Benjamin Gottlieb’s essay on the UC furlough situation was a well-meaning attempt to shed light on the situation, but addresses only a small part of a much larger situation. [News, “UCSB Avoids, Reinterprets Furlough Regulations,” 10/22/09.] The furlough issue was a big deal at the end of summer but has by now been superseded by others that are of potentially much greater interest to your readership, such as the huge student fee increases that have been proposed by the Regents and other efforts to transform and dismantle the UC system as we know it. This larger story is developing rapidly.
I don’t understand why Gottlieb gives so much emphasis to the English Department (in a misleading oversimplification) then turns around to focus on Rich Appelbaum, who is not only not a member of the English Department, but not really one of the leading faculty activists.
Much bigger news is the fact that at a special meeting of the UCSB Academic Senate on October 8, a resolution was passed censuring the policies of UC President Yudof and the Regents’ support for those policies. It is the boldest statement of resistance to the current direction of the UC administration yet voiced by the faculty of any UC campus. – Robert Williams