Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why We Can’t Trust President Yudof

Here is a series of statements that Mark Yudof made during his address to the Regents on Sept. 16th (you can watch these comments at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DaX7Jh8-R8 ):

1. “We don’t have any reserves.”

2. “In the last fourteen months, our reserves – so called – are down, I suspect, at the end of the day by one third.”

3. “We actually spent 300 million in the so-called reserves in the current year.”

4. “We better be alert and I will be alert that we are not out of reserves in another year.”

5. “The real challenge is, if we are not careful, and this downturn continues a couple of years, there won’t be any checking account.”

These statements show why faculty, students, and unions do not trust Yudof’s leadership. He first claims that there are no reserves, and then he states that they do exist, but they are going down, and finally he argues that the reserves have to be saved for the future. It is impossible for all of these statements to be true at the same time, and so we must conclude that the UC does have money, but it chooses not to spend it. Instead, fees will go up 42% in a year, employees will have their salaries reduced, and services will be cut.

On September 24th, faculty, students, and workers rallied to demand a more fair and transparent budget. We want to know the truth about the UC’s fiscal status, and we do not want to be told one moment that the reserves don’t exist and then hear the next moment that they need to be saved. What needs to be saved is the reputation of the world’s greatest public university.

9 comments:

  1. Did you see Yudof's interview in the NY Times this weekend? It was shockingly unimpressive: he was uninterested, disengaged, petty, and cynical. How did he get put in charge of one of a great university system, one with idealistic goals and proven capabilities?

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  2. From reading your other posts, I see that you like to bash on Yudof. Could you two please have a verbal showdown? I think that could potentially attract future protesters.

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  3. This made me loose al respect, if there was any to start with, for Yudof. You would think that a person with such an important job would know that contradicting yourself is a stupid thing to do and that mistakes like this are easy to spot.

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  4. President Yudof needs to get his priorities straight. All we want is an honest leader and someone that wants the best for our education. Yudof has a very important job and he needs to e more careful about his decisions.

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  5. Current Threats to University of California Don’t Come From the Outside - $3 Million Extravagant Spending by UC President Yudof for University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau to Hire Consultants - When Work Can Be Done Internally & Impartially
    During the days of the Great Recession, every dollar in higher education counts. Contact Chairwoman Budget Sub-committee on Education Finance Assemblywoman Carter 916.319.2062 - tell her to stop the $3,000,000 spending by Birgeneau on consultants.
    Do the work internally at no additional costs with UCB Academic Senate Leadership (C. Kutz/F. Doyle), the world – class professional UCB faculty/ staff, & the UCB Chancellor’s bloated staff (G. Breslauer, N. Brostrom, F. Yeary, P. Hoffman, C. Holmes etc) & President Yudof.
    President Yudof’s UCB Chancellor should do the high paid work he is paid for instead of hiring expensive East Coast consults to do the work of his job. ‘World class’ smart executives like Chancellor Birgeneau need to do the hard work analysis, and make the tough-minded difficult, decisions to identify inefficiencies.
    Where do the $3,000,000 consultants get their recommendations?
    From interviewing the UCB senior management that hired them and approves their monthly consultant fees and expense reports. Remember the nationally known auditing firm who said the right things and submitted recommendations that senior management wanted to hear and fooled the public, state, federal agencies?
    $3 million impartial consultants never bite the hands (Chancellor Birgeneau/ Chancellor Yeary) that feed them!
    Mr. Birgeneau's accountabilities include "inspiring innovation, leading change." Instead of deploying his leadership and setting a good example by doing the work of his Chancellor’s job, Birgeneau outsourced his work to the $3,000,000 consultants. Doesn't he engage UC and UC Berkeley people at all levels to examine inefficiencies and recommend $150 million of trims? Hasn't he talked to Cornell and the University of North Carolina - which also hired the consultants -- about best practices and recommendations that eliminate inefficiencies?
    No wonder the faculty, staff, students, Senate & Assembly are angry and suspicious.
    In today’s Great Recession three million dollars is a irresponsible price to pay when a knowledgeable ‘world-class’ UCB Chancellor and his bloated staff do not do the work of their jobs.
    Pick up the phone and call: save $3 million for students!

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  6. UCB Chancellor Birgeneau Loss of Credibility, Trust
    The UCB budget gap has grown to $150 million, and still the Chancellor is spending money that isn't there on expensive outside consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the "innovative thinking, expertise, and new knowledge" the consultants would bring.

    Does this mean that the faculty and management of a world-class research and teaching institution lack the knowledge, impartiality, innovation, and professionalism to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from interviewing faculty and the UCB management that hired them; yet solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor were doing the job HE was hired to do. Consultant fees would be far better spent on meeting the needs of students.

    There can be only one conclusion as to why creative solutions have not been forthcoming from the professionals within UCB: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility and the trust of the faculty as well as of the Academic Senate leadership that represents them. Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants' recommendations - disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy - the underlying problem of lost credibility and trust will remain.

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