When students and workers say they are fighting the privatization of the university, they are resisting six inter-related trends: 1) the shifting of costs from the public to the individual; thus while the state reduces funding, the individual students are being asked to make up for the differences through higher fees; 2) the university is being run more like a private profit-centered business than a not-for-profit public institution; in this structure, costs are socialized, while profits are privatized through the rise of an administrative class; 3) the move from a peer review system for public workers to a private model of free agent contract negotiations; 4) The move to individualized, online learning; 5) The student focus on earning individual grades over social learning and collaboration; and 6) the move to have private donors and private corporations fund the research mission.
On March 4th, throughout the state, these privatizing tendencies will be confronted by the push to defend public education and public workers. For a list of rallies and protests, click here. Also, to read my Huffington Post article on the UC coalition demands, go here. Please come out and support our actions to protect high quality public education in the state of California.