Thursday, December 12, 2013

Round Up Mix and Dirks' Holiday Greetings

on UC Davis there's Davis Vanguard "Why Is The University's Business Not About Public Safety" -on what the university is or is not in the business of. What does a city give away or gain when they give some municipal services, powers over to UC? Take a look at this earlier story on Berkeley for some relevant examples.
POGO on a cost jump in new construction at LANL
Outrageous cost overruns at the Department of Energy: a new nuclear facility was supposed to cost $600 million, but now, estimates predict it will total $19 BILLION.
Yet, the project carries on as planned.

Lake County News detailed story on this: The University of California Regents are denying allegations that the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center failed to take precautions against a deadly bacteria and that a Lake County child died of legionnaire's disease as a result.
Whistleblower in UNC Athletics Scandal Speaks To Committee.
Will it: result in this for all instruction?
more here:

NYT Joe Nocera on The Berkeley Model

In the forthcoming issue of the Carnegie Reporter, my friend Nicholas Lemann has a wonderful essay about the dual — and in some ways, conflicting — roles of the American university. One role is mass higher education, which is “mainly concerned with teaching.” The other role is high-end research, in which tenured faculty “pursue knowledge and understanding without the constraints of immediate practical applicability,” as Lemann puts it. “At Berkeley” has plenty of scenes of both — but never stops to contemplate whether this is still the best way to run a public university.
a WaPo op ed on the belief that income inequality doesn't produce much draw - drops reference to Emmanuel Saez- remember this from him in The Atlantic?:
“The rich seem to be on the road to recovery,” says Emmanuel Saez, an economist at Berkeley, while those in the middle, especially those who’ve lost their jobs, “might be permanently hit.” Coming out of the deep recession of the early 1980s, Saez notes, “you saw an increase in inequality … as the rich bounced back, and unionized labor never again found jobs that paid as well as the ones they’d had. And now I fear we’re going to see the same phenomenon, but more dramatic.” Middle-paying jobs in the U.S., in which some workers have been overpaid relative to the cost of labor overseas or technological substitution, “are being wiped out. And what will be left is a hard and a pure market,” with the many paid less than before, and the few paid even better—a plutonomy strengthened in the crucible of the post-crash years.

back to that WaPo Op Ed - it includes this:
"Obama acknowledged that his crusade against inequality must account for the fact that Americans “admire folks who start new businesses, create jobs and invent the products that enrich our lives. And we expect them to be rewarded handsomely for it.” This is less true in Europe.

Europeans consider health insurance and income support obvious roles for government, whereas the U.S. welfare state emphasizes “earned” benefits, such as Social Security and Medicare in retirement, health insurance linked to a job, or aid to veterans."

...yeah, right-- look how talking about income inequality and market obsession etc. worked out in the US for this guy.
earlier this week; National Day of Action at British Univs - the gender apartheid (other links in earlier post) and privatization protests reach critical mass?
Dirks: Make Rhetoric Match Performance- A Commitment and a Responsibility

in his comments Dirks mentions Mandela's comments on the importance of education
Mandela also said: “Sport has the power to change the world,” Mandela once said. “It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

Lots of things light people up- education, the arts, sports. (POTUS recently noted with rising income inequality - the power of education is hampered.)
Mandela quotes also highlight reasons why it is good to question the arrangements for funding, support of college sports.
and Dirks gets this unsolicited advice in turn- OMG.

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