Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Fake Mark Yudof Resignation Site a Sign of Things to Come

I was sent this fake Mark Yudof resignation by another Boalt student who was momentarily taken in by the hoax.

The hoax becomes clear, however, when the letter verges on the surreal stating:

It is clear to me now that we must all do our part to avoid social death. In that spirit, I have decided to go back to school to study the history of social movements.

Yudof's office has already hit back via Twitter, stating, "News of my resignation has been greatly exaggerated."

After going to some of the sites linked from the hoax letter, I think we can anticipate students attempting to take over more buildings and generally disrupt the functions of the University on Thursday. There's no word on whether or not this will be a non-peaceful repeat like last Thursday's protests. The police behaved in an incredibly violent manner towards protesters who were generally peacefully assembled, with a tense stand off occurring at about Telegraph and Durant (I am guessing the police were blocking an advance down Telegraph to Bancroft).

The video also shows a few protesters breaking windows and knocking over a scooter (which is picked up after several of the protesters exclaim how uncool it was to have knocked it over). It would be my guess that those attacking public property are not protesting the UC specifically, but are likely anarchists (the face covering and breaking stuff in what was meant to be a peaceful protest are generally indicative of violent anarchists, at least in my experiences as a peaceful protester).

I'm not aware of any plans to picket the Zeb/Simon Hall entrance to the building, but there should be some sort of protest out by the fountain. There are likely to be more legal observers in place after the last protests on campus turned violent and hopefully there won't be the similar sorts of clashes and injuries to students that happened last time.

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Blogger Jackie O said...

Last Thursday evening's activities were not "protests." I would describe those activities as "riot," "drunken violence," "pointless destruction of private property," or "idiocy" but definitely not protest. For a real example of an organized protest with an actual purpose, see the protest that took place at Sather Gate yesterday denouncing the racist activity at UCSD.


3/02/2010 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The police behaved in an incredibly violent manner."

Sounds like James got pushed by a cop. James, I was witholding judgment until now, but I am pretty sure you are batshit crazy liberal. Like, you are about as bad as Palin is for conservatives. At least you aren't running for president.

3/02/2010 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 points:

1. James, I hate you. I loathe your existence. I hope that Armen takes away your ability to post.

2. I believe the racist activity was off campus at UCSD at some d-bags party. UCSD responded pretty quickly to denounce said d-bag's activity. Go Tritons!

P.S. I like you, Jackie O.

3/02/2010 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it funny that when a N&B poster says something moderate or left of center, anonymous commenters accuse the poster of being an extreme right-wing conservative. Now James comes along and posts a couple things that are pretty far left, and anonymous commenters are shitting on him for being too liberal.

This post, like the last one, could use more analysis and less summary (especially since the summarizing seems to mischaracterize facts again), but no need for the personal attacks and general dickishness.

3/02/2010 5:17 PM  
Blogger Jackie O said...

5:02 - the party was off campus, but a noose was found in the library just a few days later and a UCSD student admitted to hanging it. And thanks for the love.

As to everyone else, I don't think it is in any way fair to characterize James as some kind of wing nut. Most of his posts are simply providing information and starting a discussion about it (though things tend to quickly devolve away from meaningful discussion around these parts).

For example, he notes that protests are expected March 4th, but doesn't approve or disapprove of them. I do disagree with characterizing the Thursday riots as protests and especially at characterizing the participants as "peacefully assembled." That's pretty inaccurate. But I agree with the premise that when real, peaceful protest does occur, protesters should be treated in a fair and non-violent manner, regardless of whether I agree with the cause or not. That's what I think James is getting at, though correct me if I'm wrong.

3/02/2010 7:25 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Despite the calls for his head, I've never asked a blogger to stop posting here and never will. That said, I also have never been shy about expressing my disagreement.

