Charles Ferguson is no stranger to the political exposé. His first documentary, “No End in Sight,” garnered numerous accolades and an Oscar nomination in 2008 for its investigative look at the Iraqi war — specifically, at how the Bush Administration had been, and still was, effing things up.

Last night, the Clog fought tooth and nail (or stood in line for about an hour) to attend the PFA’s premier screening of Ferguson’s second and latest documentary: “Inside Job,” which breaks down the 2008 global financial crisis to its bare-boned roots of government corruption and economic fraud, in no uncertain or remotely subdued terms.

The work is, in a word, dramatic. That it opens with read more »


California’s broke and the boys in Sac (as it seems to be) sure as f*ck ain’t got our back. But Chancellor Birgeneau may have a plan.

Yesterday the Chancellor reassuringly declared that big universities don’t cry; they reassess their operational spending. Starting soon, “Operational Excellence,” a collaborative effort between in-house and private consultants, will examine Berkeley’s costs with the hope of arriving at a plan for greater financial independence from state piggy banks in the long term. Oh, and don’t call it privatizing. Details below: read more »

With the UC Board of Regents threatening to cut enrollment without more funding from the state and a recent phenomenon of beginning sentences with “With the economy as it is … ” it seems that Berkeley thinks it’s finally time to tell us what everybody already knows: the economy is failing, nobody has any money and we’re all screwed. Surprise!

Looming state budget shortfalls, declining endowments and tuition increases, oh my! Sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a symposium will be held this Tuesday to discuss the economic fate of the UC system and do what Berkeley does best: hold open forums for discourse on important controversial topics. Hopefully, though, this one will actually help solve the problem and not just provide a safe space for letting off steam. read more »

Ideas are flying left and right for how to get our UC system out of its current financial rut. Our chancellor has a couple of his own up his sleeve: raise and lower student fees according to the financial need of each respective campus.

The University of California Board of Regents traditionally imposes equal tuition for undergrads across all nine UC campuses (currently $6,571 per year). If Chancellor Birgeneau’s idea were to be set into motion, each campus would be allowed to raise or lower said asking price by 25 percent.

He writes in his proposal (titled “Access and Excellence”) several upshots to his propositions. Among these: provide incentive for students to attend UC campuses aren’t exactly first in preference for students (as these campuses would lower their student tuition) and provide sufficient funding for the schools to which students flock like madmen (i.e., UC Berkeley. Represent!). Additionally, Chancellor Birgeneau predicts that any gap between top tier UC campuses and leading private schools will be made smaller once our campuses are better funded.

Well, duh. read more »