"NewsHour with Jim
Lehrer" talks to Chancellor Berdahl and Berkeley educators about
the issue of untenured teachers
BERKELEY - On the January 8 edition of the PBS television network's "The
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," correspondent Spencer Michels explored
the controversial issue of the higher education system's reliance on
In a balanced look at the struggles of part-time lecturers trying to
make ends meet and the financial constraints the university faces in
a dismal budget climate, Michels interviewed three people here at UC
Berkeley. They were Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, tenured
biology professor Mark
Stockinger, who is also active in the California Federation of Teachers
"We do value good teaching … that is always a
rap that we get: That somehow if you value research, you don't value
Berdahl in the interview. "This is not a tradeoff. You can value
both and reward both and recognize both in all of the processes by
which we review and evaluate faculty, and we do."
Schlissel, who teaches in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology,
emphasized that the activity of teaching reaches beyond the lecture
hall or classroom and into his research lab, where he works with "six
graduate students and four postdoctoral fellows and three undergraduates
and a research technician who's actually an M.D. I'm teaching them
on a daily and continuous basis as we do our science together."
But for lecturers like Stockinger, who must work at a child care center
in Berkeley and commute great distances for other part-time teaching
jobs to make ends meet, the heart of the issue is his perceived
value to the university system. Stockinger said that with a salary
lower than some graduate student instructors, no health benefits, and
recognition, he feels "like a Kleenex tissue,
Berkeley's lecturers went on strike briefly at the beginning of the
Fall 2002 semester, in solidarity with striking clerical workers.
Negotiations between the administration and the teachers union still
continue with the goal of resolving the issues fairly.