links for 2009-08-22
A Note for Eric Schmidt and Bernard Schwartz...

Cranky Academic Politics Blogging II

Ah. More becomes clear:



[W]e have decided that faculty furlough days will not occur on instructional days.... The furloughs that have been necessitated by the severe University under funding by the State are causing significant problems.... In such difficult times, I believe that we must do everything we can to ensure that the students continue to receive all of their instruction. Asking the faculty to carry a full teaching load during furloughs is a large request, but in my mind is justified by the University's paramount teaching mission....

Best wishes,

Lawrence H. Pitts
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President
Academic Affairs

In this context, the Berkeley Vice Provost's statements:

  1. We have been planning since May 15 to cut short the teaching semester by three days and turn them into a reading period.
  2. However we are announcing this schedule change right now--four days before the semester this change is to apply to begins--because of its obvious and urgent "pedagogical advantages."
  3. You ask about the fact that the "pedagogical advantages" were as obvious and urgent three months ago--LOOK!! THERE'S HALLEY'S COMET!!!!
  4. Faculty are forbidden to lecture or examine or require students to show up any particular place at any particular time during reading period.
  5. Nevertheless, these are not furlough days: faculty must be "available to students" during them.

make sense if you suppose that University of California President Mark Yudoff was all set to tell the legislature: "If you don't fund the University of California, we won't teach as much, and here this fall is a down payment to show that we are very serious about this--we are taking our 'furloughs' on days when we had previously planned to hold classes."

But then blinked.

However, I know nothing--and have heard nothing--beyond these two memos. So I could well be wrong.