The plan for cutting the deficit, coming from the office of the Vice-Chancellor for Finance, raises as many questions as it solves. Although we are told that Berkeley intends to maintain its excellence, one does wonder how this will be possible.
- GSIs are to be replaced by readers, in addition to new proposed minimum numbers of students per GSI.
- Since each department is now covering costs of increases in the salaries and benefits of staff and lecturers from the base-line of 2013-14, TAS (Temporary Academic Support) funds will cover fewer classes.
- Larger departments can simply reduce course offerings by eliminating lecturer positions, but smaller departments have no alternative but to seek new sources of revenue whether through summer sessions or creating new self-supporting degree programs. How will the physical and biological sciences with their costly labs be able to survive in this new climate of austerity?
- There is much talk about increasing revenue from gifts, but what are the ties on these revenues?
We need to be vigilant in following the costs and consequences of the new entrepreneurship expected of departments.
Chair of the BFA.