Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CSU Trustees vote to raise fees 9 %

CSU Trustees vote for 9 % fee hike amid protests.  Student fees will increase by $500.  The 9-to-6 vote was taken behind closed doors and out of public view after police removed chanting, whistle-blowing protesters from the meeting room. Several protesters were taken into custody after a group tried to storm the meeting room.

The vote comes as students, faculty and labor groups have intensified pressure on University of California and Cal State leaders to oppose further fee hikes and education cuts.
Students and members of the group ReFund California tried to storm the front door and police released tear gas to push them back. Several protesters were handcuffed and arrested.

 Remarks by Lilian Taiz, CFA President. November 17th the faculty of this great university system will take the historic step of striking on two campuses—Cal State East Bay and Dominguez Hills.

Faculty and staff have been more than patient as we have watched this administration focus obsessively on the wellbeing of Presidents and  top managers and pay millions to consultants who duplicate the work of existing departments. 

We have waited for years for this Chancellor and this Board to prioritize the people of California and the people out on the campuses—the students, staff and faculty —who built this system.

Instead, like so many other  leaders in this nation, you have talked openly about how a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. You have administered “shock therapy” by bombarding our students, faculty and staff with one ill conceived initiative after another. These initiatives all try to do higher education on the cheap.

There is a reason that those in the trenches see most of you as the 1%-- isolated, remote, cut off from the consequences of your decisions. Meeting after meeting, we watch you make decisions that will have disastrous long term consequences for a whole generation of Californians.  

Meeting after meeting, we watch you turn a deaf ear to the students who suffer from your decisions and faculty and staff who are horrified by the

Instead of listening, you act as if you ARE the CSU and the rest of us should, in the words of your chair, just “shut up and get with the program.”

There is a reason that you continually look to us to bail out the university by relentlessly raising fees and refusing to compromise on contracts. Like Wall Street and the Bank of America—you are using us as ATMs while asking us to accept that THIS is the new normal.

Well, it is NOT normal—and we will not accept it.  Enough really IS enough.  

We know our 3-minute speeches at your highly choreographed meetings in front of this little microphone will never change you.  

But there’s a sea change gaining momentum outside your tightly closed circle in the world—and in the CSU.

We think it can change even YOU.    

The shift in understanding on the part of the 99% puts your leadership—and your legacy--under a bright spotlight.  That shift can, we believe, open a real conversation about the need for a board that is truly representative of the people of this state and of the people they are supposed to lead.  

We think that’s a conversation that is long overdue.
Prepared Remarks by California Faculty Association president Lillian Taiz to Cal State U. Trustees at their meeting today. 

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