University of California
SOURCE: Jewish Currents
Little Bargains for Big Issues
by Michael Paul Berlin
Bargaining teams representing University of California graduate workers focused narrowly on economic issues, and not on building unity of workers and the communities around universities. This is a historical pattern of a "business unionism" model eclipsing a view of unions as social movements. Workers need to change this.
SOURCE: Law and Political Economy Project
When the Public University is a Corporate Landlord
by Charmaine Chua, Desiree Fields and David Stein
During negotiations with graduate student workers, UCLA administrators claimed that increasing stipends would effectively subsidize local landlords through higher rents and squeeze the poor in the Los Angeles housing market. The reality is that the university is an investor in a huge real estate trust that is hiking rents itself.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed
Assessing the UC Grad Strike
by Laura J. Mitchell
Despite winning increases in wages and benefits, University of California graduate student workers still face the problem of working amid the rubble of a social contract uniting universities, students, and the public around the idea of the university as a public good.
SOURCE: The New Republic
The University of California is Also a Landlord
The system, which approximates a real estate investment firm that also confers degrees, is squeezing its graduate students both as their wage-payer and as a large-scale landlord that contributes to a housing market that is unaffordable to graduate assistants and postdoctoral researchers.
SOURCE: The Guardian
The UC Grad Worker Strike is the Most Important Labor Action in the History of Higher Ed
by Nelson Lichtenstein
The strike aims not only at raising the pay of graduate workers and postdocs, but reversing the austerity politics that have gutted California's public higher education and created a climate of precarity for intellectual workers in the system.
Can the UC Strike Remake Higher Education?
The strike is driven by the crises in both academic labor and housing costs, which make poverty wages for graduate student workers far less tolerable than they used to be. Historian James Vernon is one faculty member cancelling his classes in solidarity.
SOURCE: The New Yorker
What's at Stake in the UC Grad Strike
by Jay Caspian Kang
While public support for unions has grown in recent years, it's not clear if the public understands that the working class is now likely to be involved in knowledge work. The strike by University of California graduate workers hopes to change that.
48,000 UC Academic Workers Striking: You Can't Eat Prestige
"Without its armada of researchers and grad students, the UC system is essentially a baroque real estate scam." Those workers argue they deserve much more from the system in exchange for the labor that makes it run.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
Will an Academic Worker Strike Tarnish University of California System?
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion, argue the L.A. Times editors, that the University of California system must make wage concessions to allow their graduate student workers to afford housing anywhere near their campuses.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education
UC's Initiative for Free Tuition to Members of Recognized California Tribes Opens Difficult Questions about Native Identity
Legally, the University of California system can only offer a tuition benefit to members of federally recognized tribes. But this runs afoul of historically complex issues of federal recognition, definitions of tribal membership based in race and ancestry, and the actions of tribes to manage their own membership rolls.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
UC Churns Through a Quarter of its Lecturers a Year. Like Me.
by Diane Mendoza Nevárez
"When UC treats lecturers as gig workers, they deny students access to the mentorship crucial for student retention and success."
The Legacies of Un-critical Race Theory at Berkeley
by Tony Platt
For most of its history, the University of California has been a bastion of un-critical race theory from Manifest Destiny to The Bell Curve.
Don't Erase Women's Leadership in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement
by Robert Cohen
Historians have yet to fully examine the role of women in leadership and at the grass roots of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Even some of the best and most insightful accounts of the FSM treat it as a movement of men and ignore the key roles of Jackie Goldberg, Bettina Aptheker and others.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
UC Berkeley is Disavowing its Eugenic Research Fund after Bioethicist and Other Faculty Call it Out
“Regardless of what was done with the money, it was just wrong for us to take it in the first place. It’s antithetical to everything that the school stands for.”
