What We Stand For:
The Future of the Public University in California
1. We believe in the special mission of the public university in American higher education. The University of California exists to serve the people and state of California by:
•Providing an excellent liberal arts education for all qualified California students;
•Advancing knowledge through the highest caliber of scholarly research;
•Educating young citizens and future leaders for their roles in a democratic polity;
•Preparing creative, ethical, and skilled future contributors to an ever-changing economy and society.
2. In the tradition of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, these objectives must be met in a manner consistent with the public interest through:
•Public funding at a level that supports a superlative faculty and the infrastructure needed to carry out their teaching and research;
•Low tuition and ample financial assistance to allow qualified California students of all income levels to attend the university without indebtedness or undue burden on families;
•Providing undergraduate education that prepares students for a wide range of futures, imparts broad-based knowledge, and inculcates critical thinking as a foundation for citizenship, professional training, and creative social and economic contributions;
•Providing graduate and professional training that treats students as apprentices to the fields they will inherit and transform, not as cheap and pliable campus labor.
3. Public higher education and research is a long-term public investment – a kind of social infrastructure – that cannot be measured by market metrics alone. It is an investment in future generations, not a personal advancement product for those who can afford it. It is an investment in new knowledge of all kinds, not only for products with immediate pay-off. It is an investment in democracy and enlightened government, not in short-term interests and trends. Above all, it is an investment in California—its peoples, land, resources and potential.
The Rights and Powers of the Faculty at a Public University
1. The faculty are the living tissue of the public university and carry out the functions of public education and research. The premier international standing of the University of California depends on the excellence of its faculty, which can only be maintained by:
•Faculty governance and control of teaching, curriculum and research;
•Faculty control of hiring and promotion of professors, lecturers and research staff, and admission of students;
•Faculty governance of departments, schools, institutes and other academic units;
•Optimal conditions for faculty research and teaching, including classrooms, labs, technical infrastructure, and well-remunerated and accessible staff;
•Salaries comparable to peer institutions, with sustainable benefits and pensions;
•Reasonable equity in pay and working conditions across campus and across the university system, with regular advancement for scholarly achievement
2. These conditions require external investment by state and federal government, aided by philanthropy, but also demand internal openness and democratic participation of the faculty in administering the university, to which the BFA contributes by:
•Our ability to represent faculty interests and ideas beyond the formal structures and processes of the faculty Senate;
•Being a critical voice in administrative affairs, calling attention to troubling management decisions, dysfunctional organization, or bloat in administrative staff and salaries; recommending innovative solutions to campus problems; recalling the university to its fundamental principles in difficult times;
•Advocating for faculty concerns with the administration and the Regents of the university, including the demand for direct faculty representation on the Board of Regents;
•Advocating for the university to state government, in the media and to the California public;
•Linking effectively with other groups and faculty organizations committed to upholding quality public education at all levels, as well as the Master Plan for Higher Education.