A sign of the times: our neighboring women’s liberal arts college, the celebrated Mills College, facing financial crisis, has laid off 5 tenured faculty. What is disturbing is not only the firing of tenured faculty but that it occurred with no justification and without consulting faculty who had devised alternative ways to address the budget deficit. It appears that the Board of Trustees is using the economic “crisis” as an excuse to restructure the college with the aim of bringing in more revenue. The Board of the BFA has sent a letter of concern to the President and Board of Trustees. We should be doing our best to prevent such attacks on academic norms and shared governance wherever they occur. See the AAUP account by Hank Reichman.
This week we also discovered that the UC Regents, were about to remove the 70% floor to UC contributions to retiree medical benefits – again without any faculty consultation. Protest followed from the system-wide senate and Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA) and the matter appears to have been postponed until the next Regents Meeting in September. We need to be vigilant.
Finally, there was a lot of confused reporting on the recruitment of out-of-state students – indicating that this is an issue that is not going to disappear from the public eye. See below.
Chair of the BFA.