Save California’s universities: Judith Butler speaks out against University of California’s cuts
October 13, 2009 by versouk
Judith Butler, author of Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?, asks “Why in this age of slash and burn has the UC [University of California] administration bloated by 283%, as their own public financial reports make plain? And why does the university spend $10m a year on inter-collegiate athletics and over $123m on a new athletic centre?” for Guardian Comment is free:
The promise of affordable higher education is dying. The University of California’s students and faculty demand answers
Faculty, staff and students are collectively outraged that the university has failed to make public and transparent what the cuts have been and will be, and by what criteria and set of priorities such cuts are made. Rage also centres on the devastation of “shared governance” – the policy that faculty must be part of any decision-making that affects the academic programmes and direction of the university. In its place, a “commission” was appointed by the administration with paltry representation by faculty. Emphatically missing are those in the arts and humanities.
During a time of corrosive neo-liberalism and rising doubts about education and the arts as public goods worthy of state support, the administration ducks and hides – when it is not boasting about its own stupidity, failing to take up the task of making its decision-making process transparent, refusing to honour the mandate to bring in the faculty to share in establishing priorities and weakening the safeguards against a rampant privatisation of this public good that will undercut the university’s core commitment to offer an education both excellent and affordable.
Read the full piece here.