Faculty Walkout at Universities Across California Today

By Guest Columnist Sep 24, 2009

by Jonathan Yee, Applied Research Center Today, September 24th, a faculty walkout is taking place at state universities across California, to coincide with the beginning of session. The purpose of the walkout has several points: • Confronting the unclear circumstances that are leading to fee increases and a significant reduction in classes – this includes 108,000 faculty receiving a 4-10% pay cut and a 9.3% fee increase for students. This is preceding another proposed 15% fee increase which would bring tuition to over 10,000 a year – the first time ever. At Berkeley, at least 300 employees have already been laid off, and the number of classes has been decreased by 8-10%. It will now require an extra semester for an undergraduates to receive a degree. • Demanding a more accountable and transparent UC Administration. The UC budget has not been made public and a democratic accounting of the budget cannot take place. The process by which the cuts have taken place has been behind closed doors, without any public discretion. • Confronting the historical legacy of legislation that has created the current budget crisis, and confronting the opaque and unaccountable UC system. Headlines about declining funds for the California public school system have been culminating for the last 30 years, in which taxes for the rich have been decreased while state social services have been cut. The faculty is calling for stronger educational infrastructure through administrative support, and through more financial support by means of the state. They understand what is at stake for the future of education, and that it is not looking good. For more information about the walkout, check out UCFacultyWalkout.com (and on Facebook) and GradStudentStoppage.com.