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Berkeley Resolution Sets Up Own UC Future Committee

Berkeley Resolution Sets Up Own UC Future Committee

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Published by Chris Newfield

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Published by: Chris Newfield on May 24, 2010
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05/24/2010

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Resolution on Senate Committee on University Governance and Leadership
Approved in a mail ballot of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate• Results of the Ballot• Text of the Resolution• Ballot Arguments For and Again--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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TEXT of the Resolution------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Whereas
, There is widespread concern about the financial future of the University;
Whereas
, The Regents and the President of the University have established aCommission to study alternative future arrangements;
Whereas
, It appears that consideration of Major Reforms in the Top Level Governanceand Leadership of the University is unlikely to occur within that Commission;
Whereas
, Numerous members of the Faculty of the University have thoughtfulcontributions to offer in that regard; and
Whereas
, Such Reforms might be a significant factor in efforts to restore publicconfidence in and public support for the University; therefore, be it
 Resolved 
, That the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate asks its Divisional Councilto convene a special Committee charged to collect, study and formulate a set of ReformProposals concerning the Governance and Leadership of the University, which will then be distributed to the membership of the Division for a ballot assessment.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Statement FOR Resolution:What is the motivation for this Resolution concerning Reform of the Governance andLeadership of the University of California? It is in the last Whereas:“Whereas, Such reforms might be a significant factor in efforts to restore publicconfidence in and public support for the University.”We have heard from some Working Groups of the UC Commission on the Future thatmaintaining a strong share of financial support from the State will be essential to ahealthy future for UC; and the two officials from the Office of the President who attendedthe April 22 meeting of the Berkeley Division made that same point.How does one achieve that? The standard reply is to advocate for all the wonderful benefits that UC provides to all of California. We all support that effort.But that is not enough. We are well aware that there are problems and there are criticismsfrom outside, about how University officials handle the public money and the public trust placed in the hands of The Regents and their top executives.Many of us inside UC share some of those criticisms; and this endeavor, being led byfaculty, can be relied upon to protect the integrity of 
academic
functions within theUniversity.
 
So here is a chance to act in a way that can serve both objectives: to advocate for reformin University management as we see it is needed and, at the same time, to respond positively to a public disapproval of mismanagement.This Resolution does not ask you to endorse a preformed list of complaints; rather itseeks the creation of a constructive process, within the Academic Senate and initiated bythe membership. This path should achieve the most uninhibited approach to this problem – and that independent character is also essential for gaining credibility in the publicdomain.The Committee created by this Resolution will invite, collect and evaluate proposals for reform in the governance and leadership of the University. It will then select the mostsignificant proposals, solicit arguments for and against each one, and then submit all thatto the full membership of the Berkeley Division to be voted on, item by item.This process will not guarantee the achievement of those reforms supported by themajority of the faculty; nor can it guarantee that this exercise will produce the influx of new public money that we all desire for the University. Yet, it is a chance to pursue thosegoals, something that we the faculty can initiate; and it seems better to try than to foregothe opportunity.While the scope of this endeavor covers all of UC and might best have been undertaken by the systemwide Academic Senate, that has not happened. Therefore, we at Berkeleynow have an opportunity to take this initiative, inviting colleagues at other campuses to join as they see fit.For additional background materials, see what was provided for the April 22 meeting:http://academic-senate.berkeley.edu/meetings/meeting_background_Spring2010_2.html Submitted by: Charles Schwartz, Professor Emeritus of Physics------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Statement AGAINST Resolution:We recommend a no vote on this resolution. We understand the proposed resolution tohave the goal of improving management of the entire University of California System bytargeting the organizational structure of the University of California Office of thePresident for review. While we fully support that goal, we believe that the mechanism proposed has the potential to make matters worse because of the vagueness of the chargeand because the action is not being taken in concert with the other campuses and their divisions of the Senate. The charge in the resolution does not make clear the extent towhich its focus is UCOP or the campuses or how overlap between the two should beaddressed. The resolution calls for creation of a Berkeley committee and then asubsequent Berkeley faculty vote on the recommendations of that committee. We believethat a Berkeley go-it-alone approach to systemwide issues will do more harm than good.Currently faculty across the system are aligned with the goal of the resolution--reducinginefficiencies at UCOP. However, our experience with the systemwide Academic Senate

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