letterProfessor Catherine Cole, who teaches in the theater, dance and performance studies department here at Berkeley, has authored an open letter to students that’s been circulating on the interwebs.

In it, she argues that in the turmoil of the budget cuts, Yudof & Co. (more on that later) have been making efforts to fundamentally alter the mission of the university. She brings up the possibility of staff walkouts this month if such efforts continue. This could get serious.

Here are the bullet points of her argument:

  • The UC is being run too much like a business
  • Pre-professional studies are taking precedence in decisions regarding the university’s future, pushing aside the liberal arts and other disciplines
  • She feels Yudof is using the budget crisis to bypass existing goverance structures
  • Executive pay is too high. That one’s come up a lot before.
  • Instead of just focusing on retaining executives, we should focus on retaining faculty, because when was the last time we won a Nobel prize for best board meeting? (Okay, so I’m paraphrasing)
  • Other universities have already spotted the golden opportunity to poach our faculty
  • Furloughs could also hurt faculty research
  • The budget crisis is not Yudof’s fault, but if the university loses sight of its mission now, it won’t get it back
  • Most of the professors here aren’t here for the money, and they understand that the university is in a tough spot. But where’s the love, Yudof?

Now, some UC workers are already holding a vote of no confidence against Yudof as a public statement. Others, such as UC Regent Russell Gould, argue that he’s a nice guy stuck in a tough situation. Yudof, in the meantime, seems to be having a rough couple weeks, after a car blew up in front of his home.

How would you deal with the current budget disaster? Tell us in the comments.

Image Source: a.drian under Creative Commons
Cole to Students – UC Budget Context [Scribd]
UC Workers Holding No-Confidence Vote on Yudof [Daily Cal]

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