There are a few fundamental flaws with your characterization of the police reaction. The most troubling is that it wastes credibility. There is a time and place for criticizing police tactics. E.g., here. No one is really police brutality. But a knee-jerk opposition to any use of force by law enforcement is just counter-productive. You really fail to address several important factors in your rather hasty opposition to BPD's conduct:

1. Uh, did you notice that it's a large crowd that's setting things on fire and, if reports are accurate, throwing rocks/bottles at the police? Eighteen years, crowds got upset and began throwing rocks at cars and businesses. Then they set small fires. Three days later, we could still smell the smoke 15 miles north of South-Central. Since then, every police manual has been updated to call for a decisive show of force to disperse riotous crowds. The arguably most questionable conduct is the one or two button swings when the person moves in the direction of the cops rather than dispersing. I'm not a Section 1983 or Crim Pro expert, but I'd wager that passes muster.

2. Related to a point I made above, and something I've run into in practice on more than a few occasions, if you overreact, what are you going to do when there's an even more egregious case of police brutality? Use BOLD language? Whether in court or in the court of public opinion, your credibility is your most valuable asset. Don't squander it.

3. The video is heavily edited. My point #1, above, assumes only what we see and hear in the video. Nevertheless, I would wager that there is a lot more of police patience in circumstances that would make you or I or the average English soccer fan go completely bat sh*t crazy. That's to be commended.

4. There is no hard and fast rule or requirement, but the post leaves the impression of "well so they destroyed property and set off fires in the street, trespassed into buildings, disrupted the lives of anyone nearby, but who cares? They picked up the scooter, which well could have been Prof. ES's. But the cops, oh dear god, won't somebody think of the horrible cops?" I'll grant that when we invest someone with the authority to use deadly force (this preceding statement might well change after the McDonald ruling), we expect the highest standard of professionalism and highest degree of oversight. But, uh, in the grand scheme of things, what's the greater sin here?

5. So you disagree with the conduct. What's the solution? How do you a) effect arrests, b) disperse a riotous crowd, c) protect/make way for firefighters, etc. Ask the face covered anarchist politely?

All in all, I think there was tremendous restraint on the part of the officers. I personally tip my hat for controlling an explosive situation.

3/02/2010 7:33 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Another practice pointer: proofread.

*No one is really police pro brutality.

*Eighteen years ago

*Arguably the

3/02/2010 7:39 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

* PRO police brutality.

Seriously, I am now scared of reading my work-product for the day.

3/02/2010 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, James, but you can't try to write off the violent activities, vandalism, and general destructiveness of the rioters last week.

The movement must accept and apologize for the misbehavior of some of its members. Trying to disclaim them and argue that "they aren't really part of us" just hurts your cause.

As a student, I'm growing more and more agitated with the protesters and I hope that anyone who breaks the law this time around is punished to the fullest extent.

3/02/2010 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do I become a legal observer for the police?

3/02/2010 8:04 PM  
Blogger James said...

I think this post has really proven that no matter what you say on the internet, some whack job is going to yell at you. I'd also invite any of the anonymous commenters to submit there comments in person or with an identity attached. :)

re: police brutality.

The police should be held to a higher standard than the protesters. It was my intent to be slightly non-neutral about these events. I rarely find the use of force by police to be appropriate and the instances that it's used in the video do not seem to be appropriate.

I think it is incredibly hyperbolic to compare this instance to LA 18 years ago. There is no possibility that a riot like the LA riots could erupt in Berkeley, especially when there are about 100 protesters/vandals/whatever you want to call them out in the street.

If you watch the video, the police did not seem to be concerned with the burning. They wanted to stop protesters from moving towards the campus. This is fine. Tear gas used to disperse is fine. What is not fine is what you see at 3:37.

The students are not advancing. They are holding the one protester that seems out of control back. Nothing is being thrown. But the police charge forward with their batons, striking several students. They don't attempt to arrest any of the students at this point. If they were interested in simply peacefully diffusing the protest, they would do what they did to the girl at 4:04 and snatch her out of the crowd and arrest her. This is preferable to beating her with a baton. For what it's worth, the scooter comment was meant to be tongue in cheek.

