The Regents were back in the news, last week, mounting resistance to the legislature’s control over UCOP’s budget. This move could also affect the distribution of funding within our campus. The summer is a time to be especially wary about unpleasant budget cuts. Sure enough, departments in the social sciences and humanities received new guidelines on the use of TAS (Temporary Academic Support) funds, stipulating minimum numbers of students in courses and sections. This amounts to a slow chipping away at department autonomy and instructional quality.
Last week we also learned that the new Chancellor will not move into University House – a refreshing shift from her predecessor’s lavish spending. Even more positive would be to put the Mansion to good use: Could the gardens be open for all? Or support a new program of Scholars in Residence? Could the space be used to invite public figures to stay in Berkeley for a semester? I won’t suggest that the Chancellor Airbnb it to put a dent in the campus deficit. Let me know if you have any other ideas!
Chair of the BFA.