Monday, September 21, 2009
UC San Diego faculty members who are angry over student fee hikes might walk out of class this Thursday -- the first day of the fall quarter. They would be joining other University of California faculty across the state in taking the action.
SAN DIEGO UC San Diego faculty members who are angry over student fee hikes might walk out of class this Thursday -- the first day of the fall quarter. They would be joining other University of California faculty across the state in taking the action.
The faculty members are angry about state budget cuts to higher education -- from employee furloughs and layoffs to yet another round of student fee and tuition hikes.
Bill Hodgkiss is chair of UCSD's Academic Senate. He says the university is encouraging faculty to stay in class and focus on the students who are there, but he expects some UCSD faculty will take action.
“I have heard some faculty saying they would be supportive of simply walking out of the classroom and not teaching,” Hodgkiss said. “I've heard other faculty say they'd like to see some type of teach-in or demonstration. There is no one unified opinion.”
UCSD’s interim provost and executive director of academic affairs has sent letters to faculty members, encouraging them to direct their anger and frustration to legislators. Hodgkiss believes most of UCSD’s faculty members don’t want to burden their students even more.
“Students are already paying higher fees, so many faculty feel they don't want to interrupt their instructional days also and essentially hit the students twice.”
The UC system raised student fees by nine percent this year and made about $300 million in cuts. The board will vote on a possible 32 percent hike over the next year. The possible walk out follows a UC Board of Regents meeting last week that was marked by arrests and demonstrations.