We told you to email your legislators so don’t blame us!

The following email was sent by Chancellor Blumenthal to the entire UC Santa Cruz campus community.  How does he “urge you to get involved”?  By clicking on — you guessed it — a link that enables you to send a form email to your legislators.  This is how we’re supposed to fight the cuts?  Really?  And the campus administrations and UCOP wonder why we continue to target them. Ugh.

A similar email was sent to the UCLA campus community.  (God, we hate that term: “campus community.”  If you want a community, foster one!)  Granted Chancellor Bock was a bit less reluctant to euphemize austerity measures than his counterpart at UCSC, but the prescriptive section was roughly identical:

Nevertheless, it remains essential that we remind lawmakers how vital UCLA and the rest of the UC system are to the future of the state. Please join our advocacy effort by clicking the Get Involved link at advocacy.ucla.edu.

Advocacy?  Fuck, at least UCSC has a form letter.  Bock’s link directs you to click another link (if you are so inclined to “contact your legislators”) that allows you to locate your representatives.  Are these people serious? Lay-offs are imminent, salaries and pensions are being slashed, and students are being driven into debt slavery, and this is how these people urge us to defend ourselves?  This is how they conceive of protest within its proper limits?

And they wonder why we take buildings…

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Chancellor’s Office <chancellor@ucsc.edu>
Date: 2011/3/16
Subject: Painful truths about budget cuts

Unit Managers: Please post a paper copy of this message in your area for people who do not have regular computer access.

Este mensaje se repite en Español.

March 16, 2011

To: UCSC Community

Fr: Chancellor Blumenthal

Re: Painful truths about budget cuts

At the request of the Office of the President, I spoke to the UC Regents today about the impacts of budget cuts on our campus. I’d like to share with you some of the key points of my presentation.

I spoke plainly about what we’ve lost at UCSC, and what we stand to lose in the face of the latest anticipated $30.9 million cut to our budget.

First, despite our desire to protect the academic mission of the campus during three difficult budget years, we have had to cut funding for 80 unfilled faculty positions, and we now face the likelihood of having to eliminate approximately 40 more. These cuts leave departments virtually unable to replace faculty who leave or retire, and several departments already have had to delay or consider suspending degree programs.

Teaching assistants have also been impacted: We’ve cut funding for 110 TAs to date and may have to withdraw funding for another 120. These cuts, combined with our inability to hire faculty, directly impact students by reducing the number of classes we can offer.

Finally, we already have eliminated or reduced more than 300 staff positions, and we face the likelihood of losing another 150. Vacant positions have been eliminated where possible, but many people have lost their jobs, and more will.

These are huge impacts for a campus of our size that is already thinly resourced.

UCSC has implemented our cuts to date with care. We have been widely recognized for streamlining our business operations and for cutting costs strategically. Campus leadership continues to work closely with the Academic Senate, deans, and principal officers to make decisions that will preserve UCSC’s instructional and research initiatives.

However, as I told the Regents, the painful truth is that the University of California is at the point of compromising educational quality, and these cuts threaten our position as a leading research institution.

Governor Jerry Brown has proposed major cuts to UC this year as part of an initiative to resolve the state’s persistent budget issues once and for all. We recognize the value of this undertaking.

It is also true that this is a defining moment for the University of California. How we handle these cuts will have repercussions for decades. That’s why I’ve asked the Regents for three things that will help us cope with the magnitude of these budget reductions.

• Flexibility—Campuses need as much flexibility as possible to make their best choices in this difficult budget climate.

• Stability—We must escape the cycle of nearly annual budget cuts; we need predictability, in the form of multi-year budget stability, to enhance our strengths and build for the future.

• Options—Everything needs to be on the table, from revenue enhancement and business processes to how we provide instruction and conduct research.

At UCSC, we are about to begin a larger discussion regarding our future, and I look forward to communicating more about that soon. In the meantime, legislators in Sacramento are poised to make decisions that will have a profound impact on the University of California. As faculty, staff, and students, you will be directly impacted by the choices they make. I urge you to get involved. Speak out on behalf of UC Santa Cruz and make your voice heard in Sacramento.

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