SOURCE: Santa Cruz Sentinel
UCSC's first online course on the Holocaust draws 18K students
SANTA CRUZ -- UC Santa Cruz's first free course offered on the online Coursera platform has drawn more 18,000 participants, exceeding expectations by instructors of the 10-week literature and history class on the Holocaust."I'm a great believer and am happy this is going on," said professor Peter Kenez, who along with professor Murray Baumgarten have taught the popular course to 300 students at UCSC for decades."All of the student reactions are very positive."Coursera offers more than 400 free courses from more than 60 universities, and students can earn certificates of completion after receiving peer-graded work. UCSC launched the course in July after announcing in February that it was one of four UC campuses that would partner with Coursera, which recently announced $43 million in venture capital investment to support growth....
Karima Bennoune: Killing the Arab Spring in Its Cradle
Karima Bennoune, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis, is the author of the forthcoming book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories From the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism.”...Since it attained independence from France in 1956, Tunisia has had some of the region’s most progressive laws relating to women and families. Many fear that Ennahda is trying to undo those laws. Amel Grami, an intellectual historian at Manouba University, whose campus was besieged last year by Salafi activists opposed to women’s equality and secular education, says the Arab Spring has “triggered a male identity crisis” that has magnified the extreme positions taken by Islamist parties.
SOURCE: LA Times
Tony Platt: UC and Native Americans -- Unsettled Remains
Tony Platt is a visiting professor of justice studies at San Jose State University and the author of "Grave Matters: Excavating California's Buried Past."In 1974, Berkeley's distinguished anthropologist Robert Heizer issued a public mea culpa for the practices of his profession in treating "California Indians as though they were objects." In particular, he apologized for the "continued digging up of the graves of their ancestors."In 1999, the department of anthropology at Berkeley issued an apology to the cultural descendants of Ishi, a Yahi native, for sending his brain to the Smithsonian after his death in 1916. "We regret our department's role in what happened to Ishi, a man who had already lost all that was dear to him."This was a good beginning to a journey of accountability and reconciliation. But since then, the University of California has been largely silent about its role as the legal owner of a vast collection of native remains stashed in basements in campuses throughout the state. It owes at the very least 10,000 more apologies....
SOURCE: LA Times
Seth Rosenfeld: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of UC
Seth Rosenfeld is the author of "Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power," which received the 2013 Ridenhour Book Prize.Once upon a time, the University of California was a sacred trust, the top tier of a model educational system that helped lift the state to unprecedented prosperity. It was jealously protected from outside political interference.Now UC is more often described in profane terms. The state's entire higher education system has been under assault for decades — free access is long gone; investment per student has shrunk; some rankings have slipped. The passage of Proposition 30 last year will help repair some of the damage, but UC's stature has been diminished and with it the dream of a truly excellent education for every qualified native son and daughter.
SOURCE: The Nation
Jon Wiener: For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses
Jon Wiener is an historian who teaches at UC Irvine, and a contributing editor to The Nation.Here’s how California treats its public colleges and universities: first, cut public funds, and thus classes; then wait for over-enrollment, as students are unable to get the classes they need to graduate; finally, shift classes online, for profit. That’s the way Laila Lalami, UC Riverside creative writing professor, explained it in a recent tweet, and that’s pretty much the whole story behind the bill introduced this week by the Democratic leader of the state senate, Darrell Steinberg. His bill requires California’s community colleges, along with the 23 Cal State schools and the ten-campus university, to allow students to substitute online courses for required courses taught by faculty members. The key to the proposal: the online courses will be offered by profit-making companies.
In California, Jerry Brown has chance to restore luster to state's higher ed. legacy
LOS ANGELES — During a 1960s renaissance, California’s public university system came to be seen as a model for the rest of the country and an economic engine for the state. Seven new campuses opened, statewide enrollment doubled, and state spending on higher education more than doubled. The man widely credited with the ascendance was Gov. Edmund G. Brown, known as Pat....Last year, he told voters that a tax increase was the only way to avoid more years of drastic cuts. Now, with the tax increase approved and universities anticipating more money from the state for the first time in years, the second Governor Brown is a man eager to take an active role in shaping the University of California and California State University systems.
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