I think the cops, if they absolutely need to get through, should move the students back. If people resist, they should be arrested. They should not be struck with batons in an effort to move them back (and you can see in the video that the instance where they do strike the students they do not continue to move the students back more than a few feet. None of the students struck are the ones on video burning or destroying anything. The ones being struck are likely the actual protesters and not those seen causing violence.

3/02/2010 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:41: yeah, great reasoning. A guy who blogs about how he thinks police were being unnecessarily aggressive is comparable to an airhead who knows nothing about politics and literally doesn't read, but still entertains presidential fantasies. That seems about reasonable. 9________9

Armen: Seconding James by saying the comparison with the LA riots is pretty ridiculous, and using the emotional reaction to that event to bolster your point just cheapens it in the same way as politicians who use 9/11 as a talking point.
Also, "I would wager that there is a lot more of police patience in circumstances that would make you or I or the average English soccer fan go completely bat sh*t crazy. That's to be commended."
Really? Because I thought "remaining patient and not committing unnecessary acts of brutality" was kind of part of the job description. This is the equivalent of saying "I bet airline pilots have safely landed planes in situations where the average drunkard would have crashed. That's to be commended." You yourself said they should be held to a higher standard. Okay... then do it.

Anonymous 7:57pm: Agreed that the behavior of many of these rioters was unacceptable, but you're making a leap when you demand that "the movement" should apologize for them. When there are good reasons to believe that many of those misbehaving were unrelated to the campus movement (anarchist apparel and behavior, as James mentioned, as well as police statement that "many of the occupiers were not UC Berkeley students,"* etc.), you're skipping a few steps when you place the blame at their feet. The people who vandalized property, threw bottles at cops, and whatever else should be held responsible, sure - but that shouldn't automatically sour your opinion of your peaceful protest-minded fellow students. (and I say this as someone who thought that last semester's strike was dumb as hell. It's not like I have any particular ties to the movement.)

*Source: http://www.dailycal.org/article/108452/protesters_clash_with_police_at_uc_berkeley_after_

3/02/2010 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:24 again. That URL was ugly. Here's a link.

3/02/2010 9:25 PM  
Blogger James said...

Horrible there/their mistake somewhere up there/their.

3/02/2010 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty unrealistic when you have a mob of people lined up against a line of cops to have the cops arrest the front line of the mob. That puts the arresting cops at a strong risk of harm from the rest of the mob. Also, I did not see the cops strike anyone with the baton, they were just shoving while holding it. I just don't see how something that is substantially less violent than your average concert is "incredibly violent."

Main Entry: in·cred·i·ble
Pronunciation: \(ˌ)in-ˈkre-də-bəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin incredibilis, from in- + credibilis credible
Date: 15th century

1 : too extraordinary and improbable to be believed

You really find the idea of cops pushing a mob with batons, that has already committed acts of violence and property destruction, that is violating an order to disperse, and that is seconds earlier actively pushing against the police line to be "too extraordinary and improbable to be believed."

That's hyperbole.

Also, comparing this to past riots is no hyperbole. Armen did not say that they were like the LA riots. He said that cops learned from those riots the need to be prophylactic in their response to avoid an escalating situation.

Just because the riot at Berkeley could not have become like the riots in LA does not mean it could not have escalated to become substantially more violent and destructive.

To say such a comparison is hyperbole is to say, well if you even mention the relevance of 9/11 ever, you are always using hyperbole because nothing after 9/11 can compare to the magnitude of 9/11.

To say that an event is irrelevant for comparison because it was large and significant is the height of fallacy.

3/02/2010 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Uh, did you notice that it's a large crowd that's setting things on fire and, if reports are accurate, throwing rocks/bottles at the police? Eighteen years [ago], crowds got upset and began throwing rocks at cars and businesses. Then they set small fires."

10:11 - this sure sounds like Armen was comparing to the LA Riots, no? If he were only making the point about police field manuals getting an update, then William Strunk would be poking his eyes out in his grave.

