Berkeley faculty demand transparency, input on realignment

And they may get it. In the Daily Californian, here:

The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate held a special meeting Tuesday on the campus’s financial deficit and the faculty’s role in progress with academic restructuring.

… The administration came under fire in February for considering the dissolution of the College of Chemistry — a plan that has since been abandoned — as a potential strategic initiative to remedy the campus’s growing deficit. Dirks also sent a memo to campus employees Wednesday announcing that administrative restructuring may lead to cutting staff by 500 positions.

At Wednesday’s meeting, however, Dirks brought up his proposal of a faculty-led working group that would produce reports by January regarding the future of the campus’s academic structure.

In the nearly two-hour open comment period, about 25 faculty members spoke, many of whom criticized the administration’s lack of transparency in the academic realignment process. Many said they were frustrated that their input, as faculty, had not previously been considered in the process.

“Why are these things secret in a place that has the motto ‘Fiat Lux’?” said Louise Fortmann, a campus professor of environmental science, policy and management,  at the meeting.

Campus ESPM professor Carolyn Merchant, an organizer of the petition, called for a “revolution in cost reduction” through reducing not only administrative pay but positions, among other methods. She also called on the administration to “recreate itself as a lean, efficient, moral entity devoted to the public trust.”

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