California

Reviewing the Turbulence at Berkeley

The review board of the UC Berkeley campus police has issued a 128-page report on the violent student protests of last November, criticizing actions by campus police and the University administration. The introduction and summary are here and the full report is here. Coverage of the report by the AP and The Daily Cal are […]

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An Unusually Cheeky Summer Assignment

Many colleges assign incoming freshmen a book to read over the summer. The original idea was to give new students a shared taste of what intellectual life is like. Over the years, the books came to reflect the dominant faculty obsession with race-class-gender group grievance and the idea that America is a grossly unfair nation—Barbara […]

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More Subterfuge at UCal

Although my years of service on the University of California (UC) Board of Regents were the most tumultuous years of my life, my pride in the Board and the university that it serves has, until now, never wavered. But, a recent meeting and action by the Board has caused that feeling of pride to diminish. […]

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An Educator for Indians and Capitalism

In the year 2000, American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, CA, was one of the worst-performing middle schools in the state. Not a single student tested above the fiftieth percentile on state or national exams in math, and only eight percent of sixth-graders and 17 percent of eighth-graders passed that bar in reading (the […]

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How the Campuses Helped Ruin California’s Economy

All across the country there were demonstrations on March 4 by students (and some faculty) against cuts in higher education funding, but inevitably attention focused on California, where the modern genre originated in 1964. I joined the University of California faculty in 1966 and so have watched a good many of them, but have never […]

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The Times Does San Diego

Regulars at FIRE’s must-read blog, The Torch, already know the ugly details of events at California-San Diego. A fraternity held an off-campus party that was at best tasteless and at worst racist. Appearing on a student-run TV station (which is funded by the student government through student fees), a student satirical organization defended the party […]

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Double Standards: Fresno and Columbia

Early February featured an interesting development from Fresno. Students of Bradley Lopez, a health instructor at Fresno Community College, claimed that Lopez was using class time to spread his personal anti-gay views. Lopez denies the allegation, asserting that all of his comments fell “within the scope of health science.” The students’ concerns attracted the attention […]

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Identity Politics Beyond Reason

The headline in the East Bay Express a few weeks back probably didn’t surprise people in California, bracing as they have been for funding shortfalls in government services, including education: “Berkeley High May Cut Out Science Labs”. The first few words of the story delivered the distressing news that the School Governance Council had decided […]

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Prop 8 and the Academy on Trial

Barack Obama might be the most academia-friendly President since the development of modern higher education in the early 20th century. But anyone wondering why so few professors (and virtually none outside of law or economics) have been appointed to his administration should consider the case of Chai Feldblum. Nominated for a post at EEOC, Feldblum […]

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The Money Problem at U Cal

As a regent of the University of California (UC), I voted against “fee” increases proposed by the administration as often as I voted for them, but with each vote I realized that UC was slowly moving toward the day when basic decisions would have to be made about how the university is financed, who can […]

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Two New Stories And A Job Notice

Santa Cruz, Ca.–As California works to plug an epic budget shortfall, severe budget cuts are threatening the twin qualities — excellence and access — that have defined the University of California as the world’s leading public research university. At UC Santa Cruz, faculty, students, and staff worry about the impact the state’s financial meltdown is […]

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How UC Dodges Real Cuts

Some faculty members in the University of California system plan to stage a walkout starting on Sept. 24—which also happens to be the first day of classes at several of the system’s 10 campuses. The aim of the walkouts is to protest an $813 million cut in state funding for the university system during the […]

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No Recession For Bonuses Or “Diversity”

During my twelve-year term as a Regent of the University of California (UC), I served for several of those years as Chairman of the Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over the budget of the UC system. Adopting a budget was among the most complex and painful tasks that confronted the Board. For me, the […]

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It Was Just Blather

In the Critical Theory Archives at UC-Irvine, deep in a file of the Stanley Fish Papers, is a statement on Duke University letterhead by Fish when he was Executive Director of Duke University Press. The statement isn’t dated, but we can assign it to the year 1996, appearing as it does in response to the […]

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“Study, Study, Study” – A Bad Career Move

About five years ago, shortly before my term ended as a Regent of the University of California (UC), I was having a casual conversation with a very high-ranking UC administrator about a proposal that he was developing to increase “diversity” at UC in a manner that would comply with the dictates of California’s Constitution and […]

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Fuzzy Math in California Admissions

The nine-campus University of California system is reducing the number of freshman admissions because of the financial crisis. But “underrepresented groups”—non-Asian-American minorities—shouldn’t worry at all. Apparently all the cuts will come from white and Asian-American applicants. Down in the ninth paragraph of a 13-paragraph Associated Press story in the San Jose Mercury News, we learn […]

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Who Is the Real “Fascist Bastard”?

The case of Jonathan Lopez, the Los Angeles Community college student who allegedly was called a “fascist bastard” by his speech professor for delivering a Christian speech, has indeed touched a nerve, as his lawyer, David French of the Alliance Defense Fund said. Once again the mainstream press got a few things askew. The Los […]

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Guess What College Freshmen Think

News reports on UCLA’s latest annual survey of college freshmen have focused on worries about financial aid as a factor in choosing which college to attend. Well, yes. But there are brighter nuggets to be mined here. How about this one: partying and beer-drinking in general continue their dramatic decline among incoming students. Reporting on […]

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New Questions About The LSAT Validity?

A just-released study from the University of California-Berkeley’s law school points out that the Law School Admissions Test, a sort of SAT for applicants to law school, focuses lopsidedly on takers’ cognitive skills while overlooking key non-cognitive traits possessed by successful lawyers. And no, that doesn’t mean an aptitude for ambulance-chasing or filing phony class-action […]

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Suspended For Refusing To Take Sexual Harassment Classes

Alexander McPherson, a Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of California: Irvine, is posing a test to the power of the University of California over its faculty members. They mandated that he attend a class on sexual harassment-prevention. He refused to attend. Six weeks ago, the University withdrew both his supervision of […]

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I Was Suspended Because I Wouldn’t Take Sexual Harassment Training

The University of California raised no objection in 2004 when the California Assembly passed a law, AB1825, mandating that every employer of more than 50 persons provide sexual harassment training for all of its employees. Since then, I was occassionally advised that I was not in compliance with the law. I was warned that my […]

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Fuzzy Admissions At UCLA

If you like “whodunit” books and “perfect crime” plots, I heartily recommend the Tim Groseclose experience of trying to obtain the data to evaluate the “holistic” admissions process of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Groseclose is the political science professor who blew the whistle on what he considers to be UCLA’s violation […]

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UCLA Professor: UCLA Is Cheating On Admissions

Tim Groseclose, a Political Science Professor at UCLA, has resigned from its Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools, stating that “a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that UCLA is cheating on admissions” – of course, in order to circumvent the state ban on the use of race as a factor in admissions. […]

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Campus Factoids and Nuggets of Information

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s almanac, out in the journal’s August 29th issue, drenches readers in campus statistics. Women account for 57.3 % of students enrolled at American colleges and universities (10,184,100, compared with 7,574,800 for men). Slightly more than 59 percent of women graduate. The figure for men is 53 percent. Freshman males are […]

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Am I Diverse Enough Now?

I cannot reflect upon my four years at UC Berkeley without mentioning the word “Diversity.” When one’s college experience is oversaturated by incessant lessons in racial and ethnic awareness, the word becomes unavoidable in any mention of Berkeley. Berkeley’s particular concept of diversity seemed to avoid the basic goal of fostering cultural tolerance and understanding. […]

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Your Next Job?

Bob Weissberg brought our attention to this job opening, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Italics mine: The Department of Community Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, invites applications for a full-time tenured scholar focused on the theory and practice of social movements, civil society institutions and/or the third sector within neoliberalism. […]

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A Citizen’s Guide To Disciplining John Yoo

The punditocracy has offered up a wide range of answers to the question of what should be done about former Department of Justice legal counsel and author of the infamous “torture memos,” John Yoo. Suggestions have included indictment, professional discipline or even disbarment, and termination from his tenured position at the University of California-Berkeley’s Boalt […]

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University Of The Absurd

Recently I sat down with a young woman who shared with me the experience of her first year at Thurgood Marshall College, one of the six colleges of the University of California at San Diego. She explained to me that regardless of her major field of study and in order to graduate she was required […]

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Another Activist Major At UCLA

UCLA has just approved an addition to the majors offered by their Spanish and Portuguese departments: Spanish and Community and Culture, reports the Daily Bruin. What makes this different? Well, the Bruin has an answer: “what makes this major different from the other Spanish majors are two community service-based courses that place students in quarter-long […]

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California Cannabis Credit?

Only in California… can you take college courses aimed at training you for the medical marijuana business. Oaksterdam University, with campuses in Oakland, Calif., and Los Angeles, offers a full range of basic and advanced-level classes in such subjects as horticulture, distribution, and operating a dispensary to serve the 18,000-odd Californians licensed to smoke homegrown […]

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