"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."

— William Strunk, The Elements of Style

3/02/2010 10:22 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

I appreciate the Strunk and White reference, but why did you stop quoting me at that point? The next sentence is just as relevant as the part you quote, and indeed the two are related. I think my point is very easy to comprehend--unless you read it with your own filter to see what you want to see.

3/02/2010 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next sentence: "Three days later, we could still smell the smoke 15 miles north of South-Central."

Not sure how you just proved me wrong. I was still left with the impression that you were comparing the actions on Telegraph to the LA Riots.

3/02/2010 10:31 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Ok, one more after that. If you still don't comprehend my point, I'll happily simplify as you suggest.

3/02/2010 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be happy quote your post in entirety. I got your point; allow me to return the favor and "simplify" mine since you don't "comprehend." One could, were we of a lesser intelligence than yourself, be struck with the addition impression that you were comparing to the LA Riots with the inclusion of those sentences while making your point.

3/02/2010 10:46 PM  
Blogger Beetle Aurora Drake said...

James, you may feel like you're being attacked for being the slightest bit leftist, but you're using that as a shield so you don't have to consider what the responses say. Back when I would cover ASUC stuff, I would get attacked as a partisan hack for either Student Action or CalSERVE depending on the post (occasionally attacked for being both in the same post), but that didn't mean I would just ignore what they were saying.

As one commenter noted, your description of the response as "incredibly violent" is... well... incredible. It makes me feel like I'm reading Indybay. When talking to folks who want to agree with you, that kind of language bucks up the outrage level, but among the general public, it sends a signal that your factual descriptions and judgments are not to be taken seriously, and in posts that are mostly summary rather than commentary, that leaves very little for the reader. I'll read Indybay to see the point of view of a group of people, but there's simply no way I would take a factual statement as truth without some corroboration.

John Stehlin's piece in the Daily Cal, for instance, does not disclaim the people you describe as anarchists. Instead, it describes them as people who are part of the movement but have "tactic"al differences. It's a cold and disturbing "ends justify the means" approach to the protests that they would never apply to, say, John Yoo. ("Sure, you may disagree with the torture tactic to fight terrorism, but we're all on the same side here!") It's more language that should never be put out in public, but limited to the closed-door "community" meetings where people are receptive to it. You can't deliver it here and then complain that "oh, those right-wingers are leaping all over me, so there's no reason to listen." Why bother writing it, then?

3/03/2010 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shorter version of above comment: "James, stop pointing out that people are attacking your posts regardless of what you do, without discussing the subject matter at all. Now here is a critique of your posting style that is entirely free of any content discussing the subject matter of the post"

3/03/2010 3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was leaving the bars last thursday evening (friday morning) when the riot/march ensued. All I saw was a large amount of masked people chanting something that I could not understand at all, come charging down telegraph and kicking trashcans.

I had no idea that this was in response to the budget situation, and did not know whether to laugh or be scared. One of honest initial thoughts was "do these people have weapons?" Randoms on the street sort of just jumped in the mob and started bashing shit. At this point I thought it best to not sit around and get out of there.

I did not see the tape referred to on the blog, but I heard sirens as I walked up the street. A friend who lagged behind saw fire. My take from actually being there was that this was a situation that warranted some level of police control. We should, of course, hold police to a high standard. At the same time, I understand that they have to protect both their own and the public safety, so in these type of situations, to be safe, they may end up using more force than necessary.

As unacceptable as police brutality is, I struggle to understand the expectations of these rioters (my perception). Moral of this story: Do not wear a mask, join up with a mob, start screaming shit, and destroying public property at 2:00 am on a corner populated with drunk college students and homeless people.

3/03/2010 6:23 AM  
Blogger Carbolic said...

James--I've finally given up having any credulity in what you write.

It's not necessary for me to beat the dead horse of your characterization of the last Thursday's events. I don't know which is more absurd--your use of "peacefully assembled" (to describe a mob that is smashing windows, committing arson, and throwing glass bottles at police officers) or "incredibly violent" (to describe the police attempts to hold a line, or the arrest of two individuals, out of hundreds, that are trying to incite the mob).

The problem with your recent posts is that there is an absence of independent or critical thinking. "BAAT" writes a press release? Let's slap it on N&B! A video is released by "activists" (who are trying to provoke a violent confrontation)? Let's assume the it fairly represents what occurred!

And then every time you get criticized for this, you retreat to "Hey, nobody agrees with you on the internet!" or "Hey, anonymous posters are cowards!"

3/03/2010 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I agree with Carbolic.

This feels really weird.

3/03/2010 8:39 AM  
Blogger James said...

No, Carbolic, the problem here is you don't agree with what I wrote, so you characterize it as lacking critical thinking.

Seriously though, there have been a few substantive arguments in response to what I wrote, but other than those few posts it has generally been whining and ad hominems (you can probably guess where your comment falls).

I think people are choosing to lump everyone involved in last Thursday's events into the sme group. When we see the police action, we do see a peacefully assembled group of people get baton charged the characterization of this charge as not "hitting" is also ridiculous). And, if you read carefully, you'll notice I said the arrest was actually made in an appropriate manner (the relatively non-violent snatch).

The Daily Cal took the video, which includes students being interviewed about how they don't agree with what's happening is meant to be objective. Don't immediately assume it isn't because you'd rather believe a version of the events contrary to what it shows.

3/03/2010 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Out of curiosity, are you planning on working at a large law firm? If so, what city/cities are you thinking of?

3/03/2010 9:55 AM  
Blogger Toney said...

Oh good, here comes the "I'll make sure you never work at my firm/in my city" comments.

Let's nip this is the bud before it starts. Grow up people.

3/03/2010 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I was actually wondering whether he is doing public interest work/what community he is considering.

3/03/2010 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are examples of "incredible" police brutality in a riot where people get hit by batons:

female at G20 hit in face and kneecapped with baton by police officer

Unnecessary confrontations by police, unnecessary use of force. Notice how the person being hit is just standing or talking, and not moving or attacking the officer.

Notice the swing. It's a free swing with one hand. That is a hit.

- 7 dictionary results
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   /hɪt/ Show Spelled [hit] Show IPA verb,hit, hit·ting, noun
–verb (used with object)
to deal a blow or stroke to: Hit the nail with the hammer.

I hope you can see that 3:37 of this video is not the same thing. It's a large group of people blocking a road. Seconds earlier in the tape (~3:25) we see the same exact people advancing towards the police. At 3:37, we see police, holding the baton with both hands, PUSH the people advancing towards them back.
Raw Footage: February 26 Riot in the streets of Berkeley

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–verb (used with object)
to press upon or against (a thing) with force in order to move it away.

I just really do not understand why you are incapable of seeing and understanding the difference. I can only conclude you are both reckless with your use of language and entirely unable to admit you are wrong. Either that, or you have moved beyond rose colored glasses to rose colored Lasik.

3/03/2010 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First links got messed up.

Here they are corrected:

female at G20 hit in face and kneecapped with baton by police officer

Woman Gets Hit On Head With Baton

3/03/2010 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:29, must you make your opinion in such a douchey manner? If you really wanted to teach people the difference between "hit" and "push," get a job as a preschool teacher. James is entitled to his opinion, especially when he "pushes" it in his post and doesn't "hit" you in the face with it, much like yourself.

3/03/2010 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh spare me, Carbolic. Barely over one week ago you were saying the OPR report on Bybee and Yoo had been "entirely discredited" without any critical examination of the people whose judgment you raced to agree with.

Mukasey, AG under the administration that allowed torture. Gee, no potential conflicts of interest there.

Margolis, 40-year career employee of the DOJ. You don't think he might have an interest in making his lifelong department's action look legitimate? Not to mention some of the comical logic he used to defend his conclusions, such as OMG-they-revised-the-report after he recommended they revised it, and appeal to "9/11 Changed Everything"-style justification for lapses in judgment.

Yeah, accept these rejections of a report you don't agree with at face value, but question a video from the Daily Cal showing cops roughing up kids who clearly were standing there, not throwing things or being violent.

Does anyone feel like discussing the article, or will this comments section entirely be meta-commentary, focused on James's presentation and other commenters?

3/03/2010 2:29 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I'll discuss the article: it's a typical example of the slanted, one-sided, culturally narrow UC Berkeley undergrad product that the Daily Cal produces every day.

How's that for a starting point?

3/03/2010 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick: Well, if nothing else, it's no more mediocre than the rest of your output.

3/03/2010 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God I didn't unsubscribe for the UC Student Movement emails before the follow-up, explanatory emails were sent out.

3/03/2010 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Please make the UC Student Movement emails stop!!

3/03/2010 3:36 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

"To the students, faculty, and workers of the campus community:

If you read the paper Monday morning and what you saw made you feel distant from the actions of those who took to the streets, do not fight that urge. Fight the urge to give up, the urge to walk away, or, the urge to become police yourselves out of simple disagreement. The March 4 protests will not stand or fall on whether we all agree. They will stand or fall on whether our numbers convey the grave urgency of the situation surrounding public education in California. While the powerful few wring their hands, shed tears and say, “there is no alternative,” we must insist. We've heard this excuse before, and we're still not falling for it.

Some of us will march to Sacramento, the seat of obstructionism, where cuts are the answer to every question.

Some of us will march in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco showing that whatever happens in Sacramento, business as usual here at home cannot go on any longer.

Some of us have already taken action, seizing buildings and spaces on and off campus, transforming libraries and lecture halls into positive educational spaces.

And some of us have supported our fellows even when we disagreed, defending ourselves against police batons and paying in blood, bruises and broken bones.

We mobilize against those who have partnered with corporate capital against the students, workers and families of California. Our spectrum of engagement keeps us growing and no doubt among us will slow us down, divide us, or trick us into giving up. We're in this fight for the long haul, to the end.

Administrations from the campus level to Sacramento have a choice: To deal with thousands that promise to mobilize for March 4 and beyond, or to risk countless late-night street battles like the one last night in Berkeley. Because until there is substantive change in California, they will have to deal with both, and everything in between.

See you on the streets on March 4."

The body of the 'UC Movement' email referred to in the above anon posts. If I may add an editorial comment: This email reflects about the level of mental deficiency that I expect from the protesters.

3/03/2010 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Positive educational spaces?

I guess UC's policies are doubleplusungood.

3/03/2010 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not bad, the protest made headlines at the N.Y. Times:


3/04/2010 12:39 PM  
Blogger Carbolic said...


1. I never wrote "entirely discredited." Don't you think it weakens your argument to get caught making things up? Or are those irony quotes?

2. Mukasey, a federal judge for 18 years, served as AG for only 13 months. He began four years after the memos were withdrawn. Margolis has been a civil servant at DOJ for forty years. If neither of them can be trusted to make the right decision, then who else at DOJ can? You've just dismissed both distinguished political appointees and experienced civil employees. Why then assume that OPR lawyers are impartial, if all other DOJ employees aren't?

3. ". . . a video from the Daily Cal showing cops roughing up kids who clearly were standing there, not throwing things or being violent."* Did you watch the video? Because just before 3:37 I saw: masked individuals pressing around officers yelling obscenities (3:22); the police withdrawing in the face of the advancing crowd (at 3:24); and an object being thrown at an officer (at 3:28). So your description is inaccurate. And just for the record: 3:37 doesn't show unnecessary force. Despite James's post, thee's no swinging or beating with batons. The police are using the batons (held parallel to the ground with both hands) to try to push back the advancing mob.

* See, this is how quotation marks are supposed to work.

3/05/2010 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

5/18/2010 6:44 PM  

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