Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Search Of A Higher Ed Democratic Model

First see Sac Bee: More Than Money At Stake In UC Budget Negotiations

The Daily Tar Heel Higher Education Governance Must Be More Democratic
On both coasts of the U.S., students are advocating for accessible education, and administrators are looking away. To secure a democratized future for higher education, this dynamic must be upended.

At the UC Board of Regents meeting, Board President Janet Napolitano was recorded saying, “We don’t have to listen to this crap” in regard to students protesting proposed tuition hikes.

Though Napolitano later apologized for the remark, her words and the setting in which they occurred, much like the results of the UNC Board of Governor’s meeting, demonstrate how little these unelected bodies are accountable for listening to student voices.

Napolitano and California Gov. Jerry Brown are the only two members of a committee that will recommend changes to the system’s operating budget.

Phoenix Biz Jrnl: Napolitano and Crow Together Again

“California Gov. Brown asked President Crow to share his experiences in developing a model for a New American University, and he was pleased to have an opportunity to discuss how ASU has been able to increase enrollment, graduation rates and its research enterprise during a period of declining state investment in higher education,” said ASU spokesman Kevin Galvin.

In 2003, Napolitano yelled at Crow and told the ASU chief to get out of her office when the two squabbled over a state budget battle. That time, it was Arizona that faced a $1 billion deficit. Crow had been negotiating with Republican lawmakers over research funding. Napolitano didn’t like that. Crow responded by asking the governor whether her consternation was based on emotion or fact, according to various accounts including by Phoenix Magazine. Napolitano liked that less and tossed Crow from her ninth-floor office.

-"Crow" -so many literary references available, so pick your fav...

San Jose Mercury with more on reaction to Napolitano's crap comment

Daily Bruin Editorial: Napolitano responsible for regaining student trust after protest comment
Last week, University of California President Janet Napolitano expressed an insultingly cavalier attitude toward student protesters at the UC Board of Regents meeting, endangering her already precarious relationship with a distrustful student body and toppling her carefully crafted image as a concerned and understanding administrator.

To make matters worse, it was clear at the meeting that Napolitano has made little progress creating tenable solutions for the UC’s financial woes. Napolitano and Gov. Jerry Brown updated the regents on the progress of their two-person committee, tasked at the last board meeting with creating solutions to the UC’s funding problems as it faces yet another tuition hike. They said the committee will not be making recommendations for several months. Napolitano said they might have something to bring the regents “hopefully, some time in the near future, without putting a date on it.”

It’s rather audacious of the UC president to say that she does not want to hear students protest their rising tuition even as she fails to bring concrete solutions to the table.

Napolitano entered her tenure as UC president on rocky terms with students in the system who were concerned with her track record in the Obama administration and with the circumstances of her appointment.

She’s worked hard to overcome that initial mistrust, but this comment threatens the progress she’s made – not because the word was “unfortunate” but because it betrays a troubling sentiment.

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