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Regents continue to meet and students continue to protest today at UC.

The New York Times’ Bay Area blog has a good round-up today of the issues surrounding the fee increases and reactions to them.

There’s also a photo slideshow of the ongoing on-campus protests.

Update Students occupied Wheeler Hall on the campus this morning. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau emailed all faculty, staff and students the following message:

The campus police are working to resolve a protest action that is occurring in Wheeler Hall.  Staff, faculty and students who would normally be working in Wheeler Hall  are asked to remain out of the building until further notice.  Employees who can contact their supervisors should talk to them if possible to determine whether telecommuting or relocation to another work area is an option.  Those in the building right now are advised to leave until the situation has been resolved.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Why does one of the top universities in the world Chancellor Birgeneau have to spend $3 million of UC money for consultants to do what should be done internally by YOU and your worldclass faculty and staff?
    Who teaches auditors how to audit? Do UCB professors not have the knowledge to perform what they teach?
    Having firsthand knowledge of consulting, I know one cardinal rule, “Don’t bite the hand that pays you.”
    In a nutshell, we have a high-paid, skilled UCB Chancellor who is unable or unwilling to do the job he is paid to perform. Why do we wonder that UC is in financial crisis!
    I’m sure students, faculty, staff and the UCB Academic Senate would not object to the $3 million payout if the money is reimbursed by taking money from your salary Chancellor Birgeneau over the next 10 years.
    Stop the reckless spending of $3,000,000 on consultants and require UC President Yudof to motivate UCB Chancellor to do the work of his job.

  2. —————————- Original Message —————————-
    Subject: Review of Wheeler Hall Protest
    From: “Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor”
    Date: Mon, November 23, 2009 1:58 pm
    To: “Academic Senate Faculty, Staff, All Academic Titles, Other
    Members of the Campus Community, Students,”

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Dear Campus Community:

    Last week was a very difficult week for everyone across the University of
    California as the Regents voted to increase fees by 32% in response to the
    extreme funding cuts imposed on the University by the State of California.
    Protests occurred on many campuses, including our own, as students,
    faculty, and staff are justifiably angered by the fee increases, by
    lay-offs, and by other difficult decisions necessitated by the state
    budget reductions.

    On Friday, 40 individuals, the majority of them students, took over the
    second floor of Wheeler Hall, refusing to come out unless the
    administration agreed to reinstate 38 laid-off custodians. Supporters and
    on-lookers gathered at Wheeler Hall, urged on by fast-spreading electronic
    communications. We urged the police to be as respectful as possible of
    our students. As the size of the crowd grew and false fire alarms were
    repeatedly set off in many campus buildings, our police chief recommended
    bringing in additional officers from outside the UC Berkeley police
    department to help maintain order and ensure safety. As safety barriers
    were brought in, confrontations began to occur between the police and the
    quickly growing crowd.

    118 classes were scheduled in Wheeler Hall that day. We have a
    responsibility to provide instruction to students who rightfully expect to
    attend their classes and decided that we needed to remove the protestors
    swiftly and safely in order that classes could proceed.

    Many of you have written to us expressing concerns that police action at
    Friday’s demonstration in front of Wheeler Hall showed brutality toward
    individuals who did not appear to be presenting any imminent threat.
    Concerns have been raised about the calling in of outside police and the
    excessive use of force that may have caused injury to those who had come
    to support the protestors inside Wheeler Hall.

    The images that have appeared on YouTube and videos do not reflect our
    values and those of our entire campus community and may not accurately
    reflect the whole sequence of events. As are many of you who have written
    to us, we are distressed at the portrayal in the media of our campus. Our
    priority in dealing with the demonstration was to provide for the safety
    and wellbeing of the entire campus community.

    We truly regret the incidents that brought physical and emotional injury
    to members of our community. UCPD has already begun conducting an
    operational review that entails collection of all the available
    information including reports, videos and pictures taken by UCPD,
    students, the public, and media, to ensure that actions were reasonable
    given the situation presented and the information known at the time. This
    includes a review of uses of force. Additionally, we will ask that there
    be an independent investigation by the Campus Police Review Board. The
    Board includes representatives of students, faculty, and staff. It will
    receive the report of the UCPD.

    Any tactics to exercise crowd control on campus must provide a safe
    platform for expression of free speech and freedom of assembly and we
    expect that, as a result of this review, modifications will be made. We
    must strive to ensure that there is no possibility in the future of the
    alleged actions of police brutality and that our actions are guided by

    We are facing extraordinarily challenging times as we work to find
    solutions to one of the most difficult financial situations in the history
    of the university. While last week’s protests were difficult for
    everyone, we have been encouraged by the outpouring of concern, support,
    and offers of assistance from almost every area of our community to work
    together. Many key members of our student and faculty leadership are very
    engaged with us to help address issues concerning the future of the
    university and the experience we offer our students.

    We must sustain our two paramount goals: access and excellence. State
    budget cuts are extremely damaging to UC. We continue to encourage
    everyone to express your outrage to your elected representatives at the
    state’s disinvestment in UC; we share your passion and commitment to this
    effort. As we stated on Friday, we must work together to advance our
    cause. We hope that last week’s events will mark the critical moment
    which mobilized all of us to focus our collective energies together.

    As many of us leave campus this week to reunite with family and friends
    for Thanksgiving, we urge everyone to reflect upon the week with the
    benefit of distance from the events that we have experienced. However
    difficult the challenges we face, we should all remember to give thanks
    that we are part of this great university and reaffirm our commitment to
    work together to ensure its future.

    Robert J. Birgeneau

    George Breslauer
    Executive Vice-Chancellor & Provost

    Harry Le Grande
    Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs

  3. $3,000,000 UC/UCB Reckless Spending:University of California President Yudof Approves $3,000,000 to Outsource UCB Chancellor’s Job
    The UC President has a UCB Chancellor that should do the high paid job he is paid for instead of hiring an East Coast consulting firm to fulfill his responsibilities. ‘World class’ smart executives like Chancellor Birgeneau need to do the analysis, hard work and make the difficult decisions of their executive job!
    Where do consulting firms like Bain ($3,000,000 consultants) get their recommendations?
    From interviewing the senior management that hired them and will be approving their monthly consultant fees and expense reports. Remember the nationally known auditing firm who said the right things and submitted recommendations that senior management wanted to hear and fooled government oversight agencies and the public?
    Mr. Birgeneau’s executive officer performance management responsibilities include “inspiring innovation and leading change.” This involves “defining outcomes, energizing others at all levels and ensuring continuing commitment.” Instead of demonstrating his capacity to fulfill his executive accountabilities, Mr. Birgeneau outsourced them. Doesn’t he engage University of California and University of California Berkeley (UCB) people at all levels to help examine the budget and recommend the necessary trims? Hasn’t he talked to Cornell and the University of North Carolina – which also hired Bain — about best practices and recommendations that might apply to UCB cuts?
    No wonder the faculty and staff are angry and suspicious. Three million dollars is a high price for Californians to pay when a knowledgeable ‘world-class’ Chancellor is not doing his job.
    Please help save $3,000,000 for teaching our students and request that the UC President require the UCB Chancellor to fulfill his executive job accountabilities!