No, there was no Doug Benson or Paul F. Tompkins on hand when Chancellor Robert Birgeneau gave his end-of-the-school-year speech to the Berkeley Staff Assembly, but it still felt like a reflective time. Birgeneau described this year as “the single most difficult year I personally have experienced” in his academic career. To which we at the Clog would like to add a polite but insistent “DUH.”

He also admitted that he is “sometimes accused of being excessively optimistic” and tried to remedy this to fit with the times. He acknowledged that the draining of money read more »

shorts11-235x300Out of context, a plethora of wire coat hangers manifesting in the Congressional mailroom might just seem confusing. But given the anti-abortion amendment currently under consideration in this week’s version of the health care bill, the innocuous objects, courtesy of Berkeley City Council, sent their message loud and clear. [SF Gate]

Not to single anyone out or anything, but on the subject of a certain “type of terrorism” that went down on Friday, we have this to say: here’s a feel-good story about a group of people who truly had something to complain about. Believe us: We could not be any less sarcastic … Just hoping to offer some of you a little perspective. [MercuryNews]

And, on that note, be glad you’re not about to go on trial for allegedly trespassing in Iran. In an anomalous bout of Cloggy optimism, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for a reasonable ruling—i.e., one that sends the hikers home, for crying out loud. [BayNewser]

Earlier: The Rain Doth Fall on Our Parade


Since you can’t turn your head without hearing the words “budget crisis,” we’ll assume you’ve heard about the cuts in funding to various departments on campus. Since the problems began, some faculty even raised the question of cutting back funding for athletics. And this Thursday, the faculty voted to “urge the school to stop subsidizing its money-losing athletics department as soon as it legally can.”

Now take heed—this doesn’t mean that the football team is going be thrown unceremoniously from the gravy train. The legal part makes everything much more difficult. The Chancellor himself noted that contracts don’t expire for a few more years, so the university will “continue to help the read more »

A-something, like-a this?In what we presume is an effort to increase transparency and respond to student concerns about the you-know-what, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has agreed to meet with students in what ASUC Prez Will Smelko called a “STUDENT TOWN HALL” in an e-mail earlier today.

The “STUDENT TOWN HALL” will also feature Executive Vice Chancellor George Breslauer and Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard, not to mention “key student representatives,” who we’re sure are not in any way affiliated with the ASUC and are not in any way named “Will Smelko.”

We’re also sure that this “conversation” will be a very orderly and un-shit show-like event, where students and administrators, together, will make fair, rational arguments and everyone’s voice will be heard. read more »

3761900551_0ea9790126Yes, we regret to inform you that the university isn’t looking too good. All these budget cuts have led to some kind of gangrenous infection, and it’s spread too far too fast. You might have to lose that leg. But, if you like, we can replace it with some kind of insanely badass gadgetry.

Okay, so this isn’t the real scenario. But you have to admit, it sounds pretty flippin’ awesome. Could we turn our university into a cyborg? Well, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau seems to think so: he’s considering turning Berkeley into a state-federal “‘hybrid’ that receives basic operating funds from the government.”

You had us at “hybrid.” Our ailing university will now come back stronger than ever, howling with revenge-lust for its lost workers and ready to kick some financially unstable ass. Libraries will always be open … in the matrix. Lectures will be downloaded into our consciousness. No one will ever have to wait in line again.

Apologies, we exaggerate. Essentially the UC system is in the poor house, and we’re going door-to-door in Washington asking for scraps of federal funding. Our state is obviously not helping enough.

It really is a shame Berkeley isn’t a human/machine hybrid, though. With the Terminator as governor, we’re going to need all the help we can get.

Image source: Daquella manera under Creative Commons
State-federal ‘hybrid’ eyed to save UC [Daily Democrat]

3874756199_fb16eb129cThinking of becoming a professor or just want to complain about how much the chancellor’s making while tuition fees are going up? Check out ucpay.globl.org, which allows you to look up the salary of any UC employee.

The data was obtained via public records requests by the San Francisco Chronicle. Sounds pretty legit to us. We had some fun with the salary generator. Here’s some that might interest you:

Robert Birgeneau: $445,716.00

John Yoo: $248,766.01

Judith Butler: $166,385.22

Hubert Dreyfus: $45,000.00

Alex Filippenko: $216,733.30

Richard Muller: $199,333.30

That’s right. Professor Dreyfus, inspiration for the Professor on Family Guy Futurama (thanks Ricardo and Matt), makes less than a third of what the other professors make and our chancellor makes more than the President. Don’t ask us.

ucpay.globl.org [Website]
Image Source: S Migol under Creative Commons.


We at UC Berkeley are collectively thrilled about the capture of Phillip Garrido last week. And it’s fantastic that our campus played a role in setting Jaycee Dugard free to her family; that obviously goes without saying.

Although it apparently isn’t as obvious as we’d think, considering university officials are spreading the word as far and wide as … Iran? read more »

That faces wall isn't there anymore!Amidst all the hustle and bustle of your first day back at school, you might have noticed a certain climate shift about the campus. No, not that kind of climate shift, we mean an economic climate shift. Faculty and students alike have been all abuzz about the budget crisis, prophesying doom and whatnot, but one man has managed to put on a happy face about it all.

That man is Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who seems oddly chipper in a video “back-to-school message” that the news center just published. In it, he basically says that things have been better and we’re still awesome and don’t worry about your academic experience because the most valuable lessons come from just being in college with a diverse group of peers, anyway.  Truer words have never been spoken. Oh wait–yes they have.

Nevertheless, we can’t blame the guy for trying to project optimism. We mean, we doubt making a video welcoming everyone back to campus then telling them to panic and run for their lives would have been very productive. So it’s a good thing he didn’t do that, we guess.

Image Source: caramida under Creative Commons
Welcome to UC Berkeley- 141 years and counting [NewsCenter]

Berkeley’s reach spreads far and wide … especially beneath the surface of the earth. Which is why you’ll find some of our top physicists and Lab researchers at DUSEL—the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory—halfway across the country, digging up all kinds of shenanigans at the Homestake gold mine. read more »

… and MSN City Guides can’t stay. Er, not for long, at least. Well, you know what they say–”If you can’t take the Berkeley, get out of the Berkeley,” or, uh, something like that. [MSN, via SFist]

… cold enough to snow in San Francisco, apparently. And in all the high hills from Sonoma to Santa Cruz. But … no, no. We couldn’t possibly hope that–perhaps, maybe? Down here? Murphy’s law? Seriously, if there are snowball fights in Berkeley the day we get back to SoCal, we’re going to punch someone in the throat. [SFist]

… and it’s only getting colder for the university’s money supply (or hotter, depending on whether you favor a “Financial Armageddon” by fire or ice.) You know something’s really up when R-Birge sends out a 1,843 word-long “message” to the campus community about the “Current Economic Situation.” We’ll admit we skimmed it, but that’s all it took to get the gist: we’re f*cked. [CalMail]

Earlier: Berkeley Measures, Technology and Berkeley Professor Measures Technology

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