Thursday, September 24, 2009
Against faculty walking out but sympathetic to student protests
I have already written extensively about why I think faculty should not walk out of classes today on this day of protests on UC campuses. Mainly this is because I think it is unfair to students for me to impose my will on their classes and that I think if faculty were to impose their will on students classes it would be a bad political move. (I note, I think the best response to this issue I have seen was an commentary in the LA Times by UC Riverside Professor Susan Straight, who is going to let her students decide what she should do with her classes today).
I am also not enthusiastic about the faculty walkout because I think that energy should be focused on changing public opinion and Sacramento opinion and not on the UC administration. That being said, I think the UC administration has not handled the budget crisis in an ideal manner. And I completely understand why many faculty, staff, students, and unions are not pleased with how things are going.
Thus, even though I do not support faculty walking out of class today, I am sympathetic to the protests and in particular to the student side of the protests. Students at UC and CSU are getting pummeled in many ways - from higher fees, to bigger classes to less access to education. They deserve our respect today and through all of these rough times ...