Faculty Calls on Regents to Rescind Decision
I am writing to correct a widespread misperception that the controversial actions taken by the Board of Regents in July on admissions and employment are a fait accompli.
On the contrary, UC faculty around the state have been working to overturn these actions, and this movement has gained crucial momentum in recent weeks.
The Academic Senates of Berkeley, Santa Barbara and UCLA have already voted overwhelmingly (as of Nov. 15) in favor of motions calling upon the regents to rescind their decision.
Votes on the other six campuses are planned.
In a recent op-ed piece in the Sacramento Bee, Regent Roy T. Brophy, a Sacramento businessman, present member and past chair of the regents, said, "What the regents did was wrong. How they did it was wrong. We need to work together, all of us at UC, to make it right."
Faculty interested in protecting and exercising the core university principle of shared governance can help.
There is a petition being circulated by the Faculty Committee to Rescind SP-1 and SP-2. So far this petition has almost 400 Berkeley faculty signatures and 1,500 signers systemwide.
The petition reads:
"Article IX, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of California requires that 'the university shall be entirely independent of all political or sectarian influence and kept free therefrom in the appointment of its regents and in the administration for its affairs.'
"On July 20, 1995, a narrow majority of the regents defaulted upon their solemn responsibility to protect the university from the realm of partisan party politics. By acting against the considered educational judgment and the expressed will of the president of the university, the council of chancellors, the academic council, and the student association, these regents violated a long tradition of shared governance.
"This is a profound threat to the integrity of the university. We the undersigned faculty therefore call upon the regents to rescind immediately Resolutions SP-1 (on affirmative action in admission) and SP-2 (on affirmative action in employment) passed at the July 20th meeting and return to the university community--the faculty, administration, students, staff and alumni--its right to exercise its judgment on matters fundamental to the quality of education offered by the university."
To add your name, send email (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (642-8674) or letter (FCRSP, P.O. Box 5206, Berkeley, CA 94705).
Professor of Public Health
Congratulations from Sen. Petris
As chairman of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to Chancellor Tien and the faculty at Berkeley in their recent rating by the National Research Council as the best overall graduate academic programs in the nation.
Berkeley even outpaced its oft-touted private university rivals, finishing ahead of Harvard, Princeton and Stanford.
This ranking is very prestigious in that it is conducted once every 10 years and it is done by peer review through an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.
But beyond these considerations, Berkeley received this high honor despite a plunging percentage share of its budget from state sources.
In fact, all UC campuses performed well despite funding problems. Overall, all nine campuses ranked in the top one-fifth of the graduate programs at 169 public and 105 private institutions of higher learning.
In 1980-81, UC received 28.5 percent of its overall system budget from the State General Fund.
By 1994-95, that level of support had plummeted to 18.1 percent, despite a long-standing Master Plan for Higher Education promise of ample public funding to offset low fees.
Furthermore, Chancellor Tien and his faculty earned this accolade while maintaining a strong commitment to affirmative action programs designed to offer opportunity to long underrepresented groups of California citizens.
This sterling achievement is testimony to the strength of our UC system's flagship and should more than validate the funding commitment that Californians have made over the years. And it should be a strong reason that, as an investment alone, we recommit ourselves to reversing the public funding slide of recent years.
Sen. Nicholas C. Petris
Ninth Senatorial District
Alameda and Contra Costa