sudden unexpected downturn, but part of a much longer trend of disinvestment in California public education, by both the state and the UC administration.
  • Undergraduate fees have increased over 117% since 2002. In 1988, fees for one undergraduate student represented 5% of the median family income for a California household. By 2008, fees represented 17% of the median family income.3 Recent reports demonstrate that since 2004 UC administration has pledged student fees for bond collateral and interest on construction projects.4

How are students being impacted by these decisions?

  • Students are being asked to pay thousands of dollars more in fees than they initially planned. Therefore, many students report that they will have to take on another job next year to cover the cost, reducing the time and energy that they can devote to their education. Claims that increased fees will be offset by increased financial aid opportunities actually just shift the burden from the university to individual students who must take on more debt, limiting their employment and graduate school opportunities or exposing students to predatory lending schemes similar to subprime housing loans. Many other students say they will not be able to afford to remain in the UC system. 
  • Students are paying more for less. Programs are being closed and instructors are being laid off. For example, The Dean the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences may cut the Textiles and Clothing program at UCD, the only of its kind in the UC. Students are fighting to keep it open.5 UC Davis also recently laid off all of its ESL lecturers in order to cut costs.6 As TAs become more expensive and the University cuts funds to hire instructors, we fully expect to see larger classes, larger and/or fewer discussion sections, and fewer course offerings, decreasing the educational value of UC Davis instruction and increasing the average time to degree. 
  • Crucial resources are becoming less accessible. Cowell Student Health Center, which serves UCD students, has had to cut hours of operation this year due to furloughs.7 The main UCD library has cut staff, reducing the number of librarians available and making it harder to get necessary research materials.8 Campus resource centers, which serve underrepresented and marginalized communities at UCD, have had to cut programming and hours to account for budget cuts this year. These are just a few examples of the ways student support and resources are dwindling on our campus. 

If the legislature is decreasing funding, why aren’t students just focusing on Sacramento?

  • We strongly advocate for public funding of public education, but we also demand that UC administration refocus spending on students and education and that they take responsibility for creating a public education system that the state would want to fund. 
  • Between 1997 and 2007, faculty increased by 24% and student enrollment increased by 39%, while senior management increased by 118%. A report by the UCLA Faculty Association estimates that UC would have $800 million each year if management had grown at the same rate as the rest of the university since 1997.9 $800 million would cover the fees for 100,000 resident undergraduates. UC Davis plans to close one of three low-income cooperative on-campus student housing projects, and plans to use that space to create more administrative offices. We want to know why administrative costs and resources continue to rise at the expense of student accessibility and affordability.
  • We think it is unacceptable that in a year when students must seriously consider whether or not they can continue to attend college, the president of the UC has a compensation package of $841,880,10 and the new chancellor of UC Davis is hired with a base salary of $400,000, which is 27% higher than that of her predecessor.11 
  • The UC Board of Regents consists of 18 members appointed by the governor for 12 year terms, one student regent appointed by the Board of Regents, and 7 non-voting (ex officio) members. Because of this structure, the Regents have no real accountability to students, faculty, or staff. And very few of the Regents even have a background in education.12 For example, Chairman Russell Gould is a former executive of Wachovia Bank, a corporation that directly profits from decreased funding of public education since it profits from an increase in student loans. We believe it is crucial to have accountability from the Regents, real student representation, and UC leaders with backgrounds in education.
  • Recent budget choices push resources away from students and education, and toward administrative and for-profit functions of the university. If UC administration continues to move toward a privatized, corporate model, it will be even harder to convince the state and tax payers to invest in the UC as a public education system. 

What can advocates for public education do to help?

  1. Contact UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi (530-752-2065, chancellor@ucdavis.edu) to ask that she publicly advocate for administrative transparency and a rollback of fee increases.
  2. Contact UC President Mark Yudof (president@ucop.edu) to demand accountability and transparency in administrative and budgetary decisions.
  3. Contact the UC Regents (http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/contact.html) to demand that they revoke the fee increases and reverse the trend of privatization.
  4. Contact Governor Schwarzenegger (916-445-2841) and California legislators (http://www.legislature.ca.gov/) and ask them to make the Regents accountable to students and to the state, and to restore the state’s commitment to public education.

 

Downloadable PDF, please distribute!
 

UC Budget Talking Points

 

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Fees-to-Income Ratio = Unaffordable Higher Education

The following was written by and posted with permission from Ingrid Lagos, a grad student in Cultural Studies at UCD.

When university administrators talk about a hike in fees, some mention inflation, and try to normalize the increase by noting that fee increases have happened every couple of years since the institution can remember. While increases due to inflation for just about any product is reasonable, the kind of fee increases for UC fees in the last decade reflect a profound change in what affordable higher education means.

I was an undergraduate in 1988 at UCLA, followed by my brother 4 years later; my little brother was technically “priced out” out of Cal only 8 years after, when the university declared him out-of-state student because my parents had left the country (he had stayed in California). I graduated with virtually no loans, my brother graduated with 20K in loans, and the little one didn’t make it.

There are many ways to talk about what it means for a university to be public—one key aspect is affordability to the average taxpayer as part of the intrinsic responsibility written at the moment the state collects taxes. What does affordability mean? I did some numbers looking at my own reg fees:

In 1988 the total undergraduate resident university fees for UCLA printed in the catalog (88-89) were $1,491 per year. California’s household median income was $30,287. Fees represented 5% of the median income. In other words, a household would have to save 5% of its entire income to pay for one kid’s UC fees, this does not count room and board, books, etc. Not really affordable if you ask me, but perhaps doable.

In 2008 the total undergraduate resident fees for UCD printed in the catalog (08-09) were $9,496.60. California’s household median income was $57,014. Fees represented 17% of the median income. Which mathematically means that no median income household could possibly send their kids to college.

In 2010 the total undergraduate resident fees for UCs have been approved to be 12,323.95 (10,404.95 + 585 in Jan + 1,334 next year) for 2010-2011. I do not know what the projected median household income will be (not published by census yet), but say it’s $63,000. Then fees would represent 20% of household income. This means UC fees are absolutely unaffordable for most households in California.

Affordability is only ONE aspect of public higher education. Let’s not buy into a philanthropic solution, in which fees of average Californians are taken care of by private donors; public also means the ability to research without strings attached to private corporation’s interests. Let’s say no to the hike in fees and no to the private funding solution to make it affordable.

Ingrid Lagos, grad student in Cultural Studies.

Sources:
UCLA 1988 Catalog
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/h08.xls
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/22416
http://budget.ucdavis.edu/studentfees
For definition of “median household income”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_household_income

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Filed under Campuses, Community Colleges, CSU Fresno, CSU Stanislaus, SF State University, Statements, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA