Sunday, December 20, 2009

December '09 Updates

A few more mentions of the need for a more democratic Board of Regents: at the UCB hearing of the UC Commission on the Future, on Flash Points Radio program, at the State Legislative Joint Committee's hearing on the California Master Plan for Higher Education, and in an opinion piece in the SF Chronicle.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chancellor Birgeneau Wants More Democratic Process in Selecting Regents

At a student town hall on November 5, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said that he thinks the process of selecting regents should be more democratic. He noted that there are no academics on the Board, and that he has suggested several names but they have not been chosen. This response came after a question asking whether he supported 6 demands made by the General Assembly following the September 24th protest. He however also said that he doesn't respond to demands, and that he is 'neutral' on democratizing the Regents. This contrasted, however, with Executive Vice Chancellor George Breslauer, who called democratizing the regents a 'canard' and said that the probelm was in Sacramento.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Berkeley Public Univ. forum fails to mention UC democracy

At the forum 'The Crisis of the Public University' held at the UC Berkeley Pauley Ballroom, none of the speakers mentioned as a distinguishing characteristic of public universities the fact that the governing board ought to be representative of and accountable to the public. The undemocratic nature of the UC Board of Regents received no attention from the speakers. The speakers included Phill Ting, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Naomi Klein, Jayna Brown, Ananya Roy, George Lakoff, Stan Glantz, Alberto Torrico, and Ariel Boone. The forum's video will be online shortly.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

News Article: Beyond UC vs Sacramento - It's the Relationships that Matter

Beyond UC vs. Sacramento It's Relationships That Matter

By Hillary Violet Lehr
Thursday October 15, 2009
Berkeley Daily Planet

While UC administrators blame the state government in Sacramento for recent cuts in funding, the top echelons of UC are part of the same web of political nepotism and short-sighted anti-tax idolatry damaging the State’s public services and infrastructure ...

Save CA Public Ed conf attendees discuss UC Democracy

A state-wide mobilizing conference to defend California public education took place at UC Berkeley on Saturday, October 24th. In attendance were representatives from K-12, Community Colleges, CSUs, and the UCs.

During the general voicing of demands, and in the UC-wide discussion, various people called for restructuring UC governance, including a more democratic Board of Regents.

Participants agreed to a state-wide strike and day of action on Thursday, March 4th, 2010.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

UC democracy raised at 2008 UC Regent Meetings

Issues of democratizing the Board of Regents have been raised at numerous Regents meetings. Among these include the 2008 July and September meetings.

UC Democracy discussed at forum on UC's future

Proposals for electing some regents (as faculty representatives) were discussed at the first campus meeting of the UC Commission for the Future, held at UCSB. The forum's audio was broadcast on the internet. Gould and Yudof failed to show up however.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Press Clips

Here are two recent ambiguous mentions of un/democratic UC governance in press on the walkout. Both of these pieces are good for mentioning democracy, but misleading in implying that shared governance is a sufficient democratic ideal: a commentary in the Berkeley Daily Planet (here), and one in the SF Chronicle (here).

At the packed 9/23 forum in Wheeler, someone yelled out "who elected the regents?" (story here)

Otherwise it's quite surprising how many media accounts have not yet begun to pick up on the positive calls for democratic reform of the Regents.

Berkeley faculty union interested

At a recent meeting on the UC Budget cuts, a Berkeley professor mentioned that one of the faculty unions is interested in thinking seriously about ways of reforming the Board of Regents.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prof Laura Nader Calls for More Accountable Regents

Prof Laura Nader Calls for More Accountable Regents at one of the roundtables/teach-ins in the run up to the walkout. See the youtube video.

9/24 UC Walkout Updates

UC Democracy was a prominent theme amongst the demonstrations throughout the UC system today. UC Democracy was added recently to the agenda at a General Assembly meeting focused on organizing the walkout. UC Democracy was featured on the main poster advertising the walkout. Democratic process was heavily emphasized during the meeting of the General Assembly today after the march, and UC Democracy was mentioned as an agenda item in moving forward.

Here's a picture of a student sign and a picture of a "Democratize the Regents" banner on Bancroft